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U2 - The Best Of 1990-2000

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The Best Of 1990-2000

U2

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The story goes like this: poised on the brink of disappearing in their own earnestness in the wake of the Rattle and Hum, U2 revitalized themselves with Achtung Baby, embracing irony and modern music in a garish celebration of pop culture that effectively distracted attention from the wounded, broken heart at its center. Basking in the acclaim of Achtung Baby, U2 continued to release Euro-experimental music -- equal parts Madchester, Krautrock, and good old-fashioned prog rock, partially courtesy of longtime collaborator Brian Eno -- until their ambition imploded on Pop, leading them to a celebrated return to roots, All That You Can't Leave Behind. Through it all, they turned out singles that equaled their '80s work (and in the case of "One" and "Beautiful Day," surpassed it), providing the basic ingredients for a great hits collection, but The Best of 1990-2000 is botched, nearly fatally so, by a desperate attempt to rewrite history. Original mixes are replaced by recent remixes, while album tracks (why does "The First Time" close the collection?) and two new songs elbow out actual hits. Naturally, this highlights what's missing, which is quite a bit: "The Fly," "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses," "Zooropa," "Lemon," "Mofo," "Last Night on Earth," "Walk On," "Elevation," "Peace on Earth," to name a few. This wouldn't hurt as much if the new songs were good, but they're bland, particularly "Electrical Storm" (which, to add insult to injury, is presented not in the original mix, but in a William Orbit mix), an attempt to give the aesthetic of Behind a vague electronic gloss that doesn't work. Worst of all, anytime U2 flirted too closely with either dance or electronica has been replaced by mixes that attempt to give these tunes the sound of neo-classicist U2 à la All That You Can't Leave Behind. So, all the Pop material ("Gone," "Discotheque," "Staring at the Sun") is given new mixes, as is "Numb," none improvements and all undermining the actual career arc of U2 in the '90s. Then, these mixes, new songs, and hits are thrown out seemingly at random, with no regard for either chronology or musical momentum. Sure, there are great songs here -- not just "Mysterious Ways" and "Beautiful Day," but relatively rare items like the Passengers tune "Miss Sarajevo" (sounding more majestic than ever) and the Batman & Robin theme "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" (a glam rock pastiche that was the best thing about the film and remains a highlight), plus the underappreciated "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" (as lovely as anything they've ever cut). And that may be enough for some listeners, but it's hard not to wish that The Best of 1990-2000 actually lived up to its title and presented an overview of this excellent era in a logical, accurate manner.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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The Best Of 1990-2000

U2

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1
Even Better Than The Real Thing
U2
00:03:41

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

℗ 1991 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

2
Mysterious Ways
U2
00:04:04

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

℗ 1991 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

3
Beautiful Day
U2
00:04:06

Tim Palmer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Daniel Lanois, Producer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Eno, Producer, Programmer, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Lillywhite, Producer, Mixer, Additional Producer, StudioPersonnel - Bono, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Stephen Harris, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Larry Mullen, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - The Edge, Composer, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Richard Rainey, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer - Chris Heaney, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2000 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

4
Electrical Storm (William Orbit Mix)
U2
00:04:40

WILLIAM ORBIT, Producer, Mixer, Additional Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Jake Davies, Programmer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Pat Sullivan, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bono, Author, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Iain Roberton, Programmer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Larry Mullen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - CARL GLANVILLE, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Edge, Composer, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer - Arnie Acosta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Heaney, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

5
One
U2
00:04:37

Daniel Lanois, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Eno, Producer, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Bono, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Flood, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Adams, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Larry Mullen, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Edge, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Shannon Strong, Producer, Assistant Producer, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1991 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

6
Miss Sarajevo (Single Radio Edit)
Passengers
00:04:30

Ruadhri Cushnan, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeremy Wheatley, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Luciano Pavarotti, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Eno, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Bono, Producer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rob Kirwan, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Adam Clayton, Producer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Craig Armstrong, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Producer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - The Edge, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Passengers, MainArtist - Danton Paul Supple, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1995 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

7
Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
U2
00:04:59

Brian Eno, Producer - Bono, Author, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Flood, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Adams, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Kirwan, Assistant Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - The Edge, Composer, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer - Willie Mannion, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1993 Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

8
Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
U2
00:04:32

Tim Palmer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Barrett, Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Daniel Lanois, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Eno, Producer, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Bono, Vocals, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Jay Goin, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Larry Mullen, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - The Edge, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Richard Rainey, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer - Chris Heaney, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2000 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

9
Gone (Mike Hedges Mix)
U2
00:04:36

Mike Hedges, Producer, Mixer, Additional Producer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Hillier, Programmer - Mark 'Spike' Stent, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bono, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Flood, Producer - Rob Kirwan, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Drums, Percussion, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - CARL GLANVILLE, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Edge, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Richard Rainey, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Howie B., Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer - Matthieu Clouard, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

