Thursday, August 4, 2011

Technically Nostalgic: U2's "Achtung Baby" Turns 20, Gets (Gasp!) A Reissue Box Set

You guys used to be so awesome. What the hell.
Alright, it's time for a public admission: I used to be a huge U2 fan. HUGE. Like pretty much everyone alive during that decade, I spent much of the '80s rocking out to War, The Joshua Tree, and all of the other albums in their catalog at the time. During that decade, U2 could do no wrong and I assumed I'd found my favorite band forever at the ripe old age of 8.

Then a weird, seemingly inexplicable thing happened - in the years following 1991's Achtung Baby (which features my favorite U2 song - and likely one of my top 20 of any band - "One"), U2 began to suck. And suck HARD, completely erasing the goodwill of their breakout decade. I may be one of the few who think so, seeing as their recent U2 360 tour has been the highest grossing ever... but yeesh, give me Joshua Tree-era U2 any day over the Whatever Their Most Recent Album Was-era U2 of today.

Which is why I'm of two minds of the news (via Pitchfork) that Achtung Baby is getting a huge box set reissue in honor of its 20th anniversary this year - great album, no doubt, but does U2 really need any more money coming at them from this? As this is our 500th reissue post this week, it's about time to make fun of one of them anyway. The Achtung Baby reissue comes in five different versions, ranging from the "I Can't Find My Old Copy" edition with just the album itself to an Uber Deluxe Edition with the album, unreleased recordings, B-sides, remixes, demo versions of stuff, and for some reason a copy of the way-less-cool followup album Zooropa. That edition also comes with vinyl 7" singles, DVDs, a hardcover book, stickers, badges, and... I am completely not making this up... a pair of Bono's "Fly" sunglasses from that era.

Seriously. They're putting sunglasses in this thing.

This is all out on October 31 via Universal, so keep an eye out for that if you want. I understand that Achtung Baby represents the last vestige of "cool" U2... but really, all of my current feelings about the band can be summed up by the South Park clip below the jump. And I'll throw in the video for "One" as a reminder that U2 used to be really genuinely awesome. Sigh.

"At some point, can't you just kind of... f*ck off?" -- Stan Marsh, South Park


  1. U2 was never good, was never cool. They are vanilla rock at best. The sooner we can all admit that 80's "rock" acts like Springsteen, Billy Joel, and U2 were douchebags, the sooner we can all get on with our lives.

  2. Disagree. All of the above have put out great stuff but are now (at least by my current taste) sub-par. I have yet to meet anyone who hasn't honestly enjoyed a U2 song in their lives, it's just a shame that Bono is so ball-punchingly irritating these days.