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June 30, 2012 4:10 PM   Subscribe

At the end of November, 1979, this band was just a year and half old and had played fewer than 40 sets. They had a handful of embryonic songs influenced by Television and Magazine, and a 3-month old, 3-song EP with two decent songs. Then they went to London to play a bunch of gigs behind that EP, and in just 6 months, over 40 gigs, they exploded. They watched in the studio during the January 1980 recording of “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” wooing Joy Division’s producer Martin Hannett; appeared on TV that month with a song they had only played 4 times, and released a forgettable single at the end of February. Suddenly new songs poured out at a remarkable rate: ”Twilight”, “Things to make and Do,” “A Day Without Me”, ”Trevor” became ”Touch”, ”Silver Lining” transformed into a second single (produced by Hannett). They signed a record contract in March, and immediately began recording a stunning debut album. By the summer they had more songs: a psychedelic/sexual horror tune, and a hot new single. It all became bloated and sucky commercial and atmospheric soon after, but for a while there, boy did they rock.

Early bonus videos, before they were good:

Street Mission, 1978 (Great look!)
The Fool, 1978
Life on a Distant Planet, 1979
posted by msalt (127 comments total) 65 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thank you. One person's new wave is another's oldie. Thanks I really enjoyed that.
posted by sensi63 at 4:20 PM on June 30, 2012


They still rock, actually.

Those early years, still finding their legs, they were a force of nature. They still are, but of a very different sort.

Great post, thanks!
posted by hippybear at 4:23 PM on June 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


It all became bloated and sucky commercial and atmospheric soon after

Them's fightin' words, uh, Boy. Uh, depending on what you mean by "soon" and "after"...
posted by dhartung at 4:26 PM on June 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's interesting to think how many fantastic bands we've never heard because they only existed for two years in some provincial city and maybe never recorded an album or even a single. We only know/care enough about U2 to dig up their early work because they became commercially successful. A little band called Death (not the one fronted by Chuck Schuldiner) is a great example of a truly amazing band that was ahead of its time, but I had never heard of until their album was re-released forty years later. Or take this single that was featured in the 2010 film Blue Valentine – the band is totally lost to history, and nobody has any idea who any of the people on this recording are or what has become of them. When you factor in all the thousands of bands that are putting albums out on sites like BandCamp now, plus this whole back catalog of unappreciated and forgotten music from bygone eras, it's almost overwhelming to think about what we might be missing in the shuffle.
posted by deathpanels at 4:34 PM on June 30, 2012 [20 favorites]


Thanks for all the work and links--was rolling along until "It all became bloated and sucky commercial and atmospheric soon after"--not necessary, not necessarily accurate and time does pass and things do change. Again--thanks for the work
posted by rmhsinc at 4:35 PM on June 30, 2012


the band is totally lost to history, and nobody has any idea who any of the people on this recording are or what has become of them.

This band has been identified.
posted by dobbs at 4:40 PM on June 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


Well, yeah I guess I don't mind being a bit provocative. (Next up; my opinion of early vs. late Grateful Dead.) But this post is really for non-fans who've dismissed them for not rocking.

I was just struck by 2 things that I wanted to share with people who didn't know them back then; how radically different (and original) this band was in its early years compared to the band most people know today, and how they went from well, not 0 to 60 but maybe 10 to 80 in just a few months. I was looking through some of the websites where you see old giglists and setlists - and it was like wow, another great song debut. next gig -- another great song debut!
posted by msalt at 4:44 PM on June 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Congratulations on getting me to favourite an FPP on a band I would usually call the Coldplay of their generation, quite a feat.
posted by Artw at 4:50 PM on June 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


Deathpanels' post is what it was all about for me, for a while, anyway. Seeing that amazing band in a no-name venue that was on its fifth theme iteration. Getting a mixtape from a bunch of bands you've never heard of, then frantically trying to find something, anything by them. Getting up on stage and playing that one great show, then everything falls apart. Man, that post brought back some memories. While I'm glad music today is much more accessible and easier to find (now it's a question of finding it in the masses rather than "You're stuck with your local scene and whatever the tape trading network brings your way"), man, there was something special about being a music fan back then.

I have an 80s stream I listen to sometimes and one day they were playing this amazing sounding band, song I'd never heard, and it was some deep cut from U2's very early albums, one of those songs they never play on the radio. Just breathtaking how good they were back then.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 4:52 PM on June 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pay your fucking tax, Bono.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:05 PM on June 30, 2012 [24 favorites]


This is well and good, and I look forward to clicking the links.
But bloated and sucky/commercial and atmospheric is a bit editorial, innit?
posted by Mezentian at 5:05 PM on June 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bizarre world. Moments ago, I just listened to A Flock of Seagulls on YT for the first time ever after not having heard them for a shit I can't count that high number of years, but Boy was the record (yes, record. I used to have a timer on my turntable instead of an alarm clock) that was apparently twinned to U2's first release. They were almost all we listened to one summer (along with OMD and the Psychedelic Furs etc.) over and over and over again when we were held captive working at a rich people's club. Some bands have held up.

On Boy and October, not one band member could fecking play their instrument. Amazingly, they all learned as they went along.

And I Will Follow will follow me forever. Thanks, Alan.
posted by vers at 5:07 PM on June 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


But bloated and sucky/commercial and atmospheric is a bit editorial, innit?

I think that's only a problem when it's inaccurate.
posted by dobbs at 5:10 PM on June 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


But bloated and sucky/commercial and atmospheric is a bit editorial, innit?

bloated and sucky, sure, but that's why it was struck. More commercial and atmospheric -- does anyone really disagree? They sold more records and went deliberately for a more atmospheric sound with Eno and Daniel Lanois helming records.

If I wanted to be editorial I would have said "They went to shit about the time Bono started the heavy breathing on his vocals..." But I didn't!
posted by msalt at 5:14 PM on June 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was once 5 feet from Bono and didn't notice him. Guy says, "You know who that is?" I look up, see an attractive woman, and replied, "No, but I'd like to."

