Easy to recommend to fans of U2 — and you’ve probably already watched it if you are – but there’s a fantastic interview with Adam Clayton of U2 on the Irish television program The Works that covers the band’s influences, art, and staying relevant at 40 years as a band.
It’s difficult to overstate how much of an impact Achtung Baby has had on my life. My friends introduced me to U2 through playing Unforgettable Fire, Rattle and Hum, and Wide Awake in America during high school but it wasn’t until Achtung Baby was released and I discovered the corresponding tour VHS in an borrowed apartment I was in that summer that I got hooked on U2 for myself.
It was actually seeing what the band looked like that did it for me. To that point I’d only seen photos on CD covers. The opening mix of horns, tribal drumming, noise, and static that lead into “Zoo Station” was so intriguing to someone raised on Christian pop and rebelling with straight ahead Guns ‘n Roses rock ‘n roll. I loved the theatrics of it all. Macphisto and “The Fly”. Embracing what it meant to be a rock star when every other band was headed into their grunge period.
After seeing the concert, I had to have the album. And then I had to have all the albums.
I’ll save a track by track review for the podcast where we’ll be doing album-by-album episodes. But if I had to pick a favourite track, I’d pick 2 because it’s my blog and you can’t make me pick just one: “Ultra Violet (Light My Way)” 1 and “Tryin’ to Throw My Arms Around the World”. I can honestly put on any track from Achtung Baby and want to start singing along and/or grab my guitar and play along but those two are my favourites to crank extra loud.
This was supposed to be just a quick link post pointing you to Achtung Baby but I guess I had a little tribute of my own to get out.
I’ll leave you with a beautiful solo version of “Love is Blindness” from the documentary From the Sky Down released in 2011 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Achtung Baby’s release. Go buy Achtung Baby if you don’t already own it. You won’t regret it.
It’s hard to say if the recent live versions of Ultra Violet haven’t influenced my love for the song but so what?↩
U2 is this week’s guest on a podcast called Song Exploder that takes a song and breaks it down with the artist(s) who wrote it, getting them to talk through what inspired them and how it was all put together.
The Edge talks about how he uses Garageband as a sketchpad along with loops put together by U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. to mess around with ideas – and eventually putting them together with a different set of lyrics by Bono than what they had originally recorded.
From what I’ve read and seen over the years, it’s a fairly common process for how a U2 song is put together – pieces are moved from one idea to another, lyrics are rewritten, solos redone. I don’t think U2 gets enough credit for the care and attention to detail that they put into songs and the subsequent tour. As I discussed with Matt McGee on Daily(ish) #105, they don’t just put together a greatest hits song list for their tour – each song is put in it’s place with lots of thought.
Matt McGee from atu2.com joins me to talk about U2, the current Innocence and Experience tour and how being a fan of a band has changed over the twenty years since he started atu2.com.
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Bono also addressed criticism that the move contradicts his history of charity work. He insisted: “Because you’re good at philanthropy and because I am an activist people think you should be stupid in business and I don’t run with that.” The Edge added, “So much of our business is outside of Ireland so it is ridiculous to make a big deal out of it.”
Source: NME News Bono on tax
I get why people like to argue about what a rich person does with their money – but when we have almost no idea of where their money is spent and what percentage of it is given away, why bother wasting time on it?
It’s worth noting that the group’s innovative new sound system, which utilizes a series of speakers hung from the ceiling spread evenly throughout the venue, sounded absolutely amazing. Just about every other live act in history simply stacked their sound equipment near the stage and blasted it out across the entire house, almost deafening a chunk of the crowd in the process. This new approach results in far a cleaner, crisper, significantly less abrasive acoustics. It deserves to become the new standard.
Just experimenting with the newish WordPres bookmarklet. It works about as well as the tumblr version which is a good start. I wish it could grab a featured image automagically like the Tumblr dashboard version does.