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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first genuine classic U2 album.
Originally released in 1984, the dark ages of Wham and Ronald Reagan, "The Unforgettable Fire" was, at the time, a brave move. U2 ditched their conventional rock writing and production, roped in Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, and became impressionistic, ambigious, brave, visionary. The songs became shimmering things, built on arpeggios and fragments, never afraid to pull...
Published on 30 Nov 2009 by Mr. M. A. Reed

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It could've been a true classic
I would have given this box set either 4 or 5 stars, but what brought the rating down for this remaster is the lack of video content on the bonus DVD. It's well known that video footage does exist from U2's Unforgettable Fire tour, and yet surprisingly only 1 song from one of their regular concerts (Croke Park) shows up, in addition to their appearances at the Live Aid...
Published on 3 Dec 2009 by Trance Addict Fan


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first genuine classic U2 album., 30 Nov 2009
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Originally released in 1984, the dark ages of Wham and Ronald Reagan, "The Unforgettable Fire" was, at the time, a brave move. U2 ditched their conventional rock writing and production, roped in Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, and became impressionistic, ambigious, brave, visionary. The songs became shimmering things, built on arpeggios and fragments, never afraid to pull back instead of the suckerpunch stadium chorus. This was, until 1993's "Zooropa", U2's most experimental record in every sense, and the first time U2 latched onto a concept - that of nuclear war and the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki : a clear parallel between then, and the now-of-then (of 1985) where we all lived under the threat of instant extinction in a Dr. Strangelove farce.

Aside from the poking-you-in-the-eye lyrical sledgehammer and thumpingly workmanlike structure that was "Pride", every lyric and melody on this record is something other. U2 were stepping into a new dimension of work, and this would serve them well for the rest of their career. From here on, U2 were two bands at once, obvious stadium rockers in love with the big chorus, and also, trying to weld to that a desire to explore and invent. The album threw away the obvious lyrical clunkery and sincerity instead of impressions and ideas, suggestions of music and wordless melodies that exist in the keening, crooning lift of a modern hymn. "The Unforgettable Fire" was a brilliant record that challenged your idea of what U2 are with ambiguity and fog.

Next, U2 would stand in a desert in sharp focus. Here, they are barely visible in overgrown ruins. The listener brings to this their own imagination. And this combination is wonderfully effective. Songs hover into view, stay for a few minutes, then fade out with cloud and form new shapes. U2 would never be quite so accessably obtuse again.

The songs have never sounded so clear or so bright. Thankfully, there is little if any of the ugly compression and squashed sound of modern mastering. Whilst the tracklisting lacks, to me, much in the way of narrative focus - the songs don't always sound as if they fit well together - the material itself is some of the best U2 ever produced. "Bad" - still featured in live sets today - leaps off the deck with clarity. I've been hearing these songs for 25 years, and there's something new I heard in the remaster I'd never noticed before. In fact, all of this material deserves to be heard more often : "Elvis Presley and America" is a formless, halfspeed jam, but one that transcends such beginnings with Bono's imaginary words and invented dialect that moves beyond English into some kind of impressionistic new vocabulary. It's the inarticulate speech of the heart that can barely grasp whatever vision is evaporating in front of your eyes. Miles Davies would sit and listen to this album on repeat on his death bed.

"A Sort of Homecoming" is possibly the greatest lost song U2 ever written. There's three versions on this remaster : a staid studio recording, a thrilling rearrangement by Daniel Lanois that was clearly destined for a hit single, and best of all, a version re-recorded at a London soundcheck that deserves to be on every compilation they release. Normally three versions of the same song would be boring, but each variant is substantially different. Quiet why this song isn't a staple of their live set today is baffling to me - it knocks better known but lesser songs into the dust.

