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General U2 Discussion / Re: The Joshua Tree is over-rated
« Last post by Sunchild on Today at 02:01:29 PM »
I was just watching the film Nostalgia by Mark Pellington, and it has reminded me how much the objects we associate ourselves with carry certain memories and moods for us, that's how I tend to look at music too, Joshua Tree is not just an album to me, it contains a feeling and vision that can carry me for days if I let it. It gives me such a feeling of freedom, discovery and mystery, it's a myth-maker, for it creates a world that was not there yet before this album. It transports me, it transforms me and it baptizes me, and at the end when it finishes I feel like I came through a gateway of a new world. It is subconsciously extremely deep music, there's literllay a hidden magic behind it working through you.
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I don't know what is wrong with people.

Cue the "I paid for/won this ticket, I can do whatever the eff I want" crowd.
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Watch this tool about 30 seconds in.
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General U2 Discussion / Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Last post by wons on Today at 12:53:33 PM »
I got some new soundscan data from the latest chart and its not good news for album sales whether they be physical or digital. Here is the latest top 10:

1.Drake, Scorpion (29,354 DIGITAL units sold)
2.Various Artists, The Greatest Showman soundtrack (16,412)
3.Panic! At the Disco, Pray for the Wicked (11,861)
4.Gorillaz, The Now Now (9,774)
5.Florence + the Machine, High As Hope (8,430)
6.Taylor Swift, Reputation (8,174)
7.Jason Alden, Rearview Town (7,861)
8.Post Malone, Beerbongs & Bentleys (6.756)
9.John Coltraine, Both Directions at Once (6,490)
10.The Carters, EVERYTHING IS LOVE (6,118)

Drakes new album is actually NOT available in a physical format so all of his album sales are DIGITAL! All of the numbers for the top 10 are record new lows in for sales at each position!

Correction: the above info while soundscan info is for the TOP CURRENT ALBUMS chart which edits out albums older than 2 years.

Here is the top 10 from the TOP ALBUMS CHART with the older albums still apart of it:

1 1 Ė 2 Scorpion  - Drake
2 7 5 31 The Greatest Showman  - Soundtrack
3 8 1 3 Pray For The Wicked  - Panic! At The Disco
4 3 Ė 2 The Now Now  - Gorillaz
5 2 Ė 2 High As Hope  - Florence + The Machine
6 28 38 35 reputation  - Taylor Swift
7 10 16 13 Rearview Town  - Jason Aldean
8 4 Ė 34 Appetite For Destruction  - Guns N' Roses
9 15 13 11 beerbongs & bentleys  - Post Malone
10 5 Ė 2 Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album  - John Coltrane


So essentially the same except Guns N Roses gets edited out of the TOP CURRENT ALBUMS chart. Also, the info that the #200 album only sold 572 copies was for the TOP CURRENT ALBUMS chart which edits the older albums out. So the #200 album on the regular album chart/soundscan chart I usually use probably still sold at least 1,200 copies. Its likely that Songs Of Experience is still charting on the TOP CURRENT ALBUMS chart somewhere between numbers 101 and 200, but soundscan info for those chart positions on that chart has not been reported in years, except for the leak today that the #200 album only sold 572 copies. Hope this does not confuse anyone.

 


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The Music and Lyrics / Re: Rattle and Hum: Retrospective
« Last post by laoghaire on Today at 12:03:59 PM »
When Love Comes to Town
Angel of Harlem
Heartland

One day, while I was 11 years old and still obssessively immersed in The Joshua Tree, my mom suddenly had a new tape in the car. It was Rattle and Hum. I was not the type of kid to listen judgmentally. U2 had already won me over, so it was just a matter of listening to this new gem.

This album probably has the biggest gap between how I experienced it then vs. now. Then, it delivered on the promise of "a musical journey" and gave me my first taste of live U2. Now it's a weird live-studio mash-up with a crappy opening track and wtf moments. But also, still, some really good stuff.

I can't vote for my actual favorite, which is a weird choice, I know: Silver and Gold. That song always took me someplace else. Today the lyrics make me cringe in places. But those opening notes - most people wouldn't hear anything there, but I feel this excitement, anticipation like they just walked out on the stage and just started playing.

My favorite two are Love Comes to Town and Angel of Harlem. I know now U2 tried to wear a mantle they certainly didn't inherit - but I didn't know that then and I always love when they do blues and soul (and love that feel in parts of Lights of Home, for example). Honestly, I half agree with Bono. I legit think he has soul. (I don't know where the "I can't sing" part came from). And I love B.B. ("Where's B.B.?"). I should be happy with what I got but I would have loved another U2/B.B. song, love his guitar.

