Poll

What are your three favorite songs off the album Zooropa, and how do you feel about the album in 2018?

Zooropa
37 (28.2%)
Babyface
2 (1.5%)
Numb
3 (2.3%)
Lemon
22 (16.8%)
Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
27 (20.6%)
Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car
11 (8.4%)
Some Days Are Better Than Others
3 (2.3%)
The First Time
6 (4.6%)
Dirty Day
11 (8.4%)
The Wanderer
9 (6.9%)

Total Members Voted: 43

Author Topic: Zooropa: Retrospective  (Read 500 times)

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Offline Vox

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Zooropa: Retrospective
« on: August 14, 2018, 07:58:49 AM »
This is the eighth part of the U2: Retrospective.  You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login 

After listening to the album now, in the present day, the main part of each post will be to vote for your three favorite songs from each album.  The next parts can be optional (well, the whole thing is “optional”), but I’ll structure my posts like this:
•   When did I first listen to that album?  What is my history with the album?   
•   How do I feel about the album when I listen to it today, versus how I’ve felt about the album in the past
?

Top three songs:  “Zooropa,” “Lemon,” “Daddy’s Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car”

All U2 albums are special to me, but Zooropa even more so, released a month after I graduated high school and a little over a month before I left home for college.  I didn’t know it was coming out until very close to its release, when I saw a poster for the album hanging on the wall in a local music store.  The day it was released, I drove to said record store to buy both the CD and cassette versions.  I had the day off work and was spending it with friends.  So there both copies of the album sat in my car – all day… I had planned to listen to it properly in its entirety after I got home.  During the course of driving around that afternoon, the local rock station advertised that they were set to play the album front-to-back at 10:00 that night.  So, I coordinated my plans to leave a friend’s house at 9:58 and drive home while listening to the first few songs of the album.  I set off to the opening sound of “Zooropa” for the first time.  This was the perfect progression for the band after Achtung Baby.  The ride back to my place usually only took 20 minutes, but I was so in love with the experience I kept driving until the radio station finished playing the entire album.  Even the silence and alarm at the end of “The Wanderer” (not to mention Johnny Cash?!?).  I remember the summer bugs flying through my car headlights made the experience seem like something out of a science fiction film.  It was so incredible.

The album followed me to college.  In high school, I was on the straight-and-narrow… good Catholic boy…  never drank…  kept my hands to myself.  But when I got out of the house for the first time and went to college, I started to participate in a whole bunch of illicit things, as some people tend to do.  And Zooropa was the soundtrack of the party, the afterparty, and the recovery.  “Uncertainty can be the guiding light” has been an uplifting refrain for me ever since.  By the way…  I’m not condoning illicit substances, but Zooropa is the best-sounding U2 album on illicit substances…  Even now, if I’m up late, listening to music with a glass of wine, this album moves up to #3 in my U2antheon.  And it never goes below #5, no matter the time of day.

There isn’t a song I don’t like on the album, though I can skip “Babyface” at times.  Listening to the record the past few weeks for this retrospective, I appreciate the way it was mixed and produced, especially the bass on many of the songs.  It makes me wonder what would happen if The Edge properly produced an entire U2 album.  Many years after its release, I discovered the titles of “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” “Wake Up Dead Man,” and “If You Wear That Velvet Dress” are right there on the front cover art work!  This album is the sound of one of the best bands of our time confidently flexing, at their creative, artistic and commercial peak.



Moonstarsky

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Re: Zooropa: Retrospective
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2018, 09:17:42 AM »
Wood have added a 4th, but we're only allowed 3. 1. Numb 2. Stay 3. Lemon 4. Zooropa.

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: Zooropa: Retrospective
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2018, 08:01:24 PM »
I would choose "Zooropa", "Dirty Day" and "First Time".  It's not an album I return to often, although I do like to hear "Zooropa" now and then.  It's a conceptually interesting album that seems more like a novelty item to me; I prefer their more reflective or harder rocking style.

Offline ian ryan

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Re: Zooropa: Retrospective
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2018, 11:23:51 PM »
Zooropa, Lemon, and The Wanderer. Those are the spiritual and technical hearts of the album, even if they aren’t its soul. They have Bono’s best lyrics ever and are musical genius.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2018, 08:30:08 PM by ian ryan »

Offline Chip

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Re: Zooropa: Retrospective
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2018, 11:30:37 PM »
In order, "Lemon," "The Wanderer," and "Dirty Day." These songs, and Zooropa as a whole, contain Bono's best lyrics with the exception of "Miss Sarajevo," some tracks on NLOTH, and possibly "Your Blue Room."

Offline laoghaire

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Re: Zooropa: Retrospective
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2018, 08:09:56 PM »
Zooropa
Daddy's Gonna Pay
Stay
Runner-up: Lemon

I don't remember knowing anything about Zooropa before it dropped. It was summer. It is a summer album.

