Monday, September 13, 2010

Post Achtung Baby

When I was mere stripling, U2 released an album called "Achtung Baby". The sole differentiating feature of this record was that Bono sang all the songs wearing a ludicrous pair of bug-eyed sunglasses (to indicate "ironic detatchment") that he has not removed in the 19 years thereafter.

Achtung Baby reinvented rock in a way that every band endangered by the American chart behemoths R.E.M and Nirvana could understand. Late-80s pop monsters took their cue, one by one, from U2, abandoned any individual features they possessed, and dropped singles whose defining characteristic was to be as close as they could possibly get to "The Fly".

INXS - Taste It

Of course, being INXS, someone parps on a ruddy saxophone whenever possible, also this is quite a pervy video which might explain why I never saw it at the time.

Bon Jovi - Keep The Faith

A man will thingy, a man will fall, from the sheer face of love, um, KEEP THE FAITH.

Deacon Blue - Your Town

Formerly chipper Scotch popsters Deacon Blue did their absolute best Bono here, they even got the sunglasses. Sadly thereafter, they didn't have a career. They should have stuck to the songs about sandwiches and that.

Depeche Mode - I Feel You


These were the main four unit-shifters implicated in the movement, but can you remember any more Baby Achtung Babies from 1992-93? I remember there being a new one almost every week!


jeff said...

jesus jones!

although, i think mr. jones released "right here, right now" a little before the fly. maybe they got a pre-release version of the single and tried to copy it really quick-like.

or maybe mr. jones is omnicognisant.

SamfiSh said...

So wait, do you like Achtung or not? It's my favourite album of 1990! Also of U2.

jeff said...

but really, like solomon said, there's nothing new under the sun. wasn't bono just trying to cover the cramps?

i think he left out the "bzz bzz bzz" part at the urging of larry mullen jr. larry has tinnitus and the bzzing was driving him batty.

John A said...

I'm not really a U2 fan, no, but this was an interesting period of pop history and their part in it was weird.

Red_Dog said...

And let us not forget that without Achtung Baby, we would not have any Oasis...

Jimmy B said...

OMG you're so right... As a Depeche (and other synthpop) Lover from the early 1980s, I was stunned and saddened by 1992/1993... note ReCoil Bloodline at the same time - ooooh we're DAAAARK. Not to mention Ministry going from sweet synthpop to Adrian Sherwood edgy (better) to "Jesus Built my Hot Rod".

It wasn't a great time.

whereistom said...

I'm very sorry but you couldn't be more wrong about I Feel You - it is brilliant, and not just because I was 14 when it was released and thus had no point of reference to determine between decent music and heroin fuelled ego twaddle.

John A said...


I was 13 when the previous album came out so I had been cursed with perspective. I remember when Dave Gahan unveiled his new look on the cover of Vox, oh lord, oh no, bad times. Check out these tats, he seemed to be saying. See how many heroin pills I have eaten.

Jimmy B:

was Recoil Martin Gore's solo project? I have never heard it, I grew up in the sticks! It was not available at either Woolworths OR WH Smith!

Roman said...

You know, all things considered, I'd rather just listen to R.E.M. and Nirvana.

M. Greco said...

How about:
Duran Duran's "Come Undone"
Leftfield & John Lydon's "Open Up"
New Order's "World (Price of Love)"
Stereo MC's "Connected"

Jimmy B said...

Recoil was Alan Wilder's project... with vocals from Toni Halliday (Curve) and Moby and the guy from Nitzer Ebb...

doggma said...

One more for the list: "The Witch", by The Cult.

tomorrowboy 2.7 said...

I am disappointed by your new shirt:

Just to let you know, the symbology there isn't "hilarious" or whatever.

John A said...

It's actually a comment on the wave of post-breakup nostalgia for the Soviet Union - as misplaced as that may be - and the bitter irony of the repeals of post 1991 freedoms. I know enough about communist Russia not to make glib assumptions about that era and its preposterous symbols. I know how many people died in Stalin's Russia in the 1930s, and why, and how. If there is a flag of any empire that isn't tainted with blood, I'd love to see it.

Michael N. Escobar said...

Tomorrowboy, "symbology" is not a real word. You mean "symbolism". The study of symbols is "semiotics". kthxbye