- Audio CD (31 Oct. 2011)
- Limited Edition edition
- Number of Discs: 15
- Format: Box set, Limited Edition
- Label: Mercury
- ASIN: B005FVA63A
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 248,347 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Achtung Baby 20th Anniversary Über Deluxe Box Set Box set, Limited Edition
|Price:||£471.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details|
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Recorded over 6 months in 1991 in Berlin and Dublin, Achtung Baby was U2's seventh studio album. It was produced by Daniel Lanois , Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite and mixed and engineered by Flood. Led by "The Fly", Achtung Baby spawned four more huge hit singles, "Mysterious Ways", "One", "Even Better Than The Real Thing" and "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses". Heralded by Rolling Stone’s Robert Hilburn as "U2’s daring descent into darkness”, the album was awarded the Grammy for Best Rock Performance and became one of the most acclaimed rock records of the nineties and of U2's career. As Bono said at the time, it was “the sound of four men chopping down the Joshua Tree”.
This 20th anniversary edition includes previously unreleased songs from the Achtung Baby sessions, remixes from the time and TV and video footage. This Deluxe Edition also includes "From the Sky Down" - a documentary from Academy Award winning director Davis Guggenheim (Waiting for Superman, An Inconvenient Truth and acclaimed music documentary It Might Get Loud featuring The Edge, Jack White and Jimmy Page).
This limited, numbered Über Deluxe Edition is a magnetic puzzle tiled box and contains: six CDs including the original Achtung Baby album, the follow-up album, Zooropa, B-sides and re-workings of previously unheard material recorded during the Achtung Baby sessions; four DVDs including "From The Sky Down", Zoo TV, all the videos from Achtung Baby plus bonus material; five clear 7" vinyl singles in their original sleeves; 16 art prints taken from the original album sleeve, an 84-page hardback book, a copy of Propaganda magazine, four badges, a sticker sheet, and a pair of Bono’s trademark "The Fly" sunglasses.
Hearing again The Edge's dizbusting guitar and Larry Mullen Jr's clanking beat that introduced Achtung Baby, it's hard to believe that, only one album before, U2 were hanging out with BB King and getting lost in a blind alley of American roots music. Bands that broke through in the halcyon days of post-punk ended up in worse places than Rattle and Hum, but U2 themselves knew they'd lost their way. And so it proved. Having secured Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois to produce 1984's The Unforgettable Fire after the similarly blustery devices of War, they rehired the pair and decamped to Berlin in the physical and metaphysical spirit of David Bowie's Eno-assisted rebirth (aka Low, "Heroes" and Lodger) and pressed the restart button.
Twenty years on, Achtung (German for "Attention") Baby still sounds zestful and compelling, with some of U2's all-time highs. One could be the best of them all, a brooding soul ballad oozing confrontation and hurt that manages to unearth some musical US DNA within their Irish selves by doing it without Rattle and Hum's self-consciousness and silly hats. Until the End of the World reconnects with the sleek and rousing rockers of their 1980 debut Boy; but, pardon the cliché, they now sounded like men, resilient and even cynical. Even when U2 deployed arena-courting dynamics on Even Better Than the Real Thing and Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, the efforts didn't feel hollow. The debut of 'mirrorball' U2 on The Fly succeeded because they had no precedent or fear at this point. By the time of 1997's Pop album, they were second-guessing and falling short of Achtung Baby's bench-setting standards.
As supporting characters, So Cruel, Acrobat and Love Is Blindness (more soulful smouldering and multi-tiered Edge drama) are hardly second-rate. If the second CD of B sides and bonuses lacks anything comparable, Salome and the vampy cover of Satellite of Love will float some boats. But you can see why the unreleased Blow Your House Down didn't even make it as a B side: it's deeply average considering the invention going on elsewhere, namely invention that helped U2 back on course to embrace the world stage while retaining their soul (as R.E.M. and, later on, Radiohead managed without a Rattle and Hum-style wobble).
But achtung! One fight U2 has lost is to retain the image of bassist Adam Clayton's penis on the inside cover, now hidden behind a big black cross that resembles an act of Christian censorship. Twenty years on? More like 50 years ago…
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Top Customer Reviews
From the moment I heard it, I fell back in love with U2, after seperating myself from them in early 1990, tiring of their po-faced, hat-wearing, world-saving, holier-than-thou ubersincerity.
