Author Topic: Rubin & U2, what went wrong ?  (Read 4025 times)

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Offline adam1

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Rubin & U2, what went wrong ?
« on: February 14, 2009, 04:35:56 AM »
Just read in 'The Word' that Rubin is considered the best producer in the world. U2 were once again looking for a new direction after HTDAAB. U2 & Rubin, surely that was a match made in heaven. Obviously not.

Maybe there were personality clashes. Maybe Rubin liked to get songs pumped out too quickly. Lanois once said U2 would never finish an album if they were left to their own devices. Or perhaps the results were just too diverse for a band that got their fingers burnt after 'Pop'.

I suppose we'll never know as I don't think the sessions will be released anytime soon.



Offline pt1916

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Re: Rubin & U2, what went wrong ?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2009, 04:52:53 AM »
U2 said rubin likes the band to come to the studio with the songs completed whilst U2 like to improvise in the studio and mix and match sounds and even songs to make a song. So they work completely differently. U2 wanted to break new ground for this one so he was the wrong guy.he could suit next album or ep if they already have the songs anmd as suggested by bono the next album is a slow one.

Offline Izzy

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Re: Rubin & U2, what went wrong ?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2009, 06:41:24 AM »
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Just read in 'The Word' that Rubin is considered the best producer in the world. U2 were once again looking for a new direction after HTDAAB. U2 & Rubin, surely that was a match made in heaven. Obviously not.

Maybe there were personality clashes. Maybe Rubin liked to get songs pumped out too quickly. Lanois once said U2 would never finish an album if they were left to their own devices. Or perhaps the results were just too diverse for a band that got their fingers burnt after 'Pop'.

I suppose we'll never know as I don't think the sessions will be released anytime soon.

I think they have their process, one that hasn't change much for 30 or so years, and bringing in someone who approaches things from a completely different perspective affected productivity. I agree with the fact taht approaching rubin to help with the finished songs left off of the album may work nicely.

Offline DGordon1

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Re: Rubin & U2, what went wrong ?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2009, 07:27:54 AM »
And I think Larry hinted in Q magazine that he'd like to go back and work with Rubin, perhaps to finish the songs. He said something like he'd "hate for Rick to think they didn't rate him" or something. I know Larry wants a new album out sooner rather or later, but time will tell if that's possible. They may well want to go in a different direction and "dream it all up again".

Offline tomwilks

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Re: Rubin & U2, what went wrong ?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2009, 08:40:17 AM »
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U2 said rubin likes the band to come to the studio with the songs completed

Sounds fishy to me. I don't think many bands could work with him if he did things that way.

Offline adam1

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Re: Rubin & U2, what went wrong ?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2009, 09:08:23 AM »
U2 would have also done their ground work before asking Rubin to produce them. They obviously liked the sound of the way Rubin worked.


shockdocta22

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Re: Rubin & U2, what went wrong ?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2009, 09:36:13 AM »
Rubins a person that likes to bring back careers, maybe he thought to do that with U2 was to have another return to form reminesicent of the joshua tree,  U2 probably felt like that the only way to be saved was to come out with something fresh

Offline tomwilks

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Re: Rubin & U2, what went wrong ?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2009, 10:04:03 AM »

Interesting article on Rubin here:

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Offline adam1

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Re: Rubin & U2, what went wrong ?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2009, 10:30:24 AM »
I'm sure U2 would'nt be complaining if they thought Rubin could get another JT out of them. 'No line' does'nt sound like a massive departure from their 80's stuff.

Offline Nlee

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Re: Rubin & U2, what went wrong ?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2009, 10:47:04 AM »
It's too bad things didn't work out, because I really liked the production on The Saints Are Coming.... big drums, upfront vocals; what U2 needs to sound like. I find the past 2 albums to be overcompressed and dynamically lacking.

Offline B

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Re: Rubin & U2, what went wrong ?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2009, 11:20:56 AM »
Here's the thing: U2 is a band that NEEDS outside creativity to develop big songs. If Rubin wasn't willng to sit in the studio and create the magic together, then forget it. To ask the four guys of U2 to *independently* come up with great music is asking A LOT. This band needs Lanois and Eno --- these guys know how to push the limits yet retain the branded sound that is U2.

Perhaps I love POP so much b/c it's a record that doesn't have the branded sound --- no chiming guitar cut and pasted into songs, stadium anthems are sparse and the variety of sounds is wide. POP is a very intuitive album to me. I never got the feeling that the songs were over-produced in pursuit of the anthem or the joy element ... instead they were what they were and all the better for it. I think many see this album as the black sheep of the family, the dysfunctional child that never quite lived up to expectations. I think this makes for a more interesting album.

Offline adam1

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Re: Rubin & U2, what went wrong ?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2009, 11:42:59 AM »
Pop was a good U2 album. Just not worth a four year wait.

Offline Nlee

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Re: Rubin & U2, what went wrong ?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2009, 11:52:14 AM »
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Here's the thing: U2 is a band that NEEDS outside creativity to develop big songs. If Rubin wasn't willng to sit in the studio and create the magic together, then forget it. To ask the four guys of U2 to *independently* come up with great music is asking A LOT. This band needs Lanois and Eno --- these guys know how to push the limits yet retain the branded sound that is U2.

I mostly agree with this, but I think "outside creativity" could take a lot of forms. I think maybe having to write and record quickly (i.e. going with a "first instinct" type of idea) could also be an interesting approach for the band; Rubin could bring an immediacy to the process that might work out. Kinda like Zooropa, that was recorded very quickly. I hope to see some U2 / Rubin collaboration in the future.

satellitedog01

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Re: Rubin & U2, what went wrong ?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2009, 12:43:23 PM »
Well, I would have liked to hear Rubin produced material, but I like what Eno does in the studio with bands,

look at this! It's the early version of a brilliant song called English Beefcake by the band James with Eno helming the performance in his usual quirky way. "Denmark- Sweden"

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this is the finished tune, a lot tighter...

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He did a great job on this album, I prefer it to ATYCLB


Offline jarsfan1977

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Re: Rubin & U2, what went wrong ?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2009, 02:29:29 PM »
I'm not surprised Larry wants to go back to that material.  I gather that Adam and Larry like to work more the way Rubin works -- completed songs, clear lines, lyrics, etc -- while Bono and Edge tend to be much more experimental in the studio.  Adam and Larry's frustration over the process with Achtung Baby was well-reported, and U2 By U2 chronicles some of the more recent frustrations.  It sounds like more recently the "jam until we get something" approach doesn't really work -- it didn't work in 98 according to U2 By U2 (they recorded for three weeks in 98 and only got "Kite") and it didn't really work in 02 when they went to France to record the follow-up (another three weeks and all they got was the beginnings of "Hands That Built" and "Electrical Storm").

Since Larry's talked as well about how the relationships within the band have changed with the advent of fatherhood etc., it sounds like it's harder than ever to get all the guys in the same room, much less to get them in the kind of creative synch that used to be their hallmark.  So it's no surprise that Rubin's process wouldn't work well for them.