Author Topic: Is the band a bit dependent on producers?  (Read 1399 times)

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Offline wons

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Re: Is the band a bit dependent on producers?
« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2018, 10:33:28 AM »
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Its kind of mind-boggling to hear someone suggest that producers don’t play on U2 albums when there are videos all over the place SHOWING them playing in the studio.  There were NLOTH behind the scenes videos showing Eno and Lanois playing on parts that we all later heard in the songs on the release.  Even the Magnificent video showed them playing with the band.  Then the reference to their live performance is what really matters....did you not see the 360 tour when they put Lawless up on the screen playing under the stage.  Obviously U2 is not “embarrassed” by it.  To be defensive about it is so odd.  Its how modern music is made and there is nothing deceptive or “shameful” about it.


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No one ever said Lanois never picked up and played a guitar in the studio or played something that actually made it onto the record. Its the creative process that is being discussed and with that, the band is overwhelmingly the most important factor.

Pointing out someone playing keyboards during a live song has NOTHING to do with the discussion at all. Its the band that creates what occurs live and most U2 songs sound better live than the original recording. Lanois, Eno, and Lillywhite are not involved in the live process, which once again, significantly shows the importance of the BAND relative to the Producers when it comes to the creative process. The fact that what U2 does LIVE beats most of what they do in the studio is very telling!


Offline wons

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Re: Is the band a bit dependent on producers?
« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2018, 10:38:23 AM »
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I go away to another site for awhile after the great stoppage of '17... drop in here to read a random interesting thread... only to find it's still the same cesspool that it was at the stoppage. Some people think that the band is too precious and that everything that doesn't explicitly praise the band member's abilities must be a dig on them. It's ridiculous. Of course producers "color" and album and steer it in a direction. To admit this doesn't lessen the amazingness of the band's catalog. Also, of course producers introduce ideas and parts to bands. That's how you stimulate creativity and new veins of thinking and seeing of things. It's not a damn insult to the band. They pay the producers and engineer to be on the same team. To help. If Edge was left to his own devices, they'd probably still be tweaking Native Son for it's 2020 release. 

I'm so glad that I came back. Maybe I'll stop back in another 8 months or so.

Its a FAN FORUM, not a critical/attack forum. You should expect see fans talking about what they love about the band as well as defending the band when they feel criticism is absurd, unnecessary or outright attack on the band. That's how most fan forums work.

The most magical thing about U2 is what they do in the live setting. Most of their songs beat their studio versions, which proves that the band, not the producers, are the most critical part of the creative process.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Is the band a bit dependent on producers?
« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2018, 10:39:02 AM »
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However, to answer the question-- every band is dependent on producers! U2's problem has been forgetting what they are good at and not playing to their strengths. There is never going to be cohesion on an album when there are 6/7 producers involved, especially that effin' One Republic dude. Candy floss production gets candy floss sounds and melodies. Too many cooks etc. And probably why you get Volcano on one album , and American Soul on another ( Glastonbury was the best of the bunch lyrically IMO). And SFS/ 13 etc-- can never get agreement on the finished article. And if it was an attempt to get a modern sound to keep them 'relevant' to a younger audience, it's not worked. They haven't had a big single since HTDAAB. And i think The Edge in particular needs a Lanois to push him guitar-wise. Everything has gotten a bit lazy. The last truly great U2 album was ATYCLB, and even that is 2 songs too long ( a symptom of the 'CD' age--the best albums almost always fitted on one side of a C90 cassette  :))

There's a review of SoE that ends with 'In the wake of the promising Songs Of Innocence and the triumphant Joshua Tree tour, Songs Of Experience might prove to be a stumble even they cannot recover from.'. I'm afraid that this may be true, sadly.

I agree that SOE is not their most cohesive album, but it's a terrific album none the less. It's got some great songs, lots of good ones, a few that are just ok, and none that are bad.  On ATYCLB, about half the songs are filler.  Some reviewer might have opined that SOE "might prove to be a stumble" but many people, almost surely the majority of fans, don't agree at all. I'd say it's their best album since Achtung Baby.

