Author Topic: Can U2 ever come back?  (Read 35869 times)

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Offline JTBaby

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Re: Can U2 ever come back?
« Reply #255 on: August 28, 2012, 03:53:03 PM »
Keep chumming guys. Works every time.


Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: Can U2 ever come back?
« Reply #256 on: August 28, 2012, 03:55:48 PM »
And as I already conceded, NLOTH obviously did not dissuade people from attending the shows.  I've actually agreed with you there.  I'm not sure what else there is to say, as you simply don't allow anything else into this discussion.

Offline Tumbling Dice

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Re: Can U2 ever come back?
« Reply #257 on: August 28, 2012, 04:12:16 PM »
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The Grammy's are always based on what the members in the academy think in terms of the work and not sales figures. But winning the a Grammy or multiple Grammy's is not a measure of popularity among the general public. Its only a measure of what critics in the academy think was the best music in that particular year given the nominees.

Well, I'm pleased the academy felt the Stones early 50s album was the best Rock Album that year, but not pleased about their opinion of U2's late 40s album.  I wonder what album won the Grammy for Best Rock Album for 2009.

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Once again, the idea that NLOTH was only successful because of U2's fanbase is simply inaccurate. If it was only a matter of the fanbase, then the POP album and tour would have also been a success as well. [/b]

Who do you think bought the Pop album?  Casual American record buyers?
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 04:14:36 PM by Tumbling Dice »

Offline So Cruel

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Re: Can U2 ever come back?
« Reply #258 on: August 28, 2012, 05:59:19 PM »
"Once again, the idea that NLOTH was only successful because of U2's fanbase is simply inaccurate. If it was only a matter of the fanbase, then the POP album and tour would have also been a success as well. "

And once again Bethere, you fail to acknowledge that things can change in 15 years. You are treating 1997 the same as 2009. U2 gained a lot of fans since Pop with ATYCLB & HTDAAB, and they also regained some of those 80's fans they lost with Pop. U2's fans in 2009 were on average older then they were in 1997. Unless you know of some magic pill that stopped the aging process in 1997 then you have to acknowledge this. Although we can't go back and poll the 70,000 in the stadium, logic would say that some of the older fans are now bringing wives/kids to the shows. JTBaby said that he bought 1 Popmart ticket for himself, but brought his wife, his son and his sons girlfriend to 360 (even though he doesn't even like the album). I brought my wife to 360, as did a few of my friends. We were all 1 ticket guys back in 1997. Now I know your reply will be that there is no proof of this and I realize not every person in the stadium falls into this category, but logic would tell you that the % is higher now then in 1997.

You also love to use stats and figures as blanket statements but when stats are put in front of you that go against your position you disregard them as unusable. The fact is that No Line is the 3rd worst selling album in the U.S in U2s history (only behind the 1st 2 albums). Now you will say that because of downloading you can't use this stat but in 2004 when HTDAAB was released downloading was pretty easy to do. Even if you double No Lines sales in the U.S from 1.2 million to 2.4 million (which is being very generous as you already stated in another thread that U2's fans are more likely to buy an album then download it), it would still be one of their poorest selling U2 albums.

Taking all this into account, logic would tell you that 360 would have been a success no matter how the album was received. The tour was already announced as a stadium tour before the album was released. They had planned a stadium tour without knowing if the album would be a success? Why would they do that? They tried it once in their history with Popmart and it bit them in the ass. So why do it again in 2009 with millions of dollars on the line? Logic would tell me that Live Nation and U2s management did their research and knew the size of the fanbase, their demographics, the concert industry in general, etc.. and concluded that they could do good business with or without a hit album.

You can't just compare Popmart Tampa to 360 Tampa and come to a conclusion. There are many factors that you don't/won't take into account.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 06:01:53 PM by So Cruel »

Offline bethere

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Re: Can U2 ever come back?
« Reply #259 on: August 28, 2012, 06:34:56 PM »
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The Grammy's are always based on what the members in the academy think in terms of the work and not sales figures. But winning the a Grammy or multiple Grammy's is not a measure of popularity among the general public. Its only a measure of what critics in the academy think was the best music in that particular year given the nominees.

