U2 versus The Nostalgia Yield

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Soloyan

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A dangerous idea that almost makes sense...

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Re: U2 versus The Nostalgia Yield
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2023, 04:42:33 PM »
Pretty interesting.  imo the first sign was the 360 tour marketing having very little to do with the album it was meant to promote.  That and the changes to the setlist mid-tour to cut back on the No Line songs and do a mini-Achtung Baby anniversary tribute.  The relative failure of No Line and its singles is what scared them into doing the iTunes release imo.  They realized their relevance was waning and made a big desperate bid to hold on to it, which of course backfired, torching any relevance or respect they still had left.  Banking on nostalgia is now their best bet at reaching the widest audience possible.  I wish they would follow the example of Radiohead's late career, IE I wish they would stop giving a fuck about popularity and just make the music they want to hear rather than what they think fans want.  Not sure they're even capable of doing that at this point.

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The Exile

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Re: U2 versus The Nostalgia Yield
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2023, 07:17:50 PM »
I wish they would follow the example of Radiohead's late career, IE I wish they would stop giving a fuck about popularity and just make the music they want to hear rather than what they think fans want.  Not sure they're even capable of doing that at this point.

You're right, I think that's the rub. Like, I don't know if Bono "hears a melody in his head" that sounds like anything besides a massively popular hit (regardless of what that hit even sounds like). I don't think they would know what to do with themselves if they were charged with creating an album that they knew would not be heard outside of their hardcore fan base. They have no identity anymore beyond the desperate desire to be loved.
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Re: U2 versus The Nostalgia Yield
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2023, 04:01:19 AM »
Yes they have dipped into a bit of nostalgia in recent years but good grief, compare that to most other bands (the Stones being the most obvious) and this article is just the wrong side of ridiculous (and so blinkered as to be a tad embarrassing). Iíd have loved U2 to have done a Radiohead but they are an exception, not the rule. Because U2 have dipped into a bit of nostalgia (for whatever reason) in recent years should not detract from the best part of 45 years of always touring a new album by playing at least 6 (up to 10) songs regularly from said album. When they release a new album and tour that new album in 2024 or 2025 (then possibly do another a couple of years later) things will be back to normal. Iím not a fan of SOS but itís certainly a lot less lazy than most bands attempts to cash in on former glories. Have they dipped into a bit of nostalgia? Yes. Does it define them? Absolutely not.

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Re: U2 versus The Nostalgia Yield
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2023, 06:58:18 PM »
I don't actually mind the nostalgia stuff to be clear.  There's a local band I really like who did a 20th anniversary show for their first album where they played the whole thing in order.  It was in a bar, attendance was good for that bar, but they barely made anything off of doing that show.  Had nothing to do with money, they did it for fun.

I also think SOS could have been cool, but the recreations wound up being unbelievably boring because the vast majority were either too safe, badly done, or both.  That's the real problem with modern U2.  They're too safe now.  They filter everything through the lens of it needing to be a clean, easy-listening pop song.  Some good stuff has survived that filter (Little Things, RFD, etc), but it kills most of their new stuff.  I suppose them turning to nostalgia is driven by them having lost their nerve, but imo them doing a nostalgia tour or two really isn't the problem.  You could argue it's a symptom of the problem, but it's not actually that big of a deal unto itself.  If SOI and SOE had both been interesting records and they had still done a Joshua Tree nostalgia tour in the middle, I would have no complaints at all.

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Aviastar

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Re: U2 versus The Nostalgia Yield
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2023, 06:50:11 AM »
I don't mind the legacy act ... I liked the TJT2017 tour...and I like Rolling Stones and more recent Fleetwood Mac tours that were clearly trading on nostalgia.

What I wish they would do though is just be more honest about what they are

Also I wasn't impressed with SoS. There's nothing exciting about it to me ... the songs are drab and dribble and pale in comparison in terms of energy and soul to their original versions. There was no need for this album. Why would I want to a listen to a more boring version of the original? They can just tour as a legacy act and that' fine..
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Soloyan

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Re: U2 versus The Nostalgia Yield
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2023, 08:37:48 AM »
Good points, fellas !

