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91
Probably yeah. That or FEZ
92
For me, I have to give that to Unknown Caller.  This song is pure magic.  It is U2 at their best.  It is layered with a great sonic landscape.  The music with the unique "gang vocal" approach to the chorus is simply fantastic ear candy.
93
The Music and Lyrics / Re: Is it time to bring Lanois and Eno back?
« Last post by gottago on January 20, 2018, 07:16:26 PM »
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I fall into the category of SOI and SOE being very nice albums well-produced albums. I believe neither of them will be U2 classics though.

After 2 albums and almost 10 years since they last worked with Lanois and Eno, is time to bring the duo back to produce Songs of Ascent?

At this stage in their career, they are at their best when they are not chasing the MOR pop hits. This is their major failing on all albums since No Line, and which arguably ruin them too. You're The Best Thing is just unbelievably flat and isn't nearly as good as they think it is. Mediocrity it really is.

But when you get something like The Little Things, there's an intimacy and beauty there that has sorely been lacking since U2 hired cheap contrived pop plastic fodder like Ryan Tedder.

If they could marry that intimacy and beauty along with their more impressionistic evocative soundscapes that were conjured up with Eno/Lanois, then it would be a great idea to get the duo back on board. Although I might add that it would be useful to hire Andy Barlow too - arguably he brought out the introspection in their music more than anyone has in the 21st century. Some really beautiful pieces of music (Love Is All We Have Left, Little Things, Book of Your Heart), and of all the producers who produced SOI and SOE (and there were far too many) he is the only one who comes out of it with flying colours.

It's important to echo Eno's sentiments that they don't quite know their strengths, when he referred to the magic day when Moment of Surrender was conjured up and his frustration in spending so much time on wasteful poor material like Crazy Tonight.

It would therefore have to be a strict rule of bringing in no MOR popster to dilute their songs - so no Will.I.Am (thanks to him for contributing the awful I'll Go Crazy) or bland songsters like Tedder who make modern day Coldplay tunes sound like the compositions of Lennon/McCartney.

Vey well said.  Speaking of NLOTH, I wonder what the album would have sounded like if they would not have felt the need to put some "hits" on the album such as Breathe, Let's Go Crazy, and Stand-up.  Those three songs did not fit the feel of the album at all.  I would love to hear the songs they replaced.
94
New Member Introductions / Re: Is This Thing On?
« Last post by Joe90usa on January 20, 2018, 06:18:06 PM »
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Iím still waiting on my champagne too  ;D

Sounds like an epidemic.
95
News and Rumors / Re: New Video for GOOYOW
« Last post by braxhunt on January 20, 2018, 05:56:40 PM »
I wrote a politically infused lengthy comment and then almost immediately deleted it in order to honor the spirit of the moderators. Everything in self-moderation, I always say.
96
General U2 Discussion / Re: What are your controversial U2 thoughts?
« Last post by Rasmus on January 20, 2018, 05:43:09 PM »
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Feeling that Zooropa and *especially* Pop are U2's worst albums is not a controversial thought at all, it's completely mainstream. Certain posters will push back against the idea like it's some sort of heresy, but they are no more than a vocal and (how shall I put this) somewhat obsessed minority.

What do you base this on? Pop received rave reviews in my country (Denmark) when it came out and all the U2 lovers that I know rate it very highly in U2's catalogue. If I should make generalisations based on my own experience its that most people think U2 were great in the 80's and 90's and have steadily declined since then by putting out safe and more or less boring music. I also feel that the album is perceived very differently in EU and the US.

I base it mainly on sales figures, which are the most objective measure of an album's popularity. Much of what you're saying has been said before on this forum, like a lot. The idea that U2 have steadily declined since 2000. The idea that Pop is well regarded in Europe and it's really only America that disliked it.

So I'm going to repost an old post of mine that looks at your last assertion in light of the sales figures.

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The discussion of Pop popularity in Europe vs. the U.S. is interesting. (Also an interesting question for other U2 albums.) Nerd that I am, Iíd like to examine that issue through sales statistics Ė though let me *emphasize* this can only provide insight on relative popularity of albums, not on relative quality, which is a subjective judgment.  This site You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login breaks down sales figures by country and region.

The site seems to do a really careful analysis, but the trouble is itís unclear which countries are included in their Europe figure. It includes more than the European countries they list individually. It would be nice to know the total population of their ďEuropeĒ because then we could take that into account vs. U.S. population and that would give a better sense of relative popularity. I canít find the exact countries theyíre including, but elsewhere they mention places like Russia and Poland that are at a different income level so it wouldnít be apples to apples anyway. So Iím just going to show album sales totals for Europe vs. U.S. and that should provide a rough popularity comparison.

Album      Europe      U.S.
Boy      1,460,000   1,600,000
October   1,490,000   1,475,000
War      4,200,000   5,000,000
TUF      3,000,000   3,600,000
Joshua Tree   9,150,000   12,400,000
Achtung Baby   5,730,000   8,700,000
Zooropa   3,060,000   2,700,000
Pop      2,830,000   1,800,000
ATYCLB      4,790,000   4,650,000
HTDAAB   4,190,000   3,500,000
NLOTH      2,010,000   1,400,000

So, people who have been saying Pop was more popular in Europe than the U.S. are right.

However, looking just at Europe, only three U2 albums were less popular than Pop, and two of them are from early in U2ís career when the band was much less well known.

We should also note that Pop was a platinum album in the U.S., almost double platinum, which isnít shabby except by U2 standards.

