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(Louder Sound)   Every U2 album ranked from worst to first. In other words, everything they ever recorded and then The Joshua Tree   (loudersound.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, U2, Brian Eno, Achtung Baby, Rattle and Hum, Daniel Lanois, The Joshua Tree, open-hearted songs, studio albums  
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939 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 10 Mar 2022 at 12:20 PM (15 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-03-10 11:59:58 AM  
Got  the top three right.  So much good stuff on Achtung Baby, they didn't even get to Mysterious Ways before they ran out of paragraph.

Wonder if they're thinking about reemerging, or if they're going to keep doing the "guest star" and finding/boosting new bands thing?
 
2022-03-10 12:22:22 PM  
The video for even better than the real thing was pretty cool
 
2022-03-10 12:33:54 PM  
Not reading a list interrupted by scrolling ads loading every time I swipe.
Are the top 3 Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, and Unforgettable Fire?
 
2022-03-10 12:34:36 PM  
Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno are the secret sauce in their most iconic sounds.
 
2022-03-10 12:42:48 PM  
1.  The Joshua Tree
2.  All the B-Sides from The Joshua Tree
3.  Achtung, Baby
4.  The Unforgettable Fire
 
2022-03-10 12:45:18 PM  
I'm not sure what it is about U2 that makes it so I can't listen to a bunch of their songs in a row.  I like their music, and I welcome it when they show up in my playlists, but any time I tried listening to an album, I'd be wanting to hear someone else after about 3 songs.
 
2022-03-10 12:49:26 PM  

swahnhennessy: Not reading a list interrupted by scrolling ads loading every time I swipe.
Are the top 3 Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, and Unforgettable Fire?


Yup
 
2022-03-10 12:51:54 PM  

Myk-House of El: I'm not sure what it is about U2 that makes it so I can't listen to a bunch of their songs in a row.  I like their music, and I welcome it when they show up in my playlists, but any time I tried listening to an album, I'd be wanting to hear someone else after about 3 songs.


I've never really thought about it, but that's pretty much how I feel about them, too. A little goes a long way. I think it's because their songs are just so earnest and "fraught". The cheesiness gets to you after a bit.
 
2022-03-10 12:52:19 PM  

Myk-House of El: I'm not sure what it is about U2 that makes it so I can't listen to a bunch of their songs in a row.  I like their music, and I welcome it when they show up in my playlists, but any time I tried listening to an album, I'd be wanting to hear someone else after about 3 songs.


You make a good point. I never put one of their albums on to listen to. Ever. I've added individual songs to playlists but I just don't listen to an album of theirs straight through.
 
2022-03-10 12:52:45 PM  
Fourteen albums isn't a lot for 40+ years.  More than me, but like, a good year or two for the Fall.
 
2022-03-10 12:56:48 PM  
That is surprisingly a good list.  Just slide Achtung Baby back a few slots and I mostly agree with it.  (Although personally I put Unforgettable Fire at #1 and Joshua Tree or Rattle & Hum at 2 and 3.
 
2022-03-10 12:57:03 PM  
I was expecting to have my musical tastes insulted by having Zooropa dead last, but it fits right and proper in the middle.  Calling it the last very very good album seems a bit much if you are a U2 fan though.  I liked it best  probably because I am not really a U2 fan and I didn't think it sounded like a U2 album.
 
2022-03-10 12:57:27 PM  
See, I was disappointed with Achtung Baby and think Rattle and Hum should have been in the top three.  Not 1 but tied for 2 maybe.
 
2022-03-10 12:59:17 PM  

Myk-House of El: I'm not sure what it is about U2 that makes it so I can't listen to a bunch of their songs in a row.  I like their music, and I welcome it when they show up in my playlists, but any time I tried listening to an album, I'd be wanting to hear someone else after about 3 songs.


I'm kind of the same way with everything but the Joshua Tree which I can listen to straight through and enjoy the entire thing from start to finish.  It's one of a handful of perfect albums IMO.  I like scattered tracks on most of their other albums but no single album is strong enough for me to want to hear all of any of them.
 