Filling out the second disc are two unreleased songs - the superior, fabulous "Disappearing Act" that is the equal of anything on the album itself, and the more abstract "Yoshino Blossom" that is a compelling blur of sound that sounds akin to a wonky, broken, frazzled "New Years Day". Around this time, U2 also pushed some of their greatest material onto b-sides : "The Three Sunrises" and "Love Comes Tumbling" are better certainly than a couple of album cuts and could very well have elevated the band to stadiums sooner. There were also some unusual b-sides : "Sixty Seconds In Kingdom Come", "Bass Trap", "Boomerang I", were all odd, fragmentary improvisations, and thus often shunted to the fourth side of double 7" singles.

Rounding out the bonus disc are alternate versions of "Wire" (lots more everything, and less Bono), "A Sort Of Homecoming", "Pride" (more choruses), "11 O Clock Tick Tock" (more guitars), and "Boomerang II", a vocal version of the aforementioned improvisation that is light years beyond, and practically a different song, It's surprising to see how little work could turn a formless jam into a realised song, and here U2 provide both parts of the song. A fascinating look. They should do more of this.

What there is though, is a faithfully presented and packaged version of U2's most interesting album, replete with worthy extra material that expands the original and reveals a few, oft-unheard nuggets from the time. The alternate versions and unheard songs are as good as most of the material on the album itself, and well worth a second glance. If you are to re-visit U2, this is their most intruiging work : before age, guile, money, and fame corrupted them, when they were young, almost naive, and hungry to explore.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Sort of Homecoming, 28 Oct 2009
By 
avl06 (The Village) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
The Unforgettable Fire was the album with which U2 took a great leap forwards, and it remains my favorite to this day...I remember vividly taking up the empty cassette case to my local WH Smiths to purchase it, ah, more innocent times, anyway I digress...

That cassette tape got played until it died, but the CD when it appeared didn't really do justice to this pivotal album - until now. The remaster is a great success, clarifying the delicate, yearning textures, filling out the filigree guitar work and the expansive Eno-lead sonics to thrilling effect. Bono is young and passionate, his voice still soaring (compare his new vocal on "lost track" Disappearing Act for a modern comparison), and this is a band firing on all cylinders, out of their comfort zone, striking out for new artistic territory, and succeeding.

The xtras CD is nice enough, great to the have the Wide Awake in America tracks included, especially the live version of 'Homecoming. I have't watched the DVD yet, but fantastic to have their game-changing appearance at Live Aid the followying year.

This adds up to a terific memorial to a pivotal moment in the history of U2, and to a time and place for yours truly!

Highly recommended. Roll on Achtung Baby!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It could've been a true classic, 3 Dec 2009
I would have given this box set either 4 or 5 stars, but what brought the rating down for this remaster is the lack of video content on the bonus DVD. It's well known that video footage does exist from U2's Unforgettable Fire tour, and yet surprisingly only 1 song from one of their regular concerts (Croke Park) shows up, in addition to their appearances at the Live Aid (complete) & Conspiracy of Hope/Amnesty Int'l (incomplete) concerts.

At least with the Joshua Tree Remaster, the fans got pretty much a complete concert on the DVD. With the Unforgettable Fire Remaster, the DVD feels like it was too short on video content.

Other than the lack of video content, the rest of the box is fine, from the book, the postcards, & the extended audio content, it's worth listening to this album again. For my money, I would probably just stick with the 2-CD version of the Remaster.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its U2's Unforgettable Fire. Enough said., 28 Oct 2009
By 
This is not the place for the vinyl / CD / remastering debate (which a previous reviewer implies is a matter of clarity of volume; hmmm... sounds like Spinal Tap `11' logic). What can be said is that, outside of that debate, this is a superb remaster both in and of itself c/w the so-called bonus tracks - it's really a two-fer with the Wide Awake in America ep included, the live version `Bad' from this being worth the price of admission alone; you can get this through the cheaper CDs only package. But that won't give you the DVD with a few of these `videos' long unavailable, esp. The Unforgettable Fire itself.

This is the place to say... Finally! A top drawer presentation of the key U2 album: no Unforgettable Fire = no Joshua Tree and quite possibly, no U2 today. 25 years on and still an unadulterated joy.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best reissue yet, 27 Oct 2009
"The Unforgettable Fire" gets an unforgettable reissue in the style of "The Joshua Tree" release a couple of years back, and it's an instant hit.