Well, I'm pleased the academy felt the Stones early 50s album was the best Rock Album that year, but not pleased about their opinion of U2's late 40s album.  I wonder what album won the Grammy for Best Rock Album for 2009.

Quote
Once again, the idea that NLOTH was only successful because of U2's fanbase is simply inaccurate. If it was only a matter of the fanbase, then the POP album and tour would have also been a success as well. [/b]

Who do you think bought the Pop album?  Casual American record buyers?

          Well, thats not the album that was successful. NLOTH is the album that was successful.

Offline bethere

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Re: Can U2 ever come back?
« Reply #260 on: August 28, 2012, 06:58:43 PM »
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"Once again, the idea that NLOTH was only successful because of U2's fanbase is simply inaccurate. If it was only a matter of the fanbase, then the POP album and tour would have also been a success as well. "

And once again Bethere, you fail to acknowledge that things can change in 15 years. You are treating 1997 the same as 2009.

               What about 1987 to 1997? Whatever the changes you claim to have occured, but have not facts for, there were also changes from 1987 to 1997 as well. So POP and POPMART should be benefiting from that as well, but it didn't.

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U2 gained a lot of fans since Pop with ATYCLB & HTDAAB, and they also regained some of those 80's fans they lost with Pop.

             In the 10 years before POP, U2 had their 3 biggest selling albums. That certainly trumps ATYCLB & HTDAAB. Did that prevent what happened on POPMART? Nope.

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U2's fans in 2009 were on average older then they were in 1997.

              U2 fans on average were older in 1997 than they were in 1987. Still didn't prevent the attendance levels on POPMART from happening.

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Unless you know of some magic pill that stopped the aging process in 1997 then you have to acknowledge this.

             LOL, did you forget about the aging from 1987 to 1997 or were U2 fans frozen in ice during that period?

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Although we can't go back and poll the 70,000 in the stadium, logic would say that some of the older fans are now bringing wives/kids to the shows.

               You can say the same thing about the 17,000 people who attended the Tampa show. Someone who was 22 in 1985 on the Unforgettable Fire Tour would be 34 in 1997. Spouse and children? There is a good chance.

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JTBaby said that he bought 1 Popmart ticket for himself, but brought his wife, his son and his sons girlfriend to 360 (even though he doesn't even like the album).

             There were people who did that on the POPMART tour as well.

Quote
I brought my wife to 360, as did a few of my friends. We were all 1 ticket guys back in 1997. Now I know your reply will be that there is no proof of this and I realize not every person in the stadium falls into this category, but logic would tell you that the % is higher now then in 1997.

          Again, you can say the same thing about POPMART. It was 10 years after Joshua Tree and 12 years after the Unforgettable Fire Tour.

Quote
You also love to use stats and figures as blanket statements but when stats are put in front of you that go against your position you disregard them as unusable. The fact is that No Line is the 3rd worst selling album in the U.S in U2s history (only behind the 1st 2 albums). Now you will say that because of downloading you can't use this stat but in 2004 when HTDAAB was released downloading was pretty easy to do. Even if you double No Lines sales in the U.S from 1.2 million to 2.4 million (which is being very generous as you already stated in another thread that U2's fans are more likely to buy an album then download it), it would still be one of their poorest selling U2 albums.

                Again its the market environment that you release albums into. If most people obtain their music for free, your not going to be able to buck that trend unless you have Thriller on your hands.

                 The impact of people obtaining music for free in 2004 was not the same as it was in 2009. The most serious years of the music industry crash happened after 2004. The industry started its decline after 2001.

Think about it, where would 1,200,000 in sales place you terms of the best selling albums in the United States in 2012. Take a look.

WEEK 33 TOP 100 Soundscan Sales YEAR TO DATE as of August 24, 2012.