With regard to the music I think its largely personal taste with post-NlOTH being more pop-friendly so it just depends on what you like.  But I would argue that the lyrics have been on a decline starting with HTDAAB.  Its subjective of course but I think its a legit argument.


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Offline wons

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Re: Is the band a bit dependent on producers?
« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2018, 10:42:08 AM »
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However, to answer the question-- every band is dependent on producers! U2's problem has been forgetting what they are good at and not playing to their strengths. There is never going to be cohesion on an album when there are 6/7 producers involved, especially that effin' One Republic dude. Candy floss production gets candy floss sounds and melodies. Too many cooks etc. And probably why you get Volcano on one album , and American Soul on another ( Glastonbury was the best of the bunch lyrically IMO). And SFS/ 13 etc-- can never get agreement on the finished article. And if it was an attempt to get a modern sound to keep them 'relevant' to a younger audience, it's not worked. They haven't had a big single since HTDAAB. And i think The Edge in particular needs a Lanois to push him guitar-wise. Everything has gotten a bit lazy. The last truly great U2 album was ATYCLB, and even that is 2 songs too long ( a symptom of the 'CD' age--the best albums almost always fitted on one side of a C90 cassette  :))

There's a review of SoE that ends with 'In the wake of the promising Songs Of Innocence and the triumphant Joshua Tree tour, Songs Of Experience might prove to be a stumble even they cannot recover from.'. I'm afraid that this may be true, sadly.

.  On ATYCLB, about half the songs are filler. 

No way! ATYCLB is one of U2's greatest U2 albums of all time. Fans and Critics agree with the album selling over 12 million copies worldwide and winning 7 Grammy awards! It is U2's fourth biggest selling studio album!

Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: Is the band a bit dependent on producers?
« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2018, 12:01:11 PM »
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Fans and Critics agree

They don't, actually.  That's the whole point of having a forum.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Is the band a bit dependent on producers?
« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2018, 12:34:35 PM »
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I go away to another site for awhile after the great stoppage of '17... drop in here to read a random interesting thread... only to find it's still the same cesspool that it was at the stoppage. Some people think that the band is too precious and that everything that doesn't explicitly praise the band member's abilities must be a dig on them. It's ridiculous. Of course producers "color" and album and steer it in a direction. To admit this doesn't lessen the amazingness of the band's catalog. Also, of course producers introduce ideas and parts to bands. That's how you stimulate creativity and new veins of thinking and seeing of things. It's not a damn insult to the band. They pay the producers and engineer to be on the same team. To help. If Edge was left to his own devices, they'd probably still be tweaking Native Son for it's 2020 release. 

I'm so glad that I came back. Maybe I'll stop back in another 8 months or so.

Its a FAN FORUM, not a critical/attack forum. You should expect see fans talking about what they love about the band as well as defending the band when they feel criticism is absurd, unnecessary or outright attack on the band. That's how most fan forums work.

The most magical thing about U2 is what they do in the live setting. Most of their songs beat their studio versions, which proves that the band, not the producers, are the most critical part of the creative process.

Its a FAN forum, not a FANBOY forum.  Being a fan doesn’t mean you have to like everything an artist does or be their apologist.  U2 doesn’t need someone to go around defending them from their own fans on a U2 forum.  No one is telling you to be more critical of the band.  How about letting everyone share their own thoughts and opinions without attacking and criticizing them.


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Offline wons

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Re: Is the band a bit dependent on producers?
« Reply #36 on: July 11, 2018, 12:47:05 PM »
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I go away to another site for awhile after the great stoppage of '17... drop in here to read a random interesting thread... only to find it's still the same cesspool that it was at the stoppage. Some people think that the band is too precious and that everything that doesn't explicitly praise the band member's abilities must be a dig on them. It's ridiculous. Of course producers "color" and album and steer it in a direction. To admit this doesn't lessen the amazingness of the band's catalog. Also, of course producers introduce ideas and parts to bands. That's how you stimulate creativity and new veins of thinking and seeing of things. It's not a damn insult to the band. They pay the producers and engineer to be on the same team. To help. If Edge was left to his own devices, they'd probably still be tweaking Native Son for it's 2020 release. 

