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What's Your Favorite U2 Studio Album?

U2 Studio Albums  

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Those who were weary of Yngvie-prolonged guitar solos loved the mood emphasis that Edge brought us. I think for a while I loved them both, only to give up on the "Look At Me-Look At ME" solos in favor of the flavorings brought to excellence in song writing. I'm thinking here of the trademark solo on "New Year's Day" that I look forward to every time I hear it. It is simple, melodic, and in the end it plunges itself right back into its blended place in the song itself.

I love Edge's playing too, Stef. I remember figuring out his riffs when i was a kid and going "That's all there is??? *cool*!" He not only played fewer solos than others, he also played fewer chords. Two Hearts and New Years Day are brilliantly minimalist. His reliance on textures and rhythmic strumming, especially on War, is also straight out of the Nile Rodgers Funk Companion.

WARNING: Tangent... With the exception of a few sentimental favorites, I really dont like late 70's/early 80's hard rock or metal. But IMO, Eddie Van Halen was the ONLY post-Hendrix guitar innovator in the 1970's. There is certainly a gimmicky aspect to some of his playing that's easy to poke fun at now, but those first three VH albums are mind-bending and historic displays of guitar genius-- nevermind the drunken bafoon that's bleating in the background.

Back to U2...

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Achtung! All the way, Baby!

By far. No questions, no hesitations or umms and ahhs. I'm gonna sound pretentious saying this but that album is Art.

Edited by gigi

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I thought we had this conversation and poll before. No matter, I think this conversation is a bit more interesting.

Oddly enough, I ended up placing a "null" vote, which is actually fine with me. It is fitting because picking a favorite U2 album is not very easy for me. With U2, it seems that each album hinges on the one before it. Each album is a building block for the iconic tower of musical history that has become U2. Each album grows in creativity, in thoughtfulness, in experimentation, in ambition and each relies on the previous recording for the growth and challenge of the next.

That said, it always seems difficult to top the days of youth. The raw energy, the rebellion, the lack of caring what others think about you, not fearing opposition and the freedom to speak your mind. Interstingly enough, U2 has maintained the ideals of youth and, some how, incorporated the wisdom of age. I often think of them as artists more than musicians.

My picks today are: Boy, October and War...throw Pop on there as well, I love that album.

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There is no "Null" category, Asher. I like what you have to say, but did you just decide not to vote?

-s.

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I voted for "October," at least in part because I remember how fresh and new and completely original they sounded in the midst of the "new wave" stuff then so popular. U2 were like guys that had been hiding in a cave somewhere, stepped out into the light of day, strapped on their instruments, and played (Edge!) this sort of stratospheric music that left us breathless.

I was Cornerstone magazine's music reviewer back then, and u2 was unknown in the U.S.; "October" was additionally stunning for its freeform use of Christian imagery in the lyrics (the rumor was that the lyrics had been lost and Bono had to recreate them in the studio as a sort of stream of consciousness thing).

I know... they got much better musically. But it doesn't matter. I still remember that raw, unearthly music pouring out of my fairly cheap stereo, every song seemingly more atmospheric and wierdly beautiful than the last....

Blessings,

jon

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There is no "Null" category, Asher. I like what you have to say, but did you just decide not to vote?

-s.

You are a sweet man, Stef. The "null" vote happens when you decide to "view the results" without casting a vote. You are notified that this will cast a "null" vote. So, I suppose I essentially decided not to vote.

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I was Cornerstone magazine's music reviewer back then, and u2 was unknown in the U.S.; "October" was additionally stunning for its freeform use of Christian imagery in the lyrics (the rumor was that the lyrics had been lost and Bono had to recreate them in the studio as a sort of stream of consciousness thing).

Jon.

I was 13 in 1983 and one of the arguments I had with countless friends for the next four or five years after that was whether or not U2 was a "Christian" band. We were the younger evangelicals (who didn't know it yet) who were rasied on black and white, and at the time it actually mattered to us whether they were a bona fide Christian band, partially because people like the Peters brothers were touring and preaching that we should burn and destroy all our rock records. (It is probably obvious, but since you are new here I will mention that I now have a very opposite approach to life.)

The question that I have for you is this --

I remember a Cornerstone magazine interview with U2 that must have come out around 1983... I think there was a band called The Motels interviewed in the same issue... And one of the things I always held onto in those "Is U2 a Christian band?" fights I participated in was a statement Bono made in the C-stone interview, when he mentioned the direction of the band and said that they were waiting for guidance from the Holy Spirit.

Do you remember this? Were you the interviewer?

-s.

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stef,

I do remember the interview, but was not the interviewer. I sorta felt bad for U2 in that scenario later on, as they tried to hint to us that they'd rather not be interviewed by a Christian magazine, period. We were, to be honest, concerned for them; they went through a period there where the band both internally and externally was being pressured to "drop" the more Christian elements (and social elements) of their lyrics/approach. Of course, after Rattle and Hum they did experiement with the whole Mephestopheles (too lazy to spell right) thing. We were trying to get them to be more up-front, and I think they sensed that and wouldn't cooperate. Looking back, I think we should have offered them more grace. I do also think they (Bono and the Edge at least, as the two avowedly Christian members of the group at the time) could have used more accountability and input to/from a body of believers somewhere. But Bono has been a powerful force for good on this planet, and I think we (as do many evangelicals) tended to want to define the artist's role for them rather than let God do that. Sigh...