Some comments about some other studio songs:

VDL
Why can't we have an Edge song every album? At least a bonus track? Or just a damn verse? I know we got a verse in YTBTAM but Moar Edge Pls.

Hawkmoon
Better than I remembered. It's a Bono and Larry song. The drums are friggen awesome. The singing is terrific. But "like a sheet stain" - what in the actual f***?

Heartland
Also better than I remembered. I was struck - really, really struck - by how evocative the music and lyrics are of the American heartland. I swear I could smell the swampland off I-10, that warm, dank, sour-sweetness, in the opening notes. All my life I'd think about those gold and silver veins when looking down from an airplane window at night - every damn time. Haven't heard this in a while but I'll be giving it some more listens now. So it got my third choice for fave here.

It's hard to talk in detail about Rattle and Hum without at least mentioning the film. When I was a kid, I didn't see (or maybe just didn't care) how far Bono's head was up his own ass here. I guess I got some glimpses but I figured I'd think I was awesome too if I were Bono. Or something like that.

I finally got to see these guys, until then in my head a strange Mount Rushmore, in motion. It was glorious.

I haven't seen it this century except clips of 2 or 3 songs off YouTube. I would want to get rid of literally everything that isn't on stage. And that probably includes All Along the Watchtower, not because I can't appreciate the song, but Bono's personality had gone on a detour. (Thank god we got him back).

But, those glorious moments. Streets: the red. Larry. Edge. Bono just strolling out like a mofo. The house lights and the 63 million screaming people. Bono dances with the mic stand. Edge Takes a Walk. Adam spins out of the way. Adam leans. Bono walks on tip toe. God, that's just one song. I wouldn't be able to explain it but I don't have to.
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The Band / Re: Bono Still Rocks My World!
« Last post by SUMNER78 on Today at 11:41:59 AM »
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The Music and Lyrics / Re: Rattle and Hum: Retrospective
« Last post by benpoke on Today at 07:59:09 AM »
I love this album.  I said my bit here: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
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The Music and Lyrics / Re: The unforgettable fire album cover photo
« Last post by daveyg on Today at 12:35:40 AM »
UF album cover is Moydrum Castle - literally in the middle of the Country and can be difficult to find (I have missed it once or twice and I've driven there a few times).

You could visit "The Basin" - a man made lake near Pearse Street Dublin where most of the publicity shots and the video for Gloris was filmed. This is also where U2's HQ studios were (now to be demolished and replaced by a U2 expo centre) and beside where the U2 Tower is going up.

All the other album covers were studio shots or done abroad. The Boy cover was shot in Dun Laoghaire. And "the" Adam photo on AB was done in a studio on the South Circular Road in Dublin.
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The Music and Lyrics / Re: North Star and Mercy
« Last post by miryclay on Today at 12:02:18 AM »
I love North Star. Release it already.
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General U2 Discussion / Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Last post by Tortuga on July 17, 2018, 10:58:19 PM »
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Thanks, wons.  These are sobering stats.  I have been fascinated by this thread because it offers a glimpse of how many of "us" there are out there.  A dwindling amount, it appears.

My pleasure! So 319,000 people purchased the album in either a physical or digital format. A much smaller group of people either streamed or puchased individual tracks from the album equivalent to maybe another 30,000 albums sold. Billboard considers the sale of 10 individual track downloads to = One album sold. Billboard considers 1,500 streams = to One Album sold.

The POP album was considered a poor seller back in 1997 by U2's standards and industry standards at the time. But at least everyone who purchased a ticket for POPMART purchased one copy of the POP album. I'm not exactly sure about this, but it seems like only 1/2 or 1/3 of the people who went to see the Experience Tour purchased the album or listened to it. That seems odd considering that most of the fanbase knows a tour like this is not a nostalgia event but is about the new album primarily.

Wons,

Iíve asked this before but you never answered.  By default, didnít EVERYONE who bought a ticket for E&I buy the CD as well?  Or are you saying the 319,000 includes those sales and there were 400K to 600K who bought tickets.   Meaning only 1/3 to 1/2 redeemed their included CD,  less the people who didnít buy tickets but bought the CD.


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No.

Only a fraction of the people who purchased TICKETS for the tour got the album in a digital or physical format FROM their TICKET PURCHASE. That number, is then added to sales of the album that occurred, 1. through online stores for digital formats and physical formats and 2.  people who went to a physical store to pick up a physical copy of the album.

