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4.6 out of 5 stars96
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 14 July 2011
Four youths from Dublin put a band together and expressed their working-class outlook on life with the post-punk sound of the late `70s and many people related to it. Much of their material dipped into or was blatantly about Christian spirituality rebelling against a material world and the band gained a cult following with their thoughtful lyrics that Bono sung with gritty, passionate zeal.

Gradually they got bigger and The Unforgettable Fire captures them on the cusp of world recognition and commercial success. Their punk sound is sucked into Eno's atmospheric production and somehow it works. Bono's screaming voice and the Edge's distorted guitar echo through the synthetic sounds of A Sort of Homecoming, Wire and the slow but equally as powerful MLK and Elvis Presley and America.

I don't know if it's because I heard this when I was fourteen, when music seemed to touch my soul in a special kind of way but this album has got a magical feel for me. It possibly captures U2 at their most serious (before they changed their leather jackets for their anti-image of worn out vests and greasy uncut hair, which in turn was replaced by their ironic fully embraced rock-star look) and I guess they were never going to be the same again after the world domination that came with this.

Listen to Pride after reading about Martin Luther King and it'll have the hairs on the back of your neck standing up. The whole album is a masterpiece.
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on 30 December 2009
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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on 16 April 2012
I bought this album in Dublin Airport as I was departing for Boston to work abroad for a year and, may I say, it was worth every penny!!

For me, this is one of U2's best, although I cannot escape the feeling that this is somewhat overlooked by critcs and fans alike.

As for the songs, well, they are all excellent; the album even comes with two instrumental tracks and, I can safely say, they do not upset the genuine flow of the album one bit! Every song is fantastic and shines through well on this effort; not one track seems out of place here, which is brilliant.

I spent a year in Boston there working as an Historical Advisor to a Museum and so I bought this gem of a record as I was departing Dublin as something to remind me of home. The irony of that is, most of Bono's lyrics reference America in some way or another, the land I was heading to work in.

Anyway, enough of my ranting, this album is essential for any U2 fan, so buy it and Happy Listening.
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on 6 October 2000
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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on 26 October 2009
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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on 29 October 2009
This was the first U2 album I purchased on vinyl and I have been listening to it ever since.This remaster is first class. As I write this I am playing it full volume and it is crystal clear, capturing its unique soundscape. Tracks like Pride, The Unforgettable Fire, Promenade and Bad are stand out tracks for me on the album. Like a previous reviewer this is bringing memories flooding back.

Loves Comes Tumbling and Bass Trap are fantastic B Sides and the live recording a gems. U2 at live Aid captures their pivotal moment in live performance. I also like the two new tracks with Yoshino Blossom reminding me of Simple Minds in that era.

If you already have The Unforgettable Fire then buy the remaster - you wont be dissapointed. If you are new to U2 buy this and let the music take you away. Can U2 recapture this sound and feeling on their next album?

In summary an amazing and by far the best remaster with lots of extra goodies thrown in!! and my 4 young kids love the music too!
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on 26 October 2009
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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on 15 November 2009
Not my most favourite U2 record on release (1984) the remastered version has changed things. Way back when, i felt let down by the band. To many strange, weird songs, B-SIDES better than album tracks. I still think HOMECOMING, ELVIS, 4TH OF JULY should not have made it, 3 SUNRISES, LOVE COMES TUMBLING and BASS TRAP on the record and it might have been my favourite ever.

Much improved thou, my main reason for getting this edition, was to see if i could find myself in the crowd at Croke Park during 11 O'CLOCK TICK TOCK. After much pausing etc, no luck i'm afraid. I'm down there somewhere near the Cameraman. That's not smoke rising, it's sweat and some belong's to me, happy days. What's left of my T-shirt is framed on the wall looking at me. This edition is abit expensive, worth it if you remember those days like me. The gig was fantastic by the way.
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"The Unforgettable Fire" is U2's turning point. Had they not enlisted the services of Brian Eno when they did, they perhaps might have gone down the same road as Simple Minds (i.e. fondly remembered, though discarded early works and cheesier later works).

If your knowledge of this album extends only to the two singles - "Pride" and the title track - and you didn't bother buying it because you weren't particularly impressed by either, then I envy you because you're in for a treat here. Even The Edge in the liner notes describes "Pride" as the song that he was, at least sonically, the least happy with. Yet "Pride" in a sense is the key track: the link between the flag-waving "Under a Blood Red Sky"-era U2 and the fuzzy logic that is "The Unforgettable Fire". Other than on "Pride, the politics are stripped away in favour of atmospherics. The other tracks are uniformly excellent although none jump out as radio-friendly (perhaps the reason this LP saw only one further single release). Some of the songs have a seasonal feel: winter landscapes ("A Sort of Homecoming"), rainy Sunday afternoons in Ireland ("Promenade") and high summer ("Bad"). Then there's Elvis Presley and America - it's one of those tracks that you just can't work out where the hell they got the idea from (New Order's "Hurt" has left me similarly puzzled and amazed).

Whilst I didn't particularly think the album needed a remaster I must say that it never sounded better although perhaps that in itself is not a good enough reason for re-buying.

The deal-clincher for me was the bonus disc - a) to reclaim "Boomerang II" - one of my favourite B-sides of all time (my 7" copy long since lost) and b) a chance to hear some of the unreleased material from the time. The latter does not disappoint either. "Bass Trap" (an instrumental) is Blue Nile-esque in its ability to capture a vibe. Daniel Lanois's remix of "A Sort of Homecoming" was apparently done while he was working on Peter Gabriel's "So" and madly enough, sounds as though it could have been lifted from it. Now THAT could have been made an interesting single. The newly finished track "Disappearing Act" fortunately doesn't sound newly finished and is rather good (vastly better than anything on U2's last album). Nevertheless, it will not have escaped many fans' attention that all of Wide Awake In America, widely available for some time on CD already, appears on disc 2. This is perhaps not too bad a thing since it was excellent but hardly worth the full price they charged for what was effectively a single - so if you've never succumbed to buying that one, this isn't actually a bad way of getting hold of it. And it probably fits better as a bonus to "The Unforgettable Fire" than as a stand-alone release anyway. It's also a good way of getting hold of the Martin Hannett produced version of "11 O'Clock Tick-Tock" - though quite why it's included I'm not too sure as it surely predates the rest of the material here by several years.

The hard back book packaging's a little over-done maybe (though not as bad as the "super deluxe" edition) and you certainly don't need the full lyrics either - part of the magic of "Elvis Presley and America" is trying to work out what the hell Bono was singing about.

But I could only ever give this a 5 star review as it's one of my benchmark albums. Roll on the "Achtung Baby" deluxe edition (but don't bother re-doing "Pop" on my account lads).
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on 21 August 2002
'The Unforgettable Fire' is one of the best albums ever made in my opinion as U2 once again demonstrated they could produce more than one classic album, 'War' was excellent, this was even better and 'The Joshua Tree' saw them at their peak. This album features some of U2's greatest songs. My favourite U2 song is on this album, in the form of the title track. It is an incredibly moving piece of music and despite it's subject matter, proves uplifting. 'Pride' is a also a classic, while 'Wire', 'A Sort Of Homecoming' and 'Bad' are unique gems, in their own right. All put together on this album it reaches classic status and is their second best album behind 'The Joshua Tree'. Essential to any true cd collection.
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