Author Topic: No Line On The Horizon  (Read 2082 times)

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Offline World71R

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Re: No Line On The Horizon
« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2018, 10:32:29 PM »
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This album has a bit of a cult following really. Agree with the comments of it being 2/3 great and 1/3 awful. It really had so much potential given songs like Fez, MOS and COL. Even Unknown Caller was interestingly adventurous but didn't work for me. I remember a quote from Larry some time after the album came out that the whole process of making the album was an ordeal. This seems to be at least in part why the band don't play anything from it. And it that context they were working with Rick Rubin and started all over again with Eno. Did some stuff in Morocco and others elsewhere. Can imagine it a draining process even by their standards. And then they fluffed Boots as lead single thinking it was Vertigo Part 2. I don't mind the song but it shouldn't have been the lead single. And how they left off Winter is mind boggling. If only they had been braver and gone with the experimental side of the album rather than selling out and including bog standard songs like SUC, Crazy and even Breathe.

Definitely. Although, I will say that Breathe is a quality tune and is a bit different from typical U2. There's some classic U2 elements in there, but the different time signature and the interesting, sort of African/Middle Eastern string arrangement makes the song different. Breathe is pretty good and a highlight (imo) as is, but would've sounded more interesting and better if they had spent more time in Fez.

It still amazes me how they didn't listen to Eno, and his suggestion to finish & include Winter, and thought it was a good idea to omit Every Breaking Wave, Winter, and Soon, and then proceeded to go forward with Get On Your Boots, I'll Go Crazy, and Stand Up Comedy instead. Albeit EBW's SOI structure sounds better compared to how it was early on, so that's okay, but Winter and Soon were really unfortunate omissions. Soon opening the album would've really set the tone for things being different and Winter after Unknown Caller would've sounded great instead of those dreaded middle three.

Regarding the singles, Magnificent was the obvious choice for the lead single, but they were blind to that. Boots had no place on the album, let alone be the lead single. Then from there, Breathe would've been a good second single and No Line on the Horizon or Winter as a third single, with the other as a fourth single if there was still enough steam.

Offline Clarky

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Re: No Line On The Horizon
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2018, 07:35:39 AM »
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This album has a bit of a cult following really. Agree with the comments of it being 2/3 great and 1/3 awful. It really had so much potential given songs like Fez, MOS and COL. Even Unknown Caller was interestingly adventurous but didn't work for me. I remember a quote from Larry some time after the album came out that the whole process of making the album was an ordeal. This seems to be at least in part why the band don't play anything from it. And it that context they were working with Rick Rubin and started all over again with Eno. Did some stuff in Morocco and others elsewhere. Can imagine it a draining process even by their standards. And then they fluffed Boots as lead single thinking it was Vertigo Part 2. I don't mind the song but it shouldn't have been the lead single. And how they left off Winter is mind boggling. If only they had been braver and gone with the experimental side of the album rather than selling out and including bog standard songs like SUC, Crazy and even Breathe.

Definitely. Although, I will say that Breathe is a quality tune and is a bit different from typical U2. There's some classic U2 elements in there, but the different time signature and the interesting, sort of African/Middle Eastern string arrangement makes the song different. Breathe is pretty good and a highlight (imo) as is, but would've sounded more interesting and better if they had spent more time in Fez.

It still amazes me how they didn't listen to Eno, and his suggestion to finish & include Winter, and thought it was a good idea to omit Every Breaking Wave, Winter, and Soon, and then proceeded to go forward with Get On Your Boots, I'll Go Crazy, and Stand Up Comedy instead. Albeit EBW's SOI structure sounds better compared to how it was early on, so that's okay, but Winter and Soon were really unfortunate omissions. Soon opening the album would've really set the tone for things being different and Winter after Unknown Caller would've sounded great instead of those dreaded middle three.

Regarding the singles, Magnificent was the obvious choice for the lead single, but they were blind to that. Boots had no place on the album, let alone be the lead single. Then from there, Breathe would've been a good second single and No Line on the Horizon or Winter as a third single, with the other as a fourth single if there was still enough steam.

Couldn't agree with both of your comments any more.

I'm so invested in the potential that this album had because I still really like it, but they really were misguided when it came to the final decision making process.

Offline soloyan

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Re: No Line On The Horizon
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2018, 06:22:45 AM »
I'm so happy that so many people share my sentiment about the album !

It's a shame because it's considered a minor album or a misfire but there's so much more than that into it.

I have this playlist that I find much more satisfying than the album :

Soon
Magnificent
No Line on the Horizon
White as Snow
Being Born (I removed the Fez intro)
Winter
Get on your Boots
Moment of Surrender
Cedars of Lebanon

I would love to know what occured behind the scenes. The band sounds insecure about the direction they should take. I know Daniel Lanois said he would have loved it if the band had released the tapes from an earlier version of the album. I'd love to hear that. Whatever happened, it put an end to the collaboration between U2, Eno and Lanois. Damn shame.

