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Achtung Baby CD

4.6 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Oct. 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Island Records
  • ASIN: B000001DTM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,192 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Even though it was greeted at the time as U2's reinvention as a dance/rock post-modern revue, with a bit of post-Wall Berlin thrown in for luck, distance now shows that Achtung Baby is in fact a suite of extraordinarily perceptive and tender songs on the breakdown of the Edge's marriage. "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses", "The Fly", "One", "So Cruel"--it's as if Bono shuffled into the studio and said "Er, Edge. Was it a bit like this?" And the Edge wept until his hat became soggy. U2 fans will argue until the end of "Until The End Of The World" which is the best album in the band's exemplary canon, but with Bono sounding like a scorched St Paul, the Edge augmenting those electrified sheets of sound with deft funk-flicks and producer Brian Eno keeping it spacious, hot and holy, chances are, this is it. --Caitlin Moran

BBC Review

Or how U2 reinvented themselves into something deliciously post-modern. After taking being earnest to new levels with their part-studio, part-live homage to America, Rattle & Hum in 1988, U2 realised that to keep their exalted position as 'Greatest Rock Band In The World' from up-and-coming whippersnappers such as REM, they needed to do something radically different. So, glitter, glam and irreverence replaced large hats, furrowed brows and facial hair. Working again with their production team of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, they created a noise that was irresistibly modern yet absolutely classic. And for a while in rock, it was impossible to escape from the spell and influence of Achtung Baby.

Recorded in Berlin and Dublin, the album feels similar in many respects to David Bowie's Low and 'Heroes', and, in Eno, they had a direct link with the period. Opening with The Edge's guitar squall and electronics, this dense sound is irresistible; sometimes, this creates moods rather than hummable tunes, such as on 'The Fly', 'Zoo Station', Acrobat', yet it also contains the grandstanding stadium-sized 'Even Better Than the Real Thing', the baggy-influenced 'Mysterious Ways' and arguably the greatest U2 anthem, 'One'. The relentless playing down of their previous seriousness (the title was a line from Mel Brooks' The Producers) actually made U2 even more unassailable

Later, lots of other lesser groups donned make-up and went po-mo (INXS, Deacon Blue) poorly, but under the pretence of not caring very much, U2 painstakingly crafted an album of incredible depth and texture. --Daryl Easlea

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sordel TOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 Oct. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
On paper, there's no way that this package can be worth the asking price: two albums that most people will already own, a live DVD that has been available for years, a documentary that aired free on the BBC. Anyone could be forgiven for being somewhat cynical. So let's take a look in the box.

PACKAGING

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.

THE CDs

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.
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By Mr. M. A. Reed TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Nov. 2011
Format: Audio CD
Do you remember a time, before "One" by U2 existed?

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.
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Format: Audio CD
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 be naively honest, and their later work on the other which became almost a little too contrived. Achtung Baby is thus the album that best captures all that is good about U2 over their lifetime: a balance between the self-conscious cool and kitsch sounds of their later years, and the intensity and passion upon which they built their reputation.
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Format: Audio CD
Firstly, let me be totally honest and state here and now that I am not a great fan of U2 at all, although I do own The Unforgettable Fire, Rattle And Hum, Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, Pop and How To Dismantle The Atomic Bomb. At least I have given them a chance though, no one can deny me that!

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.
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