Rank   -    Sales    -   TITLE   -   Artist   
01   -    3,888,437    -   21   -   Adele   
02   -    1,132,668    -   UP ALL NIGHT   -   One Direction   
03   -    984,947    -   TUSKEGEE   -   Lionel Richie   
04   -    *843,200    -   THE GREATEST HITS   -   Whitney Houston   
05   -    783,068    -   BELIEVE   -   Justin Bieber
06   -    *735,500    -   NOW 41   -   Various   
07   -    714,387    -   TAILGATES AND TANLINES   -   Luke Bryan     
08   -    706,736    -   BLOWN AWAY   -   Carrie Underwood   
09   -    630,567    -   MAKING MIRRORS   -   Gotye   
10   -    626,501    -   PINK FRIDAY: ROMAN RELOADED   -   Nicki Minaj   
11   -    603,781    -   TAKE CARE   -   Drake   
12   -    585,199    -   19   -   Adele   
13   -    517,263    -   SOME NIGHTS   -   Fun.   
14   -    501,720    -   OWN THE NIGHT   -   Lady Antebellum   
15   -    500,055    -   EL CAMINO   -   Black Keys   
16   -    *494,700    -   MDNA   -   Madonna   
17   -    469,856    -   OVEREXPOSED   -   Maroon 5   
18   -    467,556    -   TALK THAT TALK   -   Rihanna   
19   -    466,837    -   TEENAGE DREAM   -   Katy Perry   
20   -    461,651    -   MY KINDA PARTY   -   Jason Aldean   
21   -    457,535    -   CHIEF   -   Eric Church   
22   -    456,447    -   UNCAGED   -   Zac Brown Band   
23   -    451,115    -   MYLO XYLOTO   -   Coldplay   
24   -    450,295    -   BORN AND RAISED   -   John Mayer   
25   -    448,600    -   STRONGER   -   Kelly Clarkson   
26   -    443,490    -   WRECKING BALL   -   Bruce Springsteen   
27   -    429,967    -   THE HUNGER GAMES   -   Soundtrack   
28   -    417,627    -   WELCOME TO THE FISHBOWL   -   Kenny Chesney   
29   -    415,705    -   NOW 42   -   Various   
30   -    414,706    -   LIVING THINGS   -   Linkin Park   
31   -    *405,200    -   A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH   -   Van Halen   
32   -    374,714    -   SORRY FOR PARTY ROCKING   -   LMFAO   
33   -    365,872    -   BLUNDERBUSS   -   Jack White   
34   -    345,236    -   LITTLE BROKEN HEARTS   -   Norah Jones   
35   -    344,695    -   SIGH NO MORE   -   Mumford & Sons   
36   -    342,752    -   CHANGED   -   Rascal Flatts   
37   -    342,608    -   BANGARANG (EP)   -   Skrillex   
38   -    *341,900    -   2012 GRAMMY NOMINEES   -   Various   
39   -    337,423    -   LOOKING 4 MYSELF   -   Usher   
40   -    334,212    -   TM:103: HUSTLERZ AMBITION   -   Young Jeezy   
41   -    331,090    -   LOVE IS A FOUR LETTER WORD   -   Jason Mraz   
42   -    329,611    -   KIDZ BOP 21   -   Kidz Bop Kids   
43   -    322,451    -   BORN TO DIE   -   Lana Del Rey   
44   -    322,161    -   GOD FORGIVES I DON'T   -   Rick Ross   
45   -    317,240    -   MY HEAD IS AN ANIMAL   -   Of Monsters & Men   
46   -    308,506    -   HERE AND NOW   -   Nickelback   
47   -    303,204    -   CEREMONIALS   -   Florence + The Machine   
48   -    295,550    -   THE BAND PERRY   -   Band Perry   
49   -    292,287    -   AMARYLLIS   -   Shinedown   
50   -    283,931    -   CARELESS WORLD   -   Tyga   
51   -    281,080    -   DOO-WOPS & HOOLIGANS   -   Bruno Mars   
