on 28 January 2006
What can i say, the nineties have been a good decade for U2. The sudden change in experimentation shocked audiences and critics alike, but in a good way. So what better way then to chuck a "best of" in there for good measure.
I must say I was a little dissapointed with the tracks for this album. It would have been nice to have had the original versions of the likes of "Discotheque" and "Staring at the Sun" but I suppose the new versions are OK.
I must ask though, who's idea was it to not put in "Who's Gonna Ride in Your Wild Horses" and "If God Will send His Angels". These are two great songs that I really don't see the point in leaving out of the list.
A favorite of mine which isn't in is "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)" which I would have liked in and which I think is a little under-rated.
But there are some good points to the album. Most of their best songs are in like "One", "Mysterious Ways", "Stay (Faraway, So Close)" and "Gone". I wasn't sure whether putting songs from ATYCLB was the best idea, but it does liven up the album a bit more. The bonus of "Electrical Storm" was a good idea and balences the album out taking it away from being too much like just a experimentation album.
Overall, the album is quite good, all the best songs are there, however some tracks would have been nice to stick in also. If you want an introduction to the nineties U2 then this is the best way to start.
P.S. Get the Special Edition with the B-Sides disk.
on 22 February 2006
This collection is a perfect introduction to any new or casual U2 fan. It is a collection that demands to be heard in full, as there is not a weak song in the collection, although fans will dispute the inclusion and exclusion of certain songs.
Personal highlights include, Even Better than the real thing, One, Stay, Gone and The Fly.
It abtly demenstrates Bonos ability as a lyricist and singer, while also showing why Edge is one of the most revered guitarists around, and Larry Mullen Jr and Adam Clayton keep the musical pulse pumping. It also opens up listeners to delve further into U2 albums, definitley check out Pop(different) Atomic Bomb(guitar and more guitar) ATYCLB(melodic) and Acthung Baby(classic). This best of is a must for any music fan.
on 27 February 2004
U2's excellent Best of 1980-90 was followed up by this one, the best of their work from the 90s. First off, let it be said: this release was essential. It deserves just as much attention as the 80-90 collection, simply because U2 produced some stunning tracks during the 90s, many of which fans either didn't buy, or didn't hear. Why then, considering how important this compilation is, was it given such a trite formatting and sequencing job? Who was pulling the shots on this reissue?
Yes, it's hard to argue with many selections on this album, and indeed a lot of the material on this album is absolutely essential listening for any rock fan (i.e. "One", "Beautiful Day", "Stay", "Mysterious Ways"). But the Zooropa, and especially Pop, eras seems to have completely desiccated. Sure, new mixes of "Staring At the Sun", "Discotheque", and "Gone" are pleasant enough, but including them on the Best Of, in place of the original mixes, completely destroys the history associated with that era. Yes, we know the band were not happy with them. But for authenticity's sake, the original mixes should have been included, with a bonus disc featuring the new ones. Then fans could have decided what THEY wanted to listen to. It's also very strange to see "Numb" remixed, a track that stood up very well on its original mix. If anything, the classic dance mix of "Lemon" from Zooropa should have been included, a mix that WAS deserving to appear here.
And The Fly relegated to UK bonus track status?! Sorry to say, but that's a positive insult. It stands as one of the best tracks in the U2 calibre, and the track that mercifully dethroned Brian Adams horror "Everything I Do" from its never-ending grip on the chart. It certainly deserves a lot more than bonus track status, a decision that results in the rest of the world not hearing it.
On the plus side, its great to see the fantastic Passengers collaboration "Miss Sarajevo" on here, plus the excellent "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" from the Batman Forever soundtrack. But whither other great tracks? "Dirty Day", "Elevation", "If God Will Send His Angels," "The Ground Beneath Her Feet," "Who's Gonna Wide Your Wild Horses": all should have had a place here. While The First Time is a fine track, it isn't as strong as any of the mentioned tracks here, so it's a bit mystifying as to why it was included.
The token new tracks "Electrical Storm" and "The Hands That Built America" are pleasant enough, and do shore up a basically good collection of songs. It's true, any casual fan that doesn't already own U2's 90s output will want to get a hold of this collection. And there's too much great material here to simply disregard. However, the way the "Pop" material, and other important tracks in the 90s, have simply been altered or abandoned altogether is infuriating. Any serious U2 fan could have put together a more consistent and better balanced compilation than the one Island has given to the world.
