Achtung Pollby

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this one is next up for the ilx music collective right?

Poll Results

OptionVotes
The Fly 13
One 13
Zoo Station 8
Until the End of the World 8
Mysterious Ways 7
Ultraviolet (Light My Way) 6
Even Better Than the Real Thing 4
Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses? 3
Acrobat 2
Love Is Blindness 2
Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World 1
So Cruel 0


pro bowl was fun (omar little), Friday, 27 February 2009 23:29 (ten years ago) link

It's totally unfashionable to say so but I really, really, really love most of this album.

Lots of praying with no breakfast! (HI DERE), Friday, 27 February 2009 23:30 (ten years ago) link

probably voting "The Fly"

Lots of praying with no breakfast! (HI DERE), Friday, 27 February 2009 23:30 (ten years ago) link

Zoo Station
Even Better Than the Real Thing
One
Until the End of the World
The Fly

^^^"one" of these five imo

pro bowl was fun (omar little), Friday, 27 February 2009 23:32 (ten years ago) link

went with Until the End of the World

buju_banton (some dude), Friday, 27 February 2009 23:39 (ten years ago) link

^yeah thats what i'm thinking too...

i am an evil halfperson (Drugs A. Money), Friday, 27 February 2009 23:49 (ten years ago) link

"The Fly" - when the guitar comes back in at 1:30, it sounds like someone dropping a steel girder

snoball, Friday, 27 February 2009 23:51 (ten years ago) link

Mysterious Ways

O Supermanchiros (blueski), Friday, 27 February 2009 23:51 (ten years ago) link

I went with "The Fly", which was a blast of awesomeness when it came out and totally got my hopes up for this album. The album didn't wear well for me over time, for reasons similar to those explained by others (for instance, the lyrics). But I really love the buildup of the last three songs and would have voted for "Ultraviolet" and "Acrobat" second and third, respectively.

Euler, Friday, 27 February 2009 23:58 (ten years ago) link

the guitars on 'the fly' are dope as fuck so i might have to vote for that

pro bowl was fun (omar little), Saturday, 28 February 2009 00:04 (ten years ago) link

kinda http://www.soulstrut.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/poptartgraem5ovgm6.gif but may go for EBTTRT.

special guest stars mark bronson, Saturday, 28 February 2009 00:06 (ten years ago) link

on your knees boy

paper plans (tipsy mothra), Saturday, 28 February 2009 00:07 (ten years ago) link

i gotta admit tryin to throw yr arms around the world will pop up in my head outta nowheres sometimes...

i am an evil halfperson (Drugs A. Money), Saturday, 28 February 2009 00:22 (ten years ago) link

dan otm. i will proudly pull the lever for one of these:

One
The Fly
Mysterious Ways

butt-rock miyagi (rogermexico.), Saturday, 28 February 2009 00:38 (ten years ago) link

if you could somehow combine "One" and "Mysterious Ways" it would be like U2's "Over The Hills And Far Away"

but I may vote for The Fly anyway on account of how the way it all pulls together for "gospel voice" (lol) is the most unexpectedly beautiful moment in pop since the bridge on Welcome To The Jungle.

butt-rock miyagi (rogermexico.), Saturday, 28 February 2009 00:41 (ten years ago) link

Edge's ridiculously great solo, swelling keyboard chords, entrance of Bono's Fat Black Lady voice for one final go-around of "The Fly"'s chorus = greatest U2 moment ever.

The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 28 February 2009 00:42 (ten years ago) link

Clayton holds it together quite nicely too.

The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 28 February 2009 00:42 (ten years ago) link

This is an album I rarely play of my volition, and when I do I think, "God, this is seriously awesome."

The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 28 February 2009 00:43 (ten years ago) link

I feel like this was their last full-on no-qualifiers awesome album.