52   -    270,839    -   THA CARTER IV   -   Lil Wayne   
53   -    *267,100    -   EMOTIONAL TRAFFIC   -   Tim McGraw   
54   -    264,886    -   HALFWAY TO HEAVEN   -   Brantley Gilbert   
55   -    263,307    -   FORTUNE   -   Chris Brown   
56   -    262,338    -   CHANNEL ORANGE   -   Frank Ocean   
57   -    259,659    -   LIFE IS GOOD   -   Nas   
58   -    257,256    -   BOYS & GIRLS   -   Alabama Shakes   
59   -    248,762    -   WATCH THE THRONE   -   Jay-Z & Kanye West   
60   -    247,036    -   CLEAR AS DAY   -   Scotty McCreery   
61   -    246,423    -   RED RIVER BLUE   -   Blake Shelton   
62   -    245,656    -   HANDS ALL OVER   -   Maroon 5   
63   -    242,755    -   CALIFORNIA 37   -   Train   
64   -    240,187    -   SLIPSTREAM   -   Bonnie Raitt   
65   -    236,862    -   BARTON HOLLOW   -   Civil Wars   
66   -    236,064    -   FOUR THE RECORD   -   Miranda Lambert   
67   -    235,425    -   CLANCY'S TAVERN   -   Toby Keith   
68   -    235,177    -   MY LIFE II: THE JOURNEY CONTINUES ACT 1   -   Mary J Blige   
69   -    225,005    -   SPEAK NOW   -   Taylor Swift   
70   -    223,833    -   TORCHES   -   Foster The People   
71   -    223,749    -   YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE   -   Zac Brown Band   
72   -    *221,100    -   KISSES ON THE BOTTOM   -   Paul McCartney   
73   -    218,930    -   THE LUMINEERS   -   Lumineers   
74   -    217,173    -   STRANGE CLOUDS   -   B.o.B.   
75   -    215,668    -   MMG PRESENTS: SELF MADE VOL. 2   -   Various   
76   -    214,304    -   SCARY MONSTERS AND NICE SPRITES (EP)   -   Skrillex   
77   -    213,636    -   GREATEST HITS   -   Guns N'Roses   
78   -    *209,000    -   THE BODYGUARD   -   Soundtrack   
79   -    206,685    -   CLOCKWORK ANGELS   -   Rush   
80   -    202,503    -   THIRTY MILES WEST   -   Alan Jackson   
81   -    *201,300    -   SCARS AND STORIES   -   The Fray   
82   -    199,856    -   BROTHERS   -   Black Keys   
83   -    *199,300    -   PORT OF MORROW   -   Shins   
84   -    197,235    -   HOME   -   Dierks Bentley   
85   -    195,280    -   HARD 2 LOVE   -   Lee Brice   
86   -    188,441    -   NOTHING BUT THE BEAT   -   David Guetta   
87   -    188,260    -   ROCK OF AGES   -   Soundtrack   
88   -    186,600    -   NOW 43   -   Various   
89   -    186,055    -   4   -   Beyonce   
90   -    *173,100    -   AMERICAN CAPITALIST   -   Five Finger Death Punch 
91   -    178,947    -   UP ALL NIGHT   -   Kip Moore   
92   -    176,254    -   TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN   -   Soundtrack   
93   -    175,729    -   KIDZ BOP 22   -   Kidz Bop Kids   
94   -    *175,500    -   DUETS II   -   Tony Bennett   
95   -    *172,000    -   NOW 40   -   Various   
96   -    168,292    -   PROJECT X   -   Soundtrack   
97   -    166,457    -   SHAKE IT UP: LIVE 2 DANCE   -   Soundtrack   
98   -    164,789    -   NEW LIFE   -   Monica   
99   -    162,042    -   PLANET PIT   -   Pitbull   
100   -    161,887    -   THE IDLER WHEEL IS WISER THAN…   -   Fiona Apple


