Why do U2 not just dismantle themselves?

Heh heh.. Well, someone had to say it. John Waters, in the Guardian, puts on his flak jacket and points out – in an actually very considered piece – that the new U2 album, the “fourth past-their-best anthology” and “a nondescript collection by a band nearly two decades at the top and desperate not to slip”, “adds up to no more than a massive unit-shifter”

  • Ziznivy

    Waters perhaps isn’t entirely without a point, although I think he is bringing with him a prejudice toward U2’s earlier work that is obscuring his judgment of the new album. His book about U2 was unbearably pretentious and self-regarding.

    Leaving aside the intellectual posturing of this article, HTDTAB is a stunningly vital record for a group who have been together for 25 years. And anyone who doubts Bono’s commitment to delivering his message to everyone they play to should have watched him diving into the crowd to wrench people to their feet on Jonathan Ross.

    Achtung Baby may have been U2’s zenith, but they’ve produced a great new album and they still rock!

  • peteb

    “U2”, “unbearably pretentious” AND “self-regarding”? In the same sentence? Whodathunkit? πŸ˜‰

  • Fraggle

    anyone see the little magazine (the one with reviews and the tv guide) in the saturday guardian. it spent the first few pages saying stuff was overrated. it dissed david bowie, u2 the rolling stones, the beatles and so on. it seemed to me that they were trying to be controvercial for the sake of it.

  • peteb

    That piece at the weekend certainly was, Fraggle, but John Waters was not involved.. only The Guide reviewers, who have a certain history of being controversial.

  • maca

    I’m looking forward to getting my hands on their new album. Great band, not for everyone but compare them to some of the junk which around today and you’ll see the class they are in.

  • Henry94

    maca

    compare them to some of the junk which around today and you’ll see the class they are in

    Yes but compare them to what has gone before and you also see the class they are not in.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Ouch Henry, thou shalt not take the name of the Lord Thy God in vain.

  • maca

    Henry … such as?

  • Davros

    maca, have you listened to any “Cream” ?
    As with Horslips they are coming back together.
    Best Rock outfit ever, better even than Led Zep, Black Sabbath, Deep purple.
    Clapton plans Cream’s rise to the top again
    U2- good band, some good albums, I would rank them with Oasis.

  • maca

    Davros
    Cream – yeah, they’re ok. Led Zep were excellent.

    “U2- good band, some good albums, I would rank them with Oasis.”

    Oooh, nasty!! What an insult (to U2)!

  • Davros

    Only OK ? I know they were before your time , but…. Have you heard “Spoonful” live recording, all 16 minutes and 43 seconds of it ? πŸ˜‰

  • maca

    Dav,
    No, haven’t heard it. 16 minutes?? Blimey!

    Eagles, there’s another good one. Although, saw them in Dublin, extremely disappointing!

  • Davros

    OK, I’ll e mail you some Cream πŸ™‚ Best played loud.
    Very Loud. Louder than Dark Side of The Moon.

  • Mario

    Oasis? Come now Davros. Oasis was an early 90’s band with a publicity hungry mediocre lead singer. They were a horrible pop band. U2 gave us some great music and I agree they should have stopped at ACHTUNG. But I think they are as important as The Clash, The Smiths, The Cure, and perhaps even The Velvet Underground.

    Oasis rates down there with Spice Girls or any other useless pop band.

  • maca

    Cool!
    Maybe I should mail you some Chris Cornell, to show you what us young folk are listening to these days ;))

  • Davros

    Indeed, they rank with the Clash and the Smiths πŸ™‚
    I rate them with Oasis πŸ™‚
    The VU were far better.

  • Mario

    I am talking about their importance even if you do not like them.

    Oasis was a non issue for most of the world. U2 was a world wide “fenomeno” The edge’s guitar playing was very influential and Bono’s voice does have a haunting Lou Reed quality.

    Oasis? They were useless.

  • Mario

    Good thing Chris Cornell dropped that side project and did not join Rage against the Machine..

    Rage without Zak de la Rocha is just not angry enough. Chris is 42 hardly a young man anymore.

    His best days ( spoonman) are clearly behind him.

  • maca

    I disagree Mario.
    Audioslave put out a great album (although a bit too much Soundgarden-ish), and his solo album Euphoria Morning is excellent (spends a lot of time in my CD player) πŸ™‚

  • Davros

    Mario: I didn’t say I don’t like them. I just don’t rate them terribly highly. There’s a difference.
    The Edge ? Pffft, no offence, but no Jimi Hendix or Eric Clapton he.

  • Mario

    Yes I agree that it was a decent album, but it was not Rage. People expected that hard pounding sound and Zack’s voice to those guitar riffs were just amazing. GUERILLA RADIO!!

    I was dissapointed with the last solo disc.

    Rage was big here in Argentina.

  • Mario

    Eric Clapton was overrated. Jimi is a god. The best guitarrist after Jimi was that guy from the Allman Brothers band. Listen to the Fillmore sessions and you know what I mean.