Lots of praying with no breakfast! (HI DERE), Saturday, 28 February 2009 00:53 (ten years ago) link

i like zooropa more than this one. although i haven't listened to either in a while.

i think i will vote zoo station, but only because it seems like y'all have the fly covered.

horseshoe, Saturday, 28 February 2009 00:55 (ten years ago) link

"Until The End Of The World" is one of my fave U2 songs period and would easily get my vote, but the slightly rougher (and superior) mix on the UTEOTW soundtrack album knocks it out. As much as I love the Edge everywhere on the album, Clayton & Mullen really bring it together. Voted "Zoo Station" for two reasons: 1. Mullen & Clayton sound like they're playing a junkyard full of found objects. 2. During soundchecks Edge would practice that opening fuzz riff (and nothing else) for a half-hour at a time. I like that obsessiveness.

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Saturday, 28 February 2009 00:58 (ten years ago) link

Between One and The Fly.

kornrulez6969, Saturday, 28 February 2009 01:15 (ten years ago) link

I like zooropa at least as well as achtung, but i'd agree that achtung has more awesome... zooropa's the flipside comedown

butt-rock miyagi (rogermexico.), Saturday, 28 February 2009 01:48 (ten years ago) link

Between The Fly and Ultraviolet (Light My Way), may go Ultraviolet since The Fly already has plenty of support.

Johnny Fever, Saturday, 28 February 2009 01:54 (ten years ago) link

Zooropa had a lot of awesome on it but I feel like it's a "must be in the mood for it" album, whereas I could play Achtung, Baby pretty much at any time.

Lots of praying with no breakfast! (HI DERE), Saturday, 28 February 2009 02:07 (ten years ago) link

Ugh. I'm having a hard time thinking which one of this is less cringe-inducing. Turns out there's not a single song in this album which I'd care if I never hear again in my life.

Moka, Saturday, 28 February 2009 02:13 (ten years ago) link

About half of the tracks here are really great. Voting for "Love Is Blindness", which may be the closest they ever got to sounding like Depeche Mode. But I love "Zoo Station", "Mysterious Ways", "Even Better Than The Real Thing" and "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" too.

Geir Hongro, Saturday, 28 February 2009 03:50 (ten years ago) link

"Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?" does drag.

The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 28 February 2009 05:38 (ten years ago) link

This falls off on the last few tracks but almost everything else here has something to recommend it..I mean, "Who's Gonna Ride..." is kinda stupid but that bridge gets me every time. "DON'T YOU LOOK B-AAAAAACK" - great! Great stuff. For the top slot..."Mysterious Ways," TTEOTW or EBTTRT. Gotta sleep on it.

Doctor Casino, Saturday, 28 February 2009 05:43 (ten years ago) link

I'm pretty charitable with U2, even with their recent stuff. But there's one U2 song I ABSOLUTELY HATE, and it's "Mysterious Ways."

Johnny Fever, Saturday, 28 February 2009 05:57 (ten years ago) link

this is the best u2 album

Whiney G. Weingarten, Saturday, 28 February 2009 06:06 (ten years ago) link

I pretty much hate U2, but this album is very, very, very good indeed.

Sickamous Mouthall (Scik Mouthy), Saturday, 28 February 2009 08:15 (ten years ago) link

for a very long time this was the lp i was most ashamed of owning. lol indie hangups.

spnknghands (special guest stars mark bronson), Saturday, 28 February 2009 09:25 (ten years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Tuesday, 24 March 2009 00:01 (ten years ago) link

it's no secret

Euler, Tuesday, 24 March 2009 01:19 (ten years ago) link

"Zoo Station" would fit in the "album you knew would be awesome after 20 seconds" thread.

Mark, Tuesday, 24 March 2009 02:33 (ten years ago) link

it's no secret

save this for the Kylie singles poll.

The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 24 March 2009 02:36 (ten years ago) link

"The Fly" is probably my least favourite track here.

