Indefensible argument of the day


U2’s “new” Live In Paris CD (available on iTunes here, if you’re into that sort of thing) captures the band at the height of its abilities as a performing ensemble — Paris in 1988, on the endless Joshua Tree tour. But it’s inevitably disappointing because almost a dozen of U2’s best songs have been on albums released in the ’90s and ’00s. The boys didn’t yet have their best material when they were in their best shape as a band.


Indefensible argument of the day

  1. Paul Not sure if you are saying your argument is the most indefensible of the day or not.

    I totally disagree with you that some of their best songs came after Joshua Tree. I would argue JT was their last decent album and everything after is rubbish.

  2. On one point I would disagree. While they did release some amazing, even classic material post 1988, in my opinion the Joshua Tree album is their best material. Even if released today, “Where the Streets Have No Name” and a few of the other songs would no doubt enjoy a long reign at the top of the charts.

  3. Almost a dozen, you say? There’s a strong argument to be made for about half that number, IMHO. I like the idea of keeping it pure. Sadly I have never seen U2 live, but it must be jarring to go from the socially conscious rock of Unforgettable Fire, War and the Joshua Tree to the dance pop of their later stuff. So for a live show I would prefer pre-Joshua tree material alone, maybe with later stuff as an added DVD bonus.

    Post Joshua Tree material among U2’s best:

    The Fly
    Mysterious Ways
    Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
    Ultra Violet Light

    hmmmmmmm, I’m out.

  4. I will not hear a word said against Miracle Drug.

  5. This gets me to thinking: how silly would the anti-IRA speech from the Sunday bloody Sunday version of Rattle & Hum sound if it came in the middle of, say, discotheque?

  6. Now that he’s stealing ideas from Supertramp, isn’t it time we stopped paying attention to Bono?

  7. Just to strengthen my first argument. Please go and pop in the Live from Boston DVD made in 2001, and watch the Bad/Where the Streets Have No Name track. Turn it up loud. If you don’t get goosebumps you are dead inside.

  8. “I will not hear a word said against Miracle Drug.”

    Fortunately, this is a blog comment thread and you shall only have to read my arguing that every last track on How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb was overproduced, poppy schlock that seemed to think that moody non-music combined with remorselessly uninspired guitar bits was what people wanted with their U2 album. Of course, it sold ten gajillion copies so apparently they were right, but still.

    On the bright side, I bet it would sound better live, if only because the remorseless studiofication of the U2 sound that has taken place ever since War is pretty hard to render in a stadium.

Sign in to comment.