Author Topic: U2 Album Rankings (2020)  (Read 1469 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Vox

  • Running to Stand Still
  • **
  • Posts: 1,169
  • Time is irrelevant, it's not linear.
U2 Album Rankings (2020)
« on: February 26, 2020, 02:38:22 PM »
Since I’m a “lists” person and periodically enjoy doing things like this (and since we’re planted firmly between album releases), what’s your U2 album ranking list look like right now in 2020?

1)  Achtung Baby:  It’s been my favorite album by anyone for nearly 30 years (gulp).
2)  The Joshua Tree: It’s The freaking Joshua Tree.
3)  The Unforgettable Fire:  Probably the U2 album I listen to the most, front-to-back.
4)  Zooropa:  A very special album for me.  Late at night, this album moves up a couple of notches.
5)  No Line on the Horizon:  I have an irrational love for this album that’s difficult to express with words.
6)  Boy:  “Default U2.”  Even more interesting if you think about what you’d make of it today, had U2 not made it out of the early ‘80s and these songs popped up on your streaming service.   
7)  Pop:  U2 doing this is the U2 I liked the most.  Still, I don’t think parts of it have aged particularly well.  It’s excessively Bunyanized by some U2 fans, yet still criminally marginalized by nearly everyone else.
8 )  All That You Can’t Leave Behind: It’s a very good album, even though it’s not one I often go back to.
9)  War: Depending when you’d ask me, I’d put this one up around #6 or #7.   
10)  Songs of Experience:  Good effort; but as time goes on, not one I’ve found myself going back to.
11)  Rattle and HumI overlooked this one for many years; but I’m glad this is in the catalogue.
12)  Songs of Innocence:  I’ve never been able to get into it, though I still hope that I someday will.
13)  How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb:  I don’t know…  maybe #11-#13 could be interchangeable…
14)  October:  Because something’s got to be last – still enjoyable, though.  There isn’t a U2 album I don’t like, just some U2 albums I like more than others.         



Offline pan360

  • Wanderer
  • *
  • Posts: 93
  • The universe is beautiful but cold
Re: U2 Album Rankings (2020)
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2020, 04:41:36 PM »
1) AB 2) JT 3) POP 4) NLOTH 5) SOE 6) Zooropa 7) UF 8)ATYCLB 9) SOI 10) BOY 11) WAR 12) R&H 13) HTDAAB 14) October
« Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 04:46:09 PM by pan360 »

Offline Billy Rhythm

  • Wanderer
  • *
  • Posts: 95
Re: U2 Album Rankings (2020)
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2020, 12:56:41 AM »
1st place tie between 'Achtung Baby' & 'The Joshua Tree'...  I really can't decide...  I'd put 'Zooropa' & 'Songs of Experience' next but after that their studio albums don't measure up to these four, in my opinion...  there's excellent recordings scattered amongst alot of filler on the remaining ten albums and I have no preferences except that 'Songs of Innocence' is clearly their worst album of the lot...  for me, U2 are a live band...  I rarely listen to any of their studio recordings and always prefer their live recordings from the tours...:-)   

Offline Lem0nade

  • Stranger in a Strange Land
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: U2 Album Rankings (2020)
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2020, 09:00:30 PM »
In descending order...

Masterpieces
1. Achtung Baby
2. The Joshua Tree
3. Zooropa
4. Boy

Near-Masterpieces
5. Pop
6. The Unforgettable Fire
7. War
8. Songs of Innocence

Great
9. Songs of Experience

Very Good
10. All That You Can't Leave Behind
11. No Line on the Horizon

Good to Average
12. October
13. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
14. Rattle and Hum
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 07:48:24 AM by Lem0nade »

Offline Bundang Dave

  • Staring at the Sun
  • **
  • Posts: 1,277
  • It's not what I want; it's what I need.
Re: U2 Album Rankings (2020)
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2020, 06:25:12 AM »
These are my tiers of rankings. Within each tier, the order could vary from day to day.

Zooropa
Pop
Achtung Baby

The Unforgettable Fire
The Joshua Tree

No Line on the Horizon
Songs of Innocence
Songs of Experience

Rattle and Hum
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
War

All That You Can't Leave Behind
Boy
October

Offline Boba Fett

  • Stateless
  • *
  • Posts: 138
Re: U2 Album Rankings (2020)
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2020, 08:49:34 PM »
1. The Joshua Tree: Even the worst songs on this album are very, very good. And at it's best (and if that first side isn't the greatest first side of an album ever I don't know what is!) it's music at its sublime best.

2. Achtung Baby: Some great songs on this album, but I'm not wild about the production. And much like TUF - kept their career going and vital.

3. October:  It was my first album and so will always rank highly for me. It's an album that is loaded with desperation for.... something. Probably undefinable even by the band at that point. And I still love it.

4. All That You Can’t Leave Behind: A very deliberate 'U2 by numbers' album. But saved because there are just so many great pop songs on it.

5. The Unforgettable Fire: Really interesting, and probably the album that enabled them to have a lengthy career. Incredible that a band could follow War with this effort and actually increase its fan base! Probably too much of a gulf between the quality of the songs to be truly great though.

6. Rattle and Hum: I know it was criticised as a sprawling mess at the time, but I think it holds up quite well.

7. Zooropa: Done quickly (see U2 - you CAN put out an album quickly if you put your minds to it!), and it mostly works.

 
8. Boy:  The start of something special. A few gems amongst a very raw beginning.

9. Pop:  The band was still trying to push the boundaries at this point. Whether they actually achieved what they set out to do is immaterial - I still return here every now and again.

10. War: I know it's place in U2 history, but this is my list and I have always struggled with this album. I just don't like it. Far too trebly and cold a production style for my liking.

11. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb: Really only gets above the two 'Songs of...' albums because it had an absolute cracker of a single.

12. Songs of Innocence:  I kind of like a few songs on this album, but not nearly enough to have it rank high on this list.

13. Songs of Experience: All a bit 'meh' for me I'm afraid.

14. No Line on the Horizon: Awful. The sound of a band that had way too much time and money on its hands and no clear direction. Should never have been released.

Offline geronimo71

  • Stranger in a Strange Land
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: U2 Album Rankings (2020)
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2020, 04:52:39 PM »
1. achtung baby. bow down before the one you serve
2. Joshua tree. The tour did it justice
3. Unforgettable Fire. From War to this?
4. boy. Scarily amazing
5. no line on the horizon. Rekindled my love
6. Songs of Experience. Crazily good return to form
7. War. Ultimate U2
8. Pop. Mad as a box of frogs
9. zooropa. Most unappreciated album
10. October. Painfully honest with 4 great tracks
11. How to dismantle... Mostly safe
12. Rattle and Hum. Lame
13. All that you can't leave behind. Dull as dishwater
14. songs of innocence. Just horrible

Offline Rasmus

  • Refugee
  • *
  • Posts: 279
Re: U2 Album Rankings (2020)
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2020, 04:28:19 AM »
My key learnings since last time I did this: The top 2 albums are basically locked and will probably (99.9%) never change. Boy has only become better with age. SoI has firmly been locked as my favorite U2 album of the past 25 years.

1. Achtung Baby
2. The Joshua Tree
3. Boy
4. The Unforgettable Fire
5. War
6. Songs of Innocence
7. Zooropa
8. Pop
9. Rattle & Hum
10. October
11. All That You Cant Leave Behind
12. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
13. Songs of Experience
14. No Line on the Horizon

Offline rubbersoul

  • Running to Stand Still
  • **
  • Posts: 1,116
Re: U2 Album Rankings (2020)
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2020, 10:55:43 AM »
1. Achtung Baby
2. The Joshua Tree
3. The Unforgettable Fire
4. Zooropa
5. War
6. Songs of Innocence
7. Rattle & Hum
8. Songs of Experience
9. All That You Cant Leave Behind
10. Boy
11. Pop
12. No Line on the Horizon
13. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
14. October

Offline zoo adam

  • Intellectual Tortoise
  • *
  • Posts: 455
Re: U2 Album Rankings (2020)
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2020, 03:14:19 AM »
NLOTH had U2 caught between sticking to the mainstream & going back to the 90's. Neither happened.

Was disappointed upon release. Eleven songs after 5 years & one was 'Boots'. However it does have it's moments.

The title song gets it off to a good start & MOS is a classic. After an opening minute of pointless doodling, 'Unknown Caller' kicks into gear.

Of the terrible trio only 'Boots' is offensive. But they are forgiven as 'Breathe' is a good rocker. 'White as Snow' & 'Cedars' are pleasant enough.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2020, 03:24:56 AM by zoo adam »

Offline pan360

  • Wanderer
  • *
  • Posts: 93
  • The universe is beautiful but cold
Re: U2 Album Rankings (2020)
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2020, 09:00:18 AM »
NLOTH is on my top five.  I like atmospheric U2 albums and NLOTH is definitely an atmospheric, artistic and poetic album. The three songs in the middle destroy the magic… that’s true but it is not the first time U2 throw a rock song in an atmospheric poetic album. Pride was a similar case for TUF. However, they are not too bad. The CD single of Crazy with the remixes is great, Boots is great live and even SUC… well, I have started appreciating it. And we should not forget that NLOTH has given us Soon and Winter.

Offline Vox

  • Running to Stand Still
  • **
  • Posts: 1,169
  • Time is irrelevant, it's not linear.
Re: U2 Album Rankings (2020)
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2020, 09:10:08 PM »
Yeah, I still listen to parts of No Line On The Horizon, more than just about any U2 record  since the early ‘90s.  A few years after it’s release, I wondered if my feelings for it were merely passing infatuation.  They were not.  I’d rate the title track as a personal top 10 U2 song.  And I’d land an additional 4-5 tracks as “Very Good” U2 songs. Someday, somepeople will finally figure this album out to give it its due.

Offline zoo adam

  • Intellectual Tortoise
  • *
  • Posts: 455
Re: U2 Album Rankings (2020)
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2020, 04:55:09 AM »
For me there was a big build up to NLOTH.

Firstly there was a 5 year wait. I had started using the internet more & was following news on the new album. Had also started using the U2 forums where the talk was on ......

The release date was put back & Bono was talking about digging up diamonds. I briefly hoped for a double.

So my intial reaction was of disappointment. But there are some good bits. 

Offline zoo adam

  • Intellectual Tortoise
  • *
  • Posts: 455
Re: U2 Album Rankings (2020)
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2020, 03:22:06 AM »
'Rattle & Hum' usually finishes quite low.

Saw a 1988 interview with Paul McGuinness where he mentions the album is very eclectic. He has a point!

New songs, live songs, cover versions, a guest artist and an altetnative version of a recent song. It was released only 18 months after TJT. If that wasn't enough, a film came with it.

Offline pan360

  • Wanderer
  • *
  • Posts: 93
  • The universe is beautiful but cold
Re: U2 Album Rankings (2020)
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2020, 11:03:13 AM »
As someone who started listening to U2 in 1989 I feel connected to R&H. Nevertheless It belongs to the lowest tier of my ranking not because i don't like it but because I like other albums more. A couple of days ago  I enjoyed watching the outtakes posted by Phil Joanou on Vimeo (they are in HD and downloable). It is a nice feeling when music brings memories and R&H reminds me of my teenage years.