Geir Hongro, Tuesday, 24 March 2009 02:42 (ten years ago) link

At age 13, "Mysterious Ways" prompted me to save up my paper-route money for a Crybaby pedal, which proved to be very useful over the years, so that gets my vote.

2 ears + 1 ❤ (Pillbox), Tuesday, 24 March 2009 02:42 (ten years ago) link

until the end of the world for that solo

EBTTRT and zoo station come close though

Michael B, Tuesday, 24 March 2009 13:30 (ten years ago) link

http://www.cassingle.info/cassingles/u2_o1.jpg

dad a, Tuesday, 24 March 2009 14:22 (ten years ago) link

I love U2 and have yet to love this album--the first CD I ever sold out of disgust. But "One" is pretty awesome.

Pete Scholtes, Tuesday, 24 March 2009 19:11 (ten years ago) link

Gotta be "The Fly," but I love "Ultra Violet.."

Alex in NYC, Tuesday, 24 March 2009 19:59 (ten years ago) link

This is an album I rarely play of my volition

Read this as "an album I rarely play on my violin," which seems fair.

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 24 March 2009 20:05 (ten years ago) link

along with "unforgettable fire", one of the only u2 album I still like

akm, Tuesday, 24 March 2009 20:42 (ten years ago) link

will be interesting to hear this when they remaster it ..

mark e, Tuesday, 24 March 2009 20:44 (ten years ago) link

I bought this when I was in elementary school because I really liked 'mysterious ways' and was pretty disappointed that nothing on it was nearly as good. my opinion has only really changed in that now I also don't like 'mysterious ways'. zooropa is so much better.

iatee, Tuesday, 24 March 2009 20:48 (ten years ago) link

lol at bono from the wikipedia article:

"I was explaining to people the other night, but I might've got it a bit wrong – this is just the end of something for U2. And that's what we're playing these concerts – and we're throwing a party for ourselves and you. It's no big deal, it's just – we have to go away and ... and dream it all up again."

iatee, Tuesday, 24 March 2009 20:51 (ten years ago) link

zoo station > even better than the real thing > the fly >>>>>>>>> the rest

now is the time to winterize your manscape (will), Tuesday, 24 March 2009 21:04 (ten years ago) link

'Until The End Of The World' is blatantly influenced by 'Dennis and Lois' by Happy Mondays.

You’re being too simplistic and you’re insulting my poor heart (Turrican), Thursday, 25 December 2014 19:16 (four years ago) link

ha yeah i think it might well be, dunno why i never spotted that before.

piscesx, Saturday, 27 December 2014 02:39 (four years ago) link

no votes for So Cruel? that's kind of a shame, but also a reflection of the depth of this album, i guess.

charlie h, Sunday, 28 December 2014 12:04 (four years ago) link

eight months pass...

this is great, hadn't heard it for years. a Radio 1 interview just prior to the ZOOtv tour, incredible how radical Bono sounds looking back; ranting about corporate sponsorship and the daft-arsed myths of rock, sticking up for indie bands, slagging off rock's 'fat bastards'
and swearing more than Noel Gallagher.

http://u2interview.com/2007/07/16/interview-with-mark-goodier-radio-1/

piscesx, Thursday, 3 September 2015 23:47 (three years ago) link

What went wrong?

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Friday, 4 September 2015 13:43 (three years ago) link

four weeks pass...

ha, good question!

piscesx, Saturday, 3 October 2015 08:37 (three years ago) link

I am listening to this album for the first time ever right now. What Disco Inferno song is a ripoff of "Even Better Than the Real Thing"? Grrr. I can't think of it.

Mr. Snrub, Monday, 5 October 2015 13:23 (three years ago) link

two years pass...

"The Fly" is still the worst track on the entire album.