Edit : and I'll add this, to me it also lead to one of U2's most boring tour.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: No Line On The Horizon
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2018, 08:38:59 PM »
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I'm so happy that so many people share my sentiment about the album !

It's a shame because it's considered a minor album or a misfire but there's so much more than that into it.

I have this playlist that I find much more satisfying than the album :

Soon
Magnificent
No Line on the Horizon
White as Snow
Being Born (I removed the Fez intro)
Winter
Get on your Boots
Moment of Surrender
Cedars of Lebanon

I would love to know what occured behind the scenes. The band sounds insecure about the direction they should take. I know Daniel Lanois said he would have loved it if the band had released the tapes from an earlier version of the album. I'd love to hear that. Whatever happened, it put an end to the collaboration between U2, Eno and Lanois. Damn shame.

Edit : and I'll add this, to me it also lead to one of U2's most boring tour.

I wouldn’t necessarily say put it to an end.  They switch around producers alot but often come back to Lillywhite, Eno, and Lanois.


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Offline soloyan

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Re: No Line On The Horizon
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2018, 09:30:38 AM »
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I'm so happy that so many people share my sentiment about the album !

It's a shame because it's considered a minor album or a misfire but there's so much more than that into it.

I have this playlist that I find much more satisfying than the album :

Soon
Magnificent
No Line on the Horizon
White as Snow
Being Born (I removed the Fez intro)
Winter
Get on your Boots
Moment of Surrender
Cedars of Lebanon

I would love to know what occured behind the scenes. The band sounds insecure about the direction they should take. I know Daniel Lanois said he would have loved it if the band had released the tapes from an earlier version of the album. I'd love to hear that. Whatever happened, it put an end to the collaboration between U2, Eno and Lanois. Damn shame.

Edit : and I'll add this, to me it also lead to one of U2's most boring tour.

I wouldn’t necessarily say put it to an end.  They switch around producers alot but often come back to Lillywhite, Eno, and Lanois.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Lillywhite comes in regularly for mixing. But to my knowledge, Eno and Lanois have not worked with U2 since NLOTH. I could be wrong, though.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: No Line On The Horizon
« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2018, 11:42:59 AM »
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You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I'm so happy that so many people share my sentiment about the album !

It's a shame because it's considered a minor album or a misfire but there's so much more than that into it.

I have this playlist that I find much more satisfying than the album :

Soon
Magnificent
No Line on the Horizon
White as Snow
Being Born (I removed the Fez intro)
Winter
Get on your Boots
Moment of Surrender
Cedars of Lebanon

I would love to know what occured behind the scenes. The band sounds insecure about the direction they should take. I know Daniel Lanois said he would have loved it if the band had released the tapes from an earlier version of the album. I'd love to hear that. Whatever happened, it put an end to the collaboration between U2, Eno and Lanois. Damn shame.

Edit : and I'll add this, to me it also lead to one of U2's most boring tour.

I wouldn’t necessarily say put it to an end.  They switch around producers alot but often come back to Lillywhite, Eno, and Lanois.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Lillywhite comes in regularly for mixing. But to my knowledge, Eno and Lanois have not worked with U2 since NLOTH. I could be wrong, though.

I believe that is correct.  But Eno and Lanois did not work to any formal extent after AB until ATYCLB.  So in a longer-term view, they come and go and I would not rule out a return when the band thinks its time for their input again.


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Offline Rasmus

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Re: No Line On The Horizon
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2018, 02:55:13 PM »
NLOTH is my least favorite U2 album, mainly because I think it's the one with most clunkers and with the most wasted potential. As many people have pointed out the album seems to go in two directions at once with the weak middle section being really out of place. Additionally I think songs like Unknown Caller, Breathe and Cedars of Lebanon are not as great as they could have been. The only songs on the album I think really work are Fez, Magnificent and Moment of Surrender (although it's too long and with a few clunky lyrics). I liked the alternate version of NLOTH much more than the album version and of course Soon should have opened the album.

The fact that I see the conjectures of a truly great U2 album in there only makes it harder for me to love.

Offline achtung child

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Re: No Line On The Horizon
« Reply #37 on: June 17, 2018, 07:29:08 PM »
I agree with many of the sentiments shared. The alternate listing others have mentioned is tempting to believe as superior to the original.  Would it have improved sales?  That's a harder question.  But I do think it would have made the album "better".  I've said this before, but they sank themselves with the title.  They might as well have bought a yacht, named it Titanic, and sailed the world under an album with the same name.  The cover is awful too, and it definitely ranks as my least favorite.  I think what's frustrating about the entire enterprise is the fact they learned nothing from the mistakes of Pop.  Now, when I say that, I am NOT saying Pop is a bad album - I happen to prefer it very much, so let's not dig up that horse for a third whipping.  However, they did not seem to correct themselves as to the decisions behind the marketing strategy (i.e. making Boots the lead single) and ignoring Eno.  I do think if Magnificent were chosen, it would have had a slightly better outcome for all involved.  But at the end of the day, the quality of the album did not warrant the tour of its size.  Even Larry has admitted his frustration being they had the audience, but not the songs.  There are some truly great moments, but it's an album that ends up kicking it's own a**.  How it remains the top selling tour of all-time is a mystery to me. 


