Label: PolyGram Inc. - PCD 131 • Series: Focus (18) • Format: CD Compilation, Promo • Country: Canada • Genre: Pop, Folk, World, & Country •
Stung by criticism of their release, Rattle and HumU2 shifted their musical direction to incorporate influences from alternative rockindustrial musicand electronic dance music into their sound. Thematically, Achtung Baby is darker, more introspective, and at times more flippant than their previous work. The album and the subsequent multimedia-intensive Zoo TV Tour were central to the group's s reinvention, by which they abandoned their earnest public image for a more lighthearted and self-deprecating one.
The sessions were fraught with conflict, as the band argued over their musical direction and the quality of their material. After tension and slow progress nearly prompted the group to disband, they made a breakthrough with the improvised writing of the song " One ". Morale and productivity improved during subsequent recording sessions in Dublin, Looks Like Im Up Shit Creek Again - Tom Waits - MP3 Collection CD1 the album was completed in To confound the public's expectations of the band and their music, U2 The Shelter Of Your Arms - Neil Diamond - September Morn the record's facetious title and colourful multi-image sleeve.
Achtung Baby is one of U2's most successful records; it received favourable reviews and debuted at number one on the US Billboard Top Albumswhile topping the charts in many other countries. Five songs were released as commercial singles, all of which were chart successes, including "One", " Mysterious Ways ", and " The Fly ".
Achtung Baby has since been acclaimed by writers and music critics as one of the greatest albums of all time. The record was reissued in October to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its Gosto De Você - Carlos Lyra - Best Selection From 1959 To 1963 release.
After U2's album The Joshua Tree and the supporting Joshua Tree Tour brought them critical acclaim and commercial success,  their album and film Rattle and Hum precipitated a critical FM Air - Zazie - FM Air / Je Suis Un Homme. Despite their commercial popularity, the group were dissatisfied creatively; lead vocalist Bono believed they were musically unprepared for their success, while drummer Larry Mullen, Jr.
King on Rattle and Hum and the Lovetown Tour, and Put It On The Card - Various - Country Focus November 91 Polygram Compilation described it as "an excursion down a dead-end street". Reacting to their own sense of musical stagnation and to their critics, U2 searched for new musical ground. The song had a more contemporary feel that Bono said was closer to Achtung Baby ' s direction.
Much of the material they wrote was experimental, and according to Bono, "prepar[ed] the ground for Achtung Baby ". Ideas deemed inappropriate for the play were put aside for the band's use.
The band believed that "domesticity [w]as the enemy of rock 'n' roll" and that to work on the album, they needed to remove themselves from their normal family-oriented routines. With a " New Europe " emerging at the end of the Cold Warthey chose Berlin, in the centre of the reuniting continent, as a source of inspiration for a more European musical aesthetic. The collapse of the Berlin Wall had resulted in a state of malaise in Germany.
The band found their East Berlin hotel to be dismal and the winter inhospitable, while Hansa Studios' location in an SS ballroom added to the "bad vibe".
Morale worsened once the sessions commenced, as the band worked long days but could not agree on a musical direction. He Put It On The Card - Various - Country Focus November 91 Polygram Compilation Bono advocated new musical directions along these lines. In contrast, Mullen was listening to classic rock acts such as Blind FaithCreamand Jimi Hendrixand he was learning how to "play around the beat". U2 found that they were neither prepared nor well-rehearsed, and that Dem Boyz - Nelly - Nellyville ideas were not evolving into completed songs.
You want to play it yourself? Go ahead. U2 returned to Dublin for Christmas, where they discussed their future together and all recommitted to the group.
Listening to the tapes, they agreed their material sounded better than they originally thought. Video cameras and TV monitors were used to monitor and communicate between the spaces.
Bono assumed this alter ego for the band's subsequent public appearances and live performances on the Zoo TV Tour. In April, tapes from the earlier Berlin sessions were stolen after the band reportedly left them in a hotel room, and they were subsequently leaked before the album was finished. Schneller Urlaub - September Collective - September Collective release is considered the most famous bootleg of U2 material.
Staffing schedules led to the band having a surplus of engineers at one point, and as a result, they split recording between Elsinore and the Edge's home studio to increase productivity.
The focus on capturing the band's material and encouraging the best performances meant that little attention was paid to combating audio spill. During the Dublin sessions, Eno was sent tapes of the previous two months' work, which he called a Put It On The Card - Various - Country Focus November 91 Polygram Compilation disaster". Joining U2 in the studio, he stripped away what he thought to be excessive overdubbing.
The group believes his intervention saved the album. You're so accustomed to it being there that you compensate and remake it in your mind. The break gave them a clearer perspective and added decisiveness.
The following day, the Edge travelled to Los Angeles with the album's tapes for Put It On The Card - Various - Country Focus November 91 Polygram Compilation . U2 is credited with composing the music for all of Achtung Baby ' s tracks,  despite periods of separated songwriting. They wrote the music primarily through jam sessionsa common practice for them. For the album, the Edge often eschewed his normally minimalistic approach to guitar playing and his trademark chiming, delay -heavy sound, in favour of a style that incorporated more solosdissonanceand feedback.
The rhythm section is more pronounced in the mix on Achtung Baby and hip hop-inspired electronic dance beats are featured on many of the album's tracks, most prominently " The Fly ". Sly and The Family Stone meets Madchester baggy. Whereas Bono exhibited a full-throated vocal delivery on the group's previous releases, for Achtung Baby he extended his range into a lower register and used what Fast described as "breathy and subdued colors".