― Geir Hongro, Thursday, March 26, 2009 3:54 AM (eight years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i miss this man's insanity

omar little, Thursday, 21 December 2017 04:11 (one year ago) link

He was kind of a Magic Eightball of RONG

Burru Men Meet Burryman ina Wicker Man (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 21 December 2017 04:21 (one year ago) link

Oh man I forgot about this trend in thread titles

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Thursday, 21 December 2017 04:29 (one year ago) link

Welcome back, my friend

Burru Men Meet Burryman ina Wicker Man (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 21 December 2017 04:42 (one year ago) link

To the Poll that never ends

Burru Men Meet Burryman ina Wicker Man (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 21 December 2017 04:43 (one year ago) link

So Cruel 0

man i woulda voted for "so cruel"

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Thursday, 21 December 2017 06:16 (one year ago) link

Can I vote for the whole thing

brimstead, Thursday, 21 December 2017 07:14 (one year ago) link

The whole album is awesome, IMO... except for 'Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World', which isn't awesome but still pleasant.

'90s U2 is my favourite U2.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Thursday, 21 December 2017 07:55 (one year ago) link

It was the first album they released since I had started to be a fan as a teenager so it was a big deal.
Loved it so much at the time.
Except "Whose Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" which I have always found awful.
I still like all the album. except that song !

AlXTC from Paris, Thursday, 21 December 2017 09:35 (one year ago) link

I love that song.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Thursday, 21 December 2017 15:09 (one year ago) link

me too, it's a huge song

brimstead, Thursday, 21 December 2017 15:51 (one year ago) link

eight months pass...

back around the time of this album's release a VHS tape was released that was kind of a haphazard tossed-off promo thing but it's kind of amazing. i bought it at the time and it helped put this album in some kind of context. it's extremely early-'90s.

I don't think(?) it's available anywhere else except as an easter egg on the Live From Sydney DVD.

https://vimeo.com/15070790

omar little, Tuesday, 28 August 2018 20:18 (eleven months ago) link

Ah yeah, I remember, I had that VHS too !

AlXTC from Paris, Wednesday, 29 August 2018 08:56 (eleven months ago) link

man i woulda voted for "so cruel"

Same. Especially in 2009.

geoffreyess, Wednesday, 29 August 2018 17:54 (eleven months ago) link

eight months pass...

It's totally unfashionable to say so but I really, really, really love most of this album.

― Lots of praying with no breakfast! (HI DERE), 28. februar 2009 00:30 (ten years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

OTM (still unfashionable, right?)

Mule, Sunday, 12 May 2019 12:41 (three months ago) link

Edge's ridiculously great solo, swelling keyboard chords, entrance of Bono's Fat Black Lady voice for one final go-around of "The Fly"'s chorus = greatest U2 moment ever.

― The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, February 27, 2009 7:42 PM (ten years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

OTM 2

vmajestic, Sunday, 12 May 2019 12:53 (three months ago) link

Def. the last time U2 was really surprising in its reinvention. I remember the first time I saw the video for "The Fly" and thinking, for some reason, of Depeche Mode. And I know we have talked about the book a million times, but Bill Flanagan's "U2 at the End of the World" is a great companion to this, esp. his I thought really smart read (expanded from a review in ... maybe Musician?) of the album as a sort of extended dissolution of a relationship/dark night of the soul, somewhat hinged on Bono's (in the proud tradition of soul/gospel) conflation of romantic and religious love. I never knew until recently that "Until the End of the World" was apparently about a conversation between Jesus and Judas.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 12 May 2019 13:13 (three months ago) link

'Lemon' and 'Numb' surprised me more than this entire record. Is it still unfashionable to say you like Achtung Baby and Zooropa? It shouldn't be!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Monday, 13 May 2019 11:37 (three months ago) link

Eheh I listened to "the fly" again yesterday, following this thread's revival : still an amazing song !

