No Line On The Horizon: 15 Year Mini-Ode

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Vox

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No Line On The Horizon: 15 Year Mini-Ode
« on: February 28, 2024, 11:41:09 PM »
I’ve sometimes threatened to write a platitude to No Line on the Horizon. On its anniversary, I’ll just write a mini-ode to, for me, the best U2 album of the last quarter century.

I’d still put this album as #4-5 in my U2antheon. Never going to beat Unforgettable Fire, but jockeying with Zooropa, which is elevated because of that album’s experimentation and place it’s had in my life.

NLOTH: The title track is the sound of an ill-tempered elephant driving a freight train. The bits of sound U2 conjure in parts of this tune justify their existence this century. “Moment of Surrender,” a righteous shuffle contemplation. “Fez” builds to an otherworldly sound that subverts one of the Edge’s great, simple, spacy solos. “Breathe” has interesting sonorous-cavey sounds in odd tempo. Cedars with the woody bass, Magnificent with the gallop-on-the-hill wideopen U2 sound. Even for me (duck and cover) Get on Your Boots captures a paranoid mood of impeding chaos following uneasy peace. The use of French horn and cello peppered throughout is tasteful and provides a cohesive thread.

When the album came out, I was in a strange period of my life. I was trying to cut back some bad habits which were taking over. I listened to this album and would describe to others what I called “the power” which is simply described as the greatness of life around us. I felt that - “the power” - when listening to this album.

I’d like to think the version Eno and Lanois wanted could have been a latter-day U2 cornerstone.

Anyway, I should have written  this more in depth long ago. And I know this is a dismissed album at large, and decisive record among U2 fans…. But I think when U2 is all done, this will be regarded as a highly underrated, misunderstood, and positively re-acclaimed  record.

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MPare1966

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Re: No Line On The Horizon: 15 Year Mini-Ode
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2024, 11:55:05 PM »
And here we have our Post of the WeekTM

Well done, Vox.
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Pride

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Re: No Line On The Horizon: 15 Year Mini-Ode
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2024, 12:35:38 AM »
Going by the version of the album that was released, NLOTH is probably my third favorite U2 album. If they pared it down to just 8 tracks, maybe rearranged the order a bit, it might be better than TUF or October for me, or at least tied. The middle three tracks aren't even that bad, they just don't fit in with the rest of the album.

I can't think of a better album released by a band 30 years into their career.
Time shoots on by

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MPare1966

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Re: No Line On The Horizon: 15 Year Mini-Ode
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2024, 12:38:03 AM »
Going by the version of the album that was released, NLOTH is probably my third favorite U2 album. If they pared it down to just 8 tracks, maybe rearranged the order a bit, it might be better than TUF or October for me, or at least tied. The middle three tracks aren't even that bad, they just don't fit in with the rest of the album.

I can't think of a better album released by a band 30 years into their career.


Hot take alert!
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Presented by Vandelay Industries.
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Void where prohibited.
The information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, and usefulness.
Your mileage may vary.

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Pride

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Re: No Line On The Horizon: 15 Year Mini-Ode
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2024, 01:39:20 AM »
There are plenty of bands with really good late-career albums, but none of the ones I've heard come close to NLOTH. Many of them are uneven in quality like NLOTH, but I still enjoy listening to every track on NLOTH. Not true for later Rush or Yes albums, for example.
Time shoots on by

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Tumbling Dice

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Re: No Line On The Horizon: 15 Year Mini-Ode
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2024, 01:26:37 PM »
It's their best album of the post-Pop era and finished the highest of those albums on the Talk U2 Album League.

Cedars of Lebanon is the standout track although it doesn't really belong on the album.

You Lost the League at Goodison Park

God Save The King

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WalkOn2000

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Re: No Line On The Horizon: 15 Year Mini-Ode
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2024, 03:14:13 PM »
For me, this album was a very pleasant surprise after the sonically bland HTDAAB. They finally returned to a bolder sound and experimentation. It's a shame that they killed it with the next SOI album.

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Larry Lovebucket

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Re: No Line On The Horizon: 15 Year Mini-Ode
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2024, 05:45:51 PM »
For sure, after SOE, NLOTH is their best LP since POP. It has 3 truly awful songs but, at its best, it proves u2 still has what it takes to make records like Zooropa or OS1.