I love how all these albums have a different feeling. Maybe it's in the category of Achtung, Baby but it feels like something else.

The title track is freaking brilliant. Love the theme, everything going on, the build-up, the beat, even the "zoom!"s or whatever you'd call them. It all makes me happy.

I liked Lemon well enough back then but I didn't get what it meant until my mom lugged 20 kg of U2 by U2 hardcover several thousand miles to me. (Thanks, mom.)  So now that I get it, it's even more interesting to me. Ballsy.

And the Sydney performance was insane. In. Sane.

For Stay, Dublin 1993 was definitive. I played this song so much, so much, as a teen. I notice now that even though this is a calmer song, it still has a great beat.

Daddy's Gonna Pay is another favorite. Love how fuzzy/echoey "you know everything in the world" is, then how flat and small "but you feel alone" is. Great beat. Clever theme. The Joshua Tree definitely got chopped down in a big way. Balls.

Also, ditto Sydney. The greatest rock band in the world. And a front man who deserves an Oscar. That is some craaaaazy stuff he did.

Offline daveyg

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Re: Zooropa: Retrospective
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2018, 01:02:41 AM »
Strange thing is Babyface and Some Days Are Better Than Others have great bass lines. Babyface is OK but completely put off Some Days by some of the lyrics

Offline Rasmus

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Re: Zooropa: Retrospective
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2018, 11:03:19 AM »
Zooropa is in my top 3 U2 albums and its incredible. From a time where U2 were not only the biggest band in the world (arguably) but also pushing the boundaries of rock music in general.

I voted Zooropa, Babyface and Lemon as 3 favorites. I knew Babyface would have a tough time in the voting but I just love it and the lyrics are brilliant. I could easily have voted for Stay and Dirty Day as well.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 11:05:25 AM by Rasmus »

Offline Droo

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Re: Zooropa: Retrospective
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2018, 11:52:20 AM »
My favourite album of theirs, so this is an almost impossible choice.

For a long tie Lemon would have come in as my #1 from the album but since Zooropa's revival as a live song I've really fallen in love with it. I'd say it's now my fave, with Lemon second.

For third, it's between Stay, Daddy's Gonna Pay, and Dirty Day. I ultimately went with Daddy's Gonna Pay because of how weird and experimental it is. To think the band that made this can 20 years later churn out something as bland and forgettable as Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way boggles my mind.

Offline keifer

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Re: Zooropa: Retrospective
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2018, 09:08:52 PM »
so this album has come back to life for me in a brand new way.  for some reason this album sounds fresh and relevant in 2018 .   so creative; ahead of its time.  LOVE it now

Offline ian ryan

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Re: Zooropa: Retrospective
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2018, 08:37:28 PM »
Don’t worry, baby
It’ll be alright
You’ve got the right shoes
To get you through the night
It’s cold outside, but brightly lit
Skip the subway, let’s go to the overground
Get your head out of the mud, baby
Put flowers in the mud, baby
Overground

Don’t worry, baby
It’s gonna be alright
Uncertainty can be a guiding light
I hear voices, ridiculous voices
I’m in the slipstream
Let’s go overground
Get your head out of the mud, baby
She’s gonna dream up the world she wants to live in
She’s gonna dream out loud

The best work Bono has ever done. I’ll follow this band forever because of those words.

Offline Albono

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Re: Zooropa: Retrospective
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2018, 12:23:48 AM »
I now realize that I listen to Zooropa, more than any other U2 album (AB and POP follow as close 2nd and 3rd, of course).

For a gap-stop album, Zooropa has more substance and meaning, compared to U2 music released during the 00s era.
It has the most "un"-U2 tracks you could ever sing or muster, and the lyrics are far superior poetry comparing to what the B-man is singing these days.

Offline hollywoodswag

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Re: Zooropa: Retrospective
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2018, 04:57:49 AM »
Zooropa is absolutely spectacular, and it's one of the albums I find myself going back to more than almost any other in the catalog right now. For an album that's pretty much devoid of hooks, it's immensely captivating, and I feel like every time I hear a song from it, I just want to play it in its entirety. I feel like Bono really brought the heat lyrically, even if the album's occasional European slant might not hit me as hard as it probably does those from that continent. I think there are some universal lessons here, though, and I use the word lessons because I feel like this is the album where he speaks directly to the listener. It's very conversational in tone, and I suspect that is a large reason behind why I find the album so captivating. I also feel like it's MacPhisto himself speaking to me in a few cases, and I feel as if I'm being challenged or even accused at times. It's such an odd feeling and almost unnerving, and yet I feel like I can learn from it. It's such an absolutely brilliant album that I feel like I've talked myself into making it my favorite as I've typed this review.

Sonically, I also think the album is fantastic. I feel like the album has a visual feel to it, with each song using carefully selected sounds to transport me to a respective environment. I don't feel like I'm hearing music as much as I find myself in another world experiencing each song with more than just my auditory senses. As I said earlier, there are not many, if any, hooks, and yet against all musical logic, it works to the album's advantage. Hooks would likely have reduced the music back to a general auditory experience and remove the feel of these environments that are created.