10
Until The End Of The World
U2
00:04:39

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

℗ 1991 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

11
The Hands That Built America (Theme From 'Gangs Of New York')
U2
00:04:58

WILLIAM ORBIT, Producer, Mixer, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Jake Davies, Programmer - Bono, Author, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - U2, MainArtist - Edge, Composer - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Iain Roberton, Programmer - Rico Conning, Programmer - Larry Mullen, Composer, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - CARL GLANVILLE, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Edge, String Arranger, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Daragh O'Toole, Conductor - Una O'Kane, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Katie O'Connor, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Heaney, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rosie Nic Athlaioch, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Emer O'Grady, Strings, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2002 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

12
Discothèque (Mike Hedges Mix)
U2
00:04:42

Mike Hedges, Producer, Additional Producer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mark 'Spike' Stent, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bono, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Flood, Producer - Femio Hernandez, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Kirwan, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - The Edge, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Simon Pike, Composer - Ger McDonnell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Howie B., Recording Engineer, Unknown, Other, StudioPersonnel - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer - Matthieu Clouard, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

13
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (From 'Batman Forever')
U2
00:04:46

Marius de Vries, Keyboards, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Mark 'Spike' Stent, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NELLEE HOOPER, Producer - Bono, Author, Producer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Flood, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Adams, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Craig Armstrong, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Walton, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Larry Mullen, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - The Edge, Composer, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer

℗ 1995 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

14
Staring At The Sun (Mike Hedges Mix)
U2
00:04:49

Steve Osborne, Producer, Keyboards, Additional Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Hedges, Producer, Mixer, Additional Producer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Hillier, Programmer - Mark 'Spike' Stent, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bono, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Flood, Producer - Rob Kirwan, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - HOWIE B, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - CARL GLANVILLE, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Edge, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer

℗ 2002 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

15
Numb (Mike Hedges Mix)
U2
00:04:22

Mike Hedges, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Daniel Lanois, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Eno, Producer, Synthesizer, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - Bono, Composer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Flood, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Adams, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Kirwan, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Composer, Drums, Percussion, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - CARL GLANVILLE, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Edge, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Matthieu Clouard, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Willie Mannion, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

16
The First Time (Album Version)
U2
00:03:46

Brian Eno, Producer, Piano, Harmonium, AssociatedPerformer - Bono, Author, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Flood, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Adams, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - The Edge, Composer, Producer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer - Willie Mannion, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1993 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

17
The Fly
U2
00:04:35

Daniel Lanois, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Brian Eno, Unknown, Other - Steve Lillywhite, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bono, Author - Flood, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Adams, Engineer, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer - The Edge, Composer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer - Shannon Strong, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1991 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

Album Description

The story goes like this: poised on the brink of disappearing in their own earnestness in the wake of the Rattle and Hum, U2 revitalized themselves with Achtung Baby, embracing irony and modern music in a garish celebration of pop culture that effectively distracted attention from the wounded, broken heart at its center. Basking in the acclaim of Achtung Baby, U2 continued to release Euro-experimental music -- equal parts Madchester, Krautrock, and good old-fashioned prog rock, partially courtesy of longtime collaborator Brian Eno -- until their ambition imploded on Pop, leading them to a celebrated return to roots, All That You Can't Leave Behind. Through it all, they turned out singles that equaled their '80s work (and in the case of "One" and "Beautiful Day," surpassed it), providing the basic ingredients for a great hits collection, but The Best of 1990-2000 is botched, nearly fatally so, by a desperate attempt to rewrite history. Original mixes are replaced by recent remixes, while album tracks (why does "The First Time" close the collection?) and two new songs elbow out actual hits. Naturally, this highlights what's missing, which is quite a bit: "The Fly," "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses," "Zooropa," "Lemon," "Mofo," "Last Night on Earth," "Walk On," "Elevation," "Peace on Earth," to name a few. This wouldn't hurt as much if the new songs were good, but they're bland, particularly "Electrical Storm" (which, to add insult to injury, is presented not in the original mix, but in a William Orbit mix), an attempt to give the aesthetic of Behind a vague electronic gloss that doesn't work. Worst of all, anytime U2 flirted too closely with either dance or electronica has been replaced by mixes that attempt to give these tunes the sound of neo-classicist U2 à la All That You Can't Leave Behind. So, all the Pop material ("Gone," "Discotheque," "Staring at the Sun") is given new mixes, as is "Numb," none improvements and all undermining the actual career arc of U2 in the '90s. Then, these mixes, new songs, and hits are thrown out seemingly at random, with no regard for either chronology or musical momentum. Sure, there are great songs here -- not just "Mysterious Ways" and "Beautiful Day," but relatively rare items like the Passengers tune "Miss Sarajevo" (sounding more majestic than ever) and the Batman & Robin theme "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" (a glam rock pastiche that was the best thing about the film and remains a highlight), plus the underappreciated "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" (as lovely as anything they've ever cut). And that may be enough for some listeners, but it's hard not to wish that The Best of 1990-2000 actually lived up to its title and presented an overview of this excellent era in a logical, accurate manner.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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