For me, this is where their "relevance" began to wane. They obviously had great deal of earned mainstream excitment with ATYCLB and Bomb, at least the tours anyway. But the rollout and the publicity was a total fumble.  Nobody started wondering if they were relevant until Bono started pontificating endlessly about it.  It was weird and a total buzzkill.  As cool as the 360 tour looked, it screamed of insecurity with the claw. It was literally a metaphor and physical manifestation of Bono's midlife crisis.  It was unnecessarily begging for attention and approval.  All of this being said, even if the album had topped ATYCLB and Bomb, there's nothing that could have saved them from the impending tsunami that was the streaming service looming around the corner.  That's my two cents anyway. 
« Last Edit: June 17, 2018, 07:38:23 PM by achtung child »

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: No Line On The Horizon
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2018, 08:13:28 PM »
I agree that "Winter" and "Soon" would have made great additions.  It's become a commonplace that Boots, Breathe, and Stand Up are so bad, but if you listen to them again, instead of accepting common thought, they really aren't bad. 
    Larry thought making the album was an ordeal, but Larry seems to think life in general is an ordeal these days, so that's no big revelation.
    I still contend, even without the aforementioned songs, that it's a great and underrated album and ahead of its time.

Offline World71R

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Re: No Line On The Horizon
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2018, 11:06:04 PM »
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I agree that "Winter" and "Soon" would have made great additions.  It's become a commonplace that Boots, Breathe, and Stand Up are so bad, but if you listen to them again, instead of accepting common thought, they really aren't bad. 
    Larry thought making the album was an ordeal, but Larry seems to think life in general is an ordeal these days, so that's no big revelation.
    I still contend, even without the aforementioned songs, that it's a great and underrated album and ahead of its time.



Boots and SUC should not be in the same breath as Breathe, honestly. Breathe is a superior song to those two in every sense of the word, imo.

Breathe is really well put-together, really gets at something, and is a good mix of the Fez experimentation (time signature, the strings arrangement and drums, the imagery in the lyrics) and classic U2 (The Edge's guitar licks, the pre-chorus).

Boots and SUC are messes in their album form. The songs have some redeeming factors (the hard-driving fast rock rhythm on Boots, the funk rock-like riff and chord progression on SUC), but when they try to go anywhere, they sound like a complete mess, while Breathe has a nice progression and flow to it. You can tell that Boots and SUC (and I'll Go Crazy) were NOT a part of what the band and Eno/Lanois originally had in mind with the album, and it shows. All of the other songs sound finished and well put-together, but those middle three that were mostly fleshed out back in the UK/US, to be their final form, sound the least finished and sloppiest imo.

Offline Tom_Desert_Rat

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Re: No Line On The Horizon
« Reply #40 on: June 20, 2018, 04:16:17 PM »
I have listened to U2 since the beginning. I remember sitting outside on a warm afternoon at a Peruvian café listening to NLOTH with my wife of over 30 years. It really captured me. My wife and I haven't been to a U2 concert in years. I said, "This is it, this is the pinnacle of U2. I'm afraid everything after this will be a slow burn down." We went to the 360 concert in the Vegas desert. No Line is a very good album. You can feel the experience and maturity of the group poured into the album. I relate to a lot of what the album said. There are a few songs that I wish were better, Boots was one, but live in concert it was ok. Even with this being a great album, you can't deny, driving through the desert listening to Joshua Tree, you are one with the desert and with that, No Line has a place in the history of U2. The Joshua Tree is still their greatest work. I drove coast to coast and back again....7225 miles, and as I drove through the desert, I looked up at the desert sky
 Dream beneath a desert sky
 The rivers run but soon run dry
 We need new dreams tonight

 Desert rose
 Dreamed I saw a desert rose
 Dress torn in ribbons and in bows
 Like a siren she calls to me

Offline laoghaire

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Re: No Line On The Horizon
« Reply #41 on: June 20, 2018, 06:28:18 PM »
I drove through the desert only once, with a friend. We did a huge road trip when we were 19. I knew when I hit the desert I wanted to play The Joshua Tree. I had the tape all ready to go, my friend knew I wanted this. In Colorado, the tape player in my friend's creaky Honda Civic died. And my dream along with it.

We still had a radio but in the canyons of Utah there was no radio.

Then, in the outskirts of Arizona, we found a radio station. I was wishing I could at least hear Streets - I could see the red backdrop of Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona in my mind's eye - and I could not believe it when Streets was played, in Arizona, where I needed it. I got that at least.

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: No Line On The Horizon
« Reply #42 on: June 21, 2018, 12:34:38 PM »
"You can really feel the maturity that the band poured into this album."  Yes, I agree with this statement very much.  It's as though they've had so many experiences, both good and bad, and have come through on the other side to a place of acceptance and joy.  "Sing your heart, sing my heart out...."