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I've been a fan of U2 for years, but I confess that the depths of my fandom were limited to maybe a few dozen songs that I really liked. Well, iTunes had U2's catalogue at reduced prices for maybe a week or so leading up to the re-release of the Joshua Tree, and I decided that I'd pick up the 20th anniversary deluxe edition of Achtung Baby seeing as I'd already bought the Fish out of Water EBTTRT remix and the Mysterious Ways remix and I only needed to spend a few more dollars to complete the album.

I was driving around on some errands that day, playing the album the whole way through, and then Lady With the Spinning Head started playing. At this point, I realized I needed to make penance for my failure as a fan. ;) What a song! I pondered why the song wasn't included on the album, and I went back and read that several other songs were spawned from it. I was pretty impressed that the if-it-isn't-broken-don't-fix-it mentality was pretty much ignored, because several other greats on the album came from it. Next up was Blow Your House Down, which, under the context of me playing it, should probably have been called Blow Your Speakers Out. This continued for another few songs on the second half of that deluxe edition.

Fast forward a few days to when the Joshua Tree was released. I bought the super deluxe edition of it, and while I don't think the B-sides and rarities had the strength of the AB ones, I still stumbled across the previously undiscovered Desert of Our Love, which is yet another exceptional song.

I could go on about my experiences playing through all the albums and finding new favorites that I'd previously ignored, but I just found it so impressive that a band not only consistently put out albums with music of such great quality that you could listen to an album the whole way through and not feel compelled to skip over things, but also relegated to B-side or rarity status songs that are just as good as their greatest hits. I'm now lamenting that I didn't make an effort to pick up more of the rarities when their complete U2 digital box set was available. I'm now wondering if I'm going to have to wait for 20th anniversary editions of albums that haven't yet hit that mark or been released as deluxe editions to pick up some of those rarities and B-sides, having missed an earlier chance to do so (ditto some songs from the larger deluxe versions of AB, like One Berlin and such).

Either way, what have been your experiences with the deeper cuts? Are there ones that have really impressed you or stood out to you?

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I love the b-sides. Three Sunrises, Walk to The Water, Luminous Times, Hallelelujah, Here She Comes and Unchained Melody are some of my favorites, to name a few. 

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6 hours ago, hollywoodswag said:

I went back and read that several other songs were spawned from it.

When I watched "From The Sky Down", I was genuinely stunned when it was revealed that One came from an early Mysterious Ways demo. :o

My favourite B-sides are Lady With The Spinning Head, Salome, Holy Joe, and Big Girls Are Best

 

Although a remix and not a B-Side, I have a little story about one song.

I was about 16 and working a crappy "after school" night job, and I don't know if it was the radio or if someone had brought in a mix-tape (remember those?) but suddenly a song I didn't recognise started playing and it had Bono's vocals on it. A few seconds later I'm thinking "That's LEMON?!?" I described it as "Lemon that sounds more like Numb".

The next day I walked to the train station, took a train to get to the nearest suburb with a department store, and went into the department store to see if they still had Lemon cassingles available (didn't have a CD player yet). This was about a year after the release of Zooropa and Lemon, so this was all a huge guess that they might still have them for sale a year later. They still had quite a few available, so I snapped one up (unfortunately I wasn't forward thinking enough to buy a CD as well). So it was all a bit of a gamble that not only the tape might still be available but even if the remix was on it. Fortunately for me it was:

 

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Yes! Their b-sides are so great!!! I remember playing the Sweetest Thing b-side over and over in middle school when Joshua Tree came out, and my other favorites are like Mich - Luminous Times and Walk to the Water and Three Sunrises.  And Deep in the Heart.  Listening to it right now.  

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