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2 January, 2005

Not me too

When I hear an unfamiliar album, I can usually discern the aspects which attract others, even if it's not to my personal taste.  However, I've listened to my sister's copy of a U2 'greatest hits' album today, and just don't get it.  It's entitled 'Pop', though it isn't the 1997 album of that name but an unauthorised (i.e. pirate) compilation made (and bought) in Malaysia.  K. tells me that some of the tracks have been transferred from the original albums at the wrong speed, which won't help, but still, material and performances as good as they're alleged to be should be apparent even in an imperfect copy.  The 'The Joshua Tree' tracks are familiar, and the distinctive guitar sound of that album does add something unique (though that too becomes repetitive), but the remaining majority of this tracklist* is, well, ordinary. 

U2 is reputed to be one of the most popular bands in the world - so what am I missing?

*: Discotheque/The Fly/Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me/Angle (sic.) of Harlem/One/When Love Comes To Town/Ever Better Than The Real Thing/Mysterious Ways/I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For/With Or Without You/Where The Streets Have No Name/The Unforgettable Fire/Desire/Until The End Of The World/Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses/All I Want Is You

NP: K's copy of U2's 'The Best Of: 1980-1990'. Better, though I doubt I'd buy my own copy.


Never been a big fan of U2, but they do have a few good tunes; and I can't quite put my finger on quite what it is that's good about them. But they do seem better on in-concert films than purely on record (never actually seen them live). I remember hearing them at college discos and thinking they were crap. Then I saw the film on the concert that later became the "Under a blood red sky" album, with the apocalyptic version of "Sunday Bloody Sunday"....

What I can't tell is what on earth everybody sees in all these three-chord navel-gazing indie strummers that all sound exactly the same.

Posted by Tim Hall at January 2, 2005 11:57 PM
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