AlXTC from Paris, Monday, 13 May 2019 11:46 (three months ago) link

This album is loaded with amazing songs. Okay, I'm not a huge fan of 'Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World', but it's still highly listenable and enjoyable.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Monday, 13 May 2019 11:56 (three months ago) link

'Lemon' and 'Numb' surprised me

Eh, I guess so. I suppose I still think of Zooropa as spillover from/adjunct to "Achtung Baby." I used to be lukewarm on "Tryin" but the song is important thematically. It's the last bit of light before the desperation and resignation of "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)," "Acrobat" and "Love is Darkness."

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 13 May 2019 13:11 (three months ago) link

yeah "Tryin'" is great . Especially the middle 8/instrumental break, iirc.

AlXTC from Paris, Monday, 13 May 2019 13:29 (three months ago) link

it’s great, every song here is great.

brimstead, Monday, 13 May 2019 18:53 (three months ago) link

the organ and guitar backing is magical

brimstead, Monday, 13 May 2019 18:55 (three months ago) link

Def. the last time U2 was really surprising in its reinvention.

i think this is still the most surprising reinvention of any band in my lifetime. Blur was sort of surprising, i guess. so many others have tried to change it up in a similar fashion and it's never been as successful or as believable. and that's the craziest thing, the band that made Rattle & Hum three years before just slipped into this new style in such a convincing and confident way.

omar little, Monday, 13 May 2019 19:21 (three months ago) link

And they managed to become even bigger (I think ?).
there's clearly an element of going all-in on a risky bet !

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 14 May 2019 11:50 (three months ago) link

i think this is still the most surprising reinvention of any band in my lifetime

great album, and for me their best, but i think the 'reinvention' is overplayed. 'we will record with eno in berlin and rediscover europe after burying our last three albums in american cliches' + making 'the fly' the first single + look at bono's shades! he and the band have invented irony on the zoo tv tour . . . makes it seem like more of a departure than it really was.

'one' and 'ultraviolet' (among others) could have easily appeared on earlier albums; 'bullet the blue sky' and 'exit' and 'god part ii' could have appeared on this one.

mostly it seems like they started listening to the remixes of their own stuff? maybe it is surprising -- most bands wouldn't bother

mookieproof, Thursday, 16 May 2019 00:58 (three months ago) link

Julian Cope's transformation from My Nation Underground to Peggy Suicide was at least equally amazing, especially as his trajectory into bonkers territory accelerated. Also he hated U2.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Thursday, 16 May 2019 01:01 (three months ago) link

well i kind of meant the entire U2 enterprise was overhauled, across the board. image and design and the music too, imo. the band's new image really emphasized the change, to an extent, and some of the songs could have maybe appeared on earlier albums, sort of...but not easily. they'd have been entirely different in production and performance. i think despite some of the more trad tunes, the reinvention seen in the other tunes couldn't be ignored.

omar little, Thursday, 16 May 2019 01:32 (three months ago) link

Hum. Of course there's some packaging/marketing/story telling involved but it's hard to deny that their sound/songwriting approach changed A LOT between Joshua Tree/R&M and AB/Zooropa.
I don't think "Bullet the Blue Sky" could have been on AB/Zooropa both lyrically and sonically, for instance.
And some AB/Zooropa songs may have been on previous albums but they certainly wouldn't have sounded the same.

AlXTC from Paris, Thursday, 16 May 2019 09:48 (three months ago) link

idk I do buy "bullet the blue sky" on AB (tho i don't know the rest of the earlier albums besides the singles). seems like the case is being made for a revolver->pepper's progression, where the band is unquestionably exploring new sonic ground, and the handful of songs that could have belonged to the earlier moment (critics later realize) are camouflaged by a major new look/concept/gimmick that makes it feel like *everything* must have changed...