We pass the group, he says, "That was Bono!"

I'd never even noticed the guy, so I circled back around and sure enough, there he was. He was in Des Moines promoting something to do with the World Food Prize.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:22 PM on June 30, 2012


But bloated and sucky/commercial and atmospheric is a bit editorial, innit?

I started liking U2 a lot more when they discovered irony, meself. Sunday Bloody Sunday is a great song (it really captures the frustrations of a Sunday) but back then was easier to admire than to like. Achtung Baby is my U2 album of choice, and I have time for Passengers and Pop as well.

I stopped liking U2 when the stories about taxes and chartering a plane to pick up sunglasses were knocking about - I still sing along to their choons but feel slightly dirty with it.
posted by mippy at 5:32 PM on June 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


To clarify- this is an excellent post. I still have fond memories of hearing early U2, "I Will Follow" has also followed me for a very long time, and there is something about The Edge's trademark "endless guitar" sound that is instantly recognizable and immediately calls back mid-'80s Queen St. W. for me.

But pay your fucking tax, Bono.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:35 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


My god, they were just children.

And yeah, that album was different. Saw 'em on the October tour, after I'd heard how good the Boy tour had been at Club Foot, so not like my indie cred of having seen REM open for the Motels, but still pretty early on. I don't remember the show too well except that they were energetic and earnest, and they really had their own sound.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:38 PM on June 30, 2012


dig up their early work

My god, how old are you people? I remember when U2 was played on college radio.


get out of my yard unless you want to mow it for me. my back is out.
posted by scratch at 5:54 PM on June 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


When you overlook the bombastic tours, endless hype and Bono's activities, you're left with a band with a damn good discography. The albums - that's all I give a shit about.
posted by davebush at 5:56 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


When you overlook the bombastic tours, endless hype and Bono's activities, you're left with a band with a damn good discography.

You're absolutely right. Shame they broke up back in 1991.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:02 PM on June 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


They also had producer and audio engineer Mark Ellis, AKA Flood, who had a big part in creating a deeply layered crystalline sound that meets the capabilities of even the clearest headphones, and the lowest subwoofers.

Flood is my favorite engineer for just plain beautiful sound. His work with the The Bad Seeds set the highest standards. He shared a Grammy with U2.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:07 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


When did Flood work with U2?

I saw them back in May 1983 at a concert at Boston's Orpheum. The version of 11 O'clock Tick Tock from Under a Blood Red Sky was recorded at that show.

It was nuts. There was so much high pitched screaming from young female audience members that you literally could not hear the band half the time. And then Bono said "We're trying to record this for a live album but the engineers tell me that you're screaming too loud." And then they screamed louder. It really did kind of ruin the show.

Bono was an amazing showman though. The Orpheum was a beautiful old 1930s film palace, and he climbed up the wall to the ornate balcony and walked along the edge of it like a tightrope. People there were all bragging about having seen them at a 1981 show at Boston's Paradise. That show was released to radio stations as a promotional disc and is not hard to come by -- really a great show. The February 1981 Hague show I link to a lot seems to rival it for intensity.
posted by msalt at 6:24 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


When did Flood work with U2?

"In 2006, his work with U2 led to his sharing of the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb."
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:28 PM on June 30, 2012


Next up; my opinion of early vs. late Grateful Dead

Do it! Just no hating on Brent...
posted by docgonzo at 6:29 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's not to say that 2006 was Flood's only influence. I associate Flood with a sound you might call, "the rhythm of rhyming guitars."
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:31 PM on June 30, 2012


No, no, bloated and sucky are accurate.
posted by evilDoug at 6:35 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do it! Just no hating on Brent...

Brent who? I don't listen to anything after Pigpen died. Too noodly, he kept them grounded. I just don't understand why they didn't play this song more than 20 times or so live. Unless Garcia was threatened by how competitive Weir was in the twin-lead attack. In my alternate reality, it was part of the Allmann Brother's album "Live at Fillmore East."
posted by msalt at 6:36 PM on June 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Flood's first mainstream commercial break came in 1987 when he engineered U2's The Joshua Tree alongside producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois."
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:41 PM on June 30, 2012


I used to love the music. Now, when I listen to them at all, I can't put aside Mr. Hewson's AIDS hucksterism or new love of waving the flag.
posted by docgonzo at 6:50 PM on June 30, 2012


I like to believe in the Fringe alternaverse they died in a horrible train wreck at Newark Springsteen Station in 1987 after finally reaching the top of the charts with The Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum never happened. Because that's a better universe.
posted by otters walk among us at 6:58 PM on June 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


A universe without Achtung Baby and Zooropa? That's worse.
posted by davebush at 7:04 PM on June 30, 2012 [13 favorites]


I like to believe in the Fringe alternaverse they died in a horrible train wreck at Newark Springsteen Station in 1987 after finally reaching the top of the charts with The Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum never happened. Because that's a better universe.

Yeah, except I was at the concert they played at Tarrant County Convention Center when BB King opened for them and they debuted When Love Came To Town. Completely stunning show from start to finish. I found a really good bootleg of it only about a year ago, and it still makes the hair on my arms stand on end.

Rattle And Hum has its problems (although it was awesome to see in the movie theater), but I'll happily keep the band around long enough for me to have seen that show, no matter what universe I'm in.
posted by hippybear at 7:05 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wasn't aware of the Hannett/Joy Division connection. But watching some of the live tracks from the 1981 The Hague show (e.g.) I can see some connections, e.g. the hi hat/ride and drumming, bass lines, etc.
posted by carter at 7:10 PM on June 30, 2012


How funny, I was just watching this old video of "The Ocean." (WTF Bono eating grapes onstage)

Carter, forgive me if you already know this, but "Love Can Tear Us Apart" used to get snippeted at the end of "With or Without You," a LOT.

