One need hear only the first notes of this collection--the Edge's ringing guitar notes ushering in "Pride (In the Name of Love)"-to be taken back to 1984: Ronald Reagan and Maggie Thatcher rule the Western world, the L.A. Olympics is the top sports story, and Ms. Pac-Man reigns at arcades. In rock & roll, there's U2 growing in stature with each new title. Even doubters of the Irish lads have to concede that together they formed the one '80s band with the skill and sense of scale to take over the airwaves and concert stages in a decade of diminished expectations. This 15-song '80s best-of assortment (stick around for the hidden track) spans the decade, reaching back to 1980's "I Will Follow," when Bono and company were peach-fuzzy and earnest as choirboys, and tracking their path through their most glaring misstep, 1988's overblown Rattle and Hum
. --Steven Stolder
Their best years, their best songs: With or Without You; I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For; Desire; New Year's Day; Pride (in the Name of Love); Sunday Bloody Sunday; Where the Streets Have No Name; Angel of Harlem; When Love Comes to Town ; a new single mix of Sweetest Thing , and four more from one of the great bands of the modern rock era.