My hope, going forward, is that they throw caution to the wind and do something brave again.
©2024

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Larry Lovebucket

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Re: No Line On The Horizon: 15 Year Mini-Ode
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2024, 05:48:33 PM »
Additionally, NLOTH is a great example of u2 not needing to release big singles. Boots flopped, yet the 270 tour sold huge amounts of tickets. Therefore, I don’t understand why they bother trying to be ‘relevant’ because, whatever they do, their payday will be huge.
©2024

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laoghaire

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Re: No Line On The Horizon: 15 Year Mini-Ode
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2024, 06:33:05 PM »
In my fucked up U2 chronology, NLOTH was sort of their latest release for me. I had quit them after the shitshow that was HTDAAB, and went No Contact for 12 years. Then I listened to SOI, SOE, and NLOTH over a period of maybe 9 months. A great year.

Vox mentored me through my foray into NLOTH. It was, middle three aside, a great time. Some really great stuff on there. Too bad Bono is such a fuckwit and fucked up the middle three, lead single, destroyed working with Eno, fucked up with the eyeliner, blah blah, because they had made some beautiful things in that session.

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Tumbling Dice

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Re: No Line On The Horizon: 15 Year Mini-Ode
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2024, 06:50:04 PM »
Additionally, NLOTH is a great example of u2 not needing to release big singles. Boots flopped, yet the 270 tour sold huge amounts of tickets. Therefore, I don’t understand why they bother trying to be ‘relevant’ because, whatever they do, their payday will be huge.

But the huge commercial success of the album is the reason why the 360 tour a shit tonne of tickets.

You ask wons, he'll tell ya.

 
You Lost the League at Goodison Park

God Save The King

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THRILLHO

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Re: No Line On The Horizon: 15 Year Mini-Ode
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2024, 11:58:24 PM »
so i bought this the day of release. took off work and bought the box set with the Linear dvd. i was flying HIGH on it with the first 4 songs, then the middle 3 stunk it up then back to pretty good. I didn't like Breathe at all at first but i like it fine now. COL creeps me out but yes its good. Fez/Being Born would have been a much better opener.

my alternate tracklisting
Fez/Being Born
NLOTH
Magnificent
MOS
UC <Exile made an edit of this i love>
Crazy Tonight <Fish out of Water remix>
White As Snow
Breath
Winter <new version>
COL
« Last Edit: March 01, 2024, 12:03:47 AM by THRILLHO »

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Soloyan

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Re: No Line On The Horizon: 15 Year Mini-Ode
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2024, 02:35:10 AM »
so i bought this the day of release. took off work and bought the box set with the Linear dvd. i was flying HIGH on it with the first 4 songs, then the middle 3 stunk it up then back to pretty good. I didn't like Breathe at all at first but i like it fine now. COL creeps me out but yes its good. Fez/Being Born would have been a much better opener.

my alternate tracklisting
Fez/Being Born
NLOTH
Magnificent
MOS
UC <Exile made an edit of this i love>
Crazy Tonight <Fish out of Water remix>
White As Snow
Breath
Winter <new version>
COL
When I first heard Being Born, I was soooooo convinced it was going to be the show opener… they couldn’t even play it once !

I got to admit it probably wasn’t stadium material. But here lies the problem : they cared more about the tour than about the album.
A dangerous idea that almost makes sense...

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THRILLHO

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Re: No Line On The Horizon: 15 Year Mini-Ode
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2024, 12:38:38 PM »
so i bought this the day of release. took off work and bought the box set with the Linear dvd. i was flying HIGH on it with the first 4 songs, then the middle 3 stunk it up then back to pretty good. I didn't like Breathe at all at first but i like it fine now. COL creeps me out but yes its good. Fez/Being Born would have been a much better opener.

my alternate tracklisting
Fez/Being Born
NLOTH
Magnificent
MOS
UC <Exile made an edit of this i love>
Crazy Tonight <Fish out of Water remix>
White As Snow
Breath
Winter <new version>
COL
When I first heard Being Born, I was soooooo convinced it was going to be the show opener… they couldn’t even play it once !

I got to admit it probably wasn’t stadium material. But here lies the problem : they cared more about the tour than about the album.

nah cuz yknow Breathe was the better opener......Breathe.....not the latest single, not a GOOD opener like F/BB or even NLOTH itself....


they opened with Breathe.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2024, 01:07:48 PM by THRILLHO »

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Pride

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Re: No Line On The Horizon: 15 Year Mini-Ode
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2024, 02:09:10 PM »
I think Breathe probably should have been a single. It’s got a great chorus even if the verses are wordy.

But yeah Fez would have been a better opener.
Time shoots on by