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Anyone (such as myself) who gets turned away by the soul sucking behemoth of a “rock” band that U2 has become over the last ten years should relisten to their old stuff on a good pair of headphones.
For a minute discount the self-righteous politics and lyrics that prefigure their current abominations, and you can really get back to why U2 became so damn famous in the first place – THAT FUCKING SOUND.

Jesus, you can’t beat it – and you can’t describe it in words.

I’d grown so tired of hearing such a safe “progressive” band all over the radio for a decade that they were inseparable from the MOR pablum that bookends their every radio spin and the ramshackle FM sound from my car speakers…

Then, on a whim I relistened to a friend’s U2 Best of 1980-1990 collection on headphones at work.

Fuck.

You can hear all the instruments, you can hear every bit of breathy gasp between each of the guitar overdubs (it’s really overwhelming), you can hear that the drums were recorded live, every human inconsistency; you can hear Adam’s beautifully economic bass playing… And Bono hadn’t become such a fat old fuck, you can hear how earnest his delivery is… Well, maybe even then he was melodramatic.

Those sctraches, screeches, hits, gilssandos, builds, all that masterful delivery. It’s fucked up to think they had only been playing for a few years by this point. Everything just works so well, and was so earthshatteringly arranged.

So I’m going to go back to enjoying this, but I thought I’d share. Fuckin’ Aye.

(I have spoke with the tongue of an angel, I have held the hand of the devil. It was warm in the night, I was cold as a stone. But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.)

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