2022-03-10 1:14:19 PM  

Snapper Carr: Myk-House of El: I'm not sure what it is about U2 that makes it so I can't listen to a bunch of their songs in a row.  I like their music, and I welcome it when they show up in my playlists, but any time I tried listening to an album, I'd be wanting to hear someone else after about 3 songs.

I'm kind of the same way with everything but the Joshua Tree which I can listen to straight through and enjoy the entire thing from start to finish.  It's one of a handful of perfect albums IMO.  I like scattered tracks on most of their other albums but no single album is strong enough for me to want to hear all of any of them.


I can listen to War and Joshua Tree all the way thru for days. I was really into hardcore around that time, and U2's songs about protest and anger that also had great music was a revelation to me. I honestly haven't listened to any entire album of theirs after Joshua Tree, I guess I don't care to hear them try and top Joshua Tree and fail.
 
2022-03-10 1:14:45 PM  
U2 - Where The Streets Have No Name (Official Music Video)
Youtube GzZWSrr5wFI
 
2022-03-10 1:15:14 PM  

ephemeralobject: Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno are the secret sauce in their most iconic sounds.


Isn't there some story where Flood stopped Eno from erasing a certain song from Joshua Tree?

I can't find the story anywhere.
 
2022-03-10 1:24:35 PM  

Glitchwerks: ephemeralobject: Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno are the secret sauce in their most iconic sounds.

Isn't there some story where Flood stopped Eno from erasing a certain song from Joshua Tree?

I can't find the story anywhere.


Where the streets have no name.

Eno thought it was too overblown and was going to erase it so U2 would have to record it again.
 
2022-03-10 1:42:40 PM  
I agree with the list in that the top 3 albums are interchangeable for me as my favorite. I think each album is a slightly different U2 and that difference is what allows those 3 albums to move around as the top for me.

I saw the Zoo TV Tour in San Diego on mushrooms. Geezus that was a fine time. The setlist was amazing

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/u2/1992/jack-murphy-stadium-san-diego-ca-23d6f893.html
 
2022-03-10 1:42:49 PM  
I can't really disagree with the list since they got them all close to where I would put them but my personal top 4 would be:

1) Joshua Tree
2) Rattle and Hum
3) Achtung Baby
4) Unforgettable Fire.

Really glad they mentioned some of the deep cuts on side 2 of Joshua Tree. My personal favorite is "Mothers of the Disappeared".
 
2022-03-10 1:43:59 PM  
In other words, Brian Eno/Daniel Lanois-produced albums at the top, others (Besides a couple Daniel Lanois solos) at the bottom.

IMO U2 in a large part was as good as Eno or Lanois was.  This is true of many bands those two have produced, which isn't surprising since they are magical musical people.
 
2022-03-10 1:46:19 PM  
I've been a U2 fan since 1982. My first concert without parental supervision was U2 Joshua Tree Tour in '87 and my son's first concert ever was U2 Joshua Tree Tour in '17. I even helped lead a petition campaign to convince our local movie theater to show Rattle & Hum when it first came out.

It amazes and saddens me how far their brand has fallen, but then I realize it's mainly a Fark phenomenon. Closest comparison would be Metallica, I guess. Get too big, too popular, too rich, and yes, perhaps too egotistical and sanctimonious - time to tear you down, I guess.

They've outlasted all their original "rivals" - The Police, Big Country, The Alarm, Echo & The Bunnymen, Simple Minds, INXS, REM and more. They've been around for 40 years, HOF, and sold 175MM records and won 22 Grammys. No, they are not virtuoso musicians, but they are an incredibly tight live band that gives their fans what they want, and that makes a lot of people, all around the world, very happy. What the fark is wrong with that? They're not Smashmouth for chrissakes.

I like a lot of weird, esoteric, "you probably haven't heard of them" music too, I get that U2 isn't cool anymore, but I'm also glad their still around.
 