The above discussion is mostly about Pop in Europe vs. America, but these sales figures also address your assertion that "most people think U2 were great in the 80's and 90's and have steadily declined since then." Although there is a segment of the fandom that feels that way, it isn't "most people" or ATYCLB and HTDAAB wouldn't have sold so much more than Zooropa and Pop. I would add that though I only listed Europe/U.S. sales above, global sales figures follow the same pattern.

In addition, I know a lot of people who dislike Pop, but I realize that's weak evidence, just like you saying all the U2 lovers you know rate it highly. So I did a little searching online to see if I could find any polls or surveys that would provide a larger sample of opinion than the "people I know" variety. (Though probably none of these is truly representative.)

This article You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login is a 2014 Rolling Stones reader's poll ranking the 10 top U2 albums. It came out just before SOI so there were 12 studio albums. Pop was ranked 9th.

This site You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login is an album ranking aggregator. It includes critic rankings but the great majority of charts come from members so it's mostly music fan opinion. According to their database, Pop ranks 11th out of 14 (and I think SOE is still too new to be properly ranked).

Ranker You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login has Pop at 11th out of 14, based on 768 voters. (Same caveat on SOE.)

Oooo, this is interesting. Didn't realize this site conducts fan surveys. The last one was in 2016. You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
It didn't include an album ranking but did include questions about favorite and least favorite U2 albums. 3.00% listed Pop as their favorite album. 9.08% listed Pop as their least favorite. Fascinating! Even on *this* site, which has a high concentration of Pop lovers, there are more people who rank it lowest than people who rank it highest.

Let me emphasize I didn't go looking for sites that rated Pop low. This is just what I found -- what I was able to search out fairly easily as far as surveys of fan opinion. When considering the rankings, keep in mind we know there is a certain group that ranks Pop near the top. So for it to be ranked low overall means a larger group of people must rank it at or near the bottom.

Let me also REALLY emphasize that there's nothing wrong with having a minority opinion. Music appreciation is subjective. All opinions are valid.

Wow that was an amazing post. I'm kind of floored that you put together a data-based argument like that - thank you. It clearly shows that my own experience is based on a minority groups opinions and not the general perception of the album. Another interesting fact from the ATU2 survey is that Pop wins the "most underrated album" by a huge margin. It truly is the most controversial album in their discography if you ask me!
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General U2 Discussion / Re: Rank U2's albums
« Last post by jonas on January 20, 2018, 05:34:06 PM »
My ranking:

1. Achtung Baby
2. The Joshua tree
3. How to dismantle an atomic bomb

4. Songs of experience
5. Zooropa
6. All that you can't leave behind
7. Pop
8. No line on the horizon
9. Rattle and hum
10. Songs of innocence
11. Boy
12. The unforgettable fire
13. War

14. October

My top 3 and the bottom spot will never change, although the rest can change every week/month.
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News and Rumors / Re: New Video for GOOYOW
« Last post by Clarky on January 20, 2018, 05:33:26 PM »
Well said MattD
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General U2 Discussion / Re: Rank U2's albums
« Last post by Clarky on January 20, 2018, 05:22:28 PM »
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1. Achtung Baby - bold, experimental not to mention the disharmony in the band, created the backdrop of fantastically painful and cynical lyrics with cutting music that never lets you off the hook.
2. Joshua Tree - masterpiece that really captured the late 80ís, both culturally and politically. The recent tour just showed how relevant the material still is.
3. POP - I was one of those people that just got 90ís U2. I loved the dark and personal lyrics packaged up in the Neon coating. Plus PopMart was just the most amazing thing Iíve ever seen.
4. Zooropa - So many underrated songs on this record, love the atmosphere and how sonically it switches from song to song - the run of Numb - Lemon - Stay, probably the most extreme U2 ever got.
5. The Unforgettable Fire - Dawn of a new direction for the band. Love the singles off the record, but actually itís Promenade, Wire and Elvis in America that for me are the most interesting and atmospheric pieces. Great album.
6. Boy - what a debut and still stands up today, which is the biggest compliment I could pay it.
7. Songs of Experience - No doubt for me, itís the best record theyíve done since POP, love the reflective lyrics and intensity to the album.
8. War - Drowning Man - nuff said
9. All You Cant Leave Behind - I hated this record when it came out, but have appreciated it more as itís gotten older. Solid songs throughout. Peace on Earth and Wild Honey make me sick in my mouth though.
10. Rattle and Hum - bit of a mish mash, when itís good itís great - heartland, god part II, when itís bad itís really bad - love rescue me
11. No Line on the Horizon - I actually like a lot of the songs, but for me it doesnít sound like a record, more a collection thrown together. It seems like they lost their bottle with the experimental stuff and the album suffers as a result. Iíll go crazy and stand up comedy next to fez-being born just doesnít work.
12. Songs of Innocence - The only reason this isnít bottom is down to Every Breaking Wave.
13. October - meh
14. Atomic Bomb - absolutely hate this record. Over produced and contrived musically. Lyrically ham fisted, some of Bonoís worst lines. I didnít like the tour - aside from the Zoo TV encore. This is not a rock album.

I actually really like this list. I'd just have NLOTH a bit higher.

Also, I'm starting to re-asses my compulsion to put Boy down the bottom of my list because yeah, it's actually a damn good debut album and I'm surprised how much I enjoy it.
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General U2 Discussion / Re: What are your controversial U2 thoughts?
« Last post by Clarky on January 20, 2018, 05:18:18 PM »
People are confusing musical preferences with actual controversial opinions.

Not controversial: "I think U2 should include X song in their live setlist"
Controversial: "I think U2's 2014 partnership with Apple was a stroke of genius"
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