I think it stands up as the best of their reissue work to date by a country mile, and iv'e enjoyed all of the reissues thus far.

Even if you are one of those who have felt that U2 have been cashing in with all of the recent rereleases (and I know that even a good few genuine U2 fans are included in this) You will want this one.

The Bonus CD has enough quality material to have produced a fresh album, whether back in the mid 80's or possibly even now.

The DVD documentary section captures the pure rawness of the band as they were transforming unwittingly from psudo punk pretenders to the super-rock-band they would become within the next few years. The footage of the Slane castle sessions is gift to their fans just before xmas. The whole DVD is a well put together "video scrap book" of the period with a couple of defining live performances, four commercial videos from the album and the aforementioned documentary.

The whole period from "War" to " Achtung Baby" is my favourite U2 era, and If like me "Bad" is one of your enduring favourites from the band, then the live versions on the bonus discs (DVD and CD) are probably worth the purchase price alone.

And I haven't even mentioned the title CD yet. Do I have to say anything? it speaks for it'self surely....... Only I would say that a few folk have said they prefer the sound of the original vinyl. Well I remember having the vinyl and I must confess that I'm a true digital convert. I think that CD beats vinyl any day, but thats just a personal opinion (sorry guys). I get the whole raw sound thing of vinyl but still love the cleanness of CD and how you can play with the sound on good equipment.

From a true "U2-o-phile" (mind you i'm not sure if one of those doesn't sound a bit dodgy... read that 3 star review, and you'll get it) This is a complete winner and I dearly hope that "Achtung Baby" gets the same treatment as this and "The Joshua Tree" did to complete the set.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable!, 17 Nov 2009
By 
Stevie B (Derby, Greater Mancunia) - See all my reviews
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As a follower of U2 since 1980 and having purchased all their material including the recent re-issues, it was more or less a given that I would buy this anyway.
However, having already purchased the Super Deluxe Joshua Tree I knew what I was getting for my investment.
Ok, so I've got the original vinyl and the cd from 1986 but this collection is not just about the music - it's a piece of art, memorabillia and a great way to celebrate this release. Although I liked October from Day #1, The Unforgettable Fire was the album that set U2 back on track to mega-stardom. The album is a celebration of everything that was good about the mid'80's and is highly likely to be an important part of a large number of peoples lives.

The presentation box is just like that of The Joshua Tree release and very classy.
The contents are a great record of the album and U2's music at the time.
> The original album - re-mastered.
> The Bonus Audio cd contains 16 tracks of live numbers, alternative mixes and 'B' sides - OK, so a true fan has most of these already (if not all!) but they're here together on 1 disc.
> The Bonus DVD is (as it says) a collection of video footage, the customary 'making of' documentary and the famous Live Aid footage.

Amazon's great pricing during pre-order made this an even better purchase!

If you've got the original it's worth getting this updated/improved version.
If you haven't got the original then you definitely should get this!

Let me in the sound!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awe inspiring album that never shows its age, 6 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Unforgettable Fire (Audio CD)
Looking at the back of the box the other day, I frowned deeply at the year 1985. Nearly 16 years ago this album was captivating the music world, and so it deserves to today.
If you try to think that the track "Elvis Presley and America" managed to slip in from the B-Side bin, then you would have to admit that this is one of the most perfect albums in existence. Most people know of "Pride", but one listen to "Bad" changes your mind about what this album is about.
If this album isn't in your collection, you wont have experienced an album which can captivate your soul, relax your mind, and then throw you back for more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Deluxe edition of Unforgettable Fire, 30 Dec 2009
By 
PJ van Ree "Pieter" (Netherlands, Europe) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
It was in 1985 I bought my first single of this Irish band. Everyone knows that it must be U2. I bought the titletrack: The Unforgettable Fire on 7". Still is one of the greatest tracks by them.
A few months later there was Live Aid. U2 was also on stage performing the most strange gig. They couldn't play Pride (in the name of love) because they did an excellent job of another track from this album: Bad.
We now know it's a fabulous gig, but directly after the gig they thought they blew it. It's the start of their massive success.
I bought they album, later on CD. With the re-release of their older albums, they also remastered this 4th studio album. Great job! Great listening.
The 2nd CD is a nice-to-have or as a fan it's probably a must-have! Some never released tracks, remixes or b-sides. I think it's perfect to have of the band at that time.
About the DVD : Don't expect too much. It's nice to have, but the most stuff we already have. But in one box sticked, it's great to have all together.
The box with the booklet and photos in it are beautiful. It a pleasure listening, watching the discs while reading the booklet or to watch the photographs!
So all in all I rated this 5 stars.