(As an aside, I know everyone's probably already seen this, but it made me laugh until I cried.)
posted by Violet Hour at 7:17 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


This comment from the "Street Mission" clip made me laugh -

LARRY MULLEN JR. LOOKS LIKE JUSTIN BIEBER OMG
posted by davebush at 7:24 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Was there some reason the OP does not name the band? This is a post about Joy Division, right?
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:46 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Was there some reason the OP does not name the band?

To keep haters interested long enough to get to the Joy Division factoid so they might actually click on a link.
posted by msalt at 7:54 PM on June 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


My all-time favorite Bono story involves my best friend's husband seeing him raking leaves in his yard while wearing leather pants. Because yeah, seriously...what else would Bono wear to rake leaves?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:05 PM on June 30, 2012 [11 favorites]


I'm still a hater, mind, you can't take that away from me.

Now, everyone has seen Twenty Four Hour Party People and the recreation of the fateful Sex Pistols gig which spawned all these bands, right?
posted by Artw at 8:08 PM on June 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


To keep haters interested long enough to get to the Joy Division factoid so they might actually click on a link.

Yeah, and I got raked over the coals the last time I objected to someone who deliberately concealed the nature of their links, to deceive people into clicking on links to material they did not want to see.

I assert that no matter what the quality of the content, it is unacceptable to deliberately conceal the subject of a post in a deceptive manner. I am flagging this post under "breaks the guidelines."
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:09 PM on June 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well at least it wasn't Simply Red.
posted by Artw at 8:12 PM on June 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


...or A Certain Ratio.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:18 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


YOU HAVE WASTED 30 SECONDS OF MY LIFE GOOD SIR AND FOR THAT YOUR POST WILL BURN
posted by schroedinger at 8:20 PM on June 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have to agree, it is a bit of a stunty way to frame the post. And to state openly that the objective was to trick people into clicking through into material they wouldn't have been interested in otherwise pretty much confirms that.

It makes me wonder whether putting together a quality post that was upfront about its material and was making it clear that it was a celebration and examination of early U2 material, both recorded and live, would have been a better approach. When I did my post about the POP album, it was pretty well received and the haters seemed to mostly stay away and not do that "your favorite band sucks" thing which is so common.

Framing matters, and I believe that the way this post is framed has and will continue to contribute to haterism in this thread.
posted by hippybear at 8:20 PM on June 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I assert that no matter what the quality of the content, it is unacceptable to deliberately conceal the subject of a post in a deceptive manner. I am flagging this post under "breaks the guidelines."

Well, then I'm going to flag the "pay your tax" comments as "your favorite band sucks" derails, because this post is about when they were barely in their 20's and didn't have enough to pay tax on...

Ahem.

When they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Bono told a story about something that probably happened around this time -- he and Edge got into some kind of an argument and Edge finally gave him a punch in the face and knocked him flat out. The lesson Bono learned that day, he said, was "Never pick a fight with a guy who makes his living through hand-eye coordination."

But my moral was - it's the bands that go through the young-guy pissing matches when fame hits them but then make up and still stick together that make the best bands, don't they?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:21 PM on June 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I liked it. It made me want to find out what the band was. Had the FPP identified it as U2, I probably would've skipped it.
posted by scratch at 8:24 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, u2 is right there in the tags.
posted by scratch at 8:26 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


psychedelic/sexual horror tune

This is my absolute favorite U2 song. The only reason I went to see them on the Elevation Tour was because I'd heard they were playing it in their sets. I even made a little sign that said "AN CAT DUBH!" to wave over my head at the show.

Of course, by the time I got to see them, they were playing "The Ocean" in its place. Sigh.
posted by Lucinda at 8:37 PM on June 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


...and by "Elevation", I meant "Vertigo".
posted by Lucinda at 8:40 PM on June 30, 2012


I assert that no matter what the quality of the content, it is unacceptable to deliberately conceal the subject of a post in a deceptive manner. I am flagging this post under "breaks the guidelines."

Plant a flag in the audience and move on?
posted by Violet Hour at 8:40 PM on June 30, 2012


I assert that no matter what the quality of the content, it is unacceptable to deliberately conceal the subject of a post in a deceptive manner. I am flagging this post under "breaks the guidelines."

Good for fucking you. I'm not a U2 fan - though I enjoyed The Edge in It Might Get Loud far more than I expected to - but you people know where MeTa is.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:41 PM on June 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


How early U2 sounded to the great Julian Cope (from his memoir "Head-On")

"Meanwhile, our New York show was a stupid and mistaken "double-bill" with U2 at the Palladium in Lower Manhattan. *In Liverpool, we thought that U2 were a bad joke, a record company's idea of a northern group. *They talked of passion as though it was their exclusive right. Ho-hum. *Down the eastern seaboard, u2 had sent the Teardrop messages. *The final one was a tape of Sparks' old 45 *"This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us". *I really dug that. *Maybe Bone-head and Co. weren't Bad Company after all. *

Double-bill, huh? We went on first, did really well and left. *I'd seen U2 in the soundcheck. *Led Zep, man. *Uncool. *But they were dead sweet and a bit younger than us, so we gave them some leeway. They weren't gonna do shit anyway. *To quote Gary Dwyer, U2 were really called the Hope Brothers. ' Cause they've only got two hopes of making it: Bob Hope and no hope.' *"

Not that I'm a hater! U2 were no Teardrops, mind, Cope was right about that, but "I Will Follow" stands up. I had never thought of the strange bass notes in that song in the context of Joy Division but it makes perfect sense.
posted by escabeche at 8:41 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


So... Without me having to load a bunch of pages, who exactly is 'they'? If the band is so good why can't you identify them actually IN your post?!?! Stop the insanity!!!

[Sorry, my major MeFi pet peeve is when posters don't just say what they're linking to and rather hide an otherwise interesting post under a legion of supposedly provocative and wonder-inducing 'theys.' Then, after the links FINALLY load on my dial-up, it's something like Simply Red. No offense, Mick.]
posted by Mael Oui at 8:57 PM on June 30, 2012


[Folks, you all know where MetaTalk is. Please take the the meta-conversation there. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 8:58 PM on June 30, 2012


I guess we'll just have to go on... with or without them.
posted by Artw at 9:02 PM on June 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


As a teenager, I was bored to tears with Joshua Tree and the rest of their bullshit. I listened to classic rock - Floyd, Doors, Doobies, Dead, Supertramp, Zep, Who, CSN&Y, Jimmie, Janice.