2022-03-10 2:03:30 PM  
Everything after Joshua Tree was utter garbage. And Achtung Baby? Self-indulgent drek.
 
2022-03-10 2:10:13 PM  
1) War
2) Boy
3) October
4) Zooropa
5-14) Unlistenable wankery
 
2022-03-10 2:33:50 PM  
as a huge U2 fan, i generally agree with the top 10.  but, I think 2014's SOI and 2017's SOE are vastly better than their ranking, and I think 2004's "Atom Bomb" sucks ass.

also curious how "Passengers: The Original SOundtrack" isn't listed.  it is a de facto U2 album with the twist, Brian Eno is explicitly thanked, listed, pick your word, as a collaborating quasi-member.  While he's worked with U2 for decades, this album the band adopted the stage name, so to speak, as they officially included him.  it's a little hit or miss - neat concept, not sure if it lands entirely - but there are some great things on there.

and worth noting, Larry Mullen Jr says "Miss Sarajevo" (with Luciano Pavarotti on vox) is in his estimation, the best U2 song they've ever written.
 
2022-03-10 2:41:24 PM  

The Pope of Manwich Village: They've outlasted all their original "rivals" - The Police, Big Country, The Alarm, Echo & The Bunnymen, Simple Minds, INXS, REM and more.


i always kinda chuckle when I hear "Do They Know It's Christmas", but especially when I watch the video. U2 had I think 2 at least, poss 3 US tours under their belt, but hadn't really cracked america.  Watch the video now; Paul Young (one hit wonder in the US, a folks who stood the test of time (george michael, Duran Duran), but then you have the Midge Ures and BANANARAMA's of the pop charts, at the time, who were huge but....time has not been kind to many artists who were deemed as 'must haves' for the session.  whereas, U2 were probably seen as, "who the fark are those guys?" by the other artists.

and i think it was in the U2 autobiography, but Bono supposedly begged with Bob Geldof (who took a shine to his countrymen, which is probably he picked them as I noted above), "bob, I can't sing that line about 'tonight thank god it's them instead of you.'  I've been to AFrica, I've come to know these people.  I just can't, please give me another line."

an annoyed Geldof supposedly hissed, "listen, Paulllllllllllllllll.  You'll sing that line, or sing nothing at all."
 
2022-03-10 2:49:54 PM  
Achtung Baby is definitely their best album, and on the short list of best albums period. But I would put Zooropa at 2. Joshua Tree was great but kind of boring if I listen to it now.

And why were people pissed about the free album on their iPhones? can't you just delete it? Android user so I don't know.
 
2022-03-10 2:52:58 PM  

The Pope of Manwich Village: They've outlasted all their original "rivals" - The Police, Big Country, The Alarm, Echo & The Bunnymen, Simple Minds, INXS, REM and more.


Sometimes outlasting your "rivals" ain't such a good thing.
i.ytimg.comView Full Size
 
2022-03-10 2:55:04 PM  

MizzouGuy: And why were people pissed about the free album on their iPhones? can't you just delete it? Android user so I don't know.


that's what always irritates me about that album's reputation.  the delivery method is always like, sentence 2 of the review.  yes it was a huge misstep, which the band even now acknowledges, but the album, as a collective body of work, is really good (albeit littered with collaborations from tons of other artists).

Apple, after getting pilloried by fans and media, indeed put in some kind of "opt out" option but the well had already been poisoned.  it's a really solid album that gets vastly underrated by how it was released.
 
2022-03-10 3:09:35 PM  
War by far is the best. Book it, done.
 
2022-03-10 3:16:54 PM  
Boy is their best raw album.
War is their best rock album.
The Unforgettable Fire is their most intellectual/political album.
Achtung Baby is their best pop album.
The Joshua Tree is their best concept album.
Zooropa is their best experimentation album.
Rattle & Hum is their best soundtrack album.
 
2022-03-10 3:36:23 PM  

Myk-House of El: I'm not sure what it is about U2 that makes it so I can't listen to a bunch of their songs in a row.  I like their music, and I welcome it when they show up in my playlists, but any time I tried listening to an album, I'd be wanting to hear someone else after about 3 songs.