So, in short, yes it is a necessary compilation. Buy it. But sadly, it is one that could have been done so much better.
(Preferably, if you're buying, try to go for the 3-CD Special Edition, which features some great U2 B Sides and alternative mixes).
on 20 January 2011
This cd is definitely an excellent and definative collection of U2 hits. All the songs are gems and each one has a style of their own. I am lucky to have been a teenager when many of these hits were created. For example,Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me is a unique electronica influenced song that came out around 1995 for the Batman Forever movie. I do believe that I was 14 when I first heard this fun song. The ending to "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me is very provocative, but it only adds to the brilliance of the song. Then there is the very upbeat and energetic "Discotheque" (the video to this song is very good as well). Other songs in this collection that one may find themselves replaying are: "Beautiful Day", "Mysterious Ways", "Staring at the Sun","One', "Numb", and "Stuck In a Moment You Can't Get Out Of". "Beautiful Day" is a very therapeutic and feel good musical track to listen to for activating your joy levels and as a positive reminder to enjoy life regardless of what happens externally. I personally liked "Discotheque" and "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" the most because these two creative masterpieces are musical tracks where U2 dared to push the musical envelope the most (with beautiful and creative results). This cd is going to be fun and exciting to listen to if you like any of the U2 songs and/or you enjoy listening to 90's rock/alternative rock.
on 7 August 2014
I have loved U2 since seeing them (and recording them) live in the Dandelion market. I remember well buying 6 copies of the first CBS 12" three track EP as a school boy in Freshers College, Dalkey and how then most mocked me for my love of Bonio, the Hedge & U2 and were into Venom, Captain Beefheart, the Fall (pre & including Hex Induction Hour) and the likes of Magazine, Wire, Black Flag, GG Allin and Elton John.
But me and some of my chums persisted in telling them how great U2 were and all through the years all those spiffing chums gave up on U2 and I remained as I suppose rather isolated in collecting everything U2 ever released anywhere and even once meeting Bono at the Clarence hotel...he ignored me and walked by...he was meeting up with George Michael and Marc Almond and they went to a private room, for a chat, and although I was staying them I didn't not see them until the next morning when they smilingly had breakfast together.
About the cd :
It starts of well with the Armin Van Burren remix of Sunday Boy Oh Boy, It's Sunday which is excellent with a nice euphoric breakdown
Where The Sheets Are The Same, a remixed version off the Australian only vinyl pressing of the Juice You Eh? Three album from 2005
then you have
One (I'm Pretending To Be Sincere Mix by Sash!) which was prereleased on one track promo before the album Corporate SellOuts was issued in 2012.
Overall this cd is good but it could have been so much better.
Eg, the inclusion of :
Bono's solo single in 1994 : a remake of Bronskie Beat's Smalltown Boy
Any track of the Hedge's solo side project "Repetitive, Predictable".
Their little known live album released on Godfatherecords "U2 Snooze You".
And even in fact Adam Clayton's Boring With Supermodel Car Cannabis Cops Incident - a slight return (from the old days) Citroën SM Adam had one friends with Bush, Blair, Clinton, Kissinger, Clinton, Rumsfeld, the Elite, Sell Out, Corporation, Bankers, Tax Dodgers, Insincere, Fake, Saddoes, Remix by Mumford & Sons vs Coldplay via Vampire Weekend.
Please buy this cd even if Bono wants to charge you £200 because in the long run you know he isn't a front man for the elite he is just a little guy with a god complex who want to "save the world".
on 17 November 2014
While this 'Best Of' curiously only features two songs from the excellent 'All That You Can't Leave Behind' it does feature a lot from the classic 'Achtung Baby' and their two weaker offerings (namely 'Pop' and 'Zooropa') so you can basically save buying those three albums (although I'd still recommend getting 'Achtung Baby' and 'ATYCLB').
Perhaps the best thing about this collection is that it has taken the great songs from 'Zooropa' and 'Pop,' left out the poor ones and will save you buying those mixed albums!
This collection also features some U2 rarities such as 'The Hands That Built America' from the film 'Gangs Of New York' and the only single from this collection 'Electrical Storm' which are definitely worth having.
The songs are great but are, for the most part, a sharp contrast to their 80's heyday material. This period saw the band experimenting more with electronics, abstract guitars and as opposed to the more straight up pop/rock of their earlier material, but are still undeniably U2.
