Which is sonically superior, Zooropa or Achtung Baby?

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Big_Willy_Wonka

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Which is sonically superior, Zooropa or Achtung Baby?
« on: July 14, 2020, 08:40:00 AM »
Inspired by an tha's recent observations about Dirty Day, I decided to revisit Zooropa, and found myself thoroughly enjoying it. I also concluded it is a better record than Achtung Baby as it is more adventurous sonically. Achtung Baby has the hooks but Zooropa is a much more immersive listen. Which isn't to say Achtung Baby is a bad record, as it transparently is not. Equally, as my learned colleague MPare1966 observed, the mastering and production on Achtung Baby is not nearly as good as Zooropa's.

What do you think and why do you think it?

Willy
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MPare1966

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Re: Which is sonically superior, Zooropa or Achtung Baby?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2020, 09:30:00 AM »
I'm siding with your learned colleague here and voting option no.1.

My appreciation of the Zooropa album remains to this day absolutely intact, as it was in 1993. That's a solid testimony to its greatness.
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Smee

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Re: Which is sonically superior, Zooropa or Achtung Baby?
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2020, 09:43:22 AM »
For my money, BOTH are FANTASTIC albums. But Acthung Baby is the superior album, all round
In the garden I was playing the tart
I kissed your lips and broke your heart
You
You were acting like it was the end of the world

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Big_Willy_Wonka

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Re: Which is sonically superior, Zooropa or Achtung Baby?
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2020, 09:47:02 AM »
I'm siding with your learned colleague here and voting option no.1.

My appreciation of the Zooropa album remains to this day absolutely intact, as it was in 1993. That's a solid testimony to its greatness.

Yes.

And, interestingly, one can see some sonic similarities between Zooropa and POP. They are subtle but they are there. The arc from AB over to POP was a glorious one. If only POP sounded sonically as wonderful as Zooropa, it would probably be their best album. To this day I cannot understand how a band as big and wealthy as U2 makes records that SOUND like shit, despite being excellent.

Willy
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MPare1966

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Re: Which is sonically superior, Zooropa or Achtung Baby?
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2020, 10:05:17 AM »
I'm siding with your learned colleague here and voting option no.1.

My appreciation of the Zooropa album remains to this day absolutely intact, as it was in 1993. That's a solid testimony to its greatness.

Yes.

And, interestingly, one can see some sonic similarities between Zooropa and POP. They are subtle but they are there. The arc from AB over to POP was a glorious one. If only POP sounded sonically as wonderful as Zooropa, it would probably be their best album. To this day I cannot understand how a band as big and wealthy as U2 makes records that SOUND like shit, despite being excellent.

Willy

There's a lot about that other one that could have been much better, but let's not go there and keep the thread strickly on AB/Zoo.  ;)
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riffraff

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Re: Which is sonically superior, Zooropa or Achtung Baby?
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2020, 10:05:42 AM »
Option 1.
Iíve seen for myself, thereís no end to grief, thatís how I know, and why I need to know that there is no end to love

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Magnificence

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Re: Which is sonically superior, Zooropa or Achtung Baby?
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2020, 10:22:50 AM »
uncertainty can be a guiding light

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Big_Willy_Wonka

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Re: Which is sonically superior, Zooropa or Achtung Baby?
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2020, 10:36:27 AM »
uncertainty can be a guiding light

Looking forward to seeing what you decide!

Willy
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Big_Willy_Wonka

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Re: Which is sonically superior, Zooropa or Achtung Baby?
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2020, 10:48:52 AM »
I'm siding with your learned colleague here and voting option no.1.

My appreciation of the Zooropa album remains to this day absolutely intact, as it was in 1993. That's a solid testimony to its greatness.

Yes.

And, interestingly, one can see some sonic similarities between Zooropa and POP. They are subtle but they are there. The arc from AB over to POP was a glorious one. If only POP sounded sonically as wonderful as Zooropa, it would probably be their best album. To this day I cannot understand how a band as big and wealthy as U2 makes records that SOUND like shit, despite being excellent.

Willy

There's a lot about that other one that could have been much better, but let's not go there and keep the thread strickly on AB/Zoo.  ;)

It's interesting to me that with all the tunes, money and talent in the room, they forgot to make AB sound great. This is a bugbear for me with nearly all U2 albums bar perhaps TJT and Zooropa. War, as an example, sounds appalling despite having some great songs on it. Then comes the transition via Eno/Lanois/Brook on TUF. Here they start to come into their own, but even so, a song like Bad sounds lumpen and dead; it was live that song really came into its own. In fact, if I want to listen to either ASOH or Bad, I head on over to Wide Awake in America. TJT then took a different turn and I really like the low fi approach on that. Obviously anything post POP sounds uniformly awful for the most part. HTDAAB in particular makes my ears hurt.

Willy


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Big_Willy_Wonka

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Re: Which is sonically superior, Zooropa or Achtung Baby?
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2020, 10:58:21 AM »
Option 1.

Would you care to elaborate on this?
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Magnificence

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Re: Which is sonically superior, Zooropa or Achtung Baby?
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2020, 11:56:16 AM »
uncertainty can be a guiding light

Looking forward to seeing what you decide!

Willy

option 3

white dopes on punk ~ staring into the flash `*+'"

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Big_Willy_Wonka

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Re: Which is sonically superior, Zooropa or Achtung Baby?
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2020, 12:02:37 PM »
uncertainty can be a guiding light

Looking forward to seeing what you decide!

Willy

option 3

Controversial. But I like where youíre coming from! Having listened to Zooropa today it really is a very fine line between 1 and 3 for me. In all fairness I couldnít care less if I never hear mysterious ways or EBTTRT again. Or even One. On the other hand every tune on Zooropa is a cracker!

Willy
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Codeguy

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Re: Which is sonically superior, Zooropa or Achtung Baby?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2020, 12:03:25 PM »
Who dafuk keeps inserting Michael Brook into every conversation??????

 ;D ;D
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Big_Willy_Wonka

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Re: Which is sonically superior, Zooropa or Achtung Baby?
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2020, 12:06:41 PM »
Who dafuk keeps inserting Michael Brook into every conversation??????

 ;D ;D

God knows. Which option did you go for code?

Willy
What gives human life it's worth anyway? Because someone loves it? Or hates it? The flesh is weak, only the soul is immortal.

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Codeguy

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Re: Which is sonically superior, Zooropa or Achtung Baby?
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2020, 12:08:38 PM »
Who dafuk keeps inserting Michael Brook into every conversation??????

 ;D ;D

God knows. Which option did you go for code?

Willy

I went with option 1 - Zooropa is definitely more sonically interesting, but AB has some of the greatest songs - and lyrics - ever recorded by any artist.
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