I had originally planned to just do a post using my U2 chapter from my book. Yet, with all the controversy surrounding the new U2 release, I felt like I needed to comment. If you don’t know, U2 released their new album this week (Songs of Innoncence) by giving it away to everyone who had an Itunes account. Certainly, an innovative idea in a world where hearing new music has been fractured and overly complicated. You would think this would be met with a fanfare from fans…instead…that’s not necessarily the case. One of the details of getting this new album was that everyone who had an itunes account, had the album automatically added to their accounts, whether they wanted it or not. This is where the outrage originates. Critics (meaning anyone who has a Twitter account) have been slamming the band for forcing the album upon them without their permission. It’s been called an “invasion of privacy” and an extreme example of “corporate harassment” as well as “creepy,” “sinister,” and outright “evil.” Let’s just start here.
It’s fucking music album…that you get for free. If you don’t like it…don’t listen to it. Everyone complains about corporations gouging customers…then when they give something away…people continue to complain. Stop whining…everyone. Getting free music on a platform owned by Apple is not an invasion of privacy…go talk to some Holocaust survivors about what real invasion of privacy is. I don’t want 90% of the terrible TV shows I get via my digital antenna…I’m not going to storm ABC and make them take Grey’s Anatomy off the air (yes, it’s still on). Grow up…get a backbone…and shut the fuck up. There are kids in part of this world who have to dodge landmines when walking to school. Get some fucking perspective.
And it’s U2. One of the greatest rock bands of all time. You may not like their music…and honesty, that’s okay. But if Apple is going to give us an album at least they picked a band with a respectable pedigree. Would you rather it be Mylie Cyrus?
Free U2 album is the ultimate first world problem.
In honor of U2, here is my article from my book.
When making U2’s best song list for their 2009 release, No Line On The Horizon, I became inspired to compile this book. I realized that an act like U2, with a career that spans decades, cannot be categorized into one giant list. There is no comparison of U2’s material of the ’80s to the music they are making now. Don’t get me wrong, there is some great material still coming out of the band. You just cannot compare music being made in the ’00s by guys in their forties to music being made in the ’80s by guys in their twenties. The circumstances are different. The societies are different. The trends are different. The worlds are different. In the ’80s, they were struggling musicians. Today, they are multi-millionaires, shaping the world. They are not the same band.
This is what makes U2 so magnificent. Has there ever been a band that has had as much continued success as the Irish lads? The Rolling Stones? Springsteen? Dylan? It is a short list. Many artists who manage to stay around for multiple decades struggle to sell new albums. U2 has done something that no one else has ever accomplished… they remain trendy. Most artists cannot remain trendy for three years, let alone thirty. That in itself is a major accomplishment.
I firmly believed that their work in the 2000s deserved its own list – its own moment of splendor. From that realization, this book was born.
The 11 Best U2 Songs of the ’00s:
- Walk On (All That You Can’t Leave Behind)
- City of Blinding Lights (How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb)
- Magnificent (No Line on the Horizon)
- Beautiful Day (All That You Can’t Leave Behind)
- Moment of Surrender (No Line on the Horizon)
- Miracle Drug (How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb)
- Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own (How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb)
- Stateless (The Million Dollar Hotel Soundtrack)
- New York (All That You Can’t Leave Behind)
- The Ground Beneath Your Feet (The Million Dollar Hotel Soundtrack)
- Electrical Storm (Best of 1990 – 2000)
Fun Fact: U2 has had the same line-up for their entire recording career.
Don’t forget to check out our blog’s awesome new book The 111 Best Lists of the 2000s. Available now! (featuring U2)