If you think they are po-faced and preachy now, you should've seen them then. Dull as dishwater, hectoring. Good at what they did, brilliant at what they did, but what they did wasn't brilliant. And U2 always wanted to be the best at what they did. Ambition bites the nails of success. "Achtung Baby" was the album where they took their ambitions and the accessable, stadium rock band they always wanted to be, played with the idea a bit, and reset themselves as something a little less obvious.
You might be expecting a classic rock album. The type that "Nevermind" was going to make obselete. U2 went somewhere else. Somewhere beautiful. Opening with a squall of feedback, a distorted burst of static, a clattering, keen drum attack. "Zoo Station" was where U2 discovered the ability to let go of everything but what they could be. The ability to be silly, stupid, flippant, and also use humour and playfulness to reveal the deadly terror of heartbreak. So "Achtung, Baby" was perhaps the right title : the warning of danger of relationships, children, and beautiful women that leave wreckage in their path. Achtung! Baby.
At the heart of it - the delicate arpeggios and searching rock gestures - it was still the same band, the same heart of it in new and strange clothes, still wanting to be accessable and resonant and popular. U2 have often chased relevance at the cost of being interesting. "The Fly" was a clarion call of intent. This radical invention saw the band set themselves as leaders.Read more ›
Oh my God but this packaging is impressive. The art print portfolio and book are securely encased in a great-looking slipcase printed with the original album cover: for those of us who bought the album originally on CD, even having the cover at this scale is a treat. The portfolio comes in a brown card sleeve embossed with the album's "face star car" logo. The sixteen art prints themselves are on heavy, high-quality card and enable you to assemble your own version of the album sleeve if you have sixteen square foot of wall nearby. Very good (and I don't even care about the prints!)
The hardback book is simply gorgeous: six CDs are housed securely in the front cover, four DVDs in the back cover. The book contains copious artwork and a number of essays in addition to lyrics and credits for the box set. Personally I prefer text to photos, but a good balance is struck between the two and the production is very good. Basically, the book on its own could fetch a substantial retail price.
Discs one and two are Achtung Baby and Zooropa. You don't need my opinion on how good these albums are (if you don't rate them at five stars you should seriously consider why you are reading about this set in the first place). I thought that these albums had been remastered, but if so, I can't hear it.Read more ›
Achtung Baby was originally released in 1991 and I recall the critics saying that it was U2's "Blood On The Tracks" (the 1975 Dylan so-called 'Comeback LP') seeing as though the band had effectively swapped its songs of social conscience and worldly views for more personal introspection. I can't comment on this although being a Dylan fan I can see the relationship between the two albums on a purely anecdotal basis.
This weekend I pulled out my 1991 CD issue to see if I thought it was lacking and needed 're-mastering'. Now here's the thing: every so often I do this when I read a lot of claptrap in fora where fans and collectors bemoan why an artist/group doesn't release this that or the other or people are questioning the logic of re-issues and repackaging. I read a lot from U2 fans who claim that the new disc is NOT RE-MASTERED after all. Clearly there has been a lot of disappointment about this. Needless to add that if you're disappointed with the release no one is forcing you to buy it (again)!
However let me say that I consider myself to be something of an audiophile and the original release does not need re-mastering, remixing or anything else. It sounded absolutely superb on my system and simply blew me away. Remember also that modern CD's sound very compressed and lack dynamic range due to the ridiculous obsession with Loudness Wars (Google it!) U2 have already suffered this with the later CD releases with dynamic compression sucking the life out of HTDTAB for starters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It holds up well and is still for me the album to rival Joshua tree, passion sadness hope and fun bounce between the tracks. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Andy
After a short break U2 came back refreshed and invigorated with this album, arguably their most diverse and best album. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Nik Pearce
Many other albums have these same tracks, please check you may already have them if you like U2Published 6 months ago by Dr Hameed Faheem
As almost every serious music connoisseur is aware, U2 released two albums, The Joshua Tree in 1987 followed by Achtung Baby in 1991, that both redefined their sound from the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Ozymandias
My favourite u2 album by a mile and I think it's the best record they ever made although many say the Joshua tree. Read morePublished 7 months ago by jason
Great version. Good value ...and who can't love this album!!?Published 7 months ago by Martin Smith