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Have U2 lost their relevance?

Free me from the dark dream, Candy bars, ice cream

Last week we had to endure that new U2 crock … sorry, LP … “No Line Beneath This Bullshit”, or something, to write a review for a local mag.

In short, predictably underwhelming, meaningless nonsense. A crate of old, worn, moth-eaten rope.

So bad that the music caused our pit-bull Dubya to flee the house barking in terror! Dubya’s a staunch warrior who can even endure hearing stuff from the likes of Keane and Oasis.

Yap, it wasn’t easy! It reached the point where psychotic thoughts of appalling atrocities started entering my little noggin. However, after a weekend of intensive therapy at a more than a few gogo bars, things thankfully have improved significantly!

Anyway, a piece below from Sun Media titled “Have U2 finally lost their relevance?”

Have U2 finally lost their relevance? Erm … YES!!! …. f*cking decades ago!

The piece also explores the six stages that every ‘It’ band goes through! focussing on the Stones and U2.

Comparing the significance of the seminal Stones and the bland U2 is akin to comparing the IQ of Albert Einstein and Sarah Palin! However there are a few similarities in phases they’ve gone through.

A few insane reference points are also included – muzak mongers the the likes of the Eagles, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, et al, who this guy somehow thinks are good.

A rather odd castigation too of the fairly decent “Achtung Baby” and a gushing over U2 dross albums like “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” and “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.”

In any event, it’s easier to read about U2 than listen to them!

Has U2 finally lost their relevance?

We go through the six stages that every ‘It’ band goes through — eventually


It happens to the best of them. In fact, it only happens to the best of them. And it seems it’s finally happening to U2.

After more than a quarter-century of virtually uninterrupted tenure as The Most Important Band in the World (TM), it would appear Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton have reached the ultimate plateau in a band’s life — the magical place where fame meets irrelevance.

Just look at the initial response to their 12th studio album, No Line on the Horizon, in stores and online Tuesday. Oh sure, it’s getting plenty of attention — but not the same sort of attention as their previous discs. Despite its much-hyped global premiere in January, the upbeat leadoff single Get On Your Boots didn’t have legs, barely denting the Billboard Hot 100 before it tumbled off the chart. Their performance at last month’s Grammy Awards was met with yawns of disinterest, with many fans suggesting Bono seemed tired and out of breath. None of it bodes well for Horizon’s prospects with the public, which seems to feel that with U2, they’ve been there, heard that and thrown away the T-shirt already.

Bet Bono didn’t see that coming. Tell the truth, neither did we. But we did know it was bound to happen. As any music geek can tell you, there are several stages in the life of an artist. And every act that hangs around long enough walks the same path: Aerosmith, AC/DC, Bowie, Dylan, KISS, R.E.M., Madonna, Springsteen, and countless others. Granted, not all of them go through the stages in the same order or at the same rate. Some skip stages. Others repeat them. A few get stuck in one for most of their careers. But eventually, most get to where U2 now find themselves.

Of course, the band that blazed the trail — like so many others — is none other than The Rolling Stones. Now that U2 is catching up, let’s follow the line that the British rock gods drew — and that leads inexorably to the Irish icons’ limited horizons.

Baby Steps

Every act starts out the same: Lean, hungry, committed — and convinced they’re destined to rule the world. Any musician who tells you different is a liar.

– Rolling Stones: 1962-1964 — From their formation to their first album. Fresh from the blues clubs, they were still basically a glorified cover band.
– U2: 1976-1981 — From their formation to their first two albums. Boy started the ball rolling with I Will Follow, but the following dwindled after the sophomore-slump October, featuring the aptly titled I Fall Down.

See Also:
– Elvis’ Sun Sessions
– The Beatles in Hamburg
– Bob Dylan’s first album
– Nirvana’s Bleach
– Madonna’s first album

Hitting Your Stride

You’re not an amateur any more, but you’re not yet at the top of your game — artistically or commercially.

– Stones: 1964-1965 — From their first album to Satisfaction. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards started writing songs — after famously being locked in a room together — while the band’s relentless touring made inroads in America.
– U2: 1983-1984 — War and Unforgettable Fire. Okay, maybe Fire wasn’t that unforgettable. But on War, Bono found his political feet with Sunday Bloody Sunday and New Year’s Day. A glimpse of the greatness to come.