My own rap on "christian" bands (hmm... perhaps even "christian" artists period) is that there is strictly speaking no such thing as a "christian" band, unless by that we strictly mean the members of the group are all avowed evangelicals. It gets dicey, though. My own sons have a band (The WIITALA BROTHERS--their capitalization) which is not discernably Christian in most of its lyrics. Yet they are Christians. Is WB then a "Christian" band? Hehehehe....

Then there are those "Christian" or "gospel" groups that live lives more seedy than most "secular" bands ever thought of living....

In short, it gets pretty squishy, don't it!?

The quote I recall from that interview was Bono (I think) saying that they felt they were being "secret agents" for the Lord; whether one appreciates that idea or not (and I'm ambivalent about it myself) it certainly indicated he thought of U2 as having a Christian witness and purpose.

One aside I can't resist: The Peters Brothers. YIIIIKES! I remember them all too well. They were in the proud tradition of Bob Larson (not quite as over the top). What was wierd to me about all that was how these two guys -- with accountability to who?!? -- elected themselves experts not only on music, but spirituality and the arts. The classic of all classics, of course, was / is Bill Gothard and his Institute on Basic Youth Conflicts (or whatever it is called). I remember once reading his riff on musical scales, and how the augmented seventh was somehow demonic -- I about fell out of my chair laughing!!

Blessings,

Jon

Edited by jon_trott

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The classic of all classics, of course, was / is Bill Gothard and his Institute on Basic Youth Conflicts (or whatever it is called). I remember once reading his riff on musical scales, and how the augmented seventh was somehow demonic -- I about fell out of my chair laughing!!

Wait ... Are you suggesting that this is not true? You definitely should

avoid those augmented seventh scales.

Try this experiment if you don't believe me:

Find two healthy house plants. Place one of them next to your

stereo speaker, water it daily, and play nothing but soothing

classical music which does not use augumented seventh scales.

What happens? It grows, that's what. Plants like Mozart. Before

him they liked Monteverdi and Gregorian Chants. Now place the

other plant next to the other speaker, don't water it for two months,

and play nothing but rock music like Switchfoot and

Third Day. What happens? General lethargy. Drug addiction.

Eventual death.

Clearly, Satan is behind this. First, only a malevolent

supernatural being could mastermind such an insidious operation

where someone would actually play Switchfoot to plants. Second,

Satan is a master of confusion, and generally likes to distort the

truth by using tricks such as amplification, oversimplification,

indoctrination, expectoration (mainly in punk music), alienation,

obfuscation, and using big words. When listening to any

rock music, even music by Petra (which is Aromatic for "rock".

Evil? What do you think?), ask yourself these questions: Could

my grandmother listen to this without having a coronary? Would

Jesus listen to this? Would He write a review for CCM Magazine?

Would cherumbim and seraphim jam to this, and, if so, how

could we tell?

I think if you answer those questions honestly you'll see that

all rock music is designed to get you Boogieing to Hell. Bill Gothard

is right. Satan is down there as the Head of the Sin Label,

smokin' a big stogie, and rubbing his hoofs together gleefully as

millions of unsuspecting Christians are exposed to augmented

seventh scales through the so-called "music" of Switchfoot and

Third Day albums. Resist manfully.

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LOL ::w00t::

LOL

So... If I take a youth group to a Third Day show later in the month, I'm actually leading them straight to the gates of hell's flames?

-s. ::devil:: ::bluehaironend::

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Andrew wrote:

Resist manfully.

Too late... I've been satanically syncopated, infernally intonated, viciously vibrated, carnally callibrated, electronically enebriated, demonically doctrinated, and risquely rejuvinated. In short...

LET'S ROCK!!!!

Jon "augmented seventh" Trott

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(which means, at the moment, that you voted for Achtung Baby...)

No, not Actung Baby! How did that happen with a null vote? Is this thing rigged?

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Too late... I've been satanically syncopated, infernally intonated, viciously vibrated, carnally callibrated, electronically enebriated, demonically doctrinated, and risquely rejuvinated. In short...

LET'S ROCK!!!!

Jon "augmented seventh" Trott

I will pray for you and the eternal destiny of your soul, brother.

P.S. Nice to see you here, Jon. At a time when I was trying really, really hard to only listen to and like "Christian" music, and mostly failing, those Resurrection Band/Rez Band albums were a light in the darkness.

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Nice to see you here, Jon. At a time when I was trying really, really hard to only listen to and like "Christian" music, and mostly failing, those Resurrection Band/Rez Band albums were a light in the darkness.

Thanks. As for REZ, I still remember the first time I heard them (looking so scruffy and underwhelming at the old Barry St. Church JPUSA was renting at the time) as one of the most startlingly powerful art experiences of my life.

