Best of U2 1980-1990 (Limited Edition) Album reviews.
Release Date: 11.03.98
Record label: PGD / Island
The Sweetest Thing
by: tiffany funk
Has any band endured time, culture, and trend quite as well as U2?
The Best of U2 almost seems like a contradiction-- how can we choose "the best of" U2? How could one song be judged as less or better than the others? This band has produced countless platinum albums, among them "Rattle and Hum," their famous on the road album with the great blues man B. B. King. They have done many collaborations with great musicians like Frank Sinatra and even Luciano Pavoratti. In my eyes, any compilation of the "best of" would be a matter of opinion.
This album, though it took on the impossible job of choosing only 14 songs to represent U2's earlier years, is an incredible compilation. It spans the years 1980-1990, including the albums "Boy," "October," "War," "The Unforgettable Fire," "The Joshua Tree," and "Rattle and Hum." Each album is represented by a few songs, all of which more than likely were singles and live recordings. The songs chosen certainly do stand up to "the best" of U2, and capture the essence of each individual album.
What can be said about each of the songs included? A true U2 fan will know all of these songs by heart-- from the heart-wrenching chorus of "Pride in the Name of Love" to the soulful "All I Want is You." (Note: Wait for the hidden track. And you thought they didn't include any songs from "October!") When the album plays you will find yourself saying out loud to the person or persons sitting around you, "Oh, I love this song," then, when the next song plays, "Oh, this one is great, too," then "Wait! This song is my favorite!" then, "But wait, I like this one, too. . ." and so on and so on. This is definitely one of those rare albums that you can just let play without having to advance to other better tracks. Each and every song is a classic.
As a matter of fact, this album is perfect for every occasion-- parties, relaxation, background music, and even for driving. (Though when listening to this album in the car, you will find other drivers giving you strange looks when you are wailing along to the chorus of "With or Without You." But isn't this album worth that embarrassment?)
What can be better than having a compilation of the best of U2? A B-sides track, of course! Here we have yet another enjoyable collection of U2 songs, many of which are alternate versions of other well known songs with a twist only U2 can give. The best of these remakes is their version of "Unchained Melody," a blending of creative guitar licks by The Edge and soulful and wailing vocals, Bono's trademark. Included is also another take of the pop-ish, upbeat song "The Sweetest Thing," and "Trash, Trampoline, and the Party Girl," a catchy song, but with probably the worst U2 lyrics ever ("I know a boy named Trash / Trashcan. . .But he won't tell me his name. . .").
Both of these albums shows U2's progress through the years. They most certainly have come a long way since Larry Mullen Jr. advertised for band members on the school bulletin board, and Since Paul Hewson decided to chance his name to Bono Vox, the name of a hearing aid store (Latin for "good voice"). Practices were held in the school gym until Adam Clayton was expelled from school. What humble beginnings! Who could have possibly imagined the fan base of millions, and the platnum albums yet to come?
Here's hoping for 19 more years of remarkable, enduring, and unforgettable music.
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