But I must say that, ironically, SOS might be as far as U2 are willing to go in terms of doing what they want and not care about the outcome.

IMO SOS isn't about nostalgia, that's what "Greatest Hits" are there for. It's using old songs to illustrate where they're at. Or where they were at during lockdown. Wether we like it or not.

But yeah, the 360 Achtung Baby, The Joshua Tree tour, the Vegas Sphere shows... sure, it's nostalgia, at least in terms of marketing. We'll see how creative they get with that thing.
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This Dave

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Re: U2 versus The Nostalgia Yield
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2023, 10:41:35 AM »
Good points, fellas !

But I must say that, ironically, SOS might be as far as U2 are willing to go in terms of doing what they want and not care about the outcome.

IMO SOS isn't about nostalgia, that's what "Greatest Hits" are there for. It's using old songs to illustrate where they're at. Or where they were at during lockdown. Wether we like it or not.

But yeah, the 360 Achtung Baby, The Joshua Tree tour, the Vegas Sphere shows... sure, it's nostalgia, at least in terms of marketing. We'll see how creative they get with that thing.

Iím more cynical about the band at this point, but I think SOS is what you do when things are not going well in the new songs department, but you have a huge back catalog.
I might feel differently if their previous album didnít sound like it had far too much ďhelpĒ from producers, but on SOE I heard a few good U2 songs, and a lot of middling or outright bad stuff that sounded less U2 than producers.

Following that up with a bunch of songs we already know does not inspire confidence.

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The Exile

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Re: U2 versus The Nostalgia Yield
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2023, 05:38:59 PM »
What's worse, (1) U2 wanting to make albums filled with sonically interesting, mature, alternative music but not pulling the trigger because they're too worried about mainstream success, or (2) U2 making albums aimed at mainstream success because that, in fact, is the music they actually want to make?

My concern is that if you were to take mainstream success off the table, the band, and Bono in particular, would be completely lost about what to do or what music to make. IOW they don't make sugary pop music because they have to, they do it because it's all they know or can conceive of these days.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2023, 06:30:31 PM by The Exile »
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SlyDanner

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Re: U2 versus The Nostalgia Yield
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2023, 07:24:36 PM »
What's worse, (1) U2 wanting to make albums filled with sonically interesting, mature, alternative music but not pulling the trigger because they're too worried about mainstream success, or (2) U2 making albums aimed at mainstream success because that, in fact, is the music they actually want to make?

My concern is that if you were to take mainstream success off the table, the band, and Bono in particular, would be completely lost about what to do or what music to make. IOW they don't make sugary pop music because they have to, they do it because it's all they know or can conceive of these days.

they look at other bands being successful doing that and they mimic it.  it used to be different but that really stopped after TJT or maybe R&H.  As much as I love AB it was really just U2 aping the industrial sound (quite successfully)... even Pop was their attempt at a genre that was already well established. 

Every album since R&H you can point to and say it was their version of what they thought the public wanted to hear at that time.

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MPare1966

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Re: U2 versus The Nostalgia Yield
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2023, 07:45:55 PM »
What's worse, (1) U2 wanting to make albums filled with sonically interesting, mature, alternative music but not pulling the trigger because they're too worried about mainstream success, or (2) U2 making albums aimed at mainstream success because that, in fact, is the music they actually want to make?

My concern is that if you were to take mainstream success off the table, the band, and Bono in particular, would be completely lost about what to do or what music to make. IOW they don't make sugary pop music because they have to, they do it because it's all they know or can conceive of these days.

they look at other bands being successful doing that and they mimic it.  it used to be different but that really stopped after TJT or maybe R&H.  As much as I love AB it was really just U2 aping the industrial sound (quite successfully)... even Pop was their attempt at a genre that was already well established. 

Every album since R&H you can point to and say it was their version of what they thought the public wanted to hear at that time.

