When they were first coming to prominence I hated them. All this nonsense of “There’s been a lot of talk about this next song. This is not a rebel song. This is Sunday Bloody Sunday” Tosser! That’s what me and a whole world of other indie kids thought. If you’d said it was a rebel song I might be interested.
U2 in the 80s were perhaps the most loved band in the world. In recent times they’ve managed to reverse that. And me. I’ve got it all back to front…like them when hated, hated them when loved. Saying that it’s never really been trendy to like U2.
They just kind of wore me down, the bastards wouldn’t go away would they? Pride (In the Name of Love) came next and me and a whole world of other indie kids quietly said to ourselves actually that one’s quite good. I remember finding a copy of the 12 inch among one of my most ardent punk mates. He just went, “Well you’ve got to give them that one. That one is a beauty.” Fair play I thought. But you’re still a tosser…and the mullet is getting worse.
The first time I read about The Joshua Tree was in the NME at uni where I was doing my printing City and Guilds. The phrase that sticks in my mind is “they’ve finally released the album we all thought they might be capable of” 5 stars.
I certainly wasn’t convinced by the opening single With or Without You. However that third single Where the Streets Have No Name…Ah now wait a minute…that sounds like one of the best songs ever recorded. A Space Oddity or Mr Blue Sky for the 80s…but fuck em. They were really tedious at Live Aid. And you still need to fix that mullet…oh hang on he’s grown it out.
Next comes Angel of Harlem, “Edge play the blues” and let’s face it a stunning rendition of Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For with a full blown gospel choir. At around this time I win ten grand on the pools. Bugger it, I think I’ll get The Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum…I’ve got a few grand to spare. I can maybe allow myself the odd frivolity.
Move on a year or so… I love these albums. There’s a lot on their other albums I like too.
So Achtung Baby is their first release under me now having become a “proper” fan. It’s a masterpiece. The bastards, I’m in too deep now. I go to see them live on that tour. It’s phenomenal and they seem to be taking the piss out of themselves and any over sincere fans that might be left.
More experimental albums follow. Mixed but good. In 2000 they release another belter in the shape of All that You Can’t Leave Behind.
Next album treading water, album after that dull as dishwater.
Get up the a month back to find their latest thing has been snuck under my pillow by the U2 fairy. I can only feel a tad sorry for the other half a billion folk probably not too happy about the fact the U2 fairy has indiscriminately been invading their personal space. If that had been Coldplay I would have been similarly distressed. It was like something a Bond villain would do. Surreptitiously sneaking their agenda into your cyberspace. How corporate are these guys going to get?
Finally sit down to properly listen to the album on me I-pod. The second half produced by Danger Mouse is excellent…and there’s stuff in the first half that’s getting under my skin. That makes it a good U2 album (in my own personal U2 journey)
Tossers. Even as a fan I could have lived with it being all over. They’re like Coke. You either drink it or you don’t.
Mind you…You should grow the mullet back. Might make you retro chic. Or is that what they’re aiming for? We’ll never know. It is healthy though that even their own drummer realises Bono is a tosser. But a tosser that makes great music. Ah well….here’s to the next bombastic ten years….
I also like Simple Minds. That would take way to long a post to justify.