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U2|Achtung Baby

Achtung Baby

U2

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Reinventions rarely come as thorough and effective as Achtung Baby, an album that completely changed U2's sound and style. The crashing, unrecognizable distorted guitars that open "Zoo Station" are a clear signal that U2 have traded their Americana pretensions for postmodern, contemporary European music. Drawing equally from Bowie's electronic, avant-garde explorations of the late '70s and the neo-psychedelic sounds of the thriving rave and Madchester club scenes of early-'90s England, Achtung Baby sounds vibrant and endlessly inventive. Unlike their inspirations, U2 rarely experiment with song structures over the course of the album. Instead, they use the thick dance beats, swirling guitars, layers of effects, and found sounds to break traditional songs out of their constraints, revealing the tortured emotional core of their songs with the hyper-loaded arrangements. In such a dense musical setting, it isn't surprising that U2 have abandoned the political for the personal on Achtung Baby, since the music, even with its inviting rhythms, is more introspective than anthemic. Bono has never been as emotionally naked as he is on Achtung Baby, creating a feverish nightmare of broken hearts and desperate loneliness; unlike other U2 albums, it's filled with sexual imagery, much of it quite disturbing, and it ends on a disquieting note. Few bands as far into their career as U2 have recorded an album as adventurous or fulfilled their ambitions quite as successfully as they do on Achtung Baby, and the result is arguably their best album.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Achtung Baby

U2

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1
Zoo Station (Remastered 2011)
00:04:36

Daniel Lanois, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bono, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Flood, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Adams, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Edge, Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Arnie Acosta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Shannon Strong, Assistant Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Scott Sedillo, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2011 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

2
Even Better Than The Real Thing (Remastered 2011)
00:03:41

Paul Barrett, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Daniel Lanois, Producer - Brian Eno, Producer - Steve Lillywhite, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bono, Author, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Robbie Adams, Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Edge, Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Arnie Acosta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Scott Sedillo, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robert Sean Leonard, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2011 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

3
One (Remastered 2011)
00:04:36

Daniel Lanois, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Eno, Producer, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Bono, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Flood, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Adams, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Larry Mullen, ComposerLyricist - The Edge, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Larry Mullen, Jr., Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Arnie Acosta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Shannon Strong, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Scott Sedillo, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2011 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

4
Until The End Of The World (Remastered 2011)
00:04:38

Daniel Lanois, Producer, Mixer, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Eno, Producer - Bono, Author, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Flood, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Adams, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Edge, Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Arnie Acosta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Shannon Strong, Assistant Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Scott Sedillo, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2011 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

5
Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses (Remastered 2011)
00:05:17

Daniel Lanois, Producer - Brian Eno, Producer - Steve Lillywhite, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bono, Author, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Robbie Adams, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Edge, Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Arnie Acosta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Shannon Strong, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Scott Sedillo, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robert Sean Leonard, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2011 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

6
So Cruel (Remastered 2011)
00:05:49

Daniel Lanois, Producer - Brian Eno, Mixer, Co-Arranger, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Bono, Author, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Flood, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Adams, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Edge, Composer, String Arranger, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Arnie Acosta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Shannon Strong, Recording Engineer, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Scott Sedillo, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Duchess Nell Catchpole, Viola, Violin, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2011 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

7
The Fly (Remastered 2011)
00:04:29

Daniel Lanois, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Steve Lillywhite, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bono, Author, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Flood, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Adams, Assistant Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Edge, Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Arnie Acosta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Shannon Strong, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Scott Sedillo, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2011 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

8
Mysterious Ways (Remastered 2011)
00:04:04

Daniel Lanois, Producer, Mixer, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Eno, Producer - Bono, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Flood, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Adams, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Composer - The Edge, Composer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Larry Mullen, Jr., Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Arnie Acosta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Shannon Strong, Assistant Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Scott Sedillo, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2011 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

9
Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World (Remastered 2011)
00:03:53

Daniel Lanois, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Eno, Producer, Additional Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Lillywhite, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bono, Author, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Flood, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Adams, Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Edge, Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Arnie Acosta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Shannon Strong, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Scott Sedillo, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robert Sean Leonard, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2011 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

10
Ultra Violet (Light My Way) (Remastered 2011)
00:05:31

Daniel Lanois, Producer - Brian Eno, Producer - Bono, Author, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Flood, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Adams, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Edge, Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Arnie Acosta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Shannon Strong, Assistant Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Scott Sedillo, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2011 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

11
Acrobat (Remastered 2011)
00:04:30

Daniel Lanois, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bono, Author, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Flood, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Adams, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Edge, Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Arnie Acosta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Shannon Strong, Assistant Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Scott Sedillo, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2011 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

12
Love Is Blindness (Remastered 2011)
00:04:23

Daniel Lanois, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Eno, Additional Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Bono, Author, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Flood, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Adams, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - The Edge, Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Arnie Acosta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Shannon Strong, Assistant Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Scott Sedillo, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2011 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

Album Description

Reinventions rarely come as thorough and effective as Achtung Baby, an album that completely changed U2's sound and style. The crashing, unrecognizable distorted guitars that open "Zoo Station" are a clear signal that U2 have traded their Americana pretensions for postmodern, contemporary European music. Drawing equally from Bowie's electronic, avant-garde explorations of the late '70s and the neo-psychedelic sounds of the thriving rave and Madchester club scenes of early-'90s England, Achtung Baby sounds vibrant and endlessly inventive. Unlike their inspirations, U2 rarely experiment with song structures over the course of the album. Instead, they use the thick dance beats, swirling guitars, layers of effects, and found sounds to break traditional songs out of their constraints, revealing the tortured emotional core of their songs with the hyper-loaded arrangements. In such a dense musical setting, it isn't surprising that U2 have abandoned the political for the personal on Achtung Baby, since the music, even with its inviting rhythms, is more introspective than anthemic. Bono has never been as emotionally naked as he is on Achtung Baby, creating a feverish nightmare of broken hearts and desperate loneliness; unlike other U2 albums, it's filled with sexual imagery, much of it quite disturbing, and it ends on a disquieting note. Few bands as far into their career as U2 have recorded an album as adventurous or fulfilled their ambitions quite as successfully as they do on Achtung Baby, and the result is arguably their best album.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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