Good morning, how are you, I'm (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 16 May 2019 10:55 (three months ago) link

I dunno, I kind of think everything *did* change. Which is not the first time the band did that - Unforgettable Fire sounds radically different from War and the entire first run, Joshua Tree is pretty radically different from Unforgettable Fire - but I think Achtung Baby was the first time everyone in the band really changed things up at once. Bono's singing is for the first time not just less histrionic but more playful, Larry's drums are not at all martial but dancier but definitely loopier and groovier than he'd been (and he switched to a cranked up snare), Adam's bass is dubbier and, to my ears at least, it's really the first time the Edge seems to be writing around a particular effect for each track. Even on the weirder moments of the previous albums he still had a pretty consistent sound, echo and delay and a bit of distortion and all that. But his toolbox greatly expands with this one, from the first sound we hear to stuff like the (phase?) effects in "Mysterious Ways." It's just a wholesale change in sounds *and* attitude, no longer strident and militant, maybe more ... personal? I think the crowning achievement of the band is that for all of its big changes this far along in a massively successful career, *this* suddenly became the sound of U2, even if people still talk chiming delay pedals and Bono histrionics.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 16 May 2019 11:46 (three months ago) link

yeah, otm !
Bass&Drums sound completely different from previous stuff.
Lots of sound FX/distorted instruments throughout the album (including on guitars and vocals).
I just listened to "Bullet the Blue Sky" to make sure and it definitely sounds NOTHING like ANYTHING on AB/Zooropa. There's no way it could have been on these albums.

AlXTC from Paris, Thursday, 16 May 2019 12:34 (three months ago) link

They dialled down the reverb on the drums and Edge got a new set of effects, but the songs - at their core - are very recognisable as U2 songs, so I can see what mookieproof is getting at.

Zooropa is where they really start pushing the boat out. 'Lemon' and 'Numb' are barely recognisable as U2. The former feels like Bono guesting on someone else's record.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Thursday, 16 May 2019 16:15 (three months ago) link

Except for the bass and drums, which are very much in contemporaneous character. What sets both of those songs apart really is the practical absence of guitar. If there's guitar in Lemon (from memory), it is very well disguised. And the guitar in Numb is so distorted and weird it is functionally just another synthesizer.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 16 May 2019 16:42 (three months ago) link

Numb was a really bold choice for a first single for those reasons as well as the fact that The Edge is the lead vocalist, Bono is relegated to the "too much is not enough" part, and Larry sings the "i feel numb". It removes all the comfortable elements from a typical U2 song and inserts some jarring ones.

omar little, Thursday, 16 May 2019 16:48 (three months ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvX596FyX40

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 16 May 2019 17:06 (three months ago) link

this is legitimately the weirder one

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZImRY8Wgtk

omar little, Thursday, 16 May 2019 17:10 (three months ago) link

'Lemon' does indeed have guitar on it - those shimmering chords you hear right from the beginning of the song are all Edge's guitar, not a keyboard or synth.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Thursday, 16 May 2019 17:19 (three months ago) link

Maybe! But my "Numb" point still stands in that they are functionally not identifiable as guitars. I mean, the drums could be all triggered by guitars for all it really matters.

(Speaking of guitars, I always thought the mood-setting four-note chiming pattern that starts "With or Without You" was a guitar, but on close exploration with a friend we determined it's massively awkward to play on guitar and then learned that it's actually a synth pattern.)

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 16 May 2019 17:39 (three months ago) link

Nobody was arguing your 'Numb' point!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Thursday, 16 May 2019 17:55 (three months ago) link

Yeah, that fast pattern at the beginning of 'With or Without You' is sequenced.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Thursday, 16 May 2019 17:57 (three months ago) link

I was listening to "Miss Sarajevo" and some other Passengers songs lately and these are so good. E
specially considering how a U2 / Pavarotti political track about Sarajevo and war could/should have been atrocious !
The Pavarotti part which could have been an ott disaster is so moving.
Between Achtung Baby and Passengers, they were basically on fire creatively.
And the best songs from that time were so different from their sound ("The Fly", "The Wanderer", "Miss Sarajevo"...).

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 28 May 2019 09:23 (two months ago) link


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