Now, I don't consider myself a U2 expert or even an avid
enthusiast, but a fan none-the-less. As a fan, I have to say this
is the perfect U2 album to buy. 18 Singles has everything
you've come to know and love from U2. If you can't find a song
on here that you enjoy, then you can't consider yourself a fan.
Each song has a story to it, because each song came at a different
point in U2's history. The earliest part of the history (or at
least the part that's highlighted on this album), starts with
selections from the album War. In a decade where music
saw the "New Wave of British Heavy Metal", U2 was among
many great bands arising. Battling for audiences with Van Halen
and Queen, U2 managed to tweak out an album that really
only did well in the UK. However, today, the emotion packed "Sunday
Bloody Sunday" has probably one of the most recognizable
choruses in music. With these engaging lyrics and skilled rhythm
section, you can't help yourself but get behind this protest song.
Moving along in history (and skipping a few albums) is The
Joshua Tree, marking their 5th release. This album was unbelievably
successful and was considered the worldwide introduction of U2.
"Where The Streets Have No Name" leads in with a beautiful
organ, over which The Edge plays an echo-effect guitar
that's sounds so detailed and skilled, yet so powerful. "With
Or Without You" has become one of their most well-known songs
of all time. In this song you get a taste of a different guitar
technique called "infinite guitar," which distorts the
notes just a little, creating an almost eerie presence. Besides
politics, Bono does go into a few personal songs. One of
my favorite songs not only from The Joshua Tree, but in
general is "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For."
The drums and guitar are a little mellower and simpler on this
song, allowing for the lyrics and Bono's amazing voice to really
With their sixth album Rattle And Hum came more recognition
and a motion picture. The one song from Rattle And Hum
that was selected for 18 Singles is "Desire."
This song uses a beat that has a history of its own - Bo Diddley.
This beat has also been used by George Michael, The
Who, and Buddy Holly. Simply put, a beat that was derived
somewhere between blues and rock 'n roll - want more of an explanation?
Achtung Baby, 7th album, was a turning point for the band
that changed their sound. With "Mysterious Ways" there's
more of an electronica and dance sound. More effects done with
the guitar, more time spent on the detail of each song produced
and even a darker tone to the lyrics and themes. This new sound
naturally brought in new fans, yet managed to barely keep the
old ones. This song is the other favorite of mine.
Jumping farther into the '90s with The Best Of 1980-1990,
they chose the song "Sweetest Thing." Originally released
as a B-Side for "Where The Streets Have No Name" it
was later re-recorded, re-released and re-named "Sweetest
Thing" for that compilation. The song was originally written
as an apology to his wife for forgetting her birthday during The
Joshua Tree sessions. Simply put, it's a beautiful ballad
with a great piano theme running through it.
Starting off the new millennium was All That You Can't Leave
Behind. Becoming their fourth highest-selling album explained
the reasoning behind the selection of four songs for this album
(the most off of one album). "Beautiful Day" the first
song on both albums, is an up-beat anthem which opens with a few
new electronics, drum machine and rhythm sequencer, creating a
great effect. "Elevation" is one of those songs destined
for #1. With a centralized guitar and easy rhyming lyrics that
get stuck in anyone's head, it's easy to see why.
A few more songs are thrown onto the album which were released
more recently. Such as a cover of The Skids' song "The
Saints Are Coming" performed with Green Day. Also
included are another dramatic ballad "Sometimes You Can't
Make It On Your Own" and the power hit "Vertigo"
off of their commercially successful eleventh album.
An incredible album that ends just as powerful and extraordinary
as it began. From a group that continues to produce albums which
climb the charts with ease. This is an essential addition to
any music library.
1. Beautiful Day
2. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
3. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
4. With Or Without You
6. New Year's Day
7. Mysterious Ways
8. Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
9. Where The Streets Have No Name
10. Sweetest Thing
11. Sunday Bloody Sunday
14. Walk On
16. Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
17. The Saints Are Coming
18. Window In The Skies
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