If u2 had quit at the half way point..........

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Smee

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If u2 had quit at the half way point..........
« on: August 24, 2020, 11:05:44 AM »
U2's recording career is pretty much 40 years old this year. I been thinking, IF u2 had called it quits at the halfway point (2000), making POP their last record, how do you think people would feel about them, 20 years later, in 2020?
I only ask, as i pretty much see the career of the band, split right down the middle. The first 20 years were full of innovation and sonic experimentation, while the second half, has been pretty unadventurous and played safe, for the most part
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acrobat62

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Re: If u2 had quit at the half way point..........
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2020, 11:16:29 AM »
Or, another way to look at it, what if they had started their career in 2000 with their output since then, how would they have been perceived?  Either way, it is a story to some degree, of two bands if you look at it post POP and pre-ATYCLB.

Anyone seen this?  I ran across it on Amazon the other day, it was a bit humorous having been made post 2000 but apparently just prior to NLOTH.

https://www.amazon.com/U2-Rebirth-Cool-Third-Millennium/dp/B079XTP5XH



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Re: If u2 had quit at the half way point..........
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2020, 12:51:35 PM »
I don't think it would have made a lot of difference mostly.

Swathes and swathes of Joe Public thinks u2 pretty much amount to the Joshua Tree and will have a vague recollection of them doing some 'weird stuff' in the 90's and then doing Beautiful Day and Vertigo...

A smaller number of what you might term casual fans will expand on that and have a view on the 90's albums and will know Behind and Bomb as albums, but they will hardly be important to them as albums really and they will struggle badly to name anything after that - they might be aware u2 are still around but these late career albums will be largely unknown to them/won't be of interest.

Then we are into more serious fans and that is where it does start to matter/make a difference and where there will be a split between people like me who would never have been even remotely interested in u2 if they had only existed post Pop and who frankly think most of their work post Pop is shite but would consider them up to and including Pop as all time greats, and those who think their post Pop work whilst not at the same level as their best work is fine and a worthy addition to their cannon.

There will be a smaller again number who are fans of u2 based on the post Pop period and of course a hardcore of fans who think u2 can do no wrong and never have/are happy that u2 still exist and enjoy all their work.

This is pretty much the case for all artists in my opinion and with all fan bases - the lines are just drawn at different places in different artists career arcs.



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SwimmingSorrows

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Re: If u2 had quit at the half way point..........
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2020, 05:56:31 PM »
They would feel quite a bit worse about them now than they would have if they'd quit 4 or 5 years later.  That amazon thing pretty much says it all.  Up until No Line, they were considered by many to be at the top of their game, one of the only bands around to have big hits across three decades. 

If U2 had quit at POP, they would have been remembered as an 80s band who fizzled out while trying to be experimental and ended up embarrassing themselves with an unfinished flop of a final album and a poorly-conceived tour plagued by vocal issues, silly outfits, and cringe-inducing stunts like emerging from a giant mirrorball lemon.  I like that album, but that is how people would remember their end.

Regardless of how much we love POP and don't like the 2000s albums, it is important to remember that most of the world disagrees with us.  We don't control how U2 are thought of by the general public or even by the majority of fans, who also don't rate POP very highly on the whole.  We are a very small troupe.

If U2 had picked Magnificent as the lead single for No Line and gone out after 360, the biggest tour ever, they would be pretty well-thought-of today.  Hell, even if they'd released all the same albums but hadn't pulled the iTunes stunt and had kept Bono from doing political work, they'd be thought of pretty well.  Tons of bands go on for a long time and release some average-quality material.  U2 have publicly embarrassed themselves repeatedly however, the SOI release and Bono's political stuff being the worst examples.  That's what's tarnished their reputation, not HTDAAB.
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MPare1966

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Re: If u2 had quit at the half way point..........
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2020, 06:07:16 PM »
They would feel quite a bit worse about them now than they would have if they'd quit 4 or 5 years later.  That amazon thing pretty much says it all.  Up until No Line, they were considered by many to be at the top of their game, one of the only bands around to have big hits across three decades. 