Then I went to college. Seattle happened, Ministry happened, 808 State happened, and then this bloated, arena-rock college-radio euro-trash band realized and recognized that they were old and out of touch.

They did something about it.

You get to record a song like "Gloria" once in a career, drunk and intense, or so the story goes. That was supposed to be their high point, their zenith, the rest just a descending arc into obscurity, a meteor flaming out into a shimmering streak of dust. Sober-sharp thirty-something geriatrics, just fade away into "Best Of" compilations and die, already! Nope.

Achtung, Baby.

Look, I gotta go, yeah I'm running outta change. There's a lot of things, if I could I'd rearrange...
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:07 PM on June 30, 2012


I must be an outlier because about all I like of U2 can be found on Zooropa.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:21 PM on June 30, 2012


They've had a lot of different eras. This FPP is meant to highlight the least well-known and hardest-rocking of them. A time when Jung was a bigger influence on their lyrics than Jesus. Obviously more people liked what they became later though, that's why they're famous, so you're in good company.
posted by msalt at 9:25 PM on June 30, 2012


So... you liked them before they were cool?
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:31 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Edge walks into a bar and says "Can I have........... a beer"

the barman says, "Why the delay?"
posted by the noob at 9:37 PM on June 30, 2012 [28 favorites]


Speaking of Edge and his delays, I heard somewhere a good while back that on at least some songs (maybe all?) in live performances, the delay times are continually locked, (tap tempo-style) to the drummer's snare or kick. Which, if you're gonna use delay as much as Edge does, seems like a fantastic idea, in that the drummer is still driving the car, not some machine rhythm that the drummer has to keep in sync with.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:45 PM on June 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


'cuz it sound facking coool, now gimme a beer.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:45 PM on June 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is there a less imaginative guitarist in music history than The Edge? All their songs sound the same because of his repetitive tinkling.

And as excellent as this FPP is, I can never get past the Negativland debacle when it comes to U2. Fucking hypocrites.
posted by dobbs at 10:28 PM on June 30, 2012


Years ago, when Manchester United played Celtic in a friendly in Seattle, my family and I were walking to the stadium and my dad elbowed me and directed my attention to a guy standing across the way from us.

"Is that...?" he asked.

"It has to be. Who else would wear sunglasses and leather pants like that, in Seattle?"

So my brother and I stopped for a minute to say hi to Bono, who was extremely nice and walked with us most of the rest of the way to the stadium. He even signed autographs for us, and after I spelled out my name for him he commented that I had a strange name.

That's right, a guy who goes by Bono thinks my name is weird.
posted by emmling at 10:28 PM on June 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Interesting. I never knew Hannett worked with U2. I tend to regard him as something of a hack, considering how much he mangled Joy Division's sound, but he had some taste in the groups he chose to work with, and at the very least that Durrutti Column record he produced is pretty good work. I'll have to listen to that track he dud with U2 when I get a chance.
posted by koeselitz at 10:33 PM on June 30, 2012


I can never get past the Negativland debacle

That was the labels - both U2's *and* Negativland's (which sued them to recover the costs of the first lawsuit). The band wasn't even informed of the lawsuit until after the fact.

more here: http://blogcritics.org/music/article/independent-music-activism-part-ii-negativlands/
posted by bashos_frog at 10:39 PM on June 30, 2012


Stop trying to fucking build in Malibu, Dave.
posted by ambient2 at 10:48 PM on June 30, 2012


I must be an outlier because about all I like of U2 can be found on Zooropa.

I can beat this. There was a while when Rattle and Hum was my absolute favorite album in the whole world. I'm still not really sure how that happened.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:03 PM on June 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


I am old enough that these cats are just past my high school listening days. I am a big Deadhead (so looking forward to that post msalt! I happen to think the Dead is the world's greatest cover band and the Pigpen days they were a great blues band, but I digress...)

I never loved U2, but they were entertaining enough that I didn't change the station when they came on. What I don't get is why all the hate for them? Sure, Bono is a tool and the Edge not very creative, but they put on an entertaining show in their day.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:10 PM on June 30, 2012


U2: Fugazi :: Rattle and Hum : End Hits

Discuss.
posted by bardic at 11:10 PM on June 30, 2012


U2 played a ton of shows in the Northeast US in those early days and built a strong following, but noted that it was the success of I Will Follow on the radio that made the difference between stardom and obscurity for them.

My favourite moments at any of their concerts over the last 10 years usually involve them pulling Out of Control out of the vault. They still play it like they're 20.

(yeah yeah taxes, mansions, Africa, enough...I don't care, they bloody rock live and always have. Hearing Bad live is worth listening to Bono prattle on for a few minutes so enjoy your moral opprobrium)
posted by dry white toast at 11:14 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


So... you liked them before they were cool?

That would be yesterday?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:52 AM on July 1, 2012


I swear, the next U2 show I go to I'll be wearing a black "The LARRY MULLEN Band" t-shirt.
posted by wallabear at 12:58 AM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


So... you liked them before they were cool?

No, I liked them when they were cool - before they were popular. /obnoxious

(Actually I got into them years after all these shows, but I met some of the cool people who had been there and told me all about it. And I don't actually disagree with them, musically, not to my taste anyway.)
posted by msalt at 1:09 AM on July 1, 2012


Becoming aware of music in the mid to late eighties as something more than a background sound, U2 was already deeply mainstream, but The Joshua Tree and especially "With or Without You" blew our minds. That sound will forever be associated by me with 1987.