    I understood what you meant Davros, I just think you rate them rather low when you compare them to a useless band like Oasis. I think U2 was an important band. Very crisp sound. Jtree is a classic album by any standard.

  • maca

    “The Edge ? Pffft, no offence, but no Jimi Hendix or Eric Clapton he”

    No, Edge doesn’t belong in the same group at all. He’s not a lead guitarist like these guys. But he does have his own particular sound which suits U2.

  • Mario

    Ahh Maca, he is a lead guitarrist. Crisp sound, very unique riffs.

    What is so complex about Clapton’s Layla riff?

    I dont put the edge next to jimi but he is certainly next to Slash ( GNR) in my book.

  • maca

    It all comes down to how you rate them.
    What about Satriani? John Frusciante? Jimmy Paige? Stevie Ray Vaughan? Kirk Hammett? Rory Gallagher? … …

    All great players in their own right…

  • Davros

    Irish Bands I would place ahead of U2:
    Taste
    Them
    The Indians ( only kidding there ! )

    Allmans were wonderful, RIP Duane.

    Loads of other Great Guitarists – people like Taj Mahal.

  • maca

    “Taste, Them”
    Don’t think I ever heard of them actually. Are they any good and did they sell more than 100 million albums like U2? ;))

    The Thrills, the Frames, Ash, Therapy good Irish bands.

  • Gerry O’Sullivan

    I attribute U2’s decline to the Pet Shop Boys. They (PSBs) once recorded a very camp version of “Where The Streets Have No Name” (medleyed with “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”). U2 were none to impressed, and were accused by PSB as taking themselves too seriously.

    U2 said “Taking ourselves too seriously, eh? Well, watch this!” What followed was Achtung Baby, Zooropa, stages with giant lemons, phoning the White House live on stage, Bono in gold lamΓ©, etc.

    The sad decline of what was once a fine band. Their last decent album was The Joshua Tree, IMO.

  • Davros

    Faints …..

    Them – Here comes the Night ?
    – Gloria – the best version by Far.
    Van Morrison Band

    Taste – Rory Gallagher Band.

    If we are going on album sales, you must be a Liberace fan ? πŸ˜‰

  • Davros

    Faints …..

    Them – Here comes the Night ?
    – Gloria – the best version by Far.
    Van Morrison Band

    Taste – Rory Gallagher Band.

    If we are going on album sales, you must be a Liberace fan ? πŸ˜‰

  • maca

    Gerry
    They certainly lost a lot of fans with the albums which followed Joshua, but they also gained many fans since then. I know a lot of people who don’t like their older stuff.
    I don’t think they went downhill after Joshua, just a change of direction which disappointed some of the older fans.
    Latest album sold close to 1 mill in the first week so someone still likem em.

  • maca

    “Them – Van Morrison Band
    Taste – Rory Gallagher Band.”

    *Ding* bell rings in Maca’s head. πŸ˜‰

  • Davros

    I’m Old enough to remember the outrage when Dylan went electric and Clapton went acoustic πŸ˜‰

  • maca

    Ooohh, I forgot!! I’ve got a nice version of Clapton doing Danny Boy – acoustic!

  • Gerry O’Sullivan

    maca

    By decline, I mean artistic decline. “Boy”, “War”, “The Unforgettable Fire” and “The Joshua Tree” were great albums. “Rattle and Hum” was good in spots. After that IMO their output wasn’t up to much, but they did shift shedloads of albums.

    I ‘spose I’m an “older fan” (I saw them in the Phoenix Park in ’83 and again in Croker in ’85.)

    Shit, I’m only 38. πŸ˜‰

  • Davros
  • Davros

    EeeeeeeeeeeeeeK… sounds VILE maca πŸ™‚

  • maca

    I know what you meant Gerry. But I don’t think they declined, the newer stuff is just “different”. I’ve always wished for another album like Joshua, it’s definitly their best. But I love lots of the newer stuff (although Zooropa was disappointing bar a few songs). I saw them in 93 & 97.

  • Mario

    Stevie Ray Vaughn was a god.

    Sings in his head ( she is my pride and joy)

    Taj Mahal is not a rock guitarrist neither is Stevie. I think Gatemouth Brown is the best blues guitarrist. BB is good but a bit over rated. Van Morrison is silly, no offense.

  • Davros

    Ry Cooder ? I have an album where he plays with Taj Mahal. Great stuff.

  • Shiggles

    Not sure what’s wrong with Zooropa. It’s better than the Joshua Tree [overrated pop album] and was a precursor to Marillion’s Brave, Tool’s Aenima and Radiohead’s OK Computer. It’s their deepest, most substantial work.

    Unfortunately, “critics” [titter] have a horrible bias against it. Nothing wrong with Pop either. Their last two records suck though. They’ve just gone back to their formulaic 80’s pop-friendly sound (not as good either).

