As danceable as U2's ACHTUNG BABY was, there were still portions of it where the rhythms slowed, and the songs were more introspective than ironic. If you ever wondered what that album would have felt like had it been more dance-oriented, then you might want to pick up the "Even Better Then The Real Thing" single, as its B-sides all fit that bill. Here are some short comments on each of the four tracks:
"Even Better Than The Real Thing" - An all-around fun song, being one of the most danceable tracks off of ACHTUNG BABY. There are great driving beats courtesy of Clayton and Mullen. Edge's guitar work is superb and smooth. If you listen carefully, Bono is singing a duet with himself for most of the track, creating an odd vocal effect, but one that works to the song's advantage.
"Salomé" - This song shares the name of the infamous bootlegs from the ACHTUNG BABY sessions (a three CD set of material that was stolen out of the recording studio). This track features a simple bass line, with a steady drumbeat keeping the music going. It's not particularly fast, but it's not awfully slow either. Some great guitar work here, as well as some subtly atmospheric keyboards.
"Where Did It All Go Wrong?" - The liner notes claim that this is actually a demo, and it definitely contains a raw and dirty feel to it. It's the only guitar driven track on the single. Simple lyrics, the rhythm section is solid rather than flashy, and powered by a great guitar riff.
"Lady With The Spinning Head (Extended Dance Mix)" - The original of this song (featured on the "One" single) is one of my favorite U2 B-sides of all time. If anything, the version here is even better. There's more of everything that makes this such a great song: more guitar, the bass line gets a longer intro, the synthesizers and keyboards are just going mad, and, of course, it's longer. This is the best U2 song that you've never heard.
This is one of the most fun singles that U2 have put out. The songs on here aren't terribly serious; they're just great rock and roll numbers. U2 have a habit of releasing great B-sides, and this single features three of their best. This is the sound of U2 forgetting their troubles, and remembering how to dance and have fun.