I loathe and detest Bono and his fauxtivism, the way his Live 8 spectacles took attention and oxygen away from the real G8 protests, but their music, up to perhaps Rattle and Hum, which I still somewhat like, is better than the haters make it out to be.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:15 AM on July 1, 2012


Interesting. I never knew Hannett worked with U2. I tend to regard him as something of a hack, considering how much he mangled Joy Division's sound, but he had some taste in the groups he chose to work with, and at the very least that Durrutti Column record he produced is pretty good work. I'll have to listen to that track he dud with U2 when I get a chance.

Well, the studio version of 11 O'Clock Tick Tock seems really stilted and, I don't know, blurry to me compared to various hot live versions. Which is why I linked to the live version in the FPP. But I can't find any live versions played close to the time they recorded the single (March 1980) so I can't tell how much of this is the band improving the song in performance. And they had already rewritten the song that March from the earlier incarnation (Silver Lining.)
posted by msalt at 1:28 AM on July 1, 2012


You folks know you can see Larry's cock on Actung Baby!, right?
Good.

I take msalt's point. Myself, I love me U2 until and including Rattle and Hum, and they get less and less interesting to me from there, personally. And by Vertigo I was just completely over it. I'm rather listen to all of the Virgin Prunes Lite Fantastik than that song again.

But they were the first band who ever spoke to me.
So, I have a lot of love for U2.

And I listen to New Year's Day every year, at least once, when the hangover subsides.
posted by Mezentian at 2:28 AM on July 1, 2012


People always forget how cute U2 were, and how important that was for their early success. My sister got into U2 long before my brother or I did.
posted by DanCall at 2:33 AM on July 1, 2012


It is hard to get past the whole Negativland thing. Sure, U2 wasn't responsible for the lawsuit but they could have easily made things right. And basically stealing Negativland's schtick for their 90's live shows without giving credit and/or cash was pretty classless. I can overlook a lot from an artist but that's a bit much.

But its not like I would be listening to them now anyways. In '83 and '84, I had this insane obsession with the band and that was enough for one lifetime. New Year's Day was an absolutely great song, but I'll be damned if I ever deliberately listen to it again. Nostalgia is a dog from hell and best kept locked away. The past should be forgotten so that the future is full of novelty.

Though I have to say I really liked the mystery meat approach to this post. Flesh of uncertain origin is always the best approach to covering something so well known.
posted by honestcoyote at 2:41 AM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


There were lots of bands in the late seventies that started out as derivative, amateur-hour punks but then went on to become something great and beautiful. U2 is one of those. I love those bands and I love that era.

And Larry Mullen Jr is a beautiful, beautiful man.
posted by Summer at 3:09 AM on July 1, 2012


....so enjoy your moral opprobrium.

One person's perception of opprobrium is another person's opinion.

Me? Can't tune out all the non-band stuff: the taxes, mansions, etc., etc., etc., and the semi-band stuff: the lack of a pay-what-you-want single, EP, etc.; a free EP with whatever people wanna pay going to charity; or anything that doesn't reek of revenue maximization.

I liked the band a lot through about A. Baby, but much as the non-music things temper the enthusiasm, it's hard to separate out their impact on my sense that they've come up with about four good songs in the last decade.
posted by ambient2 at 3:47 AM on July 1, 2012


Also, u2 is right there in the tags.

... which are not visible from the front page. This is a great post, but it is somewhat marred by the failure to identify the band. Any U2 fan, or ex-fan, knew who it was by the end of the paragraph. Still burying the lead is poor form. It is a trick employed by hack journalists to keep a reader's interest for a perhaps otherwise uninteresting story. This post needed no such trick - it is loaded with great stuff about a great, or at least once great, band. Even putting U2 at the end of the paragraph would have sufficed so that any U2 haters could skim to the end and move onto the next post. Anyway, that is kind of minor nit picky stuff. This post still rocks.
posted by caddis at 5:50 AM on July 1, 2012


Is there a less imaginative guitarist in music history than The Edge?

mark farner - just to name one that came to mind - generic hard rock and heavy metal guitarists are legion

All their songs sound the same because of his repetitive tinkling.

well, who came up with that sound? - he did - (steve hillage and bill nelson were using their similar tricks to play lead, not rhythm)

seems imaginative to me
posted by pyramid termite at 6:06 AM on July 1, 2012


You folks know you can see Larry's cock on Actung Baby!, right?
Good.


It's Adam's cock. And it's not visible on the US release of the album, it has a giant X or a shamrock over it. And that's only the original release -- the 20th Anniversary rereleases of AB all have the censored cover.

My favourite moments at any of their concerts over the last 10 years usually involve them pulling Out of Control out of the vault. They still play it like they're 20.

Here's the most recent time it was played live, on the last show of the 360 tour.
posted by hippybear at 7:24 AM on July 1, 2012


All four members of U2 live in Ireland and pay their taxes like everybody else. As a *company*, they moved *part* of their *business*, particularly to do with publishing, to The Netherlands.

Also, they are still a great band and are making good music and playing great shows. So there.
posted by prolific at 7:32 AM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I swear, the next U2 show I go to I'll be wearing a black "The LARRY MULLEN Band" t-shirt.

You mean one of these? That can be easily arranged.
posted by hippybear at 7:32 AM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Still the best song they ever created, and this performance is the best. I haven't decided yet, but I think I'll include this in my requested playlist for my funeral.
posted by thanotopsis at 7:46 AM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, I've never noticed how much Bono looks like Robin Williams before these videos. Young Bono might as well be Mork.
posted by uberfunk at 8:03 AM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of the great things about U2 is that you can always find a group of die hard fans who will point to almost any era of U2 and say "this is amongst the best work they have ever done."

I think it largely depends on the age of the listener. I'm in my early 30s now and was in high-school and university throughout the 90s so, for me, this is my favorite period with Pop being my favorite U2 album. But I pretty much like everything they have done prior to 2000. It's much more hit or miss since then.

