Achtung Baby - 20th Anniversary Edition (Super Deluxe Box Set) Box set, NTSC, Original recording remastered
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Super Deluxe 10 disc (six CDs + four DVDs) edition including the original Achtung Baby album, the follow-up album, Zooropa, b-sides and re-workings of previously unheard material recorded during the Achtung Baby sessions. Four DVDs including "From The Sky Down", Zoo TV, all the videos from Achtung Baby plus bonus material. hardback book; and 16 art prints. Digitally remastered edition of the Irish quartet's groundbreaking 1991album, their seventh studio release overall. While the band had been successful before the release of Achtung Baby, nobody could predict the worldwide domination that followed. Features the hits 'Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?', 'The Fly', 'One' and 'Even Better Than The Real Thing'.
Even though it was greeted at the time as U2's reinvention as a dance/rock post-modern revue, with a bit of post-Wall Berlin thrown in for luck, distance now shows that Achtung Baby is in fact a suite of extraordinarily perceptive and tender songs on the breakdown of the Edge's marriage. "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses", "The Fly", "One", "So Cruel"--it's as if Bono shuffled into the studio and said "Er, Edge. Was it a bit like this?" And the Edge wept until his hat became soggy. U2 fans will argue until the end of "Until The End Of The World" which is the best album in the band's exemplary canon, but with Bono sounding like a scorched St Paul, the Edge augmenting those electrified sheets of sound with deft funk-flicks and producer Brian Eno keeping it spacious, hot and holy, chances are, this is it. --Caitlin Moran --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
From the very first sounds of the album's opening track, 'Zoo Station', it's clear that this will be a very different experience from The Joshua Tree or anything else they released before. The song is by far the heaviest and hardest track on the album, which makes for a great opener and a great introduction to the 'new', more produced, more experimental U2. That is not to say that the band mates' celebrated skills are nowhere to be seen; in fact, The Edge's guitar sounds better than ever, but he abandoned the clean tone that made him famous during the Joshua Tree / Rattle & Hum period for a much harsher, more distorted sound. What attracted me to U2's music was always the sound rather than the songs, and on Achtung Baby the sound is all around perfect. That can be felt on the album's catchier, mellower pop tunes, like the hit ballad 'One' and the successful single 'Mysterious Ways', as well as on the more experimental pieces - 'The Fly', 'Love Is Blindness', or 'Even Better Than The Real Thing'. U2 made a completely new band out of themselves in 1991, in terms of both music and subject matter; politics are nowhere to be found on Achtung Baby, and even the love songs have become more complex and sarcastic. U2 and Bono are darker here than they ever were.
But all that does not mean that they lost they skill for making catchy tunes; on the contrary. Each song on Achtung Baby is a perfect pop song, and it produced a number of hit singles that equals its massively successful predecessor. Thus the ideal balance is struck between the qualities of each member of the band and the production team - Bono's pop poetry, The Edge's explosive guitar, Eno's always expanding experimentation, Flood's electronics. That balance will not - could not have - lasted for more than one album; Eno would take over on Zooropa, then Flood would have his own on Pop, and Bono would reclaim the group on All That You Can't Leave Behind. All of these albums are great for their own reasons, but not one of them could be compared to the inspiration of Achtung Baby. Even the most cynic of U2's haters should give it a listen; it really is one of the masterpieces of its time.
Fortunately, that song did come to be, and the rest is history, as it quickly led to U2 finding their groove and figuring out what they wanted to do. Achtung Baby was a much darker, much more techno and dance-oriented then anything they had ever done. Bono's lyrical fortes have always been politics and sexual innuendo, and after a decade of political music, this album is straight a love-sex-relationships-loss record, which is no surprise as The Edge was going through his own marital split at the time and Bono was also having some problems(which have since been resolved) concerning touring and being away from his family for so long. This record captures all the different ways love can manifest itself, and, in contrast, the different ways it can be lost. Highlights include chart hits 'Even Better Than The Real Thing', 'The Fly', and 'Mysterious Ways', live favorite "'ntil The End Of The World'(which has generated so amazing performances), unknown gems 'So Cruel', "'Ultraviolet', 'Acrobat', and 'Love Is Blindness'.
When one things "Achtung Baby", however, one thinks of one song. 'One' is often considered as being right up with "Yesterday" in terms of the greatest rock ballads ever written, and more importantly is the song that saved U2 from breakup. To quote Larry Mullen Jr., "I remember walking into the control room, and hearing this riff, it's the riff from One, and just thinking, 'that is IT, THIS is something special". For me the brilliance of "One" is that it has so many different meanings that no one has ever been able to pinpoint its original genesis lyric-wise. It could be talking about tolerance and acceptance amongst the human race, it could be talking about AIDS, it could be talking about a relationship gone bad, it could even be talking about the band itself, as in the band members are not the same but they have to carry each other in order to make the band work. Just a brilliant song, as are most of the songs on this record(come on, there are only three songs on it that I haven't mentioned).
What's perhaps even more brilliant than this record is the way in which U2 decided to tour it. I am convinced that no tour will ever be able to touch the spectacle that was, "ZooTV". The brilliance of this tour lies in its intent: on the outside, when you see Bono strut on stage in a leather outfit with fly shades and slicked back hair, the band with massive amounts of hardware behind them, the first reaction is that they're a band that has let superstardom go to their heads, a group of arrogant individuals. However, this is not the case. The intent of this tour is to, in fact, make fun of the importance the media puts on things like U2 by putting all those huge TV screens on stage, while at the same time using them to bring more important issues to the public's doorstep: the gulf war, the sarajevo linkups(in which Bono talked to young people in Sarajevo during its wartime, via satellite, during shows), etc.
The most amazing part of all this is that U2 were able to make such drastic changes, take such big risks for already being the biggest band in the world, and be able to not only maintain that title, but attract legions of new fans at the same time, while still being true to the music THEY wanted to make. That hasn't happened very often at all. Ever. Fans will argue over which of masterpiece #3("The Joshua Tree") or masterpiece #4(This) is better, but I say, just appreciate "Achtung Baby" for what it is: A great, groundbreaking rock record.
Thank God that didn't happen!
This album is one of the best of all time, and deserves to be a part of your collection.
A true fan will aready have the B-sides, videos, tv specials etc.
I bought it for the unreleased stuff.
Everyone has been harping on the ZooTV Live from Sidney show inclusion. I tend to agree. There must have been many more that could have been included other than this one. The Dublin show from 1993 for instance.
Anyway. I like the packaging and the documentary "From the sky down" gives a great insight in how this album was created.