The height of their artifice

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laoghaire

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The height of their artifice
« on: April 16, 2020, 08:11:57 PM »
In your opinion, what era was the height of the band's artifice?

Many would say the 90s, or maybe PopMart specifically. Others have felt their 80s image was more cultivated than anything they did in the 90s. And perhaps others will cite the 00s and/or 10s.

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an tha

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Re: The height of their artifice
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2020, 08:18:01 PM »
I'd say the mid to late 80's.

When Bono adopted that ridiculous fake American accent....yes he used it in the early 90's but that was clearly ironically and when in character in shows.

In the 80's he actually basically pretended to be an American - really strange thing to do.




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laoghaire

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Re: The height of their artifice
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2020, 08:20:48 PM »
He's a strange dude, have you noticed?

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an tha

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Re: The height of their artifice
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2020, 08:25:02 PM »
He's a strange dude, have you noticed?

I know he thought elevation was a good song.

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Twilight

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Re: The height of their artifice
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2020, 09:23:23 PM »
Zoo TV. No question. But it was artifice with a barbed point, I think that's why they got away with it.

Popmart was all surface glitz, imo; it didn't look to me as if their hearts were in it.

I don't believe they ever stopped taking the music seriously.

Maybe it's because I'm American and therefore easier for me to detect a non-American accent, but the only time I remember Bono (and Edge) using an American accent was when they were fooling around. I thought it was meant to be funny. I thought it was funny, actually.
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an tha

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Re: The height of their artifice
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2020, 09:37:09 PM »
Zoo TV. No question. But it was artifice with a barbed point, I think that's why they got away with it.

Popmart was all surface glitz, imo; it didn't look to me as if their hearts were in it.

I don't believe they ever stopped taking the music seriously.

Maybe it's because I'm American and therefore easier for me to detect a non-American accent, but the only time I remember Bono (and Edge) using an American accent was when they were fooling around. I thought it was meant to be funny. I thought it was funny, actually.

Zoo - they explained it to us with character names and narratives.

Pop - they didn't.

No surprise that they got away with the former and not the latter.

Bono dyes his hair jet black, wears a weird leather outfit and climbs and spins all over the screen = weird and people reject it most probably, but 'he is the fly' and it is ahhhhhhh right yeah get it, cool...

Bono dresses up in a silver suit and giant hat and kisses himself in a mirror - with the narrative of mirrorball man people 'get it' and accept it.

MacPhisto actually parodied this very point IMO making references like 'i know you like your pop starts to be exciting , so i bought these' and points camera at his sparkly platform heels.....'tired old pop star in platform heels' quote about himself....actually explaining the act....imagine if he didn't what the reaction would be.

Names and narratives and people get it and are happy to accept it...it has been explained to them.

No names and narratives - dots not joined up for them and it is 'insincere' 'not authentic'

That is my take anyway.


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guest532

Re: The height of their artifice
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2020, 09:39:13 PM »
After looking up the word artifice, I would say the 1980s JT era, when they were pretending to be idealistic scruffs whilst they were stashing more bunce than they'd ever done in their lives.


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The Edges Cat

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Re: The height of their artifice
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2020, 10:21:47 PM »
I'd say the mid to late 80's.

When Bono adopted that ridiculous fake American accent....yes he used it in the early 90's but that was clearly ironically and when in character in shows.

In the 80's he actually basically pretended to be an American - really strange thing to do.

It's actually a weird thing many people do. When a friend took singing lessons for a band, he was told to stop the fake American accent, even though he wasn't even trying to. Apparently it's a thing many kids do, after listening to American music so often I guess? I remember it was a big deal on radio, for Aussies to sing in Aussie accents.
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Alphane

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Re: The height of their artifice
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2020, 10:39:34 PM »
Now that I think about it, probably RAH-era. I get what the band was trying to do but maybe they were trying just a bit too hard.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 10:41:48 PM by Alphane »

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Twilight

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Re: The height of their artifice
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2020, 02:24:35 AM »
Zoo TV. No question. But it was artifice with a barbed point, I think that's why they got away with it.

Popmart was all surface glitz, imo; it didn't look to me as if their hearts were in it.

I don't believe they ever stopped taking the music seriously.

Maybe it's because I'm American and therefore easier for me to detect a non-American accent, but the only time I remember Bono (and Edge) using an American accent was when they were fooling around. I thought it was meant to be funny. I thought it was funny, actually.

Zoo - they explained it to us with character names and narratives.

Pop - they didn't.

No surprise that they got away with the former and not the latter.

Bono dyes his hair jet black, wears a weird leather outfit and climbs and spins all over the screen = weird and people reject it most probably, but 'he is the fly' and it is ahhhhhhh right yeah get it, cool...

Bono dresses up in a silver suit and giant hat and kisses himself in a mirror - with the narrative of mirrorball man people 'get it' and accept it.

MacPhisto actually parodied this very point IMO making references like 'i know you like your pop starts to be exciting , so i bought these' and points camera at his sparkly platform heels.....'tired old pop star in platform heels' quote about himself....actually explaining the act....imagine if he didn't what the reaction would be.

Names and narratives and people get it and are happy to accept it...it has been explained to them.

No names and narratives - dots not joined up for them and it is 'insincere' 'not authentic'

That is my take anyway.

Hmm, this sounds familiar....
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laoghaire

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Re: The height of their artifice
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2020, 08:04:03 AM »
First, I want to separate "they" from "him." Larry, Adam, and Edge strike me as very consistent guys. I'm not saying Larry shows us his heart ir anything, but I think we get an authentic public face, no more posed than any of our personas posting here or moving about in the real world.

Bono is the guy trying on different faces throughout - no doubt going back to Lypton Village.

However, I find it also authentic. He'd do it even if he were a sailor, the butcher, or a guy working the line.

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imaginary friend

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Re: The height of their artifice
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2020, 08:59:10 AM »
"All art is artifice" - David Bowie

Either JT/R&H era or OS1/Pop era.

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JTNash

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Re: The height of their artifice
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2020, 09:05:23 AM »
Zoo TV after the Zoo tour Americans lost interest


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Twilight

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Re: The height of their artifice
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2020, 09:52:31 AM »
Well, we also got older. Jobs, kids, responsibilities .... a lot of people drift away from their youthful interests as they "mature."  ;)

And younger people tend to reject whatever their elders were listening to. It's amazing any band survives for long, imo.
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Capital D

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Re: The height of their artifice
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2020, 11:33:36 AM »
If by artifice you mean "clever or artful skill" or "an ingenious device or expedient", then I agree that Pop represents the height of the band's artifice.

If by artifice you mean "false or insincere behavior", then I'd probably say the JT tour and making of Rattle & Hum.

I think it's fair to say that their artifice of the 90s was an attempt to distance themselves from (or maybe reconcile themselves with?) their artifice of the late 80s.
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