For my top three, I selected Zooropa, Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car, and Dirty Day. Zooropa really does make me feel like I'm walking through a city bombarding me with advertisements, lights, and screens, yet devoid of any soul or purpose. It's a song that speaks to how lost I feel like we can get as a society, having no real aim in life and being almost content with it. I know there are some European aspects to the lyrics in light of the continent becoming a union that probably hit a bit harder across the Atlantic, but as a US citizen, I feel like the song still really resonates.

Daddy's Gonna Pay is a song that I feel may be more relevant than ever, with entitlement mentalities being immensely prevalent. Singing the song as MacPhisto on the ZooTV tour was a brilliant choice by Bono, almost as if he's tempting us to shirk responsibility and wisdom and seek out hedonistic fulfillment. This is also the first song that came to mind when I said the album had some accusatory moments, because I feel like there's a whole spoiler-alert undertone that our willingness to give in to our selfish and short-sighted desires makes us weak and won't lead us to the satisfaction we desire.

Finally, Dirty Day has an incredibly dark, bleak tone to it, especially instrumentally. It suits the lyrics well given their tragic nature, and I'm not sure why I find the song so captivating given the pain that runs through it (especially considering the great relationship I have with my father), but I feel like the song is somewhat inspiring as I look toward the day when I have kids of my own and I understand that how I treat them can have serious effects on who they become.

I'd be remiss if I didn't give a nod to Some Days Are Better Than Others, though, which is another song I absolutely love. It's deceptively simple lyrically, and yet it really captures the essence of moods. Plus, Adam's bass work is exceptional.

This album is truly one of U2's best, if not THE best.

Offline A_Fly_On_The_Wall

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Re: Zooropa: Retrospective
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2018, 05:14:39 AM »
1. Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
2. Zooropa
3. Dirty Day

I first started listening to U2’s music in detail shortly after NLOTH was released in 2009 so had purchased the album “Zooropa” as part of wanting to get to know the band from their early beginnings.

In all honesty, I’ve never really been a massive fan of this album and it has always been at the bottom of my list when it comes to favourites. Not sure why, I’ve just never been able to get into most of the songs contained in the album but there are a few exceptions to the rule.

“Stay (Faraway, So Close!)” has always been a magical song for me. Heartfelt from its inception, the music matches the vocal vulnerability and delivers a powerful feeling to me as a listener. I love the way the song ebbs and flows and the way it builds up to the chorus each time is spectacular.

“Zooropa” opens up this album in a weird and wonderful way. I was taken aback when I first started listening to the album as I wasn’t sure whether my CD had become stuck or not! After I realised it was just a cool, scratchy-toned intro, I was ready to get into the song. It’s a great little number throughout and is very experimental musically.

“Dirty Day” is another slow song which just builds and builds to a perfect ending. The singalong section towards the end is great and the way it gets to that point is interesting and different to any other U2 song on this album.

“Zooropa” overall is not my favourite album from U2 but I do still occasionally listen to a bulk of songs from it. I know it has a fairly large fan following on this forum so I may run and hide into a corner quite soon in defence!  ;D

Offline 73October

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Re: Zooropa: Retrospective
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2018, 07:47:35 AM »
Zooropa
Stay
The Wanderer

This album reminds me of post Maastrict treaty and growing into adulthood. 
The leader of my local council could not have written it any better, but they were also on all-out Europhila in my neck of the woods as well as U2. 
In north west England, the 80's were bleak (Red Hill Mining Town etc) as traditional industry closed.  But then (other than the splash of Madchester colour)....European funding helped start new industries....some creative, some automated...and also regenerate run down urban areas.  Regeneration meant that in the 90's, my local council decided that certain buildings and streets should contain the word 'Europa'.  And so should the local council.  This became official branding containing the word 'Euro' with a blue and yellow logo to compliment the EU flag. 
So Zooropa is for me the soundtrack to the urban metropolitan area I grew up in go through rebranding and growth.  About possibilities in relationships...the humdrum urban life could never be so good as could your job prospects so long as you embraced Europe, the bigger community of which we were a small part of.

The current leg of the tour is probably the Euro branding swansong, sad to say (my local council ditched it a while ago now - popular opinion dictated such).  It's the last time we will probably see the (dis)united colours of Europe played out in such a spectacular way (and that's not just the blue flag for NYD - but for the whole show which is a riot of colour).  Individualism and popularism seems to be the way forward (Macphisto referenced the Swedish election result - the rise of the right wing).  Whilst I don't have a problem with U2 projecting Europe in this way, I fear that if they continue on this trajectory on the subject they will look horribly out of touch. And I know they want relevancy.  Their beliefs are against a rising tide (one I don't agree with).
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 07:50:21 AM by 73October »