I'm so glad that I came back. Maybe I'll stop back in another 8 months or so.

Its a FAN FORUM, not a critical/attack forum. You should expect see fans talking about what they love about the band as well as defending the band when they feel criticism is absurd, unnecessary or outright attack on the band. That's how most fan forums work.

The most magical thing about U2 is what they do in the live setting. Most of their songs beat their studio versions, which proves that the band, not the producers, are the most critical part of the creative process.

Its a FAN forum, not a FANBOY forum.  Being a fan doesn’t mean you have to like everything an artist does or be their apologist.  U2 doesn’t need someone to go around defending them from their own fans on a U2 forum.  No one is telling you to be more critical of the band.  How about letting everyone share their own thoughts and opinions without attacking and criticizing them.


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Sorry, I have an opinion myself and I'm not going to shut up while someone is sh**ting on something I love. The idea that we should just have threads where people who like to sit down at U2 concerts and don't purchase their music anymore get free reign to just criticize the band without anyone objecting or offering a different opinion is absurd.

Offline wons

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Re: Is the band a bit dependent on producers?
« Reply #37 on: July 11, 2018, 12:49:09 PM »
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Fans and Critics agree

They don't, actually.  That's the whole point of having a forum.

They did on ATYCLB. The fans purchased 12 million copies, one of the biggest selling albums in the early 00s. The critics gave the band 7 grammy awards for the album, one of the highest number of grammy wins by one album in Grammy history. So, fans and critics did indeed AGREE!

Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: Is the band a bit dependent on producers?
« Reply #38 on: July 11, 2018, 12:51:45 PM »
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Fans and Critics agree

They don't, actually.  That's the whole point of having a forum.

They did on ATYCLB. The fans purchased 12 million copies, one of the biggest selling albums in the early 00s. The critics gave the band 7 grammy awards for the album, one of the highest number of grammy wins by one album in Grammy history. So, fans and critics did indeed AGREE!

Wons, again: it doesn't seem you understand what we are telling you.  WE have different opinions on this.  WE are fans.  Just like you.  Hence, WE are in disagreement here.  There's room for more than one opinion on this forum.  Please stop insisting we all share yours.

Offline laoghaire

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Re: Is the band a bit dependent on producers?
« Reply #39 on: July 11, 2018, 02:02:36 PM »
ATYCLB is 1/3 filler to me.

Somebody mentioned feeling that lyrics have been declining since whatever album. Disagree! I think Bono hit his stride lyrically with TJT and think there has been no decline. Sure, some stinkers ("Grace... it's the name of a girl" - really?) but they are spread around, and the gems keep coming ("the worst things in the world are justified by belief").

That was fun. I like having opinions. I like hearing opinions. I just get cranky when opinions are presented as facts.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Is the band a bit dependent on producers?
« Reply #40 on: July 11, 2018, 02:32:41 PM »
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ATYCLB is 1/3 filler to me.

Somebody mentioned feeling that lyrics have been declining since whatever album. Disagree! I think Bono hit his stride lyrically with TJT and think there has been no decline. Sure, some stinkers ("Grace... it's the name of a girl" - really?) but they are spread around, and the gems keep coming ("the worst things in the world are justified by belief").

That was fun. I like having opinions. I like hearing opinions. I just get cranky when opinions are presented as facts.

That is exactly the spirit I’m trying to encourage here.  Unfortunately some people just seem to thrive on conflict.  I can ignore the personal insults easily enough but I wish we had a little more moderation because I think it ruins a forum when you have the personal attacks and criticism of other posters instead of respectful disagreement with their opinions, recognizing that its just two different opinions.  But as they say...”Don’t let something or another grind you down”.

By the way, I love the lyrics to Grace!  That line is about reclaiming the spiritual meaning of a word that has come to simply mean “elegant or beautiful”.  You can’t pull out that one line by itself.

How about a new thread on the topic of lyrics you do or don’t like?  All opinions welcome!


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Offline Vox

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Re: Is the band a bit dependent on producers?
« Reply #41 on: July 11, 2018, 02:54:36 PM »
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That was fun. I like having opinions. I like hearing opinions. I just get cranky when opinions are presented as facts.

