"All That You CAN Leave Behind" [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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Rael Imperial Aerosol Kid
05-21-2006, 06:35 AM
So, what's the big deal about "All That You Can't Leave Behind"? It's highly acclaimed and shows up on a lot of best of lists. It's listed at #139 on Rolling Stone's top 500 albums of all time. I think it won some grammys too, (not that a grammy is really an indicator of a goood album).

IMO it's okay but it isn't a ground-breaking album like "Joshua Tree" or "Achtung Baby".
"Kite" and "Stuck in a Moment.." are good songs. "New York" is boring.
It's not an album that I grab off the shelf very often.
I expected more from U2, (with Eno and Lanois), at this point.

I just don't get that it is so highly rated. Maybe my expectation for U2 has been raised too high.

"How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" shows no change either.
They are losing their "free pass" with me.

Mr MidFi
05-22-2006, 07:18 AM
I've been an unabashed fan since 1980, and I own everything they've ever released...so I feel somewhat qualified to reply.

My opinion of ATYCLB was similar to yours for the first couple of months that I had it. My opinion (and, I think, the opinions of some music critics) changed once I had the chance to experience these songs in a live context. "New York" is a very good example of this...the inherent dynamics of the song take on a gripping resonance when it's part of the sound & fury of a live show (and not just some Irish fart kvetching about his "mid-wife crisis"). "Elevation" struck me as flat-out dumb the first few times I heard it, but it absolutely works as a show-opener.

But having said that, some of those songs (like "Wild Honey") never really connected with me at all.

Overall, I'd say it isn't one of their best albums and it isn't one of their worst. And yes, it's a better and more interesting album than Atomic Bomb.

05-22-2006, 07:52 AM
They are losing their "free pass" with me.

They lost their free pass with me the day Joshua Tree was released.

05-22-2006, 10:27 AM
I'm amazed at any band that has one sound and can make tons of money with just that one sound. Call it what you want.....they are less talented than anyone gives them credit for. I wouldn't use that album for a coaster for it would disgrace all coasters out there.

05-22-2006, 01:45 PM
IMO, ATYCLB is miles better than any of that T-Rex clone stuff they came out with in the whole of the '90s. Atchew Baby and Zoodopa and Pop were nothing more than glam-rock knockoffs, symptomatic of Bono's self absorbed, self-important, bloated ego. At least David Bowie knew he was just acting out a persona when he recorded this same stuff 20 years earlier.

As pretentious as I thought these guys were in the '80s, I guess after the '90s junk came along, I realized I prefer my U2 with a healthy dose of zealous self-righteousness. Bono is still a clown, though.