First Chair. Last Call.

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This Dave

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Re: U2 versus The Nostalgia Yield
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2023, 09:52:49 PM »
What's worse, (1) U2 wanting to make albums filled with sonically interesting, mature, alternative music but not pulling the trigger because they're too worried about mainstream success, or (2) U2 making albums aimed at mainstream success because that, in fact, is the music they actually want to make?

My concern is that if you were to take mainstream success off the table, the band, and Bono in particular, would be completely lost about what to do or what music to make. IOW they don't make sugary pop music because they have to, they do it because it's all they know or can conceive of these days.

they look at other bands being successful doing that and they mimic it.  it used to be different but that really stopped after TJT or maybe R&H.  As much as I love AB it was really just U2 aping the industrial sound (quite successfully)... even Pop was their attempt at a genre that was already well established. 

Every album since R&H you can point to and say it was their version of what they thought the public wanted to hear at that time.



Coldplay were young enough 15 years ago to sell their rock band soul in exchange for whatever it is they became. Itís pathetic that Bono keeps trying it.

By the way, itís been longer than that since U2 had something resembling a hit record. But I bet if they ruin a potentially good album with attempted chart hits again, itís going to work THIS TIME.

Unless Bono wants to be Taylor Swift or Drake, his chart topping days with the kiddos are done. He could use his talent to try and make actual great music.

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SlyDanner

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Re: U2 versus The Nostalgia Yield
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2023, 11:53:48 PM »
What's worse, (1) U2 wanting to make albums filled with sonically interesting, mature, alternative music but not pulling the trigger because they're too worried about mainstream success, or (2) U2 making albums aimed at mainstream success because that, in fact, is the music they actually want to make?

My concern is that if you were to take mainstream success off the table, the band, and Bono in particular, would be completely lost about what to do or what music to make. IOW they don't make sugary pop music because they have to, they do it because it's all they know or can conceive of these days.

they look at other bands being successful doing that and they mimic it.  it used to be different but that really stopped after TJT or maybe R&H.  As much as I love AB it was really just U2 aping the industrial sound (quite successfully)... even Pop was their attempt at a genre that was already well established. 

Every album since R&H you can point to and say it was their version of what they thought the public wanted to hear at that time.



Exactly

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Melon

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Re: U2 versus The Nostalgia Yield
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2023, 08:27:06 AM »
What's worse, (1) U2 wanting to make albums filled with sonically interesting, mature, alternative music but not pulling the trigger because they're too worried about mainstream success, or (2) U2 making albums aimed at mainstream success because that, in fact, is the music they actually want to make?

My concern is that if you were to take mainstream success off the table, the band, and Bono in particular, would be completely lost about what to do or what music to make. IOW they don't make sugary pop music because they have to, they do it because it's all they know or can conceive of these days.

they look at other bands being successful doing that and they mimic it.  it used to be different but that really stopped after TJT or maybe R&H.  As much as I love AB it was really just U2 aping the industrial sound (quite successfully)... even Pop was their attempt at a genre that was already well established. 

Every album since R&H you can point to and say it was their version of what they thought the public wanted to hear at that time.



Exactly

I think thats a very cynical way to look at it. U2 was always inspired by other artists - as are every band. You can litterally use this argumentation on every band starting out: they are just aping something else. U2 evolved their sound but I really dont see them doing it for popularity before ATYCLB. Zooropa aimed at the public? Really? I remember the mainstream in the early 90's and it was nothing like Zooropa. In hindsight AB and Zooropa were commercially succesful but that was in no way a guarantee when they came out. If they were only trying to maximize popularity they would for sure have stayed with the sound from TJT that is by far their best selling album, but this had proven to be an artistically dead end. Instead they evolved and this should be seen as a major strength of U2 imo. I think they maintained a great balance between artistic integrity, evolving their sound and making music for the masses for a very long time. I cant think of any artists who have done this as succesfully as U2 other than of course The Beatles.