                         Now ask yourself this, where would 1,200,000 in sales put you in 2012? Yes, there are still 4 months left, but its obvious that an album that sells 1,200,000 for the year in 2012 is going to be a TOP 5 ALBUM! Do you really believe its realistic for U2 to have sales of 3.5 million in this market? Its impossible. You are holding them to a standard that they never achieved before. Joshua Tree was the 2nd best selling album in 1987 in the USA, but not by much. The rest of the pack in the top 10 were not far behind. You would have us believe that U2 should have the same numbers despite the fact that would have them outselling the rest of the top 10 combined!

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Taking all this into account, logic would tell you that 360 would have been a success no matter how the album was received. The tour was already announced as a stadium tour before the album was released. They had planned a stadium tour without knowing if the album would be a success? Why would they do that? They tried it once in their history with Popmart and it bit them in the ass. So why do it again in 2009 with millions of dollars on the line? Logic would tell me that Live Nation and U2s management did their research and knew the size of the fanbase, their demographics, the concert industry in general, etc.. and concluded that they could do good business with or without a hit album.

          LOL as if U2's management were a bunch of dumb idiots as of 1997. They did their best to plan for POPMART. The key that prevented the plan from being a success was the album. Thats the only solid verifiable difference between FACTORS impacting the two tours, the success of the album!

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You can't just compare Popmart Tampa to 360 Tampa and come to a conclusion. There are many factors that you don't/won't take into account.

                  All of the factors of increase age, income, fanbase etc. were present with the period form 1987 to 1997. It did not yield a better outcome or prevent the decline in attendance. WHY? The album. The album that the tour is supporting continues to be the only verifiable factor that is different between the success of Joshua Tree in 1987, the relative failure of POP in 1997, and the success of NLOTH in 2009.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 07:30:12 PM by bethere »

Offline bethere

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Re: Can U2 ever come back?
« Reply #261 on: August 28, 2012, 07:38:24 PM »
Just to refresh everyone on the decline of the music industry.

      The following are the number of albums that were able to achieve sales of over 1 million copies in each year in the United States.

2000   -   88
2001   -   100
2002   -   65
2003   -   69
2004   -   70
2005   -   48
2006   -   52
2007   -   39
2008   -   25
2009   -   22
2010   -   13
2011   -   13

                 In 2004 there were 70 albums that were able to sell over 1 million copies. By 2009, that had dropped to just 22. Thats nearly a 70% drop in just 5 years. Although the year is not over yet, there could be as little as 5 albums crossing the 1 million mark in 2012! Think about it, from 2001 with 100 albums to just 5 albums in 2012.

                  You can't be making unit to unit comparisons of album that sold 1,067,000 copies in 2009 to an album that sold 3 million in 2004. The market environments are too different. It impacts not only the number of albums selling over 1 million copies, but also how many albums are able to achieve a 2nd million or beyond as well.

                  Only a comparison of how each album did among the other albums in their years of release can be compared. HTDAAB was the #8 album of 2004 while NLOTH was the #20 album of 2009. Yes, HTDAAB did better, but not nearly by the degree that a unit to unit sales comparison would suggest.

                  Again, sales of 1,200,000 this year is nearly enough to give an artist the the 2nd best selling album of the year!
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 07:41:33 PM by bethere »

Offline So Cruel

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Re: Can U2 ever come back?
« Reply #262 on: August 28, 2012, 07:56:14 PM »
Bethere, you keep cycling through the same arguement about Pop vs 360, there has been many posts that have explained the differences, and what kept many away from Popmart, but you have chosen to ignore these points and keep asking the same Popmart questions over and over. Spilling Over the Brim had a very good post on this subject many pages ago so I would advise to take a look.

To basically sum it up, Pop (while being a great album in my opinion) not only didn't turn a lot of people on to U2, it actually turned a lot of U2 fans off U2. This was achieved by wearing Village People outfits, Bono going from the Elvis/Jim Morrison look of the Fly to having a buzzcut and designer club clothes, Edge wearing a fu-man-chu with a cowboy hat, Adam with a gas mask, an album by a rock band with the name Pop, doing the press conference at a K-Mart, etc....For a lot of fans who liked the "white flag waving; a red guitar, 3 chords, and the truth" version of U2, this was all a little bit much. Throw in the hype of a "dance" album that was being talked about before the release and it was a recipe for disaster. So Popmart comes to town, and not only do U2 not have a lot of new fans coming out, they actually have a lot of their old fans skipping the show. It basically blew up in their face. It was not an accident that by the time ATYCLB came along that Bono had grown his hair back (or got transplants), put on a leather jacket, and the album was being marketed as a "return to the U2 sound". With No Line, U2 didn't acquire a lot of new fans, but they had built up a lot of new ones with ATYCLB and HTDAAB. They also didn't turn off a lot their fans like Pop did. You mention that the 3 biggest U2 albums preceded Pop (which is wrong, Zooropa was one of the lowest selling U2 albums) but for a casual fan it would of looked like Pop was made by a completley different band then the one that made Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum.

