Tue. Oct 4th, 2022

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Album Review: U2 – Achtung Baby (20th Anniversary Edition)

4 min read

Irish rock heavyweights U2 have long been regarded as the greatest band in the world. The four piece have achieved what many before them have failed to and what so many after them have tried to replicate, some coming rather close but none who have been able to match the force behind the Irish juggernaughts.

Whether you agree with that statement or not is up for debate but what cannot be denied is the fact that U2 have been responsible for some of most successful releases of the past 30 years and the band are still going as strong today as they were back in the bands early beginnings.

U2AchtungBabySince the bands formation in the mid seventies we have been pleasured by the sounds of hit after hit that have gone on to symbolize each decade since. Bono’s confident and bolshy vocals paired with The Edge’s famous textural guitar skills alongside Adam Clayton’s penetrating bass lines and drummer Larry Mullen Jr’s effortless approach to the art of drumming helped propel this band into a league of music’s most elite with monster singles that include the early hits I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, With Or Without You, and Where The Streets Have No Name right through to some of the bands more recent successes in the form of Beautiful Day, Elevation and Get On Your Boots. With such a large selection of records to label a favorite for me it was 1991’s Achtung Baby that gave me an insight into what U2 were capable of and the record pulled me in immediately to the world of rock royalty and gave me a true appreciation for the masters at work.

When U2 released their seventh studio twenty years ago no one could have predicted what the band had been preparing us for with some of the acts most iconic hits stacked on top of each other and the preceding Zoo Tour that was to touch down on almost every major city in the world and set a new standard in the live experience, something the band have become equally famous for aside from their records as witnessed with the collectives most recent 360 tour.

Achtung Baby provided us with some of the bands most awe-inspiring tracks and includes my two personal favorite U2 numbers, something that provided me with a glow as I was handed the record to review. Even Better Than The Real Thing and the incredibly catchy, riff heavy hooks of Mysterious Ways helped form the soundtrack to my early teens and to this day stand out as two of the most well crafted pop tunes of the last 20 years and it is the last 20 years that we are appreciating this week with the re-release of Achtung Baby.

With each track being remastered to pure and faultless pop perfection the bands seventh studio release has been given a new lease of life with each track tweaked and defined and tied up in a neat little package.

From the robotic, futuristic opening of Zoo Station we are taken on a trip through memory lane, stopping at monumental highs in musical history. From the standout up-tempo gems like Even Better Than The Real Thing and Mysterious Ways with its funky guitar hooks and Edge driven effects pedal being put to impressive use through to the epic Until The End Of The World and the laid back Tryin’ To Throw Your Arms Around The World not a track can be faulted.

Achtung Baby is also responsible for unleashing some of the bands most popular and sentimental numbers including the guitar wielding balladry of Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses and One, a classic within the expansive U2 catalogue.

After a solid 35 years on the international stage and countless records and tours confidently ticked under their belts there is no doubt that U2 are one of, if not, the greatest band currently out there and this remastered record is proof of just that.

Buy ‘U2 – Achtung Baby (20th Anniversary Edition)’ from Amazon