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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All that is good about U2
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...
Published on 30 April 2001 by

3.0 out of 5 stars Achtung Baby
Some good tracks, some less memorable; in my very subjective opinion they band have got better since this mid-period; one for the collection
Published 20 months ago by clemency

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5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE IN SUCCESSION!!!, 4 Mar 2009
Damon Feurtado "damonfeurtado" (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Achtung Baby (Audio CD)
U2 are a very rare breed indeed, in the sense that with every album they have made in their 33 year history, they have got stronger & stronger. I thought that THE JOSHUA TREE was astounding in scope & atmosphere, that it became my favourite album of all time. With ACHTUNG BABY!, they have truely shown how every band has to reinvent themselves musically & do it well. Many thought that U2 were only good enough for AOR & grow old with it... WRONG!!! They have truely been influenced by the BAGGY scene going in Manchester, with the likes of THE HAPPY MONDAYS & THE STONE ROSES, as well as DAVID BOWIE. They have truely shown everyone how to fuse rock & dance music without trying disappear up their own arses, with likes of tracks like, THE FLY & MYSTERIOUS WAYS & EVEN BETTER THAN THE REAL THING. Songs like these were the genesis to their spectacular ZOO TV stage shows shown around the world, with television screens at the forefront of them. They have also shown us how to produce one of the great songs of all time in the track, ONE. Along with image change, (i.e. Bono's introduction of his wrap around sunglasses to the world), the jigsaw puzzle fits perfectly. With this brilliant follow up to The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby! is certain to be in every Top 20 chart of all time in years to come, as it changed the structure of music production through the 90s to the present & given a new leese of life to old fashioned rock music. May BONO, THE EDGE, ADAM CLAYTON & LARRY MULLEN JR soldier on for more years to come...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A You & Two Noughts, 7 Mar 2004
This review is from: Achtung Baby (Audio CD)
At the end of the 1980's, U2 seemed destined for the kind of cult-relegation and general pass over reserved for other champions of the era, like Echo & the Bunnymen and Simple Minds. Instead, they grabbed their two-headed production geniuses Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno and created the ultimate artistic claim for post-modern expression. The result is Achtung Baby! Here, the seeds of ambient noise and industrial electro-pop are already being sown within the evocative textures created... something that the band would take that little bit further on the three related experimental albums that followed... (Zooropa, Original Soundtracks 1. & Pop).
Like those works, Achtung Baby is an intoxicating listen from beginning to end... figuring as both a culmination of the band's disparate musical influences, and as a document to the kind of counter-culture explosion happening at the time. It's also a bitter and painfully observed certification of the divorce of the band's guitarist, the Edge... with Bono ably ploughing the kind of brokenhearted malaise so perfectly captured by people like Thom Yorke, Michael Stipe and Mark Hollis. Elsewhere, the swirling dance-beats, and references to Madchester's baggy scene had already been developed on classic single The Fly, and now can be seen to a greater extent on the wonderful opening number Zoo Station.
Bono sets a tone for the album right from the start with his vocals incorporating both whispers and screams to great effect, whilst the inclusion of orgasmic yelps and much distortion only helps to highlight the seedy, metropolitan atmosphere of the track. The grungy, distorted sound of Zoo Station leads us nicely into another big single of the time, Even Better than the Real Thing, in which the Edge is allowed to take his guitar playing to strange and decidedly funky new levels, to create a piece of music that isn't a million miles away from the Happy Mondays circa Pills Thrills and Bellyaches. Yet another hit single, One is a change of pace... a beautiful acoustic ballad that I'm sure the majority of people are already familiar with from the heyday of ZOO/MTV.
The detached and emotionally wavering sound continues through such classics as, Until the End of the World, Who's Gonn'a Ride Your Wild Horses and So Cruel... all mirroring the kind of music going on around then, but also conveying enough of the old U2 magic to make for a seriously enjoyable listen. Meanwhile, later tracks such as the aforementioned Fly, Mysterious Ways (sort of like Depeche Mode around the time of the Violator LP) and Trying to Throw You're Arms Around the World all benefit greatly from the trademark U2 rhythm section, and Eno's other-worldly production (drawing parallels with both Acid House, and the landmark records he created with Bowie; Station to Station, Low, Heroes etc).
The three closing tracks are all beautifully epic, bringing to the piece a sense of melancholic desperation, but at the same time, a moment of transcendence. This is really for me, U2's masterpiece album, up there with War, which is another perennial favourite. Here the band got the blend between psychedelic experimentation and real music spot on, with none of the rambling pontificating of the later, though admittedly interesting, Zooropa. Still, a step up from the tired trad tedium of Rattle and Hum, this is an album that pushes the limits of musical reinvention as well as pushing all the right buttons... quite simply, a precursor to things like Radiohead's OK Computer, and a perfect rock record in it's own right.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Re release please, 8 Mar 2009
This review is from: Achtung Baby (Audio CD)
Achtung Baby...... For those of us who loved all that was u2 up to and including Rattle and Hum..... was a bit of a shock to the system when it first came out. with percevierance it grew on us and become one of the bands core albums.

