Saturday, August 18, 2012


I'm not just a fan of U2, I'm a member of the fan club. I was a member back in the day when the fan club was called "Propaganda." My membership has occasionally lapsed over the years, but I always re-sign up when they have something cool, like this: U22. It's a 22 track live collection, taken from U2's 360 tour (which blew my mind).

The tour focused on their latest album, No Line On The Horizon, but by the end it was really leaning on Achtung Baby. I could never understand why they didn't put out a live album after Achtung Baby, it was such a great studio album that really translated live.

So I was glad that this collection has some of the best songs from that album: "Even Better Than The Real Thing" (excellent live), "The Fly" (one of my favorites, it's amazing live) and "Ultra Violet (Light My Way)," which was a highlight of the concert.

On the other hand, Bono mangled one of my favorite songs, "Until The End Of The World," by vamping on Frank Sinatra in the middle of the song, and singing a bit of it like Sinatra. Personally, I don't care about Sinatra (I know, sacrilege, sorry, but I don't).  It just took a really intense song (and one that hasn't had a great live version on CD)  and made it sound corny.

But on the other hand, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" (which has had a few different live versions) got yet another new one: South African trumpet legend Hugh Madekela (a solo artist in his own right, he also played on The Byrds' "So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star?") joined them on the song, adding a completely different dimension to it.

What are some other highlights? "Magnificent" (similar to the version they did on The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert), "Stay (Faraway, So Close)," "One Tree Hill," "Beautiful Day," "All I Want Is You," "The Unforgettable Fire," "Zooropa," "Walk On," and their latest classic song "Moment Of Surrender." "Out Of Control" was a great touch also.

Is it worth the $50 annual subscription price?  Well, I'm not going to try to sell you on it, but I'll just say that the live collection is awesome.  If you're enough of a U2 fan to want to spend the cash, go here to join the fan club.

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