Yes, a fan 22 year old fan from Unforgetable Fire would have been 34 at the time of Popmart and may have brought someone, I never said that didn't happen. If you re-read my post you will see I said ON AVERAGE in 2009 the U2 fanbase was older then it was in 1997. That doesn't say there was no one over the age of 30 at Popmart, it just means there were more at 360. I don't think you can logically argue that U2 does not have an older fanbase in 2009 then they did in 1997.

Taking a quick look at your list of the top 100 selling albums it took me till number 23 to see the first rock band (and calling Coldplay a rock band is being very generous). Have you thought that maybe there just are not many good bands out there anymore? Now if you look at the Top albums in 1987 you'll see rock albums from:

U2- The Joshua Tree
Guns n Roses - Appetite for Destruction
Def Leppard - Hysteria
Bruce Springsteen - Tunnel of Love
REM - Document
Motley Crue - Girls Girls Girls
Whitesnake - Whitesnake
Sting - Nothing Like the Sun

You also had albums from legends in their prime like Prince and Michael Jackson. Have you thought that maybe the reason that U2 can place in 5th is that there are no big rock acts out there right now? The competition is no where close to what it was in the 80's or 90's. Not one rock act in the top 23 albums sold this year. That should tell you something. Maybe the music industry instead of blaming illegal downloading on it's poor state should help develop young bands like they did in the 60's/70's/80's/90's. If you disagree with this listen to Bonos speech at the Hall of Fame. He said if U2 came out these days they would have been dropped after October.


Offline bethere

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Re: Can U2 ever come back?
« Reply #263 on: August 29, 2012, 02:55:42 AM »
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Bethere, you keep cycling through the same arguement about Pop vs 360, there has been many posts that have explained the differences, and what kept many away from Popmart, but you have chosen to ignore these points and keep asking the same Popmart questions over and over. Spilling Over the Brim had a very good post on this subject many pages ago so I would advise to take a look.


             Thats because you keep cycling through the same arguments about why 360 succeeded where POPMART didn't. All your arguments, which are based on assumptions about U2 ticket buyers that are actually unknown, are arguments that can be used to describe the U2 fanbase at the start of 1997 relative to where it was in 1987. Even If I agreed with your assumptions about the age and income of U2 ticket buyers in 2009 or in any other year, I don't agree that it has the impact you described. You don't see this impact with any other artist. Typically as artist age, and their fanbase age, attendance at their concerts gets weaker, not stronger. This impact from an aging fanbase that you describe for U2 can't be found with any other artist. You also do not see it with U2 when you measure the time period from 1987 to 1997. If an older fanbase were to benefit the band, it should have shown up earlier. There should be some detectable effect when going from 1987 to 1997. But there is none at all.

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With No Line, U2 didn't acquire a lot of new fans, but they had built up a lot of new ones with ATYCLB and HTDAAB. They also didn't turn off a lot their fans like Pop did. You mention that the 3 biggest U2 albums preceded Pop (which is wrong, Zooropa was one of the lowest selling U2 albums) but for a casual fan it would of looked like Pop was made by a completley different band then the one that made Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum.

           No, I said that U2's 3 biggest selling albums were released in the 10 years prior to POP. Zooropa may have cut into that, but the impact of those 3 albums had put them at a higher place than ATYCLB & HTDAAB did. This makes the album the band is touring behind the much more likely reason for the attendance that is seen in either 1997 or 2009. Again, if fanbase and history are the reasons why 360 succeeded, then POPMART would have been a success as well.

