Classic Albums I have never heard - Music Banter Music Banter

Go Back   Music Banter > The MB Reader > Members Journal
Register Blogging Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Welcome to Music Banter Forum! Make sure to register - it's free and very quick! You have to register before you can post and participate in our discussions with over 70,000 other registered members. After you create your free account, you will be able to customize many options, you will have the full access to over 1,100,000 posts.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-15-2014, 06:15 PM   #321 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,952
Default

There are a lot of U2 haters here I know, but you know, I’ve reviewed albums I don’t like, had no interest in and ended up not liking any more after I’d heard them, just because some of you asked me to. So now I’m listening to something I want to. Skip it if you want, but while I’m no U2 fan I don’t hate them. Say what you like, they’re one of the first bands who put Ireland on the map. Gotta give them props for that. Sure, Bono’s a gobshite. But he’s our gobshite!

Title: The Joshua Tree
Artiste: U2
Year: 1987
Chronological position: Fifth album
Previous experience of this artiste?: Hey, I’m Irish, y’know? I’ve heard a few of their albums, and who can live in Ireland and not know of U2? Love ‘em, hate ‘em, you can’t be Irish and ignore ‘em!
Why is this considered a classic? Their breakthrough album, when they embraced America as their salvation and wrote songs specifically themed on the US. Also produced three massive hit singles for them.

My thoughts
One minute (or thereabouts in) ---- Good, great, bad, meh, still waiting or other? Great, but I know all these first three tracks
One track in --- Again, great but what about later?
Halfway through --- Great
Finished --- Great

Comments: Let’s be honest here: everyone knows the opening three tracks so as it’s getting near my bedtime I’ll skip them, and we head right into “Bullet the blue sky”, which has a dark, menacing vibe about it, both in the almost doomy drumming of Larry Mullen and the pulsing basslines from Adam Clayton. Kind of a feel of Memphis blues about it too. The Edge does some of that faffing about on the guitar that I don’t like --- I respect his talent, but sometimes it really is just guitar wankery --- and I kind of don’t really like this track much. “Running to stand still” is a thousand times better, though it does tread a little too closely in the footsteps of “Bad” from the previous album. Love the piano and the fadeout harmonica. Sweet.

“Red Hill Mining Town” starts off a bit in a folk/country vein, but then amps up and becomes a striding rocker with gospel overtones, lot of drama and heart in it. Look, say what you like about him --- and many have --- but Bono’s a decent singer and he really puts passion into his music. You never feel like he’s just going through the motions while counting his bank balance. Much better from The Edge as we find ourselves “In God’s country”, rocking along nicely; more the Edge from “Where the streets have no name” than the one from “Bullet the blue sky”. I’m sure many think him an overrated guitarist, but he does have a distinctive style.

More fine harmonica as “Trip through your wires” sounds like the Adventures meet the Waterboys and invite the Sawdoctors along, Nice bluesy boogie tune, with good heavy drumming from Larry and a nice bit of organ there too. Somehow I’m expecting an Irish reel or something. Does it come? No, it doesn’t. All of these songs seem to have a backstory, but probably the most poignant is “One Tree Hill”, which has nothing to do with the TV show but is in fact a tribute to Gregg Carroll, one of U2’s roadies who died in a motorbike accident. I would have expected a ballad, but no, it’s pretty uptempo, though you can hear the pain in Bono’s voice as he sings about the man who was his friend. Sumptuous strings section too. Love the gospel-style ending.

That leaves us with “Exit”, which you have to think was a title tailor-made to close an album, but it’s not the closer. Kind of a muggy feel to it, the bass humming and fading in and out while Bono sings sparingly: a minimalist U2 song? Well, getting a bit stronger now as The Edge comes in with the acoustic guitar and then electric as the percussion cuts in too and the song takes off. Impressive. I see now it’s about a serial killer, so understand the heavy, almost fuzzy production. We’re heading out then on a real emotion-wringer, as Bono speaks out about the people kidnapped, tortured, killed and just never seen again in Nicaragua and El Salvador. “Mothers of the disappeared” gives me a very Peter Gabriel feel, sort of like his “Biko”, though it doesn’t really sound anything like that song. It’s just the vibe I get. Parts of the song’s structure mirror “Biko” a little, and I feel Bono must have taken some inspiration from the Gabriel classic.

It’s a low-key vocal, with the bass and percussion again to the forefront, The Edge’s guitar quite restrained, almost in respect or reverence for those vanished by various dictatorships.Much of the vocal seems to be just a wordless lament, which is probably quite appropriate. A good closer certainly, and a pretty much flawless album all round.