If U2 had quit at POP, they would have been remembered as an 80s band who fizzled out while trying to be experimental and ended up embarrassing themselves with an unfinished flop of a final album and a poorly-conceived tour plagued by vocal issues, silly outfits, and cringe-inducing stunts like emerging from a giant mirrorball lemon.  I like that album, but that is how people would remember their end.

Regardless of how much we love POP and don't like the 2000s albums, it is important to remember that most of the world disagrees with us.  We don't control how U2 are thought of by the general public or even by the majority of fans, who also don't rate POP very highly on the whole.  We are a very small troupe.

If U2 had picked Magnificent as the lead single for No Line and gone out after 360, the biggest tour ever, they would be pretty well-thought-of today.  Hell, even if they'd released all the same albums but hadn't pulled the iTunes stunt and had kept Bono from doing political work, they'd be thought of pretty well.  Tons of bands go on for a long time and release some average-quality material.  U2 have publicly embarrassed themselves repeatedly however, the SOI release and Bono's political stuff being the worst examples.  That's what's tarnished their reputation, not HTDAAB.

Hard to accept from the hardcore fans in here, but it is the plain truth.

Very well put SS.  8)
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SwimmingSorrows

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Re: If u2 had quit at the half way point..........
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2020, 06:19:39 PM »
I don't think it would have made a lot of difference mostly.

Swathes and swathes of Joe Public thinks u2 pretty much amount to the Joshua Tree and will have a vague recollection of them doing some 'weird stuff' in the 90's and then doing Beautiful Day and Vertigo...

A smaller number of what you might term casual fans will expand on that and have a view on the 90's albums and will know Behind and Bomb as albums, but they will hardly be important to them as albums really and they will struggle badly to name anything after that - they might be aware u2 are still around but these late career albums will be largely unknown to them/won't be of interest.

Then we are into more serious fans and that is where it does start to matter/make a difference and where there will be a split between people like me who would never have been even remotely interested in u2 if they had only existed post Pop and who frankly think most of their work post Pop is shite but would consider them up to and including Pop as all time greats, and those who think their post Pop work whilst not at the same level as their best work is fine and a worthy addition to their cannon.

There will be a smaller again number who are fans of u2 based on the post Pop period and of course a hardcore of fans who think u2 can do no wrong and never have/are happy that u2 still exist and enjoy all their work.

This is pretty much the case for all artists in my opinion and with all fan bases - the lines are just drawn at different places in different artists career arcs.

I think there are a large number of fans who love their 80s work, tune out at Zooropa, and like a lot of their 2000s work but don't think it's as good as their 80s stuff.  My dad is one of those fans.  He saw them at 15 on the October tour and followed them religiously through Achtung Baby.  He wasn't totally into Zoo TV and hated Numb, so he didn't even buy Zooropa.  Stay is now one of his favorites but only because I played it for him, and when I try to play him Lemon or Mofo or any of the more experimental stuff, he doesn't want to hear it.  He bought the Please single but ignored POP, and then he loved ATYCLB, loved the Slane DVD, liked Bomb quite a bit but not as much, and loves some songs from the other 3 albums, Magnificent, Every Breaking Wave, and Little Things in particular.  I would bet most of band's big fans have similar feelings to him.
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Re: If u2 had quit at the half way point..........
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2020, 07:00:51 PM »
They would feel quite a bit worse about them now than they would have if they'd quit 4 or 5 years later.  That amazon thing pretty much says it all.  Up until No Line, they were considered by many to be at the top of their game, one of the only bands around to have big hits across three decades. 