U2 is one of the greatest rock 'n roll band. At that time, later on and still is. This album is a milestone of their career!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Believe it or NOT The Unforgettable Fire has GOT BETTER, 26 Oct 2009
By 
Mr. Richard Thwaites "R. Thwaites" (Bournemouth, U.K) - See all my reviews
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Having been a U2 fan for all my life, i'm 40 going on 41 now. - Let me first say if you are a U2 fan and wondering if it's worth upgrading to this Deluxe Edition of The Unforgettable Fire, and if like me, you had the album on vinyl before you bought the album on the terrible analogue CD mix from the 1990's I would say definately buy the 2009 CD edition - PLEASE DO, you won't be dissapointed it's truly superb. I thought the re-issue of the Joshua Tree was as good as it gets, well I was wrong, after hearing how they have completely improved the sound quality of this spellbinding album, I am so glad I have re-purchased the album, yet again lol. Personally, I don't think the boys will ever make a more perfect record, it's beautiful, thought provoking, mesmerising and above all I think Bono voice on this album is truly breathtaking.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unforgettable Revisit 25 Years On!!, 26 Oct 2009
By 
Mr. P. Keighley "bonerra10" (Leeds UK) - See all my reviews
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Well...................Where Shall I Start In Reviewing What Was Probably The Most Pivatol Album In U2"s Career?? 25 Years On And It Still Sounds As Fresh And Important Now As In 1984.

The Album Really Speaks For Itself......10 Immense Songs That Were The Pre-Curser To What Has Taken Place Since, AND Was The Big Brother Of "The Joshua Tree", What REALLY Stands Out About This Magnificent Box Set Is Of Course The Bonus Disc, And The DVD.

The Bonus Disc Is Packed Full Of B Sides From The Time, 2 Previously Unreleased Songs, A Few Different Mixes Of The Album Tracks, "Disappearing Act" Is an Absolute Gem Of a Song Which They Completed During a Break In Rehearsals For The Current 360 Tour, So An Up To Date Vocal From Bono, 2 Live Performances Of "A Sort Of Homecoming" And "Bad", Then We Have 2 Of The Best B sides U2 Have Ever Done In My Opinion, Which To This Day , Amazed Me That They Didnt Make The Album! "Love Comes Tumbling" And "The 3 Sunrises" " Yoshino Blossom" is The 2nd "New" Song, A Quirky Melodic Instrumental, 2 Remixes Of "Wire" An Alternative Version Of "Pride" And A FABULOUS Danny Lanois Mix Of "A Sort Of Homecoming"
Other Old B Sides Complete The Disc With "Boomarang 1 & 2 " "Bass Trap" " 60 Seconds In Kingdom Come".

Now The DVD Is Also Comprehensive In The Inclusions, Documentaries , Music Videos, And Some Live Performances ( Including Live Aid And "A Conspiricy Of Hope" in 86 ) All In All It Adds Up To A Very Pleasing And Comprehensive Collection Of U2 Material In That Ground Breaking Year Of 1984.

For The Price This Is Well Worth Investing In, The Quality And Quantity Definatly So, U2 Fans Old And New --This Is A "Must Have" To Add To Your U2 Experience! Without Question This Was The Most Pivatol Album In U2"s Career And History, This Is Bringing So Many Memories Flooding Back.
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