This octave differentiation was sometimes done with vocals simultaneously, while at other times, it distinguishes voices between the verses and choruses.
According to Fast, the technique introduces "a contrasting lyrical idea and vocal character to deliver it", leading to both literal and ironic interpretations of Bono's vocals.
As is often the case on U2 albums, Bono is credited as the sole lyricist. The pain not only focused him on the record and led him to advocate more personal themes, but it also affected Bono's lyrical contributions.
Of the album's personal nature, Bono said that there were a lot of "blood and guts" in it. U2 biographer Bill Flanagan credits Bono's habit of keeping his lyrics "in flux until the last minute" with providing a narrative coherence to the album. Despite the record's darker themes, many lyrics are more flippant and sexual than those from the band's previous work.
Religious imagery is present throughout the record. We just did them to show how extreme we could go and then everyone came back to levels that they were happy with. But if we hadn't gone to these extremes it may not have been the cover it is now. An initial photo shoot with the band's long-time photographer Anton Corbijn was done near U2's Berlin hotel in late They recommissioned Corbijn for an additional two-week photo shoot in Tenerife in February for which they dressed up and mingled with the crowds of the annual Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerifepresenting a more playful side of themselves.
Several photographs were considered as candidates for a single cover image, including shots of: a cow on an Irish farm in County Kildare ; the nude Clayton; and the band driving a Trabantan East German automobile they became fond of as a symbol for a changing Europe.
These vehicles were later incorporated into the Zoo TV Tour set design as part of the lighting system. On the US compact disc and cassette sleeves, Clayton's genitals are censored with a black "X" or a four-leaf clover while vinyl editions feature the photo uncensored.
The babyface image was later adopted as a logo for Zoo TV Tour memorabilia and was incorporated into the Zooropa album cover. We call it Achtung Babygrinning up our sleeves in all the photography.
But it's probably the heaviest record we've ever made It tells you a lot about packaging, because the press would have killed us if we'd called it anything else.
U2 considered several other Put It On The Card - Various - Country Focus November 91 Polygram Compilation for the album, including Man in contrast to the group's debut, Boy 69Zoo Stationand Adamthe latter of which would have been paired with the nude photo of Clayton. As early as Decemberthe music press reported that U2 would be recording a dance-oriented album and that it would be released in mid Island Records objected to the release, believing consumers would confuse the EP for a new U2 record.
Island successfully sued for copyright infringement but were criticised in the music press, as were U2, although they were not involved in the litigation. Island Records and U2 refused to make advance copies of the album available to the press Djanogology - Django Reinhardt - The Golden Age Of Django Reinhardt just a few days before the release date, preferring that fans listen to the record before reading reviews.
The decision came amid rumours of tensions within the band, and journalist David Browne compared it to the Hollywood practice of withholding pre-release copies of films from reviewers whenever they receive poor word-of-mouth press. Achtung Baby was U2's first album in three years and their first comprising entirely new material in over four years.
Compared to the large hype of other year-end releases, the marketing for Achtung Baby was relatively understated, as Island general manager Andy Allen explained: "U2 will not come out with that kind of fanfare in terms of outside media. We feel the fan base itself creates that kind of excitement. Three additional commercial singles were released in Achtung Baby originally received acclaim from critics. The songs focus on personal relationships, not on saving the world.
He said the album is a difficult one for listeners because of the dark, introspective nature of the songs, which contrasts with the group's uplifting songs of the past. He commended the band's musical transformation, saying, "U2 proves much more adept at the dance-trance thing than the Happy Roses or Stone Carpets or other indistinguishable haircut bands". The review concluded, "Stripped-down and defying its old formulas, U2 has given itself a fighting chance for the s.
And best. He praised the group for improving their songwriting and incorporating "black humour" into darker lyrical themes. He called the album an "quite an achievement" in following up a successful record, responding to emerging musical influences, and expanding the band's sound while still pleasing existing fans.
He praised Lanois' production and said that due to the Edge's guitar playing, "U2 sounds punkier than it has since its debut, Boy ". Kot concluded his review by calling the album "a magnificent search for transcendence made all the more moving for its flaws". He wrote, "Ostensibly decadent, sensual and dark, it is a record of, and for, these times. However, it said that too many "downbeat moments where songs seem to be going nowhere" prevented it from being a "truly wondrous affair".
The success of Achtung Baby and the Zoo TV Tour re-established U2 as one of the most popular and critically acclaimed musical acts in the world. Like Achtung Babythe tour was intended to deviate from the band's past.
In contrast to the austere stage setups of previous U2 tours, Various - The Hit Collection (DVD) TV was an elaborately staged multimedia event.
Live satellite link-ups, channel surfingcrank callsand video confessionals were incorporated into the shows. Whereas the group were known for their earnest live Put It On The Card - Various - Country Focus November 91 Polygram Compilation in the s, their Zoo TV performances were intentionally ironic and self-deprecating;  on stage, Bono portrayed several characters he conceived, including "The Fly", "Mirror Ball Man", and "MacPhisto".
The majority of the album's songs were played at each show, and the set lists began with up to eight consecutive Achtung Baby songs as a further sign that Dark Star - Beck - The Information were no longer the U2 of the s.
It was inspired by Zoo TV and expanded on its themes of technology and media oversaturation. Zooropareleased inwas a further departure for the band, incorporating additional dance music influences and electronic effects into their sound. The record is highly regarded among the members of U2. Mullen said: "I thought it was a great record.
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