If U2 had quit at POP, they would have been remembered as an 80s band who fizzled out while trying to be experimental and ended up embarrassing themselves with an unfinished flop of a final album and a poorly-conceived tour plagued by vocal issues, silly outfits, and cringe-inducing stunts like emerging from a giant mirrorball lemon.  I like that album, but that is how people would remember their end.

Regardless of how much we love POP and don't like the 2000s albums, it is important to remember that most of the world disagrees with us.  We don't control how U2 are thought of by the general public or even by the majority of fans, who also don't rate POP very highly on the whole.  We are a very small troupe.

If U2 had picked Magnificent as the lead single for No Line and gone out after 360, the biggest tour ever, they would be pretty well-thought-of today.  Hell, even if they'd released all the same albums but hadn't pulled the iTunes stunt and had kept Bono from doing political work, they'd be thought of pretty well.  Tons of bands go on for a long time and release some average-quality material.  U2 have publicly embarrassed themselves repeatedly however, the SOI release and Bono's political stuff being the worst examples.  That's what's tarnished their reputation, not HTDAAB.

it would be interesting to know how people outside of our bubble view pop now as opposed to then but i am not buying into the "embarrassment" hype

concertgoers seemed to love it, and this means not only the diehard fans but casual fans as well as people who barely knew the bands material and just went to see the show

the media hyped the heck out of it and then turned on it to try and "save face" when the record didn't live up to the hype, this resulted in poor shows early in the united states but not necessarily everywhere else

as for magnificent being the lead single to no line, you are absolutely right on the money there

had no line been represented by a better song i should have been more commercially successful

also there are three songs on that album which are embarrassing, much more so than anything u2 did in the 90's

oddly enough i don't recall a barrage of negative press about that album, and the tour sold a lot of tickets

i guess we are at the point where u2 tours are a lot like the rolling stones for the masses
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John Galt

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Re: If u2 had quit at the half way point..........
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2020, 07:04:11 PM »
All the corn is safely gathered in.  From my point of view of course.

U2 would view it as leaving a whole lotta money on the table.

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SwimmingSorrows

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Re: If u2 had quit at the half way point..........
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2020, 07:21:08 PM »
They would feel quite a bit worse about them now than they would have if they'd quit 4 or 5 years later.  That amazon thing pretty much says it all.  Up until No Line, they were considered by many to be at the top of their game, one of the only bands around to have big hits across three decades. 

If U2 had quit at POP, they would have been remembered as an 80s band who fizzled out while trying to be experimental and ended up embarrassing themselves with an unfinished flop of a final album and a poorly-conceived tour plagued by vocal issues, silly outfits, and cringe-inducing stunts like emerging from a giant mirrorball lemon.  I like that album, but that is how people would remember their end.

Regardless of how much we love POP and don't like the 2000s albums, it is important to remember that most of the world disagrees with us.  We don't control how U2 are thought of by the general public or even by the majority of fans, who also don't rate POP very highly on the whole.  We are a very small troupe.

If U2 had picked Magnificent as the lead single for No Line and gone out after 360, the biggest tour ever, they would be pretty well-thought-of today.  Hell, even if they'd released all the same albums but hadn't pulled the iTunes stunt and had kept Bono from doing political work, they'd be thought of pretty well.  Tons of bands go on for a long time and release some average-quality material.  U2 have publicly embarrassed themselves repeatedly however, the SOI release and Bono's political stuff being the worst examples.  That's what's tarnished their reputation, not HTDAAB.

it would be interesting to know how people outside of our bubble view pop now as opposed to then but i am not buying into the "embarrassment" hype

concertgoers seemed to love it, and this means not only the diehard fans but casual fans as well as people who barely knew the bands material and just went to see the show

the media hyped the heck out of it and then turned on it to try and "save face" when the record didn't live up to the hype, this resulted in poor shows early in the united states but not necessarily everywhere else

as for magnificent being the lead single to no line, you are absolutely right on the money there

had no line been represented by a better song i should have been more commercially successful

also there are three songs on that album which are embarrassing, much more so than anything u2 did in the 90's

oddly enough i don't recall a barrage of negative press about that album, and the tour sold a lot of tickets

i guess we are at the point where u2 tours are a lot like the rolling stones for the masses

Well, you could argue that Playboy Mansion, Miami, Discotheque, and the wrong-key-bass version of Please are embarrassing.  You could also argue that Babyface, Numb, and Lemon are embarrassing. 

