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Zooropa and Pop - Upon Further Review


MickinSoCal
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For me one of the highlights of the final leg of the 360 tour is 'Zooropa'.  It is perfectly placed and executed using the video screens similar to how they were with 'Unforgettable Fire' in the first leg.  My newfound love of 'Zooropa' - the song got me thinking about the 'Zooropa' album.

 

When 'Zooropa' was released in 1993 I remember being very excited in advance.  My first listen, however left me feeling disappointed.  What happened to my band?!  As a result, 'Zooropa' is the U2 album to which I have listened to the least - by a long shot.  That being said, I enjoyed the songs played live.  From time to time in the years following I would pop the disc back in before completely giving up on it.

 

When 'Pop' was released in 1997 I was expecting a huge comeback for U2.  I was so hoping that the phase of 'Zooropa' had passed and had been left for artists more appropriately skilled to produce that type of music.  I defended 'Pop' when fans and 'fringy' fans took 'Dischoteque' or 'Staring at the Sun' to task.  I explained 'Pop' as U2's expression of the time and the styles and types of music that moved them.  The truth was that as much as I tried I did not like 'Pop' either.  I thought the quality of the songs were much better than 'Zooropa' but were still sorely lacking. 

 

In the years since the release of 'Pop' the band rearranged the songs live.  'Gone' and 'Staring at the Sun' emerged as really good U2 songs and carried over into setlists on what would be the 'Elevation' tour.  Until the 360 tour, none of 'Zooropa' had seemed to survive other than 'Stay'.

 

Yesterday, I decided to give both albums another go.  I played them from start to finish and back to back.  Afterward, I went back and listened to certain songs again.  As a result, my position on these two albums has changed slightly.  I still see 'Zooropa' and 'Pop' as a quirky experimental phase where U2 drifted from their core sound.  I'm happy they did, but one more of those albums might have meant a vastly different band than we now have. 

 

As a matter of comparison, I now prefer 'Zooropa' to 'Pop'.  It was far more ambitious.  Upon further review, I find 'Pop' lazy.  While the lyrics are stellar, the arrangements are weak.  I can't imagine the songs that didn't make 'Pop'.  They must have been horrible!  'Miami', 'The Playboy Mansion' and 'Last Night on Earth' are so awful.  Of course 'Please', 'Gone' and 'Mofo' are pretty solid.

 

I guess I am happy that U2 went through this phase and emerged out of it with 'All That You Can't Leave Behind'.  That album sealed U2's legacy in my mind.  I'm happy to have 'Zooropa' and 'Pop' as part of my collection, but will leave them up on the shelf where they belong.  I now know that its possible to love U2 and admit that these albums were bad ideas.

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For me one of the highlights of the final leg of the 360 tour is 'Zooropa'.  It is perfectly placed and executed using the video screens similar to how they were with 'Unforgettable Fire' in the first leg.  My newfound love of 'Zooropa' - the song got me thinking about the 'Zooropa' album.

 

When 'Zooropa' was released in 1993 I remember being very excited in advance.  My first listen, however left me feeling disappointed.  What happened to my band?!  As a result, 'Zooropa' is the U2 album to which I have listened to the least - by a long shot.  That being said, I enjoyed the songs played live.  From time to time in the years following I would pop the disc back in before completely giving up on it.

 

When 'Pop' was released in 1997 I was expecting a huge comeback for U2.  I was so hoping that the phase of 'Zooropa' had passed and had been left for artists more appropriately skilled to produce that type of music.  I defended 'Pop' when fans and 'fringy' fans took 'Dischoteque' or 'Staring at the Sun' to task.  I explained 'Pop' as U2's expression of the time and the styles and types of music that moved them.  The truth was that as much as I tried I did not like 'Pop' either.  I thought the quality of the songs were much better than 'Zooropa' but were still sorely lacking. 

 

In the years since the release of 'Pop' the band rearranged the songs live.  'Gone' and 'Staring at the Sun' emerged as really good U2 songs and carried over into setlists on what would be the 'Elevation' tour.  Until the 360 tour, none of 'Zooropa' had seemed to survive other than 'Stay'.

 

Yesterday, I decided to give both albums another go.  I played them from start to finish and back to back.  Afterward, I went back and listened to certain songs again.  As a result, my position on these two albums has changed slightly.  I still see 'Zooropa' and 'Pop' as a quirky experimental phase where U2 drifted from their core sound.  I'm happy they did, but one more of those albums might have meant a vastly different band than we now have. 