The re release work that has been happening over the past couple of years has been outstanding and a worthwhile addition to the back catalogue. For me there is only one addition needed to complete the work and that is this album.

"One" final box set (in the same style as the Joshua Tree was done) would complement the record shelf and finish off something the band clearly felt they needed to do when starting off on the re release project....

U2 have added some amazing material since Achtung Baby but if I was forced to pick one of their works to add to my "Desert Island Discs" I'd be hard pushed to leave this one behind...

If anyone one else would like to see Achtung re released add a comment below. Maybe we could start something.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars U2 at their very best, 8 April 2013
Torben Madsen (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
After the incoherent, self-indulgent, fake americana mess that was 'Rattle and Hum', the release of 1991's 'Achtung Baby' came as a very welcome surprise.

A reinvented U2? Perhaps. A revigorised U2, it certainly is. 'Zoo Station' starts the preceedings with its crunchy, stuttering beginning and distorted vocals while the delicate and atmospheric 'Love is Blindness' provides the perfect ending. In between there is a lot to love. Among the gems are of course 'The Fly', 'Mysterious Ways' and the anthemic 'One', all singles at the time. But the album cuts are really just as good. Special mention must go to 'Ultraviolet (Light My Way) and 'Acrobat'. If anything, 'Achtung Baby' sounds like a mix of the more adventurous parts of 'The Unforgettable Fire' and the great songwriting of 'The Joshua Tree', the result being greater than just the sum of the parts.

Contained within this Deluxe Edition are remixes, b-sides and an particularly interesting disc featuring earlier mixes and versions of the tracks that ended up on the album. The follow-up album 'Zooropa' is also included. Whether or not these extras are worth the additional expense is up to the individual, but as a whole it does form a more or less complete picture of the 'Achtung Baby' era; a stunning album that U2 - in my book anyway - never equalled neither before or after its release.

Go get one of the editions. It's a modern classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great item, 21 Sep 2012
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I highly recommend this item as it comes sealed in digipak and is a brilliant album, great for the collection too! thanks a lot!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Achtung Baby 20th, 1 Dec 2011
As a huge U2 fan I couldn't miss issue of Achtung Baby 20th Anniversary. Thanks for Amazon for oportunity to preorder Achtung Baby 20th Anniversary Super Delux Box Set with the best price on the market! I got my order very quick and smooth. This 20th Anniversary set giving me a lot of fun and happines! You can find there many photos,videos and music very precious for every U2 fan(included rare and first time publicated!). Maybe price is not too low, but is worth of every penny You spend! Very recommended!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sound Of Four Men Chopping Down The Joshua Tree!, 13 Nov 2011
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Well where to start with this one...I'm going to dive straight into reviewing the contents piece by piece as they come out of the box. I will try steer away as much as possible from reviewing the actual album or what U2/Achtung Baby means to me personally as so much has been said before and if your considering purchasing this item you will be well acquainted with the album and the band. I just want to give the best possible opinion on what you will be paying almost £300.00 of your hard earned cash on, So here we go...

THE BOX...First thing you will notice is its astonishing weight and size. It feels fantastic I believe the boxes were custom made in Italy and to be fair it feels expensive. The artwork is beautifully done around the box and each piece of the artwork on the top is a removable magnetic tile so if you wish to rearrange the artwork this is your chance it really is a nice touch. The contents are listed on the back side and the unique number of your box is embossed in gold on the side. I believe 10,000 were made. The top opens up with half the contents located within and then the front side is magnetic and pops down to reveal a draw with the rest of the contents. Trust me it is well designed.