I was 1 for most of the POP era, so I have no memory at all of the response at the time.  The thing that pushed me over the edge from casual fan to hardcore fan was a youtube video about Rattle and Hum, which is fairly critical of it.  At the end of the video, he jokingly says "and U2 never embarrassed themselves again" and cuts to the Discotheque video.  The reaction I've seen from most people, including friends of mine who I have shown POPMART stuff to, has usually been cringing.  When I first saw POPMART, I thought they looked really stupid, and tbh I still do.  I get the sense that outside of the bubble, that's the general consensus. 

POPMART was the first time since they tried to dress American during R&H/Lovetown that they looked silly.  It was phenomenally uncool.   I also think POPMART aged really poorly.  It all looks do dated now. 

I have been running through U2's catalog with a friend of mine.  We just finished Achtung baby, which is his second favorite after War.  I'm very interested to see how he reacts to their next 3 albums.

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wons

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Re: If u2 had quit at the half way point..........
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2020, 08:02:36 PM »
U2's recording career is pretty much 40 years old this year. I been thinking, IF u2 had called it quits at the halfway point (2000), making POP their last record, how do you think people would feel about them, 20 years later, in 2020?
I only ask, as i pretty much see the career of the band, split right down the middle. The first 20 years were full of innovation and sonic experimentation, while the second half, has been pretty unadventurous and played safe, for the most part

People would say that POP was the album that killed U2.

Last 20 years has seen some U2's greatest music, both song and albums, as well as live performances. I thought the 360 tour was the best thing they ever did from live production set up point of view. HTDAAB is the 3rd greatest U2 album of all time. Songs like Miracle Drug, Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, Winter, Mercy, Kite, and Walk On are all in my U2 top 20 songs of all time.

   POP was a low point for the band where they rushed and album that was only half done out into the market do to the bands contracts for the tour and the pressure to "get on with it" given how long it had been since the last album/tour cycle. They should have worked on the album for another year, and released the album in March 1998 with the tour starting in April 1998 with an Arena option and Stadium option, instead of only stadiums. The band have largely admitted the same thing.

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MPare1966

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Re: If u2 had quit at the half way point..........
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2020, 08:03:44 PM »
They would feel quite a bit worse about them now than they would have if they'd quit 4 or 5 years later.  That amazon thing pretty much says it all.  Up until No Line, they were considered by many to be at the top of their game, one of the only bands around to have big hits across three decades. 

If U2 had quit at POP, they would have been remembered as an 80s band who fizzled out while trying to be experimental and ended up embarrassing themselves with an unfinished flop of a final album and a poorly-conceived tour plagued by vocal issues, silly outfits, and cringe-inducing stunts like emerging from a giant mirrorball lemon.  I like that album, but that is how people would remember their end.

Regardless of how much we love POP and don't like the 2000s albums, it is important to remember that most of the world disagrees with us.  We don't control how U2 are thought of by the general public or even by the majority of fans, who also don't rate POP very highly on the whole.  We are a very small troupe.