It's because they are pretty much all the same.   Quiet fade in entrance, Edge displaying how much he can hide behind reverb and echo effects, a decent hook, bass and kit in the pocket, and Bono whispering something in your ear.  Every farkin' one of 'em.

U2 is an absolute inspiration to mediocre musicians everywhere.  Not a one is even close to a virtuoso instrumentalist, but they write good songs with catchy hooks, and can play them.     Biggest band in the world is the result.
 
2022-03-10 3:39:22 PM  

Sharif Brolondo: 1) War
2) Boy
3) October
4) Zooropa
5-14) Unlistenable wankery


insert <Thor was it.gif>

War and Boy, yes, but without Joshua and Rattle the rest is wankery.  Zooropa and Achtung were just attempts to remain relevant in a changing rock landscape.  And the best of October was done better on Rattle and Hum.


\FSM save me from ZooTV
\\all IMO, you rock your way though!
\\\ 3 for luck
 
2022-03-10 3:46:05 PM  
War
Boy
October

ten albums

Zooropa
 
2022-03-10 3:46:26 PM  

Rent Party: Edge displaying how much he can hide behind reverb and echo effects


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-03-10 3:50:05 PM  

LewDux: Rent Party: Edge displaying how much he can hide behind reverb and echo effects

[Fark user image 799x448]


Normally I would agree with you, but Edge is not any kind of good guitar player and is sort of the poster boy for covering that up with an effects board - or effects truck, in his case.   "This Might Get Loud" could just as easily have been called "Edge Can't Hang with Jimmy and Jack."   It was really kind of embarrassing.
 
2022-03-10 3:56:15 PM  

rudemix: I agree with the list in that the top 3 albums are interchangeable for me as my favorite. I think each album is a slightly different U2 and that difference is what allows those 3 albums to move around as the top for me.

I saw the Zoo TV Tour in San Diego on mushrooms. Geezus that was a fine time. The setlist was amazing

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/u2/1992/jack-murphy-stadium-san-diego-ca-23d6f893.html


I was at that show too, but not on mushrooms.... That was when Rage Against the Machine opened right?

I agree w/this list pretty much top to bottom. I was a sophomore in high school when Joshua Tree came out and it immediately filed the hallways. Everyone w/a Walkman was playing that cassette (or a copy of it).

That said, I can no longer listen to Joshua Tree as it has simply become overplayed. We did go to the 30th Anniversary tour here in San Diego, and it was a fantastic show, but I've not played that album since the early 2000s.
I recently picked up Achtung Baby on vinyl and posted it on a record playing facebook page stating that it was one of the few U2 albums I could still listen to. I had many people agree.
I love Zooropa still, but those two are about it. I should play Boy and War this weekend....

Really good list though, hard to argue with the rankings.
 
2022-03-10 4:04:59 PM  

Rent Party: LewDux: Rent Party: Edge displaying how much he can hide behind reverb and echo effects

[Fark user image 799x448]

Normally I would agree with you, but Edge is not any kind of good guitar player and is sort of the poster boy for covering that up with an effects board - or effects truck, in his case.   "This Might Get Loud" could just as easily have been called "Edge Can't Hang with Jimmy and Jack."   It was really kind of embarrassing.


Kind Of Embarrassing is the name of my MIles Led Zeppelin tribute band
 
2022-03-10 4:07:59 PM  

Ed Grubermann: Everything after Joshua Tree was utter garbage. And Achtung Baby? Self-indulgent drek.


My opinion is similar, but not as hardcore. Owned everything up to Joshua Tree, and nothing after.

CSB: a lot of the folks in my military unit saw them at Redrock, but I didn't want to be late for formation so I didn't go.
 
2022-03-10 4:21:04 PM  

LewDux: Rent Party: Edge displaying how much he can hide behind reverb and echo effects

[Fark user image 799x448]


Is that a meme about the Edge or Kevin Shields?
 
