Author Topic: Being a U2 Completionist Is Tough...and Expensive  (Read 722 times)

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Offline hollywoodswag

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Being a U2 Completionist Is Tough...and Expensive
« on: August 22, 2019, 03:26:08 PM »
Consider this the mourning of someone who got into U2 a bit too late for The Complete U2 on iTunes, haha. I just picked up a batch of singles from the Pop-through-HTDAAB era, enjoying some of the quality b-side action on hand that, alas, isn't really available anywhere else. It's fun getting singles from all over the world and getting quality rare studio and live tracks...

...but it's also pretty frustrating. U2 is great for issuing deluxe editions (some super) for every album from Boy through the Joshua Tree as well as Achtung Baby, and The Best of 1980-1990 & B-Sides does a nice job of hooking us up with some R&H rarities, but from Pop onward (Zooropa was fairly well covered with the AB super deluxe), unless you jumped on the aforementioned iTunes set in the early days, you found yourself in the same situation as me: poring over the various single releases trying to figure out what is available and where. I wish, wish, WISH that U2 would release deluxe editions for the remaining albums in their catalogue that don't have them, because it's a royal pain trying to scoop everything up, especially given how scattered things are.

I applaud iTunes for having some singles available. Please with the live tracks, If God Will Send His Angels, Vertigo...those are nice and cheap, but the All That You Can't Leave Behind era, my primary area of focus for these singles, is tough. Discogs has become my best friend for these, but yeesh, some remixes are only available on vinyl, some singles share b-sides depending on country of origin, some b-sides are Australia-only, and so on and so forth. I have one version of each of the singles plus a bonus Elevation from Australia, but even then, I'm probably looking at one more copy of each of the remaining three singles to clean out on the b-sides available on CD.

Are any of you in the same boat, or was I just a bit too late to the game?



Offline singnomore

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Re: Being a U2 Completionist Is Tough...and Expensive
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2019, 06:30:18 AM »
The cost these days looks heavy - I was fortunate to get into them early on - so I have original vinyl etc - I like the new releases but cant bring myself to purchase

Offline miryclay

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Re: Being a U2 Completionist Is Tough...and Expensive
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2019, 10:24:36 AM »
It takes a long time. You may need to be in this for decades. And you will never be complete. Ever. Just approximately. It wasn't designed this way, it just worked out that way. And you could possibly be from the generation where everything is bulk and delivered by an app?
« Last Edit: August 26, 2019, 01:19:25 PM by miryclay »

Offline hollywoodswag

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Re: Being a U2 Completionist Is Tough...and Expensive
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2019, 06:40:53 PM »
I donít expect to get every last little track. I look at some of the Paul van Dyk remixes of Elevation and it wonít be the end of my world if I donít get all of those. Itís more the general frustration of b-sides being scattered so much across regions and there not being deluxe editions for later albums. Iím not going back to the Boy era and picking up all those singles. I feel like up through and including The Joshua Tree, there are releases out that have pretty much everything under the sun that got released in those time frames. I just feel that U2, up through ATYCLB (and maybe Atomic Bomb to a lesser degree) put out an astonishing amount of stellar non-album material, but once you get past Achtung Baby, you really have to go single-hunting to put a dent in that. I suppose Iím just surprised that they didnít keep the deluxe edition train going.

Mind you, I imagine that theyíll release them one day for albums like Pop, ATYCLB, and Atomic Bomb, at which point Iíll kick myself for buying up all the singles, but I suppose Iím just a bit impatient, haha.

Offline miryclay

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Re: Being a U2 Completionist Is Tough...and Expensive
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2019, 08:31:02 PM »
I had this happen to me twice in the last five years. I scour the internet for rare CD singles and B sides and then six months later the release a remastered complilation album. It's maddening!

Offline hollywoodswag

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Re: Being a U2 Completionist Is Tough...and Expensive
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2019, 11:28:03 AM »
I've mostly cleaned out on the Pop stuff on CD. There are a few Discotheque remixes I don't have, plus the USA edit of Please, but I'm not really in any hurry to get those. The ATYCLB era has been a treasure trove, but also in some ways the most frustrating because of the way the b-sides are replicated. I have Big Girls are Best twice, for example, and if I want to pick up the French version of Stuck in a Moment to get the live versions of EBTTRT and AIWIY, guess what? I'd end up with it again. I feel that of all the albums, ATYCLB is the most likely to get a Super Deluxe edition of those that don't have it yet simply because of its success. Pop could use one of its own because of countless remixes, but I don't see that one coming.

Easily the most expensive, and the one I've mostly written off at this point, is Zooropa. Melon and those promo CDs are exorbitantly expensive, and no way am I dropping that kind of money on them.

I just wish they'd have made a lot of this material more accessible, or left it available longer. It's not like these b-sides are just demo versions of songs or material better suited to a dumpster. There's a boatload of good stuff, but it sure takes up a lot of space on a shelf accumulating it, haha.