If U2 had picked Magnificent as the lead single for No Line and gone out after 360, the biggest tour ever, they would be pretty well-thought-of today.  Hell, even if they'd released all the same albums but hadn't pulled the iTunes stunt and had kept Bono from doing political work, they'd be thought of pretty well.  Tons of bands go on for a long time and release some average-quality material.  U2 have publicly embarrassed themselves repeatedly however, the SOI release and Bono's political stuff being the worst examples.  That's what's tarnished their reputation, not HTDAAB.

it would be interesting to know how people outside of our bubble view pop now as opposed to then but i am not buying into the "embarrassment" hype

concertgoers seemed to love it, and this means not only the diehard fans but casual fans as well as people who barely knew the bands material and just went to see the show

the media hyped the heck out of it and then turned on it to try and "save face" when the record didn't live up to the hype, this resulted in poor shows early in the united states but not necessarily everywhere else

as for magnificent being the lead single to no line, you are absolutely right on the money there

had no line been represented by a better song i should have been more commercially successful

also there are three songs on that album which are embarrassing, much more so than anything u2 did in the 90's

oddly enough i don't recall a barrage of negative press about that album, and the tour sold a lot of tickets

i guess we are at the point where u2 tours are a lot like the rolling stones for the masses


360 was designed specifically to outdo the Stones. Spot on remark.
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MPare1966

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Re: If u2 had quit at the half way point..........
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2020, 08:06:46 PM »
They would feel quite a bit worse about them now than they would have if they'd quit 4 or 5 years later.  That amazon thing pretty much says it all.  Up until No Line, they were considered by many to be at the top of their game, one of the only bands around to have big hits across three decades. 

If U2 had quit at POP, they would have been remembered as an 80s band who fizzled out while trying to be experimental and ended up embarrassing themselves with an unfinished flop of a final album and a poorly-conceived tour plagued by vocal issues, silly outfits, and cringe-inducing stunts like emerging from a giant mirrorball lemon.  I like that album, but that is how people would remember their end.

Regardless of how much we love POP and don't like the 2000s albums, it is important to remember that most of the world disagrees with us.  We don't control how U2 are thought of by the general public or even by the majority of fans, who also don't rate POP very highly on the whole.  We are a very small troupe.

If U2 had picked Magnificent as the lead single for No Line and gone out after 360, the biggest tour ever, they would be pretty well-thought-of today.  Hell, even if they'd released all the same albums but hadn't pulled the iTunes stunt and had kept Bono from doing political work, they'd be thought of pretty well.  Tons of bands go on for a long time and release some average-quality material.  U2 have publicly embarrassed themselves repeatedly however, the SOI release and Bono's political stuff being the worst examples.  That's what's tarnished their reputation, not HTDAAB.

it would be interesting to know how people outside of our bubble view pop now as opposed to then but i am not buying into the "embarrassment" hype

concertgoers seemed to love it, and this means not only the diehard fans but casual fans as well as people who barely knew the bands material and just went to see the show

the media hyped the heck out of it and then turned on it to try and "save face" when the record didn't live up to the hype, this resulted in poor shows early in the united states but not necessarily everywhere else

as for magnificent being the lead single to no line, you are absolutely right on the money there

had no line been represented by a better song i should have been more commercially successful

also there are three songs on that album which are embarrassing, much more so than anything u2 did in the 90's

oddly enough i don't recall a barrage of negative press about that album, and the tour sold a lot of tickets

i guess we are at the point where u2 tours are a lot like the rolling stones for the masses

Well, you could argue that Playboy Mansion, Miami, Discotheque, and the wrong-key-bass version of Please are embarrassing.  You could also argue that Babyface, Numb, and Lemon are embarrassing. 

I was 1 for most of the POP era, so I have no memory at all of the response at the time.  The thing that pushed me over the edge from casual fan to hardcore fan was a youtube video about Rattle and Hum, which is fairly critical of it.  At the end of the video, he jokingly says "and U2 never embarrassed themselves again" and cuts to the Discotheque video.  The reaction I've seen from most people, including friends of mine who I have shown POPMART stuff to, has usually been cringing.  When I first saw POPMART, I thought they looked really stupid, and tbh I still do.  I get the sense that outside of the bubble, that's the general consensus. 