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Yes, a fan 22 year old fan from Unforgetable Fire would have been 34 at the time of Popmart and may have brought someone, I never said that didn't happen. If you re-read my post you will see I said ON AVERAGE in 2009 the U2 fanbase was older then it was in 1997. That doesn't say there was no one over the age of 30 at Popmart, it just means there were more at 360. I don't think you can logically argue that U2 does not have an older fanbase in 2009 then they did in 1997.

              Ahhh, but your missing the point. If you say that the age and income status of U2 fans impacted the success of 360 in a way that explains its greater success over POPMART, why don't we see this effect with POPMART in 1997 vs. Joshua Tree in 1987? Why is there such a serious decline in attendance from ZOO TV to POPMART. Greater age and income according to you equals greater attendance.
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If we accept your ideas about age and income levels of the fanbase impacting attendance at U2 concerts in 2009, we should be able to see this impact in earlier times, especially when looking at the 10 years that seperate 1987 and 1997. But it simply is not there. Once again this places the focus on the album the band was touring behind as being the #1 factor for attendance on the tour. 

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Taking a quick look at your list of the top 100 selling albums it took me till number 23 to see the first rock band (and calling Coldplay a rock band is being very generous). Have you thought that maybe there just are not many good bands out there anymore?Now if you look at the Top albums in 1987 you'll see rock albums from:

U2- The Joshua Tree
Guns n Roses - Appetite for Destruction
Def Leppard - Hysteria
Bruce Springsteen - Tunnel of Love
REM - Document
Motley Crue - Girls Girls Girls
Whitesnake - Whitesnake
Sting - Nothing Like the Sun

You also had albums from legends in their prime like Prince and Michael Jackson. Have you thought that maybe the reason that U2 can place in 5th is that there are no big rock acts out there right now? The competition is no where close to what it was in the 80's or 90's. Not one rock act in the top 23 albums sold this year. That should tell you something. Maybe the music industry instead of blaming illegal downloading on it's poor state should help develop young bands like they did in the 60's/70's/80's/90's. If you disagree with this listen to Bonos speech at the Hall of Fame. He said if U2 came out these days they would have been dropped after October.   

        Well, there is the band FUN at #13. They are a relatively young POP/Rock band and have a very poppy hit with "We Are Young". But again, its not only rock bands that sell music, but also POP, Country, Rap, etc. The population as a whole has very diverse music taste and this is often reflected in the top 100 selling albums of the year. But regardless of which music genre is up or down, they are all in the same boat when it comes to the market and album sales. No one is a immune to the impact of the declining industry. The decline is seen everywhere, regardless of genre.

                Even if there were more rock artist in the top 100 right now, especially the top 20, their sales would be no different than what we see right now. If you want to have the #5 selling album of the year, its going to take nearly 1 million in sales whether your a rock band, a pop singer or a country artist. Plus, your not going to have the old sales figures of 4 million or 5 million one used to associate with finishing in the top 5 or top 10 for the year. No one can sell albums like that any more because most of the population obtains its music for free these days. I've seen this with my own friends and family.

               Also for the top selling albums in 1987 don't forget these albums and artist:

Janet Jackson - Control
Anita Baker - Rapture
True Blue - Madonna
Duotones - Kenny G
Give Me The Reason - Luther Vandross
Just like the first time - Freddie Jackson
Dancing On The Ceiling - Lionel Richie
Back In The Highlife - Steve Winwood
The Way It Is - Bruce Hornsby And The Range
Graceland - Paul Simon

                    Not exactly what you would say are big rock artist there.

Also, remember that while GNR released Appetite for Destruction in 1987, it did not become a hit until 1988. R.E.M.'s Document did not go platinum until 1988, and even then was one among many. By the late 1980s, you really needed to have a multi-platinum album to stand out. Sting's Nothing Like The Sun was also in many ways a move away from Rock music and his days with the Police in terms of the style of music recorded on the album.