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Achtung Baby 20th Anniversary Über Deluxe Box Set [Box set, Limited Edition]

U2 Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
Price: £606.08 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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U2 formed in 1978 after Larry Mullen pinned a 'musicians wanted' ad to the notice board at Dublin's Temple Mount School. Adam Clayton had discovered rock'n'roll as a thirteen year old, buying his first acoustic guitar and then talking his parents into buying him a bass guitar. 'It just sounded good to me. Deep and fat and satisfying.'
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Achtung Baby 20th Anniversary Über Deluxe Box Set + The Unforgettable Fire + The Joshua Tree
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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Oct 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 15
  • Format: Box set, Limited Edition
  • Label: Mercury
  • ASIN: B005FVA63A
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,515 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

Product Description

Recorded over 6 months in 1991 in Berlin and Dublin, Achtung Baby was U2's seventh studio album. It was produced by Daniel Lanois , Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite and mixed and engineered by Flood. Led by "The Fly", Achtung Baby spawned four more huge hit singles, "Mysterious Ways", "One", "Even Better Than The Real Thing" and "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses". Heralded by Rolling Stone’s Robert Hilburn as "U2’s daring descent into darkness”, the album was awarded the Grammy for Best Rock Performance and became one of the most acclaimed rock records of the nineties and of U2's career. As Bono said at the time, it was “the sound of four men chopping down the Joshua Tree”.
This 20th anniversary edition includes previously unreleased songs from the Achtung Baby sessions, remixes from the time and TV and video footage. This Deluxe Edition also includes "From the Sky Down" - a documentary from Academy Award winning director Davis Guggenheim (Waiting for Superman, An Inconvenient Truth and acclaimed music documentary It Might Get Loud featuring The Edge, Jack White and Jimmy Page).
This limited, numbered Über Deluxe Edition is a magnetic puzzle tiled box and contains: six CDs including the original Achtung Baby album, the follow-up album, Zooropa, B-sides and re-workings of previously unheard material recorded during the Achtung Baby sessions; four DVDs including "From The Sky Down", Zoo TV, all the videos from Achtung Baby plus bonus material; five clear 7" vinyl singles in their original sleeves; 16 art prints taken from the original album sleeve, an 84-page hardback book, a copy of Propaganda magazine, four badges, a sticker sheet, and a pair of Bono’s trademark "The Fly" sunglasses.

BBC Review

Hearing again The Edge's dizbusting guitar and Larry Mullen Jr's clanking beat that introduced Achtung Baby, it's hard to believe that, only one album before, U2 were hanging out with BB King and getting lost in a blind alley of American roots music. Bands that broke through in the halcyon days of post-punk ended up in worse places than Rattle and Hum, but U2 themselves knew they'd lost their way. And so it proved. Having secured Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois to produce 1984's The Unforgettable Fire after the similarly blustery devices of War, they rehired the pair and decamped to Berlin in the physical and metaphysical spirit of David Bowie's Eno-assisted rebirth (aka Low, "Heroes" and Lodger) and pressed the restart button.

Twenty years on, Achtung (German for "Attention") Baby still sounds zestful and compelling, with some of U2's all-time highs. One could be the best of them all, a brooding soul ballad oozing confrontation and hurt that manages to unearth some musical US DNA within their Irish selves by doing it without Rattle and Hum's self-consciousness and silly hats. Until the End of the World reconnects with the sleek and rousing rockers of their 1980 debut Boy; but, pardon the cliché, they now sounded like men, resilient and even cynical. Even when U2 deployed arena-courting dynamics on Even Better Than the Real Thing and Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, the efforts didn't feel hollow. The debut of 'mirrorball' U2 on The Fly succeeded because they had no precedent or fear at this point. By the time of 1997's Pop album, they were second-guessing and falling short of Achtung Baby's bench-setting standards.

As supporting characters, So Cruel, Acrobat and Love Is Blindness (more soulful smouldering and multi-tiered Edge drama) are hardly second-rate. If the second CD of B sides and bonuses lacks anything comparable, Salome and the vampy cover of Satellite of Love will float some boats. But you can see why the unreleased Blow Your House Down didn't even make it as a B side: it's deeply average considering the invention going on elsewhere, namely invention that helped U2 back on course to embrace the world stage while retaining their soul (as R.E.M. and, later on, Radiohead managed without a Rattle and Hum-style wobble).

But achtung! One fight U2 has lost is to retain the image of bassist Adam Clayton's penis on the inside cover, now hidden behind a big black cross that resembles an act of Christian censorship. Twenty years on? More like 50 years ago…

--Martin Aston

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All that is good about U2 30 April 2001
Format:Audio CD
Achtung Baby stands out as a masterpiece in U2's illustrious history. In this album, painfully ground out over a year of re-recording and re-inventing in 1990's Berlin, the power of U2's music is as direct and compelling as ever. The real beauty here, though, is the wit and intelligence of the music. This contrasts with their earlier music on the one hand, which tended to be naively honest, and their later work on the other which became almost a little too contrived. Achtung Baby is thus the album that best captures all that is good about U2 over their lifetime: a balance between the self-conscious cool and kitsch sounds of their later years, and the intensity and passion upon which they built their reputation.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Achtung, Bank Accounts! 3 Nov 2011
By Mr. M. A. Reed TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Do you remember a time, before "One" by U2 existed?

From the moment I heard it, I fell back in love with U2, after seperating myself from them in early 1990, tiring of their po-faced, hat-wearing, world-saving, holier-than-thou ubersincerity.