See Also:
– Metallica’s Ride the Lightning & Master of Puppets
– R.E.M. from Reckoning to Life’s Rich Pageant
– KISS’ Hotter Than Hell & Dressed to Kill
– The Clash’s Give ‘Em Enough Rope
– Eagles’ Desperado & On the Border


At the Summit

The glory days when you can do no wrong. Everything you release turns to gold (and then platinum). Every show is a sellout and every award has your name on it.

– Stones: 1965-1972 — From Satisfaction to Exile on Main St. The era of Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Honky Tonk Women, Brown Sugar, Street Fightin’ Man, and nearly every other Stones classic. Even Altamont, Their Satanic Majesties Request and the death of Brian Jones couldn’t stop them.
– U2: 1985-1990 — Live Aid, Joshua Tree, Rattle & Hum. They played for millions. Joshua earned them their first Grammys. Even Bono’s giant white flag (and equally outsized ego and ambition) couldn’t stop them.

See Also:
– Bruce Springsteen from Born to Run to Born in the U.S.A.
– Elton John from Your Song to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
– Pink Floyd from Dark Side of the Moon to The Wall
– Michael Jackson from Thriller to Dangerous
– Nirvana from Nevermind onward


Missteps & Stumbles

Self-indulgence, supermodels, substances and solo albums — they all take their toll. And when you’re at the top, there’s only one way to go.

– Stones: 1973-1977 — Goat’s Head Soup to Black & Blue. Mick marries Bianca. Keith gets busted in Toronto. Bill Wyman makes solo albums. Things get so bad Mick Taylor quits the best-paying gig he’ll ever have. Yep, it’s only rock ‘n’ roll — but they’ve lost it, lost it, yes they have.
– U2: 1991-1999 — Achtung Baby, Zoo TV, Zooropa, Pop. Bono called Achtung “the sound of four men trying to chop down The Joshua Tree.” It worked. High-concept tours with Bono as MacPhisto, umpteen TV screens and giant lemons didn’t help. On the plus side: Clayton didn’t marry Naomi Campbell.

See Also:
– Jerry Lee Lewis’ marriage to his cousin
– KISS solo albums
– Van Halen hiring Gary Cherone
– Britney Spears shaving her head (and marrying Kevin Federline, and, and, and … )
– Virtually every decision Axl Rose made between 1995 and 2008


Reclaiming the Throne

F. Scott Fitzgerald said there were no second acts in American lives. Maybe he was right — but everybody know there are encores in rock ‘n’ roll. And every band gets one. Sometimes more.

– Stones: 1978 — Some Girls. Revitalized and challenged by the no-nonsense spirit of punk, they shake off the cobwebs, reawaken their inner rockers and produce their last undeniably brilliant work. And their biggest-selling CD to date.
– U2: 2000-2006 — All That You Can’t Leave Behind & How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. As Bono put it, they reapplied to be the best band in the world. And they got the job by getting back to basics with straightforward songs and shows that connect with fans.

See Also:
– David Bowie’s Let’s Dance
– Tina Turner’s Private Dancer
– AC/DC’s Back in Black
– KISS’ reunion tour
– Led Zeppelin’s 2007 reunion concert


The Endless Plateau

You’ll always be huge. You’ll sell out stadiums. You might even make some great albums. But you’ll never be the It Band again. You’re too big, too rich, too coddled, too removed from the streets, the kids and the zeitgeist — no matter how much your personal assistants and image consultants assure you otherwise.

– Stones: 1980 – ? Everything from Emotional Rescue to A Bigger Bang. Some of it’s good. Some of it’s bad. But none of it matters.
– U2: 2009 – ? It begins with No Line on the Horizon. Who knows how it will end? With one final return to greatness? Or with The Edge falling out of a coconut tree?

See Also:
– Rod Stewart
– Paul McCartney
– Madonna
– Bon Jovi
– Michael Jackson

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March 3, 2009 - Posted by | U2, _CARTOON, _MUSIC

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