Matt McGee, my atU2 Podcast co-host and creator of atU2.com, has launched a new site celebrating the 25th anniversary of U2's Achtung Baby over at AchtungBaby.com.
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)" [footnote]It's hard to say if the recent live versions of Ultra Violet haven't influenced my love for the song but so what?[/footnote] 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.