 

As a matter of comparison, I now prefer 'Zooropa' to 'Pop'.  It was far more ambitious.  Upon further review, I find 'Pop' lazy.  While the lyrics are stellar, the arrangements are weak.  I can't imagine the songs that didn't make 'Pop'.  They must have been horrible!  'Miami', 'The Playboy Mansion' and 'Last Night on Earth' are so awful.  Of course 'Please', 'Gone' and 'Mofo' are pretty solid.

 

I guess I am happy that U2 went through this phase and emerged out of it with 'All That You Can't Leave Behind'.  That album sealed U2's legacy in my mind.  I'm happy to have 'Zooropa' and 'Pop' as part of my collection, but will leave them up on the shelf where they belong.  I now know that its possible to love U2 and admit that these albums were bad ideas.

Oh, but the PopMart tour was outstanding! :)
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Zooropa, passengers and pop, all important and amazing albums and blow behind and bomb out of the water.

 

Not commercial, music and ideas with balls and bono's lyrics were not cheesy either.

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eventually!  Before it got good it was awful!  The first couple shows were horrible.  Download the opening show in Las Vegas one day!
I was at an early show on the North American 1st leg... May 6th, Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon... Rage Against the Machine was the opening act... never heard of them before that show... at the time I thought it was just stupid punk music w/ gang bangin' rap lyrics... that Rage and other popular acts of that day didn't belong with U2 because U2 had and still has a good clean image. But later on during the year, I began to understand a little of why U2 would bring them on tour with them.

 

As for that night at PopMart, the show was alright, I was fixated on the stage... it was my first rock show ever and I never seen anything like that before. I still think the complete stage was very kick ass. This particular show is well known for U2 (or Joe O'Herlihy) unknowingly violating the city's noise code. Later on, I bought the PopMart Live from Mexico City VHS a year later, and it was apparant that show blew the Eugene gig out of the water. I didn't understand why, but later discovered any or all of PopMart's problems really could be traced back to the album, and the mistake U2 made of letting their manager book the dates for the show before the album was even finished.

 

And I'm proud I can say I am one of the few to witness U2 perform "Do You Feel Loved?" before the song was pulled from the set. However, I am ashamed that the rest of my fellow Americans never understood what U2 was trying to do at the time w/ PopMart.

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[quote name='Arngrim wrote:


MickinSoCal']eventually!  Before it got good it was awful!  The first couple shows were horrible.  Download the opening show in Las Vegas one day!

I was at an early show on the North American 1st leg... May 6th, Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon... Rage Against the Machine was the opening act... never heard of them before that show... at the time I thought it was just stupid punk music w/ gang bangin' rap lyrics... that Rage and other popular acts of that day didn't belong with U2 because U2 had and still has a good clean image. But later on during the year, I began to understand a little of why U2 would bring them on tour with them.

 

As for that night at PopMart, the show was alright, I was fixated on the stage... it was my first rock show ever and I never seen anything like that before. I still think the complete stage was very kick ass. This particular show is well known for U2 (or Joe O'Herlihy) unknowingly violating the city's noise code. Later on, I bought the PopMart Live from Mexico City VHS a year later, and it was apparant that show blew the Eugene gig out of the water. I didn't understand why, but later discovered any or all of PopMart's problems really could be traced back to the album, and the mistake U2 made of letting their manager book the dates for the show before the album was even finished.

 

And I'm proud I can say I am one of the few to witness U2 perform "Do You Feel Loved?" before the song was pulled from the set. However, I am ashamed that the rest of my fellow Americans never understood what U2 was trying to do at the time w/ PopMart.You got to see Do You Feel Loved?? LUCKY YOU! eek.gif

Zooropa, POP and of course Achtung Baby are exceptional albums. You can see that right away in Achtung, every single song is waybetter than most of their 00's songs, and as a whole it feels as ONE solid masterpiece. 

Zooropa took me a long time to come round to, same as MickinSoCal. I loved Stay and The First Time since the first time, however after listening to it again following a U2 discography marathon I did, I discovered incredible, darker yet very meaningful tracks like Daddy's, Dirty Day and Zooropa obviously, which now stands among my favorite tunes. 

And POP was always a favorite of mine, probably very due to Gone, a song that I always request they play in tours. At first it was Discotheque and Staring at the Sun, with Gone, that caught my attention as shiny tracks (Gone was out of this world). Then I heard MOFO. And it was impossible not to love this album and the depth of their experimentation, I was dismayed when ATYCLB appeared, since it seemed that they were playing it safe. Have been ever since.
But POP is worth listening once. And then again. And then again. And finally you'll can't have enough wink.gif

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I was dismayed when ATYCLB appeared, since it seemed that they were playing it safe. Have been ever since.

My country of America is to blame for that.

 

But anyway, "Dream Out Loud"... Amen, brotha.

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