DIGITAL DOWNLOAD CODE...On a small token within the box is a code that will allow you to go to the website and download the entire musical contents of this box onto your PC/Mac in either WAV or MP3 so you don't have to use the discs it also contains an acoustic performance by Edge of Love Is Blindness which is on none of the discs.

7" SINGLES...Within a card sleeve are the 4 7" singles from the album each one is housed within a hardback gold sleeve to protect the artwork and actual vinyl. It feels excess packaging but it is well thought out and the artwork is simply amazing. Each 7" has the original artwork and all the vinyl is clear. In case you are in doubt the singles are The Fly, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Wild Horses and One.

STICKER SHEET...Exactly what you'd expect a 12"x12" sheet of stickers of the various artwork and logos from the era. Seems pointless but why not?!

HARDBACK BOOK...Again in 12"x12" format this book is fantastic the artwork contained within is perfect and high quality its packed with all the photo shoots from the era and combined with passages from the likes of Brian Eno & Danny Lanois it makes great reading and viewing. An unexpected gem in the package in my opinion.

VINYL ALBUM...Double vinyl of Achtung Baby packaged just as if it would be bought separately the vinyl on this occasion is the traditional black. Each vinyl in its own sleeve with all the artwork and the vinyl book containing the lyrics and artwork. You will feel like you've read this book and seen the artwork a thousand times by the end of this box set but the quality just means you don't care and its reassuring that everything is packaged individually as it should be.

PROPAGANDA MAGAZINE...This is a reproduced magazine from when U2 used to release the magazine to subscribing members back in the 80's/90's naturally this one focuses on their work on Achtung Baby and of all the literature in this box it contains the more obscure and interesting information from what the band were doing at the time. The description prior to purchasing doesn't do it justice to be fair because it is a large magazine it's well printed and kept faithful too its original release and should not be considered as filler.

ART PRINTS...Contained with a card sleeve embossed with the Baby, Trabant and Star logo is each of the art tiles off the album cover printed on 12"x12" card. To see the artwork in such a size and quality is great, Yes you've seen it all before a hundred times and on paper it sounds like filler but like most things in this box when you physically have it in your hands it all makes sense.

CD DIGIPAK...All of your CD's are contained within a rather large digipak that unfolds into a rather long strip. Again the artwork is carried on throughout. Fixed to one end of the digipak is another book which basically has all the lyrics and artwork found in the original album sleeve and of course what is on all the discs. The first two CD's are Achtung Baby and Zoopora neither of which I believe are actually remastered but just tweaked in places. Disc 3 is Bonuses & B Sides which pretty much contains offcuts from the album and b-sides from the singles and in truth is perhaps the weakest disc. Discs 4 & 5 are the Uber & Unter remixes which are packed with remixes from the albums many are repeated several times such as Mysterious Ways and One but there are some real treats here depending on your taste. Disc 6 and probably the jewel in the crown is Kindergarten which is an early mix of Achtung Baby in full and shows the different direction the album could of taken.

DVD DIGIPAK...Just like the CD's the DVD's are housed within a slightly smaller digiak Again a fixed book at the other end contains what is on each disc. Disc 1 is From The Sky Down which is a new documentary detailing the creation of Achtung Baby it is slightly misleading because it's more concentrated on U2's transition from Rattle & Hum to Achtung Baby and only really contains the making of One and Mysterious Ways and no mention of the other tracks or how they came together. This is made up by the amount of footage of the band both now and then and the rare interviews with all of those involved. Disc 2 is The Music Videos which contains all of the various videos plus some performances including the Sellafield Concert. Disc 3 has several documentaries and MTV appearances from the time and in truth I have yet to view this in full. Finally Disc 4 is the ZOO TV concert from Sydney which is exactly the same as the one that has been available for several years now its a great DVD but again if your considering purchasing this box your probably already going to have it and it may feel like the most wasted disc.

PIN BADGES...Contained within a nice little velvet pouch displaying the usual Baby, Trabant and Star logo is metal pin badges again displaying the U2/Trabant/Baby/Star logos. Nice touch but nothing more.

FLY SUNGLASSES...For some reason they have housed these glasses in a cloth slipcase which has to stretched to remove and insert them again and it feels a little cheap considering the lengths they have gone too with everything else. The glasses which are made completely from plastic area a nice novelty item which is all they are to be honest as because the arms are fixed they'd be a little awkward to actually use if you ever actually considered it. Either way with The Fly logo painted on the side and a near perfect replies their a cool item.

