Saturday, August 8, 2009
9. U2, Achtung Baby. This is bullshit, man! I haven't blogged anything since July 11? That sucks. I knew I shouldn't have gone to med school ...
Well, July was a busy month, but it's time to get down to brass tacks and face the music again. One of my goals when I started my Top 50 here was to have it done in, like, 3 weeks. And it's already been about 6 months or something like that. And that's just horrendous bullshit! But I digress ... so, U2. Yeah, I know what you're thinking, some of you. You're thinking that Bono's an annoying, self-important tool, and that U2's past their prime, and that they were overrated to begin with. And some of that may definitely be true. But at one point, these guys were the bomb. (I think it was sometime before How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.) You had your The Joshua Tree, and The Unforgettable Fire, and War, and Rattle and Hum. And then Achtung Baby came along, and left everything else in its tracks.
Every song on here is good, really good, and several are ... rock 'n' roll classics. Is anyone going to argue with me that "One" is not a giant of rock 'n' roll? After it's been covered by the likes of Johnny Cash, and Michael Stipe, and Adam Lambert? Come on! And how about "Mysterious Ways," and "Until the End of the World?" So many good songs, fitting together so well. There was nowhere to go but down afterwards, or at least off in a different direction. They've had a few more good songs here and there, but I haven't bought a U2 album since "Zooropa."
Or maybe my tastes just changed. Who the hell knows. But I do know this: this was the album I bought a CD player for (the one I still use, as a matter of fact), as the era of mass vinyl came to an end. And it makes me happy to say that, because you should be able to look back on your first CD with pride. And I do give a tip of the hat to Bono for his humanitarian work. You may strike some as pompous, Bono, but all in all you're a good man. And your band's best album belongs in everybody's Top 10.