Ian wrote about U2 recently and I replied that the problem with obtaining the new U2 album was the opportunity cost of not listening to something else more exciting. Having written that I was curious about what U2 were up to. I downloaded a concert they did in Sheffield on their current tour which is all over the internet. And guess what, I liked it.
What then are the problems with U2?
- They are rubbish. They're not you know. The Edge is a great guitarist. I remember my punky college roommate Bun used to go on and on about how he wished he'd though of the simple riff for I will Follow.
- Bono is Sanctimonious and Annoying. There is of course some truth to this, but I was moved when Bono talked about Aung San Suu Kyi in the Sheffield concert. And the alternative is what? To just relax and be rich?
- They only play stadiums. I saw U2 in 1981 at the Rock on the Tyne festival, back in the days when I was willing to stand in the sun for hours. So I can't see them in person any more, but I can download concerts.
- Lots of people like them. This is the real problem for the music snob. Get over it. And yes, lots of people don't really listen and will have One played at their weddings. That's their problem.
- Their new songs aren't as good as the old ones. This is true for all bands. But Vertigo is surely as good a song as any they have done.
- Their lyrics are vague. It is true that they aren't very specific, but they aren't as bad as Coldplay.
- Their fans think they can do no wrong. This is unfortunately true of all bands. We need a new punk invasion to come and wash everything away.
- Those old vinyl records I have are not worth a fortune. I bought 11 O'Clock Tick Tock when it came out but I understand it is not worth much. The fact that it was produced by Martin Hannett probably influenced my purchase. It is weird to think of U2 as once being contemporaries of the Factory bands.