Author Topic: Retirement Imminent: U2 Have Nothing Left To Prove  (Read 7594 times)

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Offline jick

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Retirement Imminent: U2 Have Nothing Left To Prove
« on: March 17, 2010, 09:47:01 AM »
The U2 360 Tour has broken all attendance records in every venue, and will probably end breaking a lot of concert records for a tour in terms of revenue and attendance. 

No Line On The Horizon did not sell well for U2.  It did not win any major awards.  But the most important thing to ask, are any of its songs worthy of being considered a U2 classic?  Did the album or any particular song bring a new fan into the fold?  Sure, the album garnered praise from a lot of longtime fans - but did it earn them new fans? Did it break musical ground?

It seems tour-wise they will never be able to top the 360 Tour in size or scale.  If they make a bigger stage in the future, they won't break the attendance records.  If they make a smaller stage in a stadium, it will lack the scale of the 360 Tour.  Damned if you do, damned if you don't.  You may even have to ask - are U2 even willing to embark on a tour of such magnitude ever again?  Are they catching lightning in a bottle or will the public attend another stadium tour maybe 5 years from now?

Album-wise, they have proven they can stay relevant late in their careers.  Just check how Vertigo was associated with the iPod, how HTDAAB won a ton of Grammies two decades after JT did the same thing, and how Beautiful Day - written more than 20 years into their careers turned into a career-defining song that bridges generations of fans.

So the question is - what else does U2 have to prove?  What is the point of making music?  What is the point let's say a decade down the road to try to top the 360 Tour when the attendees will just want to hear another rendition of Streets?

Does U2 still have one more album in their sleeves that can gain commercial and critical success and send a message to the music industry?

U2 have already maximized the use of their influence to campaign for their causes.  Will a next good album increase their bargaining leverage with the world powers for African debt?

Can you honestly say that most of the concert goers went there to listen to the live interpretation of the new songs or just wait for U2 to play their "hits"?

So all U2 has to do is ask themselves - do they still have something to prove?  And what would be the point of continuing on after the 360 Tour?

Cheers,

J



Offline EdgeFest [Zenmaster360]

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Re: Retirement Imminent: U2 Have Nothing Left To Prove
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2010, 10:03:00 AM »
I was wondering where you were!
 ::)

Offline LoveSupreme

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Re: Retirement Imminent: U2 Have Nothing Left To Prove
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2010, 11:01:22 AM »
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hurricane hugo

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Re: Retirement Imminent: U2 Have Nothing Left To Prove
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2010, 11:07:09 AM »
the first time I read your post, jick, I laughed a chunk of my *** off.

the second time I read it, it actually came across as a group of (mostly) very good questions.

said questions can be boiled down to your last one...and the answer is: the point of going on is for them to push themselves as far as they can go in whatever directions they choose.

#@!

Offline imedi

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Re: Retirement Imminent: U2 Have Nothing Left To Prove
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2010, 11:53:11 AM »
I THINK THIS COULD BE THEIR LAST MAJOR STADIUM TOUR AS FOR NLOTH WHITE AS SNOW FOR ME IS UP WITH THE BEST U2 SONGS EVER SO THEY ARE STILL MAKING GREAT MUSIC

Offline eddyjedi

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Re: Retirement Imminent: U2 Have Nothing Left To Prove
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2010, 12:06:12 PM »
The band truly believe that their best work is ahead of them, I think it's tough to repeat their best moments but they show they are still a very capable act with this album and tour. Sure The 360 won't be repeated and so what if the next tour (if there is one) isn't grandiose. I'd rather it wasn't anyway, a nice scaled down arena tour would be fine by me.




Offline zooey

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Re: Retirement Imminent: U2 Have Nothing Left To Prove
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2010, 12:16:16 PM »
They might as well just crawl in a hole.  I mean that's what Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen did, right?

Offline SBMitch

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Re: Retirement Imminent: U2 Have Nothing Left To Prove
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2010, 12:22:01 PM »
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LOL, LoveSupreme.  I think their best work is still coming. Let them do what they want, when they want. Some of us will like it, some won't. Some will like the timing, some won't. They've always done what they wanted to, why stop now. They will know the right time.

Offline aurabender

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Re: Retirement Imminent: U2 Have Nothing Left To Prove
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2010, 02:52:03 PM »
Okay, I will bite.

Although I will agree with many of your points, I do not think that U2 want to or will retire any time soon.

NLOTH did not sell well for U2 and there was not a huge single or song that captured everyone's attention. U2, or any band, will find it very hard to top the 360 Tour in size or scale. I also believe that many of the people going to the 360 tour are there mainly to hear the songs they love and not songs from NLOTH. I will go one step further and say that I think almost as many have not bothered to listen to NLOTH.
U2 have certainly maximized the use of their influence to campaign for their causes and they have proved they can stay relevant, to a point.