  • Shiggles

    I also agree with Mario about Oasis. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people (mostly kids I’m assuming?) who think this cartoon outfit is the best band ever.

    Barring Noel’s decentish guitar-playing, they have no musical talent, no originality, no diversity, and lyrics a 5-year-old could write. The song arrangements are terrible also.

    Ignore what Liam and Noel say, otherwise before you know it they’ll be telling you the earth is flat and you’d be convinced it’s true. Let’s listen to real rock, not an image-driven pop act.

  • Tania

    Well I have just seen U2 in concert for the first time simply as it has been the first time I have been able to get tickets, and It has set me alight! I was starting to wonder can they do anymore? I was left thinking Hell yes they can, even after hearing some of the oldies like where the streets and I will follow for the zillionth time they still manage to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, a simply electrifying performance. I hate these people who just seem to be out to bitch, as someone previously said compared to the stuff that is around at the minute look at the class they are in, which I might add was followed with look at what was to see what they are not. Being an actual fan I know that they are not to everyone tastes but they dont claim to be the best band in the world, even though I think they are but hey who the f*ck am I, but they still have the naivety to turn to someone and say hey what do you think of this or is there anything you can suggest when it comes to putting together a new album, which I think for a band that has been in the business, still doing sell out concerts worldwide, for the twenty odd years they have been around is quite refreshing. Whoever it was who put them in the same bracket as Oasis, Come on, Oasis think and want to be the bloody beatles at least one thing can be said about U2 is that they are unique, they dont try to be someone else and respect other artists in there own right. Im sorry to go on somewhat but as a fan I respect other views wether they are the same as mine or not but what gets my back up is these people who just slag off for the sake of it

  • Tania

    Well I have just seen U2 in concert for the first time simply as it has been the first time I have been able to get tickets, and It has set me alight! I was starting to wonder can they do anymore? I was left thinking Hell yes they can, even after hearing some of the oldies like where the streets and I will follow for the zillionth time they still manage to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, a simply electrifying performance. I hate these people who just seem to be out to bitch, as someone previously said compared to the stuff that is around at the minute look at the class they are in, which I might add was followed with look at what was to see what they are not. Being an actual fan I know that they are not to everyone tastes but they dont claim to be the best band in the world, even though I think they are but hey who the f*ck am I, but they still have the naivety to turn to someone and say hey what do you think of this or is there anything you can suggest when it comes to putting together a new album, which I think for a band that has been in the business, still doing sell out concerts worldwide, for the twenty odd years they have been around is quite refreshing. Whoever it was who put them in the same bracket as Oasis, Come on, Oasis think and want to be the bloody beatles at least one thing can be said about U2 is that they are unique, they dont try to be someone else and respect other artists in there own right. Im sorry to go on somewhat but as a fan I respect other views wether they are the same as mine or not but what gets my back up is these people who just slag off for the sake of it

  • Comrade Stalin

    U2’s music is boring, repetitive, recycled, overproduced American rock with it’s roots in the 1970s.

  • dee st

    cs

    ‘any spare tickets’

  • imran

    WHERE the STREETS have NO name RuLeS !!! !! !!!

  • imran

    WHERE the STREETS have NO name RuLeS !!! !! !!!

  • Macswiney

    Tania,

    “Oasis think and want to be the bloody Beatles”? Er, says who exactly? Not Noel Gallagher thats for sure!

    Excatly what is your source for such drivel. Gallagher’s main influences are regularly cited as The Clash, Stone Roses, The Jam, The Who etc…

    They never ‘sold’ their souls to the commercial mainstream musical cesspit that it is The united States of America, and boy are they much better for it!

    As for U2 they are unique alright! Never in musical history has a lead singer had as many photo opportunities with the media/political morons of this world. Very rock n roll eh? Bono’s hijacking of Geldof’s recent live aid was typical of this boring ego-maniac. I dont know anyone who even LIKES the guy never mind hero-worships him.

  • Macswiney

    Tania,

    “Oasis think and want to be the bloody Beatles”? Er, says who exactly? Not Noel Gallagher thats for sure!

    Excatly what is your source for such drivel. Gallagher’s main influences are regularly cited as The Clash, Stone Roses, The Jam, The Who etc…

    They never ‘sold’ their souls to the commercial mainstream musical cesspit that it is The united States of America, and boy are they much better for it!

    As for U2 they are unique alright! Never in musical history has a lead singer had as many photo opportunities with the media/political morons of this world. Very rock n roll eh? Bono’s hijacking of Geldof’s recent live aid was typical of this boring ego-maniac. I dont know anyone who even LIKES the guy never mind hero-worships him.

  • Printemps

    Oasis tried desperately to sell their souls to the USA and fell on their arses. At a gig near where I lived in the mid-90s they were booed off stage with heckles and bottles. So it wasn’t so much as a refusal to sell their soul as no one was buying.

    But I also think U2 are overrated and increasingly hilariously unself-aware. The boys in Oasis may be thuggish dullards, but they are fully aware of that fact anyway.