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Why I am waving goodbye to U2


Dunlop
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Before all the ADD riddled posters start on a tirade, here's my vitae. Became a U2 fan in 1983 in the back of a 81 Camaro listening to the War album for the first time. U2 has been my favorite since. I have been to over a dozen shows over the years missing only the Unforgettable Fire tour and the latest tour.

WHY?
Last year, U2 signed on with Live Nation for a ridiculous amount of money to produce tours, market and sell merch and music. I was shocked when I heard. Only a year before, Radiohead stuck a dagger in the heart of the corporate scum by skipping all the douchebag middle men and selling their music directly to their fans.
It was an epic moment for music fans everywhere. Because of the internet, fans now had a direct channel to their favorite artists' resources. It was supposed to be THE turning point.
I felt, for sure that U2 would leap at this opportunity and embrace the "new order". U2 has always preached about breaking down the barriers between them and their fans. Surely, this was the moment that the corporate machine that has built up around the band over the years, would be shed and a new artist-fan relationship would begin.

The Live Nation deal clarified exactly where U2 was headed. Not to the people that adore them, but directly to the bank....bigtime.

POP WILL EAT ITSELF
"POP" was a disaster on many levels. It wasn't a bad album. In fact, it was above average for U2. But because the band rushed into production for the tour and didn't take time to REALLY finish the album, their biggest market, America, virtually ignored it. The Popmart tour was ambitous but shone a light on the fact that U2  may fill up a stadium, but they can't pull off the magic of smaller venues on a stage that big. Trying to keep up with The Rolling Stones is a stupid proposition, unless your greedy and foolish enough to believe that you CAN pull it off.

Even though POP did well worldwide, America looked away to something more energetic, new and raw and real...grunge.

From this point, I believe that the band decided that risk taking was to be avoided. A sure fire success formula was to be implemented from this point. Eno&Lanois + U2 = Critical Success and $$$ album sales. ATYCLB and HTDAAB were good solid albums but very safe. Not clever&  surprising like Achtung Baby, not fun and weird like Zooropa and not risky, like POP.
Eno and Lanois have been involved in every production since that time. Each successive album since has been more formulaic, less risky and dare I say it....boring.

NLOTH is the epitomy of "phoning it in".

U23D
I was truly excited for this experience. What I got was a jarring realization that the band I loved had pretty much quit performing live....they just hadn't stopped moving yet. The utter lack of enthusiam shown by the band throughout the film shocked me. I knew they filmed these shows at the end of a very long tour but they litterally looked like they would rather be ANYWHERE else than in front of an audience.
If you don't believe, search the web and try to bring up a clip from the film and you will see what I saw. It's heartbreaking.

LINE IN THE SAND
NLOTH was a so-called experiment but it wasn't really. A holiday in Morrocco with Brain and Danny and a recording studio. Everyone happy and jolly. Anyone that knows rock and roll knows that familiarity breeds comfort and comfort breeds lazy music.
If you want to make a great album, YOU DONT record it on vacation with your friends.
(BTW, a grammy means sh*t these days. Live Nation tell the RIAA that U2 wants the trophy this year and the RIAA makes it happen. Simple as that.)
Now the 360 Tour with all of it's flash and bang and the lethargic musicians letting the techie geeks do the work while they play "Pride" for the 4000th time with the listlessness of a Vegas hooker giving a handjob.

The final insult were the ticket prices. It was pretty obvious that Live Nation was going to recoup the millions of $$$ they poured on U2....and the fans were going to pay for it... bigtime.

Outside of these boards is the REAL world, and the real world has deemed this tour to be more mediocre than the POP tour. Naturally U2 fanatics will scoff at these assertions but maybe just a few will remove the sycophantic veil and see just how far the band has allowed their standards to fall.

ALL THAT U2 CANT LEAVE BEHIND

From Bono and his Elevation Partners company to Edge and his SoCal real estate investments, the band is making serious use of the serious cash they have made over the years. The question of the day is does the affect the music and the answer is obviously yes. When you live in luxury, traveling in your private jet, detached from the real working class world that 99% of your fans live in, it's pretty simple that your not hungry to make music. It's as far from the punk ethos that U2 grew out of as you can get. It's a million miles from the Dublin attitude that they grew up in.

In a better world, maybe U2 would wake up to see how off course they have drifted, and remedy the situation. Their best album in my and many others opinion, is ACHTUNG BABY. That album was born out of conflict, instabilty, and struggle. THAT is what GREAT music is created from. If you want to create a true peice of art, you have to pay with a piece of your soul.
After Rattle and Hum, the band was adrift. The fans wondered what their next direction was going to be. Another "Americana" album? A back to basics  record like the first 3? They did neither.