SO, why shouldn't they or why won't they retire?

Because NLOTH is a good album that shows the band still has a deep interest in music and what type of music they can produce as a four piece band. They still like playing music, so why would they stop? For better or worse, U2 still thinks their is plenty to learn music wise. I also think that, 10 years from know, more people will be going back and listening to NLOTH that  any of the other albums form this decade. It is not hit album, but it will have a long shelf life and songs like Moment of Surrender will find their place along Bad and Ultraviolet - which are loved but were never hits.

Despite its size, the 360 show is a sight to see, but really not that elaborate. It is a very ,very big but simple stage. It is a giant paperweight. The staging is certainly not as nearly elaborate as any of U2's shows since Zoo TV. SO, while they may not be able to duplicate its size, I think the band is highly capable of producing a much more elaborate show in any size they wish - big or small.

With such a diverse library to pull from, U2 could easily go out on the road and, like Springsteen, go out on the road and perform no new material at all and still be both entertaining and interesting.

I also think U2 can, as they did with television during ZOO TV, look into reaching out and trying to toy with new technology. They may think otherwise, but the band has not used modern technology or production such as the internet and transportable music the way they did with television and loops  in the 90's. Just as they grabbed our attention when we were younger with Acthung Baby and Zoo TV, I think that U2 is one of the few bands whose members are hitting 50 that have the knowledge, resources and are connected with the existing music scene to come up with something that would grab a whole other generation by the neck.

I also think that Live Nation, who still has 10 years of a 12 year contract for touring and merchandising with U2, would be very disappointed if the band were to stop performing. The band also extended its record deal with Universal, although I guess they could cover that with reissues of existing albums.

The bottom line is that U2 has had nothing to prove for a long time now, but as long as they are approaching their career with integrity and as long as they are still enjoying themselves, there is really no reason for them to stop.



Offline Tumbling Dice

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Re: Retirement Imminent: U2 Have Nothing Left To Prove
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2010, 03:30:07 PM »
Does anybody really believe that a future U2 album will sell better than NLOTH?



Offline zooey

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Re: Retirement Imminent: U2 Have Nothing Left To Prove
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2010, 03:49:22 PM »
^no.   Does anyone really believe that that thought will keep them from recording and publicizing and touring with another album?

Offline Tumbling Dice

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Re: Retirement Imminent: U2 Have Nothing Left To Prove
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2010, 04:01:35 PM »
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^no.   Does anyone really believe that that thought will keep them from recording and publicizing and touring with another album?

No way. 

Offline dougie

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Re: Retirement Imminent: U2 Have Nothing Left To Prove
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2010, 04:17:55 PM »
There is always someone trying to say they are better than you.  You have to prove it every once in a while.  Heck, even groups that aren't even close will say they are better just to get attention.  Most good bands have loyal followers.  But, selling a lot of tickets and filling the stadiums is the 'proof' (I wish they would fill arenas though).The amount of money they make on tours is ridiculous; what do you think the other big bands are shooting for? And, keep them coming back for more.  There is always something to prove!  The moment you don't think so, you're spit in the wind- gone!
« Last Edit: March 17, 2010, 04:19:35 PM by dougie »

Offline nolinehere

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Re: Retirement Imminent: U2 Have Nothing Left To Prove
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2010, 04:46:42 PM »
"But the most important thing to ask, are any of its songs worthy of being considered a U2 classic?"

Time will tell

"Did the album or any particular song bring a new fan into the fold?"

None of us know. I'd say yes if I had to guess.

"Sure, the album garnered praise from a lot of longtime fans - but did it earn them new fans? "

See above - I'd say yes

"Did it break musical ground?"

No, but it didn't dig the rut of the last 2 albums any further

It was a MASSIVE improvement over NLOTH, long may they continue


Offline Passenger84

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Re: Retirement Imminent: U2 Have Nothing Left To Prove
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2010, 05:00:58 PM »
As far as classic songs on the newest album, I think Cedars, Magnificent, and Fez are close. Crazy and Breathe could have been with different verses, and Unknown Caller could have been without the computer lingo.

As for retirement, it is unfortunate to have to admit that whether it is today or 30 years from now, they're human (with the possible exception of Larry) and will need to retire someday. But I am hoping that they wow us with something we've yet to even think of, at least a couple more times. At the very least, I would love for them to go out on something other than No Line. Not a bad album, by any means...but not quite what I've perhaos unfairly come to expect from them. But that's just me. Others really dig that entire album.