Ok. Here is the age-old question, good at determining what type of rocker you are, and what you think rock and roll is all about.
Is Bono (and, by extension, U2):
A) a pretensious, self centered hack who is ovverrated, self-obsorbed, and cares more about his “art” than the rock he so rarely brings. A guy you know has to be the center of his own little universe, because he loves to stop mid concert, and stand in front of the roaring crowd, open up his jacket to show that dumb american flag, and bask in the praises of his fans.
B) The end-all king of rock, the last of the true rock gods, a great musician who knows how to create beautiful, complicated music that moves your feet and your soul. A guy who you know has to be a really nice guy because he gives to charity and smiles a lot. Plus, he’s so cute too.
C) Bono who? and what do you mean me too?
Well, ya gotta admit that their first album was a revelation. The later stuff did not wear well for me.
I would imagine that he’s alittle of both. He’s made it rich & through guilt-reduction, he’s trying to use some of his money to help the world. Nothing wrong with that in my book.
I like U2. There early albums were great. Under a Blood Red Sky was fantastic! I like some of their singles but I doubt if the albums would hold up for me.
Having said that, I did get “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” and it’s modern pop/rock production at it’s best IMO. Of course, having producers like Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno., Steve Lilly didn’t hurt either.
I’ve heard a couple of things from their new one & they didn’t impress me.
That’s my spin - what’s yours?
Oh goody, at last a decent topic.
For me, neither option A or B is applicable. U2 ain’t all that, but they also are pretty stellar in some departments. Bono is overrated in the artistic department but his voice is amazing and always was. It’s actually better on this album than the last one. I don’t know what happened, it seemed all worn out on the last album but now it seems refreshed.
They have had some great moments in what ? nearly 30 years. The Joshua Tree album stood out in 1986 from all the other mid-80s stuff. Their production has always been tops, they always have Eno and Lillywhite etc, can’t go wrong with those guys. The Edge is the true genius of the band. You gotta hand it to him, he has made that signature delay/distortion/chime sound work so many times. He does an admirable job of filling up the harmonic context of their songs with just one instrument. He gets the whole ‘less is more’ thing better than most other guitarists. Just listen to the outtro of ‘With or Without You’. It is so simple, every guitar player can do it, most would search for something more complex, and miss the most appropriate thing.
And these guys can perform. Have you seen U2 live ? This is Bono’s true strength. He is electrifying. Most other rock singers don’t even know his vocabulary when it comes to actually entertaining people. I’m getting a chill up my spine right now just thinking about the time I saw them do ‘Streets Have No Name’ live.
Who can compare to U2 in terms of success or longevity ? They are on-track to surpass the Beatles in that department. But I think artistically U2 can do one or two things really well. The Beatles could do many things really well. But, the Beatles never did a song like New Years Day, One or the Unforgettable Fire.
However, I must say that I think this latest U2 album is the first boring, average one. I love Vertigo but the rest of the album seems like a rehash of the last one. It couldn’t last forever.
To sum it up, I can’t think of a better pop band. They are unashamedly pop. And for what it’s worth, Bono’s activism doesn’t factor into my appreciation of the band’s music. Having said that, I don’t disapprove of it either. But it’s a separate thing.
I guess it’s obvious that this is something I think about a lot
I agree with most of what you say. When you say last album do you mean “All That You Can’t Leave Behind”?
One note about the Beatles - remember they stopped playing live in mid-career. I think it’s fairer to compare live U2 to some other band - say Rolling Stones.
when I said this: ‘It’s actually better on this album than the last one. I don’t know what happened, it seemed all worn out on the last album but now it seems refreshed.’ - I meant to say that his voice sounds much better on ‘Atomic Bomb’ than ‘All that you Cant’.
When I said ‘I must say that I think this latest U2 album is the first boring, average one’ I was referring to ‘Atomic Bomb’.
I agree the Beatles comparison is flaky in many ways, however I wasn’t comparing the Beatles live performance to U2, just their general career success. Bono is at least as ‘known’ as John Lennon. Also, the Beatles compressed their whole recording career into 8 years, but their actual active career continues to this day. Paul makes sure theres always a new re-re-release or something. U2 have taken nearly 30 years to produce a comparable volume of material. And just imagine the Beatles with U2’s production team (and equipment). I was listening to ‘I’m only Sleeping’ last night. The recording quality is really quite bad. U2 never had to overcome those limitations with pure songwriting ability, which the Beatles did. There are lots of differences.
Gotcha'. Then all I can say is that he must be singing a LOT better because I thought he voice sounded great on All That You Can't Leave Behind, so I guess I disagree with you on this comment. I mean Beautiful Day was great vocal work IMO.
I agree about the Beatles earlier recording,s i.e., they sound very dated now (with the possible exception of Abbey Rd & the White Album). And I've often wondered the same thing, i.e., what would the Beatles have sounded like if they'd had today's production equipment when they recorded Sgt. Pepper or anyone of those great, early albums.
I got Let It Be Naked & although I liked it (they brought it into the digital realm for production), I didn't think it was any better than the original (which I actually liked the production of).
I was listening to some CSN&Y from Deja Vu' recently and man, I could hear the tape hiss, etc. Same w/ an early Simon & Garfunkel record.