A great purchase, but I'd still recommend getting 'All That You Can't Leave Behind' as it is seriously overlooked here for whatever reason - perhaps to get you to buy the album!?
If only they had sent this to our iPods for free...!!!
on 29 June 2005
This album is great if you are not too bothered about U2, but if you love them do not get this! Although Hold me and The hands are good additions, it word be so much easier to buy Achtung Baby and ATYCLB and then download others tracks you want from the 90's. The selection is quite good from what I know about U2, but i would have liked elevation.
Although ATYCLB was released in 2000, I don't think it should have gone on the album. I know that it makes it quite a bit weaker, but what are we going to have now when we get a U2 2000-2010? How to Dismantle has taken 5 years to make so it seems as if the release of this U2 greatest hits will not happen.
I am not complaining that most Achtung baby tracks are on this album but it justs makes me feel that it would have been better to buy this and then get the rest i want from the 90's.
on 11 November 2002
U2 give us another selection of their many hits over the last decade, and it's an interesting mix. I wonder who chose these hits out of the many dazzlers they've had over the past ten years, and why? Chart highlights as oppose to great songs perhaps? It's a difficult choice to make. I personally wouldn't have included 'Stuck in a Moment...' it's the worst song they've ever done (I have to fast forward it every time it comes on). Having said that, there are some classics here - Mysterious Ways, One, The Fly (OK, so I love everything from Achtung Baby), Beautiful Day and Discotheque. But I wonder where is 'Ground Beneath Her Feet' or 'If God Will Send His Angels'. Their absence makes way for some remixes, and I really like the remix of 'Gone'. And of course there's the new song 'Electrical Storm' to make this CD a must-have for all U2 fans (along with the theme from 'Gangs of New York'). Maybe it should've been a double CD.. but then maybe I should just go and play all my U2 CDs back to back!
I'd like to get something off my chest at the start of this review. I really detest the current trend to produce hits compilations that feature remixes, rare tracks and new tracks (often scrubbed up b-sides that weren't good enough in the first place) in an attempt to get committed fans to buy them as well as the general public who don't own an album by the artist in the first place. I don't see the point of it - completists will have most of the tracks in the first place and joe public just want to listen to the hits the way they sounded on the radio.
Unfortunately, this compilation is overrun with remixes that lack the immediacy, and often the quality, of the original tracks, which is a shame because most of the original tracks are great. It's especially nice to see Miss Sarajevo and Hold Me, Thrill me, Kiss Me, Kill Me here. I didn't particularly like U2's last album but the singles sound a lot better here than they did on that record. The excellent Zooropa is somewhat under-represented, though - where's Dirty Days or The Wanderer? It's disappointing to see Please from Pop missing too - but short of making this a double CD, it's hard to see how there could have been space to fit everything in.
Of the two new tracks, Electrical Storm is dreadful - another bit of bland filler like that on All That You Can't Leave Behind - but The Hands That Built America is the best thing they've done in ages.
I think what's worst about this is that it could have been a lot better - maybe more selectivity about the tracks, and avoidance of the remixes. Ironically, although I prefer U2's 90s output to their 80s, the 80s compilation CD from last year is better than this one - check that out first instead, and then maybe Achtung Baby (which makes up 1/3 of this CD anyway).
on 7 March 2005
I'm not sure what most of these other reviews are going on about as this compilation rules, no question! Complaints about remixes and omissions are totally unfounded. For a start, the new mixes of Gone, Staring At The Sun, Numb and Discotheque blow away the original versions. And this IS a Best Of collection. It's meant to contain the most essential U2 tracks of the nineties, and it does the job excellently. While it does contain some treats for fans like the new songs, it's mainly aimed at people who don't own much, if any, U2 (loads of people just owned All That You Can't Leave Behind).
The remixes are much more accessible which is the whole point of doing them. Pop should be looked at seperately and should be owned and listened to as a whole rather than trying to represent it's sound on here. Gone, particularly is one of their best songs but the mix on Pop doesn't do it justice, and doesn't make sense unless you listen to the whole album.
The tracklisting is also great. I don't understand why people are criticising it. 'Miss Sarajevo' is an essential inclusion in my view, it's such a beautiful song and people seem to forget about it when they think of U2's 90s work. The only weak inclusion is 'The First Time' which just seems thrown on to have another one from Zooropa.
I can't believe anyone would give this anything other than 5 stars!