On the whole it is a fantastic tribute to the album and can not be faulted. This is only going to appeal to collectors or big fans of this particular album/band and if you fall into either of those categories you will probably possess 90% of the media one way or another anyway. So it is difficult to judge this on its media content but it brings it altogether into one package in spectacular fashion. If your still unsure even after my review I urge you to research online the specific contents on the discs and check out any unboxing videos to further convince your mind one way or the other. But in my honest opinion as this is probably the last U2 reissue for a good while seen as Zooropa is in this package so I'd be surprised if it had a similar treatment and I think any chance of Pop been reissued is a long way off we can take delight in this purchase...and our wallets a sigh of relief.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best U2 album, 24 Feb 2005
This review is from: Achtung Baby (Audio CD)
This is the greatest U2 album by far. If you are interested in U2's back catalogue start here.
After the much lambasted 'Rattle and Hum' U2 decided to take their music in a completely different direction and experiment with new sounds. Bono describes this album as 'four men chopping down the Joshua Tree'.
The album was recorded in the Hansa studios in Berlin shortly after the fall of the wall. David Bowie also recorded here, and the general upheaval and uncertainty in Europe is translated on to this slightly edgy and disorientating record.
The cover is various boxes filled with different images. It is very original and complements the record itself- there are many different ideas and styles. The sleeve was designed this way because U2 could not decide on an album cover so decided to use all the designs in a sort of mosaic. If you look on the back cover you can see a picture of the bassist, Adam Clayton. This picture caused some controversy as he is naked.
Inside the sleeve are lyrics and wonderful moody photographs by Anton Corbijn. I particularly like the iconic Trabants.
Here are some highlights of the album itself:
The album kicks off with Zoo Station **** which heralds a completely new direction of the band. The song is named after Zoo Station in Berlin and was central to what was then a massive night life area. The effects and distorted vocals are fantastic. I can still remember the shock of hearing this song because it was so different to anything they had done before.
'One' is in my top 5 songs of all time. In many ways it is the centrepiece of the album. The story goes that two members of the band were unhappy about the new direction the band were heading and so Bono wrote the lyrics to try and re-unite the band. There are many other interpretations of the song. I first heard this song about twleve years ago and because of it's depth it still brings new meaning with every listen.
The band were least happy with 'Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses' because they could not find the right mix, which is why it was not included in their recent greatest hits. This was also a single, but with a different production. The song is possibly overproduced and a bit long, but the lyrics are amazing.
'The Fly' where Bono plays a cod philosopher. This song was U2's second number one in the UK. Though I'm no expert, it has my favourite ever guitar break!
The last song, the slow haunting 'Love is Blindness' is a personal favourite. It is very deep and ambiguous, a real grower. It has the best lyrics on the album and they could stand as a work of art in their own right.
After this album they carried on with their experimentation with 'Zooropa'. Although this is a good album the songs do not compare.
All in all, this is one of the most defining record of the Nineties and U2 have not matched it since.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as well packaged as the previous deluxe editions in the series..., 2 Nov 2011
Colin Mccartney (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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...which is a pity, because "Achtung Baby" is U2's last truly great album. This new 2CD edition comes in a fairly bog-standard digipak, not the mini hardback book/slipcase presentation of the first 6 deluxe re-issues. One less reason to buy then, given that "Achtung Baby" was probably the first U2 release which would have been intended to be purchased by default on CD: so many fans will already own a perfectly good CD copy. Even the booklet is not dramatically different from the one included with the original CD release.

Still, at least the music's good. Though this is not my personal favourite U2 LP (that would be The Unforgettable Fire (Remastered - Deluxe Edition)), it is probably nevertheless their key release. It's aged very well - perhaps this was because U2 were one of the few bands of the early 90s to put out a successful rock record in the face of the pervading dance music culture of the time. Effectively, they had no choice but to innovate - the "old" U2 had become a dead end, artistically speaking, and they were by then too late to jump on the electronic music bandwagon (which the later Pop served to demonstrate all too well).

As for the remaster, well I can't say it sounds markedly better than the last edition either - one assumes that a group of U2's stature had the means to produce a good sounding CD the first time around, albeit the technology has moved on. The bonus disc is mainly "for the fans"-type stuff which is of curiosity value only. It would have been better, I think, to have instead included a remastered Zooropa instead. Indeed, I understand that, at a price, the super and über-deluxe versions do include such a thing (along with a plastic Trabant, a "Fly" swatter and a pair of Adam Clayton's underpants - something like that, anyway).