But of course I loved Grand Funk and Black Sabbath when I was a kid. So whadja expect? Hahahhaahahahahaha!

It was my pleasure to get to write lyrics (and one song) for REZ... but here's the real fun fact: "Jolly Jonah Jamison" the DJ voice on "Awaiting Your Reply".... yep. Me.

Edited by jon_trott

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What a fun thread.

I miss Jon.

I can't believe I'm the only person that voted for The Unforgettable Fire.

I guess I'm the only right person in this thread! :lol:

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I voted in this before I had a 2 1/2 year old boy that walks around the house strumming a toy guitar shouting "BLOODY SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY!!!!"

If I had known then what I know now, I would have voted for War.

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I voted in this before I had a 2 1/2 year old boy that walks around the house strumming a toy guitar shouting "BLOODY SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY!!!!"

If I had known then what I know now, I would have voted for War.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it."

-- Proverbs 22:6

This is exemplary parenting. Alas, it can still go wrong. When my kids were toddlers they quoted Clash songs. There's something heartwarming about a kid in diapers singing "I'm so bored with the U.S.A./But what can I do?" Now one of them listens to Jay Z all the time and the other is inordinately fond of Broadway musicals such as "Oklahoma" and "South Pacific." What can a dad do but pray and keep hope alive?

Edited by Andy Whitman

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I voted in this before I had a 2 1/2 year old boy that walks around the house strumming a toy guitar shouting "BLOODY SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY!!!!"

If I had known then what I know now, I would have voted for War.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it."

-- Proverbs 22:6

This is exemplary parenting. Alas, it can still go wrong. When my kids were toddlers they quoted Clash songs. There's something heartwarning about a kid in diapers singing "I'm so bored with the U.S.A./But what can I do?" Now one of them listens to Jay Z all the time and the other is inordinately fond of Broadway musicals such as "Oklahoma" and "South Pacific." What can a dad do but pray and keep hope alive?

And you are...well...like a wise and musically knowledgeable person...what dark musical secrets are you hiding that the sins of the father could return upon your life in such terrible form?! ;)

Edited by Nezpop

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I voted in this before I had a 2 1/2 year old boy that walks around the house strumming a toy guitar shouting "BLOODY SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY!!!!"

If I had known then what I know now, I would have voted for War.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it."

-- Proverbs 22:6

This is exemplary parenting. Alas, it can still go wrong. When my kids were toddlers they quoted Clash songs. There's something heartwarning about a kid in diapers singing "I'm so bored with the U.S.A./But what can I do?" Now one of them listens to Jay Z all the time and the other is inordinately fond of Broadway musicals such as "Oklahoma" and "South Pacific." What can a dad do but pray and keep hope alive?

And you are...well...like a wise and musically knowledgeable person...what dark musical secrets are you hiding that the sins of the father could return upon your life in such terrible form?! ;)

I think I am paying for my early musical flirtations with Neil Diamond and John Denver. And the CCM years. God hates CCM.

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God hates CCM.
LOL!

Andy, God is love. You know this. Not even CCM in all its AmericanaChristinization can bring God to actually hate it.

RIGHT???

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No, Stef...it's an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. It says so in the Old Testament.

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"Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it."

-- Proverbs 22:6

This is exemplary parenting. Alas, it can still go wrong. When my kids were toddlers they quoted Clash songs. There's something heartwarming about a kid in diapers singing "I'm so bored with the U.S.A./But what can I do?" Now one of them listens to Jay Z all the time and the other is inordinately fond of Broadway musicals such as "Oklahoma" and "South Pacific." What can a dad do but pray and keep hope alive?

My daughter made me proud when, after I explained to her that an ad for a candy bar was trying to trick us into thinking that it would make us feel young, she started singing Arcade Fire: "Everytime you close your eyes, LIES! LIES!"

My five year old son made me proud, though got me in trouble with my wife, when he walked around the house singing "You can't be a pimp and a prostitute too." He likes the White Stripes.

However, after Vacation Bible School last week, they only have one request: a cheesy hip hop rip off song . . . "We all get together in God's big, big, big, big, big backyard..."

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My five year old son made me proud, though got me in trouble with my wife, when he walked around the house singing "You can't be a pimp and a prostitute too." He likes the White Stripes.

However, after Vacation Bible School last week, they only have one request: a cheesy hip hop rip off song . . . "We all get together in God's big, big, big, big, big backyard..."

Uh oh--better be careful, or your wife might start quoting some old-skool cheesy hip hop.

Mama said knock you out!

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Will and I don't have any children, and it never occurred to me how frightening it could be to have them screaming Nirvana lyrics or whatever. "I think I'm dumb or maybe just happy."

Back to the topic, I went with Joshua Tree. "Running to Stand Still" is one of my favorite songs. Achtung Baby and Zooropa would be kind of a 2a and 2b. I'm a big fan of Zooropa because of it's experimental nature. I love the song "Stay (Faraway So Close!)." Also my inner juvenile self can't help but giggle with the line, "Don't piss in the drain" from "Numb."

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