BTW, for those wondering about Flood's involvement U2 (from wikipedia:

1987 - The Joshua Tree (Engineer)
1991 - Achtung Baby (Mixing, Engineer)
1993 - Zooropa (Moxing, Loops, Engineer, Producer)
1997 - Pop (Producer, Keyboards, Mixing)
2004 - Hot to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Producer, Mixing)

All gems other than HTDaAB.
posted by phe at 8:08 AM on July 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is there a less imaginative guitarist in music history than The Edge?

Eric Clapton.

I understand why it is cool to slag on U2, but I will always love them. I was 12 when I heard War for the first time. It was so different from the classic rock and crap metal and bullshit Nashville country that was all around me. The next four cassettes I bought were Boy, October, and Under A Blood Red Sky.
posted by vibrotronica at 8:47 AM on July 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Can't imagine any of U2 helping aging blues musicians get the rights to their music back, mind.
posted by Artw at 8:52 AM on July 1, 2012


Can't imagine any of U2 helping aging blues musicians get the rights to their music back, mind.

Right, but when U2 did dip their toe into American and blues music with enthusiasm they were slapped down pretty hard for it. Hard to imagine it because they were basically told to STFU and do something else.

posted by hippybear at 8:55 AM on July 1, 2012


"Boy" was so good. One forgets, as it gets obscured by everything which came after. I completely lost interest in the band after "The Joshua Tree".

Now, everyone has seen Twenty Four Hour Party People

Actually, I haven't -- but just yesterday, I got the soundtrack for cheap, at the used CD store.

posted by Rash at 8:55 AM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Achtung Baby came out during my junior year of high school. Up until that time, I was mostly fixated on my Dad's music: Beatles, Zeppelin, Doors, Jimi Hendrix, etc. Then I spent a night listening to Achtung on CD while reading along the lyrics. Then I did it again the next night. And the next night. I couldn't get over how amazing this album was. It was dark, sad, funny, and funky. The ZooTV show came around to Chicago six months later and I had what amounted to a religious experience during "Ultraviolet."

Fast forward two years. I was counting down the days until Zooropa came out. I bought the CD about 20 minutes after the nearest music store opened. Again, I saw down in front of my stereo with the lyrics open and the record playing. I couldn't believe it, but they had topped themselves. It was transcendent. I was getting into this new thing called the Internet at the time (pre-Mosaic, all VAX) and it just seemed to capture something abstract in the air that you couldn't quite place. Even though the album was meant more as a statement on European unity, I found it to be a statement on this brave new world of technology and interpersonal global communication we were starting to roll out. It was fun, awesome, scary, intense, and brilliant all the same.

I'm still a fan of the band, even if nothing will quite match the intensity of those two albums for me. I still am grateful they are still around. I truly believe the music world is a better place with them in it.

"I remember when we could sleep on stones,
And now we lie together in whispers and moans.
When I was all messed up,
and I heard opera in my head.
Your love was like a lighbulb hanging over my bed.
Baby baby baby ... light my way."
- Ultraviolet
posted by zooropa at 9:14 AM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


U2 is the band I always sorta kinda liked, but never really loved. I know so many of their songs by heart, but I only ever bought one album (Boy), acquired Joshua Tree through an ex, and someone once left Rattle and Hum in my truck for a couple of months. Not to mention, their songs were on the radio pretty much hourly.

I went to their concert in 1992, when I was 14 and it was one of the best nights of my life at that point. Zoo TV! It was a blast, and I saw them twice later trying to recapture that feeling.

Later I would unfavorably compare them to both the bands they were influenced by and their lesser known contemporaries like Echo & the Bunnymen, Joy Division/New Order and Chameleons.

This post allowed me to look through my personal U2 history, thanks for that.
posted by cell divide at 9:41 AM on July 1, 2012


Whenever I read reminiscences about children waking up to the great big world of music through such-and-such band -- and in my case it was indeed a U2 record and let's be honest, where would I have been without Billy Idol? Nowhere! -- I wonder, who are all these assholes whose parents didn't listen to the Stones?
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 9:42 AM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder, who are all these assholes whose parents didn't listen to the Stones?

I am, for one.

My parents' music collection pretty much stopped with mid-60s Peter Paul And Mary, The New Christie Minstrals, a bit of Johnny Cash, the Carpenters Singles 1969-1973 album and an Elvis greatest hits collection. Oh, and several volumes of 101 Strings music. And they really don't listen to music much at all, anyway.

I will say, I grew up with a 5-record set of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, which I still think is some of the best music ever. (Plus, Herb Alpert is the A in A&M Records, which should never be forgotten.)

But yeah, I've had to pretty much forge my own musical path based on those rather odd beginnings. I feel like I've done pretty well for myself, but the lack of connection I have with my parents where music is concerned remains a bit of a sticky wicket in our relationship.
posted by hippybear at 9:49 AM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, consider yourself lucky. I grew up in a hard-core protestant family where any non-christian music was strictly forbidden.

My childhood was filled with the shittiest music imaginable -- it's called Christian Rock.
posted by phe at 9:56 AM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry, I didn't mean to call you guys assholes. I was being a dick.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 10:09 AM on July 1, 2012


I wonder, who are all these assholes whose parents didn't listen to the Stones?

older than you?
My parents listened to Herb Alpert + the Tijuana Brass.

As for U2, I'm so old I had to discover the hard way. Hear a single song on the radio, take a chance on a $4 ticket, see them in a bar. It would've been early 1981 and they tore the joint apart. Whatever bloated, self-important, absurd sins they eventually committed in the name of uncoolness, that concert remains one of the most amazing things I've ever experienced.
posted by philip-random at 10:16 AM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wonder, who are all these assholes whose parents didn't listen to the Stones?

I consider myself extremely fortunate in a musical sense that my mother was a major rock head and had (and still has!) records like Houses of the Holy, Exile on Main Street, Dio AND Ozzy-era Sabbath, etc. just lying around for impressionable young children like me to listen to.

It was always fun having friends with more conservative parents come over and watching their reaction as they went through the records, even in the CD era. You mean your parents don't have British Steel on the turntable? Weird, man. We never went through the "You're listening to that devil music?!" stage because she liked the devil music.