POPMART was the first time since they tried to dress American during R&H/Lovetown that they looked silly.  It was phenomenally uncool.   I also think POPMART aged really poorly.  It all looks do dated now. 

I have been running through U2's catalog with a friend of mine.  We just finished Achtung baby, which is his second favorite after War.  I'm very interested to see how he reacts to their next 3 albums.

SS, come on man! You make perfectly reasonable arguments and then go and say Lemon is an embarrassment. WTF?
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Re: If u2 had quit at the half way point..........
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2020, 08:10:53 PM »
I don't think it would have made a lot of difference mostly.

Swathes and swathes of Joe Public thinks u2 pretty much amount to the Joshua Tree and will have a vague recollection of them doing some 'weird stuff' in the 90's and then doing Beautiful Day and Vertigo...

A smaller number of what you might term casual fans will expand on that and have a view on the 90's albums and will know Behind and Bomb as albums, but they will hardly be important to them as albums really and they will struggle badly to name anything after that - they might be aware u2 are still around but these late career albums will be largely unknown to them/won't be of interest.

Then we are into more serious fans and that is where it does start to matter/make a difference and where there will be a split between people like me who would never have been even remotely interested in u2 if they had only existed post Pop and who frankly think most of their work post Pop is shite but would consider them up to and including Pop as all time greats, and those who think their post Pop work whilst not at the same level as their best work is fine and a worthy addition to their cannon.

There will be a smaller again number who are fans of u2 based on the post Pop period and of course a hardcore of fans who think u2 can do no wrong and never have/are happy that u2 still exist and enjoy all their work.

This is pretty much the case for all artists in my opinion and with all fan bases - the lines are just drawn at different places in different artists career arcs.

I think there are a large number of fans who love their 80s work, tune out at Zooropa, and like a lot of their 2000s work but don't think it's as good as their 80s stuff.  My dad is one of those fans.  He saw them at 15 on the October tour and followed them religiously through Achtung Baby.  He wasn't totally into Zoo TV and hated Numb, so he didn't even buy Zooropa.  Stay is now one of his favorites but only because I played it for him, and when I try to play him Lemon or Mofo or any of the more experimental stuff, he doesn't want to hear it.  He bought the Please single but ignored POP, and then he loved ATYCLB, loved the Slane DVD, liked Bomb quite a bit but not as much, and loves some songs from the other 3 albums, Magnificent, Every Breaking Wave, and Little Things in particular.  I would bet most of band's big fans have similar feelings to him.

We aren't really disagreeing here although i sense you are trying to.

The point is that if you went out and polled 1,000 random people on the street and asked them about u2 the overwhelming majority would call them an 80's band, probably say they liked The Joshua Tree and some other stuff, but think Bono is a twat.

There is then of course as we have both alluded to people who have more interest in them who will take various positions about them and this will vary across the sort of views we have covered off across this thread.

We analyse much deeper and hold stronger, more well informed but also strongly biased views because we are interested in the band a lot more than Joe Public and are a lot closer to what they have done and why and of course discuss it daily in here

But make no mistake the overarching view with Joe Public of u2 will be '80's band, Joshua Tree - quite liked that stuff but Bono is a twat'.....that is how they'll be remembered in the main.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2020, 08:15:11 PM by an tha »

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John Galt

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Re: If u2 had quit at the half way point..........
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2020, 08:11:08 PM »
There should always be an arena option, IMO. However, PopMart is probably the only U2 show that suited a stadium venue more than an arena.  Every other tour I would have preferred an arena show including an in-the-round arena 360 show.

U2's set designs and setlists are always more adventurous than the Stones' even though the Stones have dug deeper into their back catalogue over the years on their tours.


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MPare1966

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Re: If u2 had quit at the half way point..........
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2020, 08:18:49 PM »
Two brothers from the hood listen to U2 for the first time. (Streets is the song they’ve picked)


Btw, you should check out their vid for when they discovered In the Air Tonight. Priceless.
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