Favourite track(s): Still haven’t found what I’m looking for, Where the streets have no name (One of my alltime favourite U2 songs), With or without you, Running to stand still, Trip through your wires, One Tree Hill, Exit, Mothers of the Disappeared
Least favourite track(s): (If I have to choose one it would be Bullet the blue sky)

Final impression --- An album truly deserving its status as classic. I don’t think there was one track on it I didn’t like, and a whole lot I really loved. Sure, the quasi-political/save the world messages are a little annoying, but you can’t argue with the music. Excellent album.

Do I feel, at the end, A) I wish I had listened to this sooner
B) I'm sorry I bothered
C) I might end up liking this
D) Have to wait and see
E) Bit underwhelmed; was ok but a classic?
F) Definitely enjoyed it, but again would I consider it a classic?
G) Enjoyed this album just purely on its own merits
H) Glad I listened to it


This is a clear A and our first

__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2014, 09:21 PM   #322 (permalink)
Toasted Poster
 
Chula Vista's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: SoCal by way of Boston
Posts: 11,332
Default

^^^^^

One of the few (relatively speaking) "perfect" albums IMO.
__________________

“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well,
on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away
and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.”
Chula Vista is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2014, 01:22 AM   #323 (permalink)
Mate, Spawn & Die
 
Janszoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: The Rapping Community
Posts: 24,593
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chula Vista View Post
^^^^^

One of the few (relatively speaking) "perfect" albums IMO.
I agree. Not an album I listen to much any more but still great.

Also: An Irish music fan who has never heard The Joshua Tree? I feel like I have just spotted a unicorn.
Janszoon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2014, 05:12 AM   #324 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,952
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janszoon View Post
I agree. Not an album I listen to much any more but still great.

Also: An Irish music fan who has never heard The Joshua Tree? I feel like I have just spotted a unicorn.
Yeah. My sister was big into them when she was young but she's not really one for listening to albums. I remember she had a VHS video of them live at Red Rocks that she never stopped playing, probably mostly where I heard their stuff. I was more into Maiden and Saxon at the time. In fairness, the only U2 albums I've heard all the way through are the greatest hits and "All you can't leave behind". Was never a huge fan but I do like a lot of their music. This album is pure gold though.
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2014, 11:34 AM   #325 (permalink)
Toasted Poster
 
Chula Vista's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: SoCal by way of Boston
Posts: 11,332
Default

F*cking large scale arena rock doesn't get any better than this. I watched Live Aid in real time and next to Queen, this was the best of the day.

__________________

“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well,
on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away
and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.”
Chula Vista is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2014, 11:50 AM   #326 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,952
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chula Vista View Post
F*cking large scale arena rock doesn't get any better than this. I watched Live Aid in real time and next to Queen, this was the best of the day.

Oh man yes! I remember that! Coming in from the garden to watch Live Aid begin, and then being more or less glued to it (until Sting showed up anyway) for the rest of the day. Music history in the making. Good times.

"Send us yer fuckin' money!" Class!
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2014, 12:26 PM   #327 (permalink)
Remember the underscore
 
Pet_Sounds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: The other side
Posts: 2,489
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
Oh man yes! I remember that! Coming in from the garden to watch Live Aid begin, and then being more or less glued to it (until Sting showed up anyway) for the rest of the day. Music history in the making. Good times.

"Send us yer fuckin' money!" Class!
What's wrong with Sting?
__________________
Everybody's dying just to get the disease
Pet_Sounds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2014, 02:38 PM   #328 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,952
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pet_Sounds View Post
What's wrong with Sting?
Nothing as such, but he slowed everything down with some drony sax versions of his Police work and it was boring as hell. On a high-octane day like that, with bands rocking all over, he was the brake suddenly applied. Buzz Killington, indeed.
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2014, 02:58 PM   #329 (permalink)
Scuttle Buttin'
 
Moss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Boulder Colorado
Posts: 972
Default

Speaking of "Bad", The unforgettable fire would be the next U2 to check out. Love that album.
Moss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2014, 03:12 PM   #330 (permalink)
SOPHIE FOREVER
 
Frownland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: East of the Southern North American West
Posts: 35,548
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frownland View Post
I think you should review Swans' latest album To Be Kind. It's full of hypnotic post rock tracks and I'd like to see what you think of it. It could easily go either way.
So do you think you'll be trying this one out? Don't worry, I'm here to help you, not hurt you.
__________________
Studies show that when a given norm is changed in the face of the unchanging, the remaining contradictions will parallel the truth.

Frownland is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads



© 2003-2024 Advameg, Inc.