- Audio CD (12 May 1998)
- Format: Single
- Label: Pid
- ASIN: B000007PDK
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | Vinyl | MP3 Download
|1. Even Better Than The Real Thing|
|3. Where Did It All Go Wrong|
|4. Lady With The Spinning Head|
The sense of experimentation on the three b-side songs rings out loud and clear. The feeling of an almost unlimited sonic landscape to paint on is striking--Achtung Baby itself was much more contoured sonically. The musicmaking on the b-sides verges on barely controlled sonic anarchy with so many textures real and implied--especially on the "Lady With The Spinning Head"--and is all the better for it. "Salome," using the same base line that graces "Zoo Station," has a wonderfully loose feel to it. "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)" is, in my opinion, the best song on Achtung Baby, and "Lady," an extended variant of it, just reinforces my opinion. The keyboard part near the last third is the most sonically and musically integrated use of keyboards/synthesizers that I have ever heard. Finally, "Where Did It All Go Wrong" is the closest to a joyful party song that U2 has ever come, with the possible exception of Boy's (1980) "Out of Control." It is, I would venture to say, unique in U2's songbook.
All of the songs on this single sound timeless. Despite the refreshing mix of honesty and craftsmanship on 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind, I strongly believe that U2's flame of inspiration and ambition will probably never burn more brightly than it did for Achtung Baby in 1990-1991. This single is required listening for those who tend to doubt such a view.
"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.