2022-03-10 4:48:28 PM  
In a sense, The Edge is to guitar playing as Ringo Starr was to drumming - they both somehow do just enough to make the song work exactly as it should to sound cool. He is not and does not want to be a shredder. He is a melodic, atmospheric, effects-driven player and he created his own distinctive style. His roots are in post-punk, not heavy metal. He is a master of taking simple riffs and chords and getting something more out of them. U2 has always been about Bono and his voice. Edge is fine with sitting back and letting that flow. You need to look at Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead and Jonny Buckland from Coldplay as two guys who have been heavily influenced by The Edge. Do they play this way because they're crap guitarists, or because it sounds cool playing fairly simple, well arranged, heavily processed, sounds?
 
2022-03-10 5:05:38 PM  
All great guitarists should be evaluated by average string-skipping tapped arpeggio rate per measure. That's the only fair way.
 
2022-03-10 5:12:50 PM  

Glitchwerks: LewDux: Rent Party: Edge displaying how much he can hide behind reverb and echo effects

[Fark user image 799x448]

Is that a meme about the Edge or Kevin Shields?


¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
2022-03-10 5:13:22 PM  

Ed Grubermann: Everything after Joshua Tree was utter garbage. And Achtung Baby? Self-indulgent drek.

 
2022-03-10 5:33:46 PM  

knbwhite: .

My opinion is similar, but not as hardcore. Owned everything up to Joshua Tree, and nothing after.

.


Ditto
The Unforgettable Fire concert is my favorite concert of all time, a core feeling this stoned first year college kid had never felt before.
Everyone continuing to sing "40" long after the concert ended and into the streets and beyond will forever be a memory I will cherish.
"I will sing, sing a new song"
"HOW LONG.....how long....how long"
 
2022-03-10 5:47:23 PM  
So I'm the only one who loves Pop, huh? I can live with that.
 
2022-03-10 6:14:52 PM  

MnDuffman: knbwhite: .

My opinion is similar, but not as hardcore. Owned everything up to Joshua Tree, and nothing after.

.

Ditto
The Unforgettable Fire concert is my favorite concert of all time, a core feeling this stoned first year college kid had never felt before.
Everyone continuing to sing "40" long after the concert ended and into the streets and beyond will forever be a memory I will cherish.
"I will sing, sing a new song"
"HOW LONG.....how long....how long"


That's a great memory. FWIW, I don't hate the newer U2, I just didn't buy stuff I heard enough of everywhere else. I've been to a few concerts for bands that I didn't own a single album.
 
2022-03-10 6:42:24 PM  

snowybunting: Snapper Carr: Myk-House of El: I'm not sure what it is about U2 that makes it so I can't listen to a bunch of their songs in a row.  I like their music, and I welcome it when they show up in my playlists, but any time I tried listening to an album, I'd be wanting to hear someone else after about 3 songs.

I'm kind of the same way with everything but the Joshua Tree which I can listen to straight through and enjoy the entire thing from start to finish.  It's one of a handful of perfect albums IMO.  I like scattered tracks on most of their other albums but no single album is strong enough for me to want to hear all of any of them.

I can listen to War and Joshua Tree all the way thru for days. I was really into hardcore around that time, and U2's songs about protest and anger that also had great music was a revelation to me. I honestly haven't listened to any entire album of theirs after Joshua Tree, I guess I don't care to hear them try and top Joshua Tree and fail.


I have loved Sunday Bloody Sunday since I first heard it when it came out it is the only U2 song that I can listen to on repeat over and over and over
 
2022-03-10 7:33:35 PM  

Sharif Brolondo: 1) War
2) Boy
3) October
4) Zooropa
5-14) Unlistenable wankery


I disagree with 5-14, but your 1-3 I cosign.
 
2022-03-10 8:53:46 PM  

Internet Meme Rogers: So I'm the only one who loves Pop, huh? I can live with that.


You're not alone.
/Please into Streets possibly their best live transition ever
//Unforgettable Fire & Zooropa my faves
 
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