PS - what's the world going to be like when John Lennon is finally forgotten
|Quote (kymarcus @ Feb. 02 2005,10:46)|
|The Edge is the true genius of the band. You gotta hand it to him, he has made that signature delay/distortion/chime sound work so many times. He does an admirable job of filling up the harmonic context of their songs with just one instrument. He gets the whole 'less is more' thing better than most other guitarists. Just listen to the outtro of 'With or Without You'. It is so simple, every guitar player can do it, most would search for something more complex, and miss the most appropriate thing.|
You put your finger on it.
|Quote (TomS @ Feb. 02 2005,12:18)|
You put your finger on it.
What would U2 be like if they had say....Zakk Wylde on guitar?
Zakk Wylde in U2. I guess it would be as listenable as Ozzy’s band…with a lead singer who can actually sing.
As a bass player myself I often wonder what it would be like if U2 had a more inventive bass player. The bass is usually pretty boring in U2, but I guess that just gives the 2 main guys more room to soar. I guess this is just as important to the overall equation. I wouldn’t mind Adam Clayton’s job at all but I doubt I’d be able to keep it as straightforward as he does. So, I guess that’s pretty classy of him to do so.
OK, for a few million bucks, I guess I could be happily bored/boring too.
Clayton seems pretty stoned-out to me? I don’t mind his player for U2 however.
|Quote (Mr Soul @ Feb. 02 2005,11:53)|
|PS - what's the world going to be like when John Lennon is finally forgotten|
About the same, I would say.
You've said it Kymarcus.
By the mid 80's, Bonio and U2 were just another fading band, but then came Live Aid, and their performance was indeed electrifying, only outdone by Freddy Mercury and Queen.
From then on, U2 and Bonio (with his dog biscuit factory) became a supergroup.
It’s the way they perform live that bugs me most. They are all so POMPUS and pretensios. perhaps that is what rock n roll is supposed to be, but not in my opinion. That is what I hate about rock stars.
Well I’ve pretty much read everyones take on it.
I don’t know what a persons personality off stage has to do with thy’re ability to write and preform a good song. Hey, let people have they’re pet peevs.
Personally, I don’t care how obnoxious and big headed Bono get’s, it wont change the body of work by which he his genious may be measured by in the far future. I have to agree with some of the comments about the Edge as well.
I have to give them credit for having the gumption to stay a three peice in a musical climate that was feirce competition at the time to be bigger and better. I think alot of musicians fail to see the beauty of simplicity and end up cluttering otherwise good songs. If a song is good it should hold up with just a vocal and guitar in IMHO, and shouldn’t need all the glitts and glamour of the studio majic alot of bands trend to feel is nec.
I like bands that can play they’re albums without a team of programers and sequencers in the sidewings. Or a milli vanilli thing going on.
As far as they’re music goes, I think it’s like any bands stuff, it’s a matter of taste, weather you like it or not. I prefer Metallicas “Kill them All” over anything else they’ve done, while the majority of there fans just based on album sales like they’re more radio freindly material. But that’s how it goes I guess, when you have an eclectic mind you tend to
you tend to gravitate toward the obscure. If you have a mainstream mind you tend to hone in on the popular and more comonly structured.
I certainly think that U2 found they’re nitch and stuck with it.
I remember when they we’re relativly unknown, and we’re alomost an underground college radio band.
And if you ask me that’s a good place for anyone to start they’re musical careers if you think about it.
They got fans while they we’re young and training to be future buisness men and women. Now all they’re early fans are older and most of them succesful in they’re own feilds. They are hanging on to the memory of that college radio band they grew up with, and will by the albums out of loyalty and curosity to see if there will be another “Sunday Bloody Sunday” for them to help croniclize this time period of they’re life.
Most of what I’ve heard off the last album doesn’t have that potential, but I am not one of they’re earlier fans who is looking for it.
I’d rather hear and obscure track off an early Rollins Blues Album)10 song demo) I picked up on Ebay.–talk about unpolished and weird, even for him…
But don’t count them out just yet. I have a feeling they are going to suprise even me in the future, releasing more punky sounding stuff they wrote before “Sunday BS” wouldn’t that be a hoot!
He, a man can dream can’t he?
|Quote (savingedmund @ Feb. 02 2005,18:42)|
|They are all so POMPUS and pretensios. perhaps that is what rock n roll is supposed to be, but not in my opinion. That is what I hate about rock stars.|
So if you take this out of rock music, what is left? Rock n roll was and still is all about the attitude. Let's face it, you can only write so many 3 chord songs, without getting into the regurgitating factor, which I think has been floating around since Elvis and the Beatles. But I simply enjoy U2's music. Joshua Tree is still one of my favorite all time albums. But then again I still love "The Move" and the "Shazam" album. oh well.
If I get another friggin Ice storm here this winter I'm gonna move to Florida.
|Quote (YazMiester @ Feb. 03 2005,05:32)|
|If I get another friggin Ice storm here this winter I'm gonna move to Florida.|
Ice storms or hurricanes.........hmmm...tough choice!
I feel for Yaz. Ice storms SUCK!
Hurricanes too, TG. They hit here also, just not as frequent as in Florida and the gulf coast. Luckily the temps went up enough yesterday afternoon to melt the crap and turned into cold rain. YEAH!
Yaz, you must be in the Carolina’s eh?
I’m a North Allybammy boy. We have to watch out for tornadoes spring through fall and the occasional winter nasty. 99% of the year the weather is great though!