This is key for me.  Great statement. 

All of the sudden this week, there are a lot of new threads, from a couple different new posters, that have titles akin to something like "Everything U2 Did after 1985 is Total Garbage..."  Opinions are good.  Differences are what makes the world go around.  But it's hard to have a good back-and-forth when that's where the starting line is set.  And then to act all wounded when people feel they have to stand up to a finite blanket statement like that.  What really makes it funny is that, in theory, I agree with the feelings behind a lot of these posts.  It's just that they're said in such a sh**ty, confrontational way that it makes them seep with a certain toxicity... Perhaps it's just a language barrier thing...

Funny how it seems so prevalent all of the sudden this week, though... 
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 02:58:09 PM by Vox »

Offline Luzita

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Re: Is the band a bit dependent on producers?
« Reply #42 on: July 11, 2018, 03:52:17 PM »
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ATYCLB is 1/3 filler to me.

Somebody mentioned feeling that lyrics have been declining since whatever album. Disagree! I think Bono hit his stride lyrically with TJT and think there has been no decline. Sure, some stinkers ("Grace... it's the name of a girl" - really?) but they are spread around, and the gems keep coming ("the worst things in the world are justified by belief").

That was fun. I like having opinions. I like hearing opinions. I just get cranky when opinions are presented as facts.
100% agree with this! Even the 1/3 filler on ATYCLB. I said half before but that was an overstatement.

Regarding Bono’s lyrics, yes there are some clunkers but I don’t feel the proportion is increasing. SOE has the notorious refu-Jesus but it also has lots of beautiful/evocative/clever lines in Little Things, 13, Lights of Home, The Showman, etc.

“Sometimes
I wake at four in the morning
When all the darkness is swarming
And it covers me in fear”

“When the wind screams and shouts
And the sea is a dragon’s tail
And the ship that stole your heart away sets sail”

As for opinions as facts — yeah, pet peeve. Esp. if people respond with outrage when their non-facts are calmly challenged.


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Offline Tortuga

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Re: Is the band a bit dependent on producers?
« Reply #43 on: July 11, 2018, 04:50:42 PM »
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ATYCLB is 1/3 filler to me.

Somebody mentioned feeling that lyrics have been declining since whatever album. Disagree! I think Bono hit his stride lyrically with TJT and think there has been no decline. Sure, some stinkers ("Grace... it's the name of a girl" - really?) but they are spread around, and the gems keep coming ("the worst things in the world are justified by belief").

That was fun. I like having opinions. I like hearing opinions. I just get cranky when opinions are presented as facts.
100% agree with this! Even the 1/3 filler on ATYCLB. I said half before but that was an overstatement.

Regarding Bono’s lyrics, yes there are some clunkers but I don’t feel the proportion is increasing. SOE has the notorious refu-Jesus but it also has lots of beautiful/evocative/clever lines in Little Things, 13, Lights of Home, The Showman, etc.

“Sometimes
I wake at four in the morning
When all the darkness is swarming
And it covers me in fear”

“When the wind screams and shouts
And the sea is a dragon’s tail
And the ship that stole your heart away sets sail”

As for opinions as facts — yeah, pet peeve. Esp. if people respond with outrage when their non-facts are calmly challenged.


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Bono has ALWAYS had a mix of brilliant lyrics and stinkers.   All the way back to “A picture in gray, DORIAN gray, just me by the sea.”  IMHO the stinker ratio has gone up since HTDAAB.  But there are still recent songs that are lyrically perfect: Every Breaking Wave, Landlady... where all the metaphors tie together perfectly with multiple layers.  The clunkers like “smell of a newborn baby’s head” are just freebies you throw away.  JT through Pop were the golden years.  Those songs were less direct and more open to interpretation.  Today’s material is a little too on the nose too much of the time.


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Offline Tortuga

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Re: Is the band a bit dependent on producers?
« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2018, 05:00:11 PM »
But just to clarify, do you see the title of this thread as something that should set people off?  To me there is nothing wrong with it.  I don’t think its possible for a band to be TOO dependent on a producer, which was my reply.  (Producers are just part of the team.) But I don’t think its a trolling or intentional insult title.


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