So if you already have "Achtung Baby" on CD from the first time around, you're not losing out. If you don't, I suspect you will find that the new remastered single disc will probably suffice (unless you want to own the aforementioned underpants).
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't come better than this, 16 Nov 2004
This review is from: Achtung Baby (Audio CD)
After the global success of 'The Joshua Tree', U2 fans had high expectations for it's successor, putting immense pressure on the band to deliver. Many had doubts about the followup, after the critical slaughter of 'Rattle & Hum', and entertained the idea that U2, like many other bands of the time, were incapable of fulfilling expectations.
But U2 delivered, and they delivered extremely well.
'Achtung Baby' is an epic album of all proportions - lyrically and musically. Dark and mysterious, it is engaging throughout. In the words of Bono, it is 'the sound of four men chopping down the Joshua Tree', which couldn't be more true. 'Achtung Baby' visits areas that its acoustic, more mellow predecssor didn't go near.
'Zoo Station', the opening track, sets the scene for the entire album. While it is not a stand-out track, it sets the standard for a number of tracks that come later on - namely 'The Fly' and 'Acrobat'. Bono's vocals are notably different. 'The Joshua Tree' is Bono stretching his vocal chords to their very limits, whereas in a number of places on 'Achtung Baby', his voice is almost reduced to a whisper. Similarly, there are places that lack melody, yet in some surreal way, this makes the album even better.
Of course, in the eyes of those who would say they are U2 fans but not U2 fanatics, there is a single track on here that would warrant the purchase of the album, this song of course being 'One' - the song that frequently topped 'best song ever written' polls. 'One' is, and always will be, a classic. Beautiful, powerful and poetic, it is a song that has reached out to many generations and tweaked on the heart strings. Johnny Cash loves it. Michael Stipe wishes he's written it. This is the song that countless musicians today set their standards against, and while it is not a personal favourite of mine, it is obvious why. 'One' is timeless and precious. Not yet outdated, not yet commercially covered. It is one of the shining gems in U2's vast collection of songs, and U2 have not done anything since that comes close to beating it (with, perhaps, the exception of 'Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own' from the album 'How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb').
However, anyone who is expecting further acoustic gems will be disappointed. As said earlier, this is no Joshua Tree. Two further commerical releases 'Even Better Than The Real Thing' and 'Mysterious Ways' are catchy tunes, the kind you dance to, I guess. Both have been remixed to death (particularly EBTTRT, which actually charted higher in the charts once it was remixed than the original version). Upbeat and eccentric, they explore the brighter, more crazed side of the album. The lyrics to 'Mysterious Ways' are pretty crazy, pretty random, but still enjoyable. As said, the catchy nature of both tunes makes them unforgettable.
And then we cross over to the dark side, as it would be. 'The Fly', the most successful commercial release from the album (charted at #1 on the UK singles chart), is purely down to taste. I couldn't stand the song for years, and have only just discovered in the last week that I actually liked it. Enter Bono with whispered vocals, enter Edge with an unforgettable riff, enter odd gospal-esque vocals in the chorus. Most people I know base their liking of songs on either the melody or lyrics. 'The Fly' takes the best of both worlds, which no doubt contributed to it's success. Then there are its two sister tracks. First up is 'Until The End of The World', which sees Bono adopting the role as Judas. I'm not quite sure what it is about this song that appeals to me so much, given that i'm not particularly religious, but I find the reciting of the story of Judas betraying Jesus in the song very engaging, perhaps because of the casual attitude it seems to have. This is an album highlight for me, along with 'Acrobat', the second sister song. As far as i'm concerned, 'Acrobat' is lyrical genius. The melody (if you can call it that) is awful, but the song itself is amazing. Bono proves himself as a competent songwriter throughout, but this, along with 'One' and 'The Fly' are where his ability really stands out.
Before 'Achtung Baby', U2 were huge. After 'Achtung Baby', they were epic. This album IS a masterpiece, and is still one of the most popular albums in the world today. Alot of people say U2 fans are divided over whether their finest hour is JT or AB. Both are classics, but I will always be an 'Achtung Baby' girl. In those months in Berlin, Bono, Edge, Adam and Larry took the best aspects of everything they could, and produced this. A stellar record and an experimental success. U2 fan or not, you will enjoy this record.
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