If you think they are po-faced and preachy now, you should've seen them then. Dull as dishwater, hectoring. Good at what they did, brilliant at what they did, but what they did wasn't brilliant. And U2 always wanted to be the best at what they did. Ambition bites the nails of success. "Achtung Baby" was the album where they took their ambitions and the accessable, stadium rock band they always wanted to be, played with the idea a bit, and reset themselves as something a little less obvious.

You might be expecting a classic rock album. The type that "Nevermind" was going to make obselete. U2 went somewhere else. Somewhere beautiful. Opening with a squall of feedback, a distorted burst of static, a clattering, keen drum attack. "Zoo Station" was where U2 discovered the ability to let go of everything but what they could be. The ability to be silly, stupid, flippant, and also use humour and playfulness to reveal the deadly terror of heartbreak. So "Achtung, Baby" was perhaps the right title : the warning of danger of relationships, children, and beautiful women that leave wreckage in their path. Achtung! Baby.

At the heart of it - the delicate arpeggios and searching rock gestures - it was still the same band, the same heart of it in new and strange clothes, still wanting to be accessable and resonant and popular. U2 have often chased relevance at the cost of being interesting. "The Fly" was a clarion call of intent. This radical invention saw the band set themselves as leaders.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Deluxe Thing Done Right 31 Oct 2011
By Sordel TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
On paper, there's no way that this package can be worth the asking price: two albums that most people will already own, a live DVD that has been available for years, a documentary that aired free on the BBC. Anyone could be forgiven for being somewhat cynical. So let's take a look in the box.

PACKAGING

Oh my God but this packaging is impressive. The art print portfolio and book are securely encased in a great-looking slipcase printed with the original album cover: for those of us who bought the album originally on CD, even having the cover at this scale is a treat. The portfolio comes in a brown card sleeve embossed with the album's "face star car" logo. The sixteen art prints themselves are on heavy, high-quality card and enable you to assemble your own version of the album sleeve if you have sixteen square foot of wall nearby. Very good (and I don't even care about the prints!)

The hardback book is simply gorgeous: six CDs are housed securely in the front cover, four DVDs in the back cover. The book contains copious artwork and a number of essays in addition to lyrics and credits for the box set. Personally I prefer text to photos, but a good balance is struck between the two and the production is very good. Basically, the book on its own could fetch a substantial retail price.

THE CDs

Discs one and two are Achtung Baby and Zooropa. You don't need my opinion on how good these albums are (if you don't rate them at five stars you should seriously consider why you are reading about this set in the first place). I thought that these albums had been remastered, but if so, I can't hear it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning! 4 Nov 2011
By JohnSMS
Format:Audio CD
Yes, like every U2 I already owned Achtung Baby, Zooropa and ZOOTV Live from Sydney. But when details of this reissue were made public I just knew I had to have it. The Super Deluxe is the must-have format for the dedicated fan. The presetation is outstanding. I was expecting it to come in a lot of little bits with CDs rolling around the place but everything is very compact and well thought out. Everything is build around the book with the CD's and DVD's firlmy secured into the front and back covers.

My only criticism of the book is that while we get Corbijn, Eno and Lanois' views among others the band members themselves say nothing. That said, they probably said everything they need to in U2ByU2 and in the documentaries included on the DVDs. The bonus material disc is really fantastic with one part of it showing a vast amount of a 1992 concert including MirrorBall Man overshadowed by Macphisto for too long!) preaching about his 'vision'. This made up for my initial disappointment that Sydney was the tour concert chosen for the reissue.

The Kindergarten disc is really good. The initial versions of the songs are very different mucially, especially TTTYARTW and LIB. All of the songs are different lyrically. Great listen for any Achtung fan. The b-sides disc is very good too. It contains a lot of really good material particularly 'Blow Your House Down' and 'Down All The Days'.

All in all, this a great reissue. Well worth the money to see U2 during the greatest period of their career.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
This is it, the masterpiece, the zenith of U2.

This is where they threw out the rulebook and created something really original, just like The Beatles with Sergeant... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Mr. Scott Carrick
5.0 out of 5 stars All killer no filler - U2's appex for me
Having lent the album to a school pal in the 90s it was approx 15 years since I'd heard AB in it's entirety. Read more
Published 5 days ago by James Connolly
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
bought as a gift person likes it
Published 10 days ago by Balihainursery
5.0 out of 5 stars Achtung Baby
For me, easily U2s best album to date. All tracks are strong and have that distinctive U2 sound - an amtospheric mixture that blends Rock and Pop superbly. Highly recommended.
Published 13 days ago by Whats this?
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better then the real thing
Well, I would say a good job if the 2nd CD is even better then the original album. It sounds more like "achtung baby' the the "achtung baby' we have been listening for 20... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Polishguy
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good music
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Stephen Bowden
5.0 out of 5 stars One of U2's Best!
U2's most underrated album, this is up there with the best of them. Takes the classic U2 sound and adds something new, with a dark, funky, sleazy element previous albums missed. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr Dean Geoffrey Teft Roberts
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware this is not the Deluxe edition
I bought this having read the great reviews and, although it is a brilliant album, it only contains 1 CD & not all the extras that other reviewers talk about. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ange
5.0 out of 5 stars U2 at there peak?
After the Josuha Tree album, U2 could do anything they wanted & it sold. Lots of recognisable tunes & a good listen even now.
Published 6 months ago by R. Cox
4.0 out of 5 stars As Good as It's always been!!
As my only copy of this was on tape cassette (Remember those!) I was keen to get an updated version of this album, plus extras. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jimmy M.
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