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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:10 pm 
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Jeff1980 wrote:
I grew up with Achtung Baby as my primary exposure to U2 and never really got into Joshua Tree until later.
Not sure I could pick between the 2, both great albums.
As an aside, I really didn't like Zooropa when it first came out, only later seeing it as being WAY ahead of its time


I agree that Zooropa is a real sleeper. I think it didn't get it's due because it was released so soon on the heels of AB. An unusual game plan considering Achtung's success. Usually a record company will want to milk every last little bit out of a mega record before allowing a band to release new material.

I figured as the OP of this thread it was about time that I weighed in on the debate. I must admit I am a little surprised that it's been as one sided as it is. As much as I love the JT I now find it to be very safe sounding if that makes any sense. Let's face it despite the obvious artistic merit of The Unforgettable Fire that record didn't exactly burn up the sales charts. I don't want to mimimilize the level of composition on JT but it seems that the band was definitely under pressure to live up to it's potential commercially.

Achtung Baby was born out of some deep rooted dissention among the members of the band. Indeed they very nearly broke up over artistic arguments over the sound of the record, among other things. There was a point when the band seriously considered shelving the project and starting from scratch again. This was also a redemption project after the Rattle and Hum experiment which despite some high points was not very well received and certainly not there best work, although God PtIII is awesome.

There is just something about AB. It was completely fresh, but not in a contrived forced way. With it's mix of Alternative, and techno elements all seamlessly fused with the classic U2 sound the band completely re-invented themselves and virtually created a whole new type of music. While not quite the commercial equal of the JT it is a true landmark album that will stand the test of time and re- invigorated the Ireland's most precious import.

I read Bono's autobiography. In it he states that after the record was complete the band had agreed on one thing. Achtung Baby was either the worst thing the band had ever done or the best. I know where my vote lies.

Thanks to all who have responded so far. Let's keep it going. There does seem to be a fair amount of polarization when it comes to this subject, which is no surprise. I think the members of U2 would be pleased.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:18 pm 
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I'd pick JT purely for sentimental reasons, as I bought a copy of it the day it was released in the stores. AB is probably just as good, but in a different way; I could be wrong, but my impression was that JT was a concept album of great magnitude (like DSOTM), whereas AB had less to say.... more a collection of casual observations. Both good fun with the right stimulants. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:54 pm 
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Jeff1980 wrote:
I grew up with Achtung Baby as my primary exposure to U2 and never really got into Joshua Tree until later.
Not sure I could pick between the 2, both great albums.
As an aside, I really didn't like Zooropa when it first came out, only later seeing it as being WAY ahead of its time

I agree, Zooropa was great, and it's aged quite well for electronica.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:54 pm 
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ripblade wrote:
I'd pick JT purely for sentimental reasons, as I bought a copy of it the day it was released in the stores. AB is probably just as good, but in a different way; I could be wrong, but my impression was that JT was a concept album of great magnitude (like DSOTM), whereas AB had less to say.... more a collection of casual observations. Both good fun with the right stimulants. :mrgreen:


I too bought 'The Joshua Tree' on it's day-of-release. Twas a cold Winnipeg winters afternoon. So I 'lit a fire' :wink: & played the whole album. After it was finished I thought to myself that U2 had just made the greatest album of their career. Or that it was career suicide to make such a beautiful & artistic album in the plasticized 1980's.
http://www.discogs.com/U2-The-Joshua-Tr ... se/2094689
'Achtung Baby' blew me away with it's perfect combination of musical past, present & future. That album, to this day, still sounds fresh. Find a good pressing of that LP & the production will make you think your stereo is broken. Wicked...
http://www.discogs.com/U2-Achtung-Baby/release/2156307
8)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:45 pm 
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JT for the minimalist / purist, AB for the production values and perhaps melody.

AB was an evolution yet still pleased their core fans.

I'm no longer a huge fan, but only an ideologue could not respect these 2 albums as examples of great song writing.

+1 that Zooropa is under-rated....their last album I cared for, and did what POP was supposed to do.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:46 pm 
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hollinger wrote:
Joshua Tree has U2s best songs - but past the first few tracks is a dud to me. Achtung is good all the way through and has really grown on me over the years. I'm much more likely to listen to Achtung these days.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:17 am 
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Old Rusty wrote:
ripblade wrote:
I'd pick JT purely for sentimental reasons, as I bought a copy of it the day it was released in the stores. AB is probably just as good, but in a different way; I could be wrong, but my impression was that JT was a concept album of great magnitude (like DSOTM), whereas AB had less to say.... more a collection of casual observations. Both good fun with the right stimulants. :mrgreen:


I too bought 'The Joshua Tree' on it's day-of-release. Twas a cold Winnipeg winters afternoon. So I 'lit a fire' :wink: & played the whole album. After it was finished I thought to myself that U2 had just made the greatest album of their career. Or that it was career suicide to make such a beautiful & artistic album in the plasticized 1980's.
http://www.discogs.com/U2-The-Joshua-Tr ... se/2094689
'Achtung Baby' blew me away with it's perfect combination of musical past, present & future. That album, to this day, still sounds fresh. Find a good pressing of that LP & the production will make you think your stereo is broken. Wicked...
http://www.discogs.com/U2-Achtung-Baby/release/2156307
8)


I bought the Joshua Tree a little later on I believe. I was living in Saskatoon at the time, a young pup who'd splurged on his first stereo system. I had tried a couple of earlier U2 releases, but JT blew me away, and it has well stood the test of time.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:24 am 
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One more thing about Achtung Baby... Actually a warning.
Stay away from the unofficial red vinyl pressings -- they are all warped.
Ive had 3 different copies
https://www.discogs.com/U2-Achtung-Baby/release/4248655


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:49 pm 
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I like some of the earliest U2 more lately. Albums like October for example. I always like Unforgettable Fire at least as much as Joshua Tree; both great albums. their later stuff appealed to me less and less. Ahtung Baby was the last album of theirs I got into.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:00 pm 
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Well, thanks to this thread I've ordered 3 U2 cds I've never owned. Achtung, Pop, and All That You Can't Leave Behind.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:55 pm 
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Unforgettable Fire, War, and I also liked Boy.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:19 am 
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Achtung Baby hands down.

Zooropa and POP are better than Joshua Tree as well

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