It's even more fun now when the high school kids she teaches start talking about the classic rock they're just discovering and their old lady English teacher in a "I <3 My Chihuahua" shirt launches into her spiel about how Rod Stewart may be an adult contemporary goof now, but he really doesn't get enough credit for Faces...
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 11:18 AM on July 1, 2012


Even putting U2 at the end of the paragraph would have sufficed so that any U2 haters could skim to the end and move onto the next post.

That's a good idea, I'll email the mods and see about doing that.

My parents' music collection pretty much stopped with mid-60s Peter Paul And Mary, The New Christie Minstrals, a bit of Johnny Cash, the Carpenters Singles 1969-1973 album and an Elvis greatest hits collection. Oh, and several volumes of 101 Strings music.

Hippybear! me, too. Mix in some Dylan and cooler folk, and musicals, and that's my exact musical inheritance. The only bonus is, my dad had a wacky sense of humor so Roger Miller (not the Mission of Burma guy but the "You Can't Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd" wacky speedfreak country drunk). And he picked up a fascinating, rare and edgy 60s undgerground album for a quarter at a garage sale -- the soundtrack to "You Are What You Eat," which opened up amazing possiblities and became a family in joke.
posted by msalt at 12:05 PM on July 1, 2012


Mix in some Dylan and cooler folk, and musicals, and that's my exact musical inheritance.

That's a pretty major difference, actually. Dylan? Never. Not in my parents' collection.
posted by hippybear at 2:21 PM on July 1, 2012


(I mean, I didn't describe bits and pieces to give an impression of their collection... I pretty much described exactly what they had when I was growing up.)
posted by hippybear at 2:22 PM on July 1, 2012


My parents' music collection pretty much stopped with mid-60s Peter Paul And Mary, The New Christie Minstrals, a bit of Johnny Cash, the Carpenters Singles 1969-1973 album and an Elvis greatest hits collection. Oh, and several volumes of 101 Strings music.

My dad had a huge record collection, with lots of 60s rock. Going to shows and buying new albums had obviously been a big part of his younger life. When I was in high school I asked him why his musical tastes seemed to have stopped abruptly in 19xx. He looked at me deadpan and said, "That's when you were born and I couldn't afford to buy records anymore." I'm still somewhat ashamed to be alive.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 2:49 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks to Vash, by the way, for this ask metafilter question that inspired this FPP (Why do so many bands say the Pixies influenced them?). It made me wonder, what if U2 had broken up in 1983 right after the Red Rocks filming? I bet they'd be cited by just as many bands as an influence.
posted by msalt at 2:50 PM on July 1, 2012


Right, but when U2 did dip their toe into American and blues music with enthusiasm they were slapped down pretty hard for it.

Reallly? Them dipping into blues is what made my father a fan. The version of Silver and Gold that everyone's familiar with is the one from Rattle and Hum, but the original version, from the "Artists Against Apartheid" charity album was way more stripped-down and off-the-cuff. One afternoon I was listening to that album in my room, and my blues-mad father was watching a movie at the other end of the house - and a moment after this song started, I suddenly heard some very-quickly advancing footsteps, and then my father threw open my bedroom door, eyes shining and jaw slack, and asked, "Who is THIS?" I told him it was the singer from U2, and he stood there, rapt, listening through to the end; and that was that.

(fun fact - apparently Bono wrote this after the wrap party for the "Sun City" video shoot; he and Peter Wolf had been talking music, and Wolf learned Bono didn't know much about blues artists then and apparently dragged him back to his hotel room and forced him to listen to about two hours of John Lee Hooker and Leadbelly and Muddy Waters.)

posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:55 PM on July 1, 2012


Gah. HTML fail.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:56 PM on July 1, 2012


Yeah, I don't get all the Rattle & Hum hate either, personally. But apparently the big wave of criticism about the movie and album at the time was that U2 was trying to somehow place themselves into the pantheon of Important American Musicians. I always thought it was a tribute, not an attempt at equality, but that's not how it was seen.

Of course, the setting for this is after the blow-up of The Joshua Tree, being on the cover of TIME, etc etc.

I find an interesting companion to Rattle And Hum is the film Outside It's America (first part sadly not available, parts 2 3 4 5), filmed on an earlier leg of the Joshua Tree tour. Not so much focus on stage performances, more on the band as they tour around, mainly the southwest, including lengthy interviews in the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, NM (my hometown -- watch for the red and yellow plastic basketball arena seats) and visiting the Tony Lama Boots factory showroom between Las Cruces and El Paso, TX, which is still a great place to get quality western footwear at an excellent price.
posted by hippybear at 3:11 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there a less imaginative guitarist in music history than The Edge? All their songs sound the same because of his repetitive tinkling.

"Where The Beat Sounds The Same" (pun by Breat Easton Ellis)
posted by WalkingAround at 3:25 PM on July 1, 2012


My dog is called Bonnie, sometimes i call her Bobo. When she whines mournfully in expectation of food or a walk I sometimes call her Bono. She rocks. She likes when I sing "Where the Treats have no Name". Neither of us are U2 fans. Like Bono, she doesn't carry cash.
posted by Elmore at 3:40 PM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I don't get all the Rattle & Hum hate either, personally.

Well there was that bit at the beginning about stealing Helter Skelter back from Charles Manson. What, U2 were suddenly the Beatles!? And Bono's posturing was pretty hard to take throughout that movie.

But man, there was some great music.
posted by philip-random at 7:30 PM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


What, U2 were suddenly the Beatles!?

In their own minds, probably.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:57 PM on July 1, 2012


Yeah, I don't get all the Rattle & Hum hate either, personally.

Rattle & Hum seemed like U2's official corporate sellout, the one that didn't even try to be anything but mainstream. I think that's why it gets singled out.
posted by Camofrog at 9:51 PM on July 1, 2012


I was a big U2 fan in junior high, and high school was dominated by the Joshua Tree. Everybody loved it, they were so huge. And then Rattle & Hum. What pretentious claptrap. I left the movie theatre feeling disgusted and betrayed.

