Author Topic: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?  (Read 2245 times)

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Offline BalconyTV

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Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« on: December 09, 2017, 02:04:07 AM »
I notice some surprise that U2 are 5th on the UK/ Australian charts? Etc.

I wonder why this is in anyway an issue or surprise? On virtually every metric I can generally see, U2s numbers are not strong enough to compete with likes of Ed Sheeran/ Pink etc.

U2 do not have anywhere near as big social numbers on Facebook/ Instagram/ Twitter. Never have. When U2 post a video to YouTube it never gets anywhere near the astronomical numbers those other artists reach. The same as far as I can see with Spotify streams etc.

When U2 perform on these Late Night shows etc, has anyone noticed how U2s performances do not bring huge numbers comparatively. Look at the BBC clip from the other day with All I Want Is You. Its hardly exploding in viewership numbers.

This is not a critique of U2.... but U2 simply are not a pop sensation anymore. And to be honest have failed to fully embrace social media. Although I have noticed an uptick of late. And stunts such as playing in the Berlin U2 line and on the street in NY are good. Although killer performances of new songs would have helped in both cases.

So yeah, not having chart success. Its not a big deal. And should not be expected.

I know someone is going to say - "it is a big deal to them. they want that success" Maybe they do. But I think you will find its not as big a deal as it used to be for them. They are still easily selling concert tickets, which is the only thing that matters in todays music landscape.

Finally, I know charts are now made up with all manner of combined metrics. If thats the case lets look at me for example of a U2 consumer. I consider myself a huge fan by any general persons standards. My friends think I'm a bore on the subject of U2. That said, I have not bought the new album. I just don't like having stuff as I used to. So I really don't know what I'd do with a physical copy. + I am no longer interested in owning tat such as...eh... a Songs of Experience newspaper. So I have streamed the album mostly via Apple Music which I have a subscription to. I love the album. But I don't feel the need to listen to it on loop. I've heard it fully about 6 times. (That said the album is long. Its hard to get to the end of. So there have been plenty of starts.) And regarding consumption of music videos, which I have heard is important in someway. The New York one is a terrible video to the most average song on the album (which I feel badly lets down the album) and so that doesn't merit re-watching. The American Soul lyric vid is a better vid. But again that tune is questionable. The Blackout video is not so bad, and the tune is much better. But still, I have watched... what... 10 times maybe.

So if I cannot contribute much to U2s numbers as a super-fan (and I am sure there are plenty like me)... how is it reasonable to expect U2 to chart higher?
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 02:19:39 AM by BalconyTV »



Offline mc

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2017, 02:15:19 AM »
Trying to sound like chart music has not helped them in the charts!

Offline BalconyTV

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2017, 02:20:02 AM »
What?

Offline Fastcars12

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 04:50:28 AM »
Looking like #1 in the US

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Offline Rasmus

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2017, 07:55:43 AM »
Its not surprising to me at all. U2 have been in commercial decline (regarding albums sales - not tickets) from NLOTH onwards and have not recovered from it. They have firmly joined other dinosaur acts in this department: popular live but new material is mostly for hardcore fans. The problem is that U2 is still trying for the big single when its clearly not working.

Offline 73October

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2017, 01:34:29 PM »
Just a thought - throw it out there...!

U2 started out doing covers (Beach Boys, Peter Frampton etc) in 1976 when they were Feedback. 
What if they covered more contemporary acts again (Bono did a solid version of Stormzy's Blinded by Your Grace Pt 2 at the EMA's)?

I am in no way suggesting or saying they should now finish the way they started (although some people may think that's what's being said), but merely suggesting what if they did that - they could probably do a better version than the original in many cases.  A covers album (Van Morrison has just out one out)?

I think the likes of Pearl Jam have covered U2 live - see You Tube for example.  This shows how many musical acts look up to U2.

Offline BalconyTV

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2017, 02:35:24 PM »
This is a terrible idea. No offense.

Offline Fastcars12

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2017, 02:47:12 PM »
Honestly if I lived in NZ or Australia and 1) U2 didn't come to my country the last 2 tours and 2) U2 was open about this album being delayed because of political events in other countries I'd probably lose interest too.

Offline SwimmingSorrows

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2017, 02:54:21 PM »
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Just a thought - throw it out there...!

U2 started out doing covers (Beach Boys, Peter Frampton etc) in 1976 when they were Feedback. 
What if they covered more contemporary acts again (Bono did a solid version of Stormzy's Blinded by Your Grace Pt 2 at the EMA's)?

I am in no way suggesting or saying they should now finish the way they started (although some people may think that's what's being said), but merely suggesting what if they did that - they could probably do a better version than the original in many cases.  A covers album (Van Morrison has just out one out)?

I think the likes of Pearl Jam have covered U2 live - see You Tube for example.  This shows how many musical acts look up to U2.

Doing a cover or two live is one thing, and its something most everybody (including U2, they snippet a bunch of other people's songs now and have played several covers in the past) does and always has done, but doing a cover album definitely would put them squarely in the dinosaur section of the music world.  Covering new songs would come off as (and frankly would be) a desperate attempt to be relevant and a concession that their own songwriting does not grab the public like it used to. 

Offline HolyHandGrenade

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2017, 10:19:11 PM »
If the band actually had their ears perked on their peers, and the music industry, they'd be chasing after (Grammy-winner) Beck and Radiohead's models of late-career success, instead of trying to be One Republic.

Offline 73October

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2017, 11:20:50 AM »
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If the band actually had their ears perked on their peers, and the music industry, they'd be chasing after (Grammy-winner) Beck and Radiohead's models of late-career success, instead of trying to be One Republic.
Yes I agree.  The covers band idea was a red-herring as so many acts have gone down that route to try to be so relevant.

Offline radiofreenewport

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2017, 03:35:14 PM »
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If the band actually had their ears perked on their peers, and the music industry, they'd be chasing after (Grammy-winner) Beck and Radiohead's models of late-career success, instead of trying to be One Republic.

Totally agree.

As for being #1 on the US Billboard charts, the article notes:

In addition to the enthusiasm expected for a new U2 release, “Songs Of Experience” benefited from a concert ticket/album bundle promotion. Albums redeemed as part of the bundle count toward sales.

Back to the OP's original question, it seems clear that chart position matters to the band, or at the very least, to Live Nation. Otherwise, I'd like to think that they would've have made some of the questionable-to-embarrassing decisions of the last few years (iTunes debacle, gutting the middle of NLOTH with weak attempts at radio hits, etc.). 

Offline iced

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Album enter US @ #1 Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2017, 05:28:28 AM »
Quote
In addition to the enthusiasm expected for a new U2 release, “Songs Of Experience” benefited from a concert ticket/album bundle promotion. Albums redeemed as part of the bundle count toward sales.

This is all true, but billboard had also earlier anticipated in the week the album selling around 170,000 copies...

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Offline Jono

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2017, 11:36:05 AM »
Not to be coy, but is this really a question?

"The showman gives you front row to his heart
The showman prays his heartache will chart..."

« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 03:44:18 PM by Jono »

Offline Voldemar

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2017, 01:40:26 AM »
Today got an official email from U2.com about "New video & interviews: Songs of Experience at No. 1":

"Dear fan,
....
Songs of Innocence is a Billboard No.1 and getting rave reviews.
....
BUY SONGS OF INNOCENCE   
....
best wishes
The U2.com Team"


 :D

If you click on BUY SONGS OF INNOCENCE you will be offered SOE for sure, not SOI.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 03:46:03 AM by Voldemar »