So album sales came from three sources:
1. Album/ticket bundle
2. online sales of digital and physical formats
3. Physical stores selling a physical copy of the album

All 3 of those combine for a total of 319,000 in sales.

The number of tickets sold for the tour in the United States was 438,059. I don't know the exact figure, but it could be as little as 50,000 of ticket buyers redeeming the album and getting in digital or physical format with the purchase of the ticket.

One important thing is, you could NOT use the ticket purchase to get DELUXE album version of the album. The only way to get the DELUXE version of the album was to purchase it from an online store or a physical store.

Personally, I'm responsible for 3 of the albums in the 319,000 album total since I purchased the DELUXE version of the album at the local record store and then redeemed each of the two tickets I purchased for a copy of the album. The copy of the album offered is just the regular album with only 13 tracks. I kept one and gave the other one away.


Its not clear what the exact breakdown of the 319,000 is in terms of what and how people got their albums. I might be able to dig up some of that data for the first week of sales which were 180,000, more than half the total. The breaking down between physical vs digital formats is probably 50/50.


I hope that makes it clear.

So, to me, that just indicates that my preferences are not uncommon.  There are a lot of people out there that have no use for a physical disc.  I canít remember if my ticket offered a digital download or CD, but I think it was just CD.



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Every person who purchased a ticket had the option to get the album in digital format or physical format. All sales are physical and digital combined. My argument here has NEVER been about CD's(which you mysteriously continue to talk about) or specifically any physical product. A digital album sold is the same as a physical cd or record sold. What is not the same is streaming.

Your preference though is to stream the music which is NOT the same as purchasing the album in a digital format. Purchasing the album, regardless of format is all the same. Streaming is an entirely different thing.

90% of the people, which does not include YOU, purchased this album in either a digital or physical format. Your group, the streamers, comprise less than 10% of the people who have listened to the album.

So when it comes to U2 fans who have listened to Songs Of Experience, your preference for streaming as opposed to purchasing the album, is very uncommon.

I do realize digital copy and CD is the same as far as sales.  Thatís why I asked if a digital copy or CD was offered with the ticket.

So you have your answer then donít you?  A large percentage of the fans who went to the show are uninterested in the new album.  I donít really find that surprising.  Most people that go to shows like U2 are going for legacy reasons.  The latest album has not received alot of mainstream attention.


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For most of U2's career, the new album and whether it was successful or not played the primary factor in whether the tour was a success. U2 had their first downturn with the POPMART tour and it was because the POP album was poorly received. The next three albums and did very well though and so did their tours. This is the first tour U2 has ever done where the number of fans who purchased or listened to the album was less than the number of fans that purchased a ticket for the tour. For POP and POPMART it was one for one. But typically, album sales have always been greater than ticket sales.

So unfortunately it appears that the legacy factor is for the first time dominating things over the new album which is not good news for the band. It shows that overall interest in the band is dwindling. While some "legacy acts" do record business, most get stuck playing the local farm show or town festival. Its not the ideal place to be. The ideal is having new music that brings in new fans, old fans, and everything in between + the legacy factor. That is when the business incredible or record breaking like on the Vertigo Tour and the 360 tour.

Still, selling 319,000 copies of an album in 2017/2018 is not bad at all. Justin Timberlake's latest has only done a little over 400,000. The sad fact is most people are not even listening to albums in any format anymore. Their just listening to individual songs, a couple from this artist, a couple from that artist. Technology has killed the album regardless of the format it is in. That's not good for artist in the future, because individual songs are not a very good basis for building fandom and getting fans to spend $100 dollars a ticket or more to come to a show. As the public becomes less invested in any particular artist, they become less likely to support concert performances. Why go see a band or artist when you only like or listen to two of their songs? The public is starting to place LESS VALUE on music in general, and even less value on the artist that produce the music.

But U2 are an album band! They always have been. That means they produce albums that from first track to last, are fantastic with no filler. It takes incredible talent to be able to do that. People use to appreciate that, but not anymore it seems.

Still, I hope U2 do not lose heart and realize that they still have a very dedicated following that is interested in their new music and generally prefer the album/tour cycle that is based around new music which is what the band has always been about.

U2 is a long way from being a state fair act!  They could still produce some more top notch albums but its not going to last forever obviously.

100 or 200 years from now people will look back and see 1940 to 2030 (or so) as the age of the recording star.  Technology first made it possible, and then eliminated it.


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