Thankfully the redeemed themselves with Achtung Baby, which signified so much of the rebirth and grittiness of the early 1990's.

But yeah, the band is bloated and bombastic. It feels funny to sing along with a bunch of billionaires.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:00 PM on July 1, 2012


The Joshua Tree was the first album I bought with my own money (I was 12 when it came out). I wore that tape out and I still am haunted by that album. I moved to Germany in the late 1980's and in my genesis of creating my own path of bands I liked, I picked up "Under a Blood Red Sky" and a friend of my stepdad's gave me a copy of "War". I saw "rattle and Hum" and the theaters and thought it was cool (I was also 14).

When we moved back to the states, "Achtung Baby" came out within a month and I was blown away by U2, again (it turns out I and zooropa are the same age). My musical tastes were beginning to evolve into industrial and electronic and you could get a whiff of those elements from that album. I also enjoyed "Zooropa" and thought it was a natural progression of the band and the self-titled opening song I would still consider one of their best songs."Passengers" turned out to be pretty awesome for me as well, especially since it was pretty far from U2's other stuff. I got "Pop" about a year after it came out and while I still like it in general (I love "Gone" and "Mofo"), they seemed to finally start falling off in quality. I haven't been able to enjoy any albums after that one, despite listening to all but their last one. It didn't seem enjoyable to me.

As a musician also, I thought their work with Brian Eno and Flood was their best work. I live the experimentation they brought to U2's work, which definitely needed it to continue. However, another user in this thread noted that every era of U2's has major fans, which I still feel is awesome. I'm sure there are people who loves their stuff from the 2000's and that's awesome. I'm just not one of them.
posted by Chocomog at 11:01 PM on July 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


IMHO The Edge took a lot of his guitar technique from Keith Levine of PiL. He took it a lot further than Keith did, and I generally admire the U2 sound, if not always the music they make with it.
posted by jetsetsc at 8:47 AM on July 2, 2012


And I believe that Mr. Levine's fave guitarist was Yes's Steve Howe. So I guess it all starts here ...
posted by philip-random at 10:05 AM on July 2, 2012


Rattle & Hum seemed like U2's official corporate sellout, the one that didn't even try to be anything but mainstream. I think that's why it gets singled out.

I'd totally believe this. I heard their albums basically in reverse order — Achtung Baby and Zooropa were big in my early teens, and then I started dipping back into the earlier stuff.

Once you've heard Zooropa, which isn't just sitting in the corporate mainstream but gleefully rolling around in it like a dog in fresh shit,* Rattle and Hum seems pretty unaffected and down-to-earth by comparison.

*And I mean that as a compliment. That whole album seemed like such a wonderful self-deflating joke at the time. It's a shame that Bono started identifying with that persona instead of just putting it on as a bit of schtick.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:29 AM on July 2, 2012


*And I mean that as a compliment. That whole album seemed like such a wonderful self-deflating joke at the time. It's a shame that Bono started identifying with that persona instead of just putting it on as a bit of schtick.

The schtick was called Popmart.
posted by phe at 2:38 PM on July 2, 2012


The schtick was called Popmart.

QFMFT.

POPMart is one of the most interesting things U2 has ever done. It's a rock concert about consumerism, and is full of directed irony wherein it celebrates the consumerist mindset while working to deflate its expectations. It's full of images wherein the wrapper belies the truth underneath (Bono's muscleman shirt, Leigh Bowrey's veiled buxom dancer who turns out to have a penis when the camera pulls back), the merch tables were full of really odd things, including a very highly priced inflatable lemon (WTF do you do with an inflatable lemon? Well, congratulations! You just spent you money on a real lemon!)... Everything about the tour was all wrapped up in glitter and glam, from the giant video screen (topped with a cocktail olive) to the tour program (with a cover of laser-etched rainbow reflective paper). But then, in the heart of the show, they really got pretty serious and dark.

Bono says that POPMart is the band's most cohesive artistic statement, and having followed them pretty closely for 25 years now, I'd have to agree with him.
posted by hippybear at 6:48 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


about consumerism, and is full of directed irony wherein it celebrates the consumerist mindset while working to deflate its expectations

You mean like this?
posted by msalt at 8:25 PM on July 2, 2012


Probably not like that, really.
posted by hippybear at 8:44 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hm. That's really interesting, msalt. I had never thought of those things as being parallels, and it's odd to contemplate. That album really was about getting to the heart of the experience of the kids in the face of the commercial reality of radio. And I have to say that that album has my absolute favorite Who song ever on it; there was this exquisite and delicate portrayal of the experience of the individual in this high-toned "RADIO LONDON!" wrapper. I guess I can see U2's POP (which was kind of huge to me in high school, I have to admit) going somewhere similar. Unfortunately I didn't see the tour, but it sounds like a hell of an experience. I wish I'd made the trip to Denver to see it.
posted by koeselitz at 9:34 PM on July 2, 2012


who are all these assholes whose parents didn't listen to the Stones?

i thought u2 at one time was a fairly revelatory group, myself, and i'm old enough to remember when "satisfaction" was a hit on the radio

my dad's 78 collection had glen miller, benny goodman quartet, tommy dorsey, raymond scott and a variety of odd songs - much cooler than the carpenters, herb albert and peter paul & mary

oh and who ever said eric clapton was an unoriginal guitarist needs to listen to the 1966 album he did with john mayall's bluesbreakers - ok, the notes were derived from american blues musicians, but not through a marshall amp - he was one of the founders of modern rock guitar tone

as for u2, i haven't been into their later work too much - they're too comfortable i think
posted by pyramid termite at 5:54 AM on July 4, 2012


my dad's 78 collection had glen miller, benny goodman quartet, tommy dorsey, raymond scott and a variety of odd songs - much cooler than the carpenters, herb albert and peter paul & mary

I would agree with you.

Except about Herb Alpert. That shit is amazing.
posted by hippybear at 7:15 AM on July 4, 2012


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