Listening to some old U2

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Justin226, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. rmackowsky

    rmackowsky Strat-Talk Member

    Mar 13, 2021
    North Carolina
    War still top ten album for me. Edge got more caught up in delay and other effects later on. War is just raw guitar rock. Proof that you don’t have to be a highly skilled shredder to make powerful music.
    MC5tooge likes this.
  2. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Censored

    Feb 11, 2015
    Terra Incognita
    He only used that Van Morrison bit during Live Aid
  3. MC5tooge

    MC5tooge Strat-Talk Member

    Feb 25, 2021
    Central Denmark
    Gonna stick my neck out here...
    Let's say there's a reason and one reason only why
    a) I picked up a guitar in the first place
    b) I own these. More after the pic...

    U2 impacted me hugely back in 1982/3. The Edge's black strat was the first time I saw a guitar and thought "I wanna play a guitar that looks like that".
    By Joshua Tree I thought I was a lifer - saw them five times that tour. I stuck with U2 till Rattle and Hum when I actually ended up selling all my U2 records except the albums. And headed off into the world of goth rock, then grunge and shoegaze.
    Then "Achtung" came out and I was hooked again, luckily early enough to actually see them on the last indoor date of that tour. But they'd changed. They'd discovered irony, artifice and art. I didn't mind.
    "Pop" was another step down that path and I didn't mind. They were being artistically honest at least, even if they failed sometimes. U2's failures were one of the things I liked about them
    Then some years off and bad sales of "Pop" and they come back with this safe, sterile thing called "All That You Can't Leave Behind" that the people I was now at law school with (aged 30) all loved and I loathed. Still went to see them. Disappointed
    Same again with Vertigo, which was a bit better but still far from the artistic peak of Achtung and the honest earnestness of War. Took my kids to that show. They were five.
    360 tour was the final straw for me. The album was fairly brave but it was another step backwards live, with namedropping galore from the stage and it was pretty crap.

    So yeah... U2 and me. Goes back a long way. We broke up for a while, got back together, got married and now we're divorced. I kept the records and the memories. They kept the money. Not bothered to see them since.

    And the Edge? He'd be the first to admit he nicked half his ideas from John McGeoch in the Banshees (who is why I own an SG1000), Stuart Adamson in the Skids, Television and the Comsat Angels.
    But he taught me one very important lesson - that what you DON'T play is just as important as what you DO play. Too many guitarists don't know when to stop. He always knew when to play and when to wait. He turned echo textures into an instrument. I'd love to have a chat with him one day.
    People hating on the Edge make me sad.
  4. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 20, 2018
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I really enjoy some U2. Straightforward compositions, solid performances.

    But I have to turn it down, lower than where I usually listen to music. The timbre of Edge's guitar is often ice-picky and painful to listen to at normal volume. I don't know that it's The Edge's fault, it's probably more an issue of an engineer or producer. If it was less painful to listen to I'd like it better.
  5. Chont

    Chont Most Honored Senior Member

    Sep 25, 2012
    In a van down by the river
    I liked this post a lot. I saw the zoo tc tour. I don’t remember it. That is another story that involves a crowd of people my buddy gathered in the parking lot standing in a circle around clapping that I actually stood up. Shame because what little snippets of memories of that show and I remember it being huge. But I lost interest after I saw the pop show. It was ridiculous. I give them a LOT Of credit for doing what they want and reinventing themselves but for me it just wasn’t what drew me to them in the first place. Love your strats by the way

    I got some Herdim picks and now I’m finally working out some of the old stuff I used to know and also some other stuff I always wanted to learn but couldn’t get the sound right. The picks make a huge difference.

    I always thought he was a genuine honest and innovative player. Never got all the hate either.
  6. Eoraptor1

    Eoraptor1 Senior Stratmaster

    Aug 4, 2008
    Niagara Falls, NY
    Like several others posting on this thread, I first became aware of U2 with War. Loved the guitar sound on that album and it hit me at just the right time because I was experiencing a rut in my playing, and this represented a different approach. I loved Boy as well, maybe even more than War. I became aware of that later, when one of my dorm mates lent my his copy. He didn't return to college, so I ended up with it for several months. I hand painted the cover on t-shirts and gave them to girls. People who weren't around at the time don't know this was before they became a world-wide phenomenon. That, IMO, happened after Live Aid, and then was sealed with the release of The Joshua Tree. At the time, however, they were an up-and-coming combo. I'm a huge fan of Daniel Lanois (if you haven't listened to Acadie, and The Beauty of Wynona - do it.) and I took to the Unforgettable Fire, probably more even than The Joshua Tree, which was the "breakthrough" album. Their last album I loved as a complete work was Zooropa. I feel comfortable saying Actung Baby! was probably the last critic's darling, but I have a love/hate relationship with music (and book, and movie) critics, so this didn't matter much to me. They ran into a problem a lot of "successful" artists encounter when they've been around for a while. People like a certain amount of familiarity, enough to identify a "sound", but they get angry when when the act remains in that lane for too long - BUT - they may also get angry when the same group tries something different, and may view the change as a personal betrayal. The classic object lesson here is Bob Dylan going electric. I was watching Marty Scorcese's documentary on Dylan the other day, and it struck me how vehemently angry some of these 60s yoots were at Dylan plugging in a Stratocaster. It was like he'd pissed in the lemonade at their 5th birthday party. He was booed off the stage, and called a sellout to pop sensibility because he played with The Band. That's The Band, as in Songs From Big Pink. This is even more remarkable when you recall some of the American audience, at least, were likely to be facing their next big existential crisis in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. My point is, a lot of "established" groups end up playing it safe. I remember Elton John remarking the biggest groups in pop had maybe five years in the maximum performance zone, then they were doing well if they just continued to make viable music. This would have been around the same time as War, and Under a Blood Red Sky, the first half of the 1980s. When I was a boy in the 70s, when Elton John coughed, it ended up in the Top Ten, so I took his opinion seriously.

    I'm rambling now. In short, I was very influence by The Edge at a critical point in my development, but I feel by the 90s U2 began to play it safe. Still and all, that's a very easy statement for me to make from behind a keyboard, and I do sincerely retain a certain admiration for them for continuing to make music for ore than 40 years.