I was overwhelmed on my first hearing of "The Fly". It didn't sound anything like what they done before. A true departure.

When Bono said on NYE 1989 that " we have go away and dream it all up again", that is exactly what they did.
And it was the best thing they could have done. It's time to dream it all up again once more.

TRIM THE FAT

Here's my 2cents on what the band must do to redeem the mantle that Coldplay has conveniently swiped from them in the past couple of years.

NO MORE STADIUMS: They are meant for football, not rock and roll.
DUMP ENO/LANOIS: You know them and love them, and that is the problem.
GO GRITTY: Find a small studio in Chicago or Boston or Philly. (NOT NYC, which is a comfort zone. Comfort = bad)
TAKE A BEATING: Find a producer that doesn't take any bullshit from anyone. Steve Albini would get my vote. He will strip U2 right down to only what it should be...and maybe save them from themselves in the process.
KICK OUT THE JAMS: Pull the plug on Edges effects. He is well versed enough now to carry himself without the appendages. His pedals are a security blanket and they are now detremental to the music.
KEEP IS SHORT: Short tours, 6 week stints from here on out. U23D showed in glaring lights that the music gets stale in a hurry. Keep it fun.
ESCAPE: Do whatever they have to do to free themselves from the Live Nation contract. U2 has the people to do all the work of marketing, booking and merchandising themselves. Why sell out to a corporate satan so they can assault the fans sky high ticket prices and insame merch costs.

If U2 can't or won't take steps to stop their slide into mediocrity, than they will get to share the same catagory of compairison as The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and Jimmy Buffet. Ok music but nothing to take seriously.

end of rant

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*skims bullshit... seemingly scripted bullshit thats the same exact shit*

oh shut the fuck up and take a burning, flaming shit and go away.

 

why post this crap on here? go to a fucking metallica board and bitch about u2 if you want.

 

and nice.. why are there so many people that join, just to bitch?! your first and only post! nice. asshole.

 

unless you're an alias. either way. go away and take a nice, burning, painful shit.

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While I can acknowledge that yes you have the right to your opinion, I respectfully disagree.

 

It's not U2 htat's changed and phoning it in, it is you. Your old now. (unless your like 29, then oops. ) Its obvious you want U2 to stay locked into being 30 years old making Achtung Baby, and can't accept that U2 are a. Old. b. they're music is tempered by age. c. They're rich, they can do whatever they damn well please. d. U23D was not phoning it in, that was a band utilizing the technology of today to reach an audience (like the ipod, the blackberry, and what not) e. I saw them twice in Chicago on two different tours at the United Center, and once on 360 in Norman at a stadium, they are definately a stadium band, they became a stadium band with Unforgettable Fire.

 

Maybe you need to retire your U2 fanboy card and go listen to something else until you get over your midlife crisis.

 

From a younger U2 fan since 1999 because of a Best Of, several friends, Even Better than the Real thing Video, and Popmart.

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it's like bono said himself in the BBC-interview to promote NLOTH: 'some people want their rock stars to die young.' and i guess if they don't they at least have to have alcohol-or drugs problems, an ugly divorce and no contact with family or kids.. and please no friends (excluded the ones that will deceive  and swindle them so they lose all of there money)... in other words; they have to be totally miserable and unhappy in order to make great music...all the rest is mediocrityfrown.gif

 

what a sad world it is you live in dunlop sick.gif! hurry back, you wouldn't thrive here.... too much enjoyment and funwink.gif

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No body is perfect not even a rockstar

 

ENO/LANOIS have made some of the best U2 stuff ever. If you wanted them to stick to playing War over and over again where would they be now??

 

Also Live Nation has probbably made more money than U2 by getting most bands in America signed up to them!

 

 

 

Also would like to repat what The Eyeball said lol

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Interesting post , but personally your expectations were already to high you expect better and better every time , and you do get great maybe not better but great so your let down , what if achtung baby was never released ? What then would have been your favourate album? perhaps the one you like least ?

Personally your too demanding , just appreciate what you get , I like most their music , in fact all and like everyone else I dont delve too much in the best album because I know it all depends in mood , stage in life and experiences and sometimes the fans are the refuge and sometime there the worst enemy............

 

But for sure you can have your own opinion , although I like to see you try pull off what they have done..........And produce music that is still enjoyable from your first so called peak with achtung baby............

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