U2 - Achtung Baby southpawgrammar

September 9, 2020
edited 5 months ago
In 1991, U2's bold refashioning of post-punk rock was propitious indeed. With grunge on the scene and Madchester receiving airplay, U2 launched a timely rebrand at the most opportune period in modern music; it was an indication that guitar music had become popular again, leaving the glut of 1980s stadium-fillers at odds with the current landscape, and many failed to adapt. U2, however, bravely decided to reinvent themselves as a trendsetting band with the same romantic and political aspirations as before, albeit with art pop inclinations, and it turned out to be a very advantageous and smooth transition indeed.

"Achtung Baby" is U2 at their most introspective, exploring personal relationships over political themes; never bordering on the anthemic arena rock of "The Joshua Tree", which succeeded chiefly because the album was solidly produced, the band are forced to innovate, consolidating far more adventurous instrumentation, psychedelic, beguiling rhythms and dance beats into the album's dense sonic palette. As emotional as they are sexual, Bono's lyrical motivations are laid bare, and although the groovy sounds employed can feel incongruous when he emotes vocally in his usual high-strung balladeer tone, somehow it all attunes and coheres incredibly well. Surging forth with satisfying Eastern-influenced rhythms and textured guitar riffs, Edge's role may not be as integral as it was on previous albums, but the stunningly layered, musically diverse foundation synthesises rock instrumentation and electronic undercurrents so that each composition demands to heard in all of its soaring beauty, with every detail yearning to be pored over and marvelled at. Technologically ambitious as the production is, it does not detract from the melancholic, reflective nature of the overall music, thus registering it as a masterpiece designed for repeat listens rather than an experimental record to be experienced only once.

Although its commercial success led to increasingly diluted, unfocused projects, "Achtung Baby" is a provocative, seminal record responsible for introducing several classic songs in the U2 canon, namely "Even Better Than The Real Thing" and "One". Without a doubt, though, Brian Eno's production is the impetus for the album's astonishing sophistication and intricacy; he ably assists in creating the band's most passionate, cohesive and thriving collection of songs to date, geared towards the ravers, baggy rock fans as well as their core fanbase. It is an album with universal appeal that draws from a variety of influences to winning effect and remains an excessive, fresh and relevant creation from a mature band at the peak of their powers.


U2 - Achtung Baby AndrewCooper

December 30, 2019
Here in Sydney Australia you did not get the full set of 16 prints with the purchase of the album. When you purchased the album (either CD or vinyl) you had to ask the sales staff for a print. You didn't know which print you were going to get as each store only had a select few. It would have taken 16 purchases at varying stores to get the full set , or if you knew somebody in the business. Fortunately I have the full set of 16 prints. Can't remember where I got them from though.

U2 - Achtung Baby depechetraff

December 2, 2018
Pah! I didn't get any inserts. And mine is definitely a first pressing - I won it on a Radio One phone-in a week or so prior to release. They assumed I'd want a CD and were surprised when I asked for vinyl :)

U2 - Achtung Baby depechetraff

September 20, 2020
Mine has a Ferret & Spanner sticker on the cover too


U2 - Achtung Baby lawrencecrg2

June 11, 2018
has anyone sold one with the 16 art inserts? can't see any that have sold anywhere with these?

U2 - Achtung Baby devito.mark

March 12, 2018
edited over 3 years ago

I just got this pressing, finally after years of wanting it.
I can't get over how much better the LP is than the CD I have; it's like night and day.

There is more depth to the LP and it has that extra 'kick' in it.

U2 - Achtung Baby gabriel74

May 25, 2011
edited over 9 years ago

This is an excellent LP from the 90's not only for the new electro (dirty) Rock sound of U2 but also for the artwork by photographer Anton Corbijn using saturation of colors, opposition of cold and hot. Black and white are also submitted to such treatments. If U like U2, get a good original 1991 copy (black vinyl) and enjoy the sound and the picture of this great U2 collector!

U2 - Achtung Baby devito.mark

March 6, 2018
edited over 3 years ago

Would you say it's worth paying $100 for NM copy?
My favorite U2 albums are this and The Unforgettable Fire.
I need this, but wasn't sure if I should just wait for a repress.

U2 - Achtung Baby pymander

November 8, 2010
The colour vinyl editions in yellow, red or transparent vinyl are counterfeits and sound like it too.

U2 - Achtung Baby makisgroove

January 11, 2011
edited over 10 years ago
Cover (almost photocopy), vinyl & sound are so pooooor....

U2 - Achtung Baby joeotoole

December 13, 2010
turns out I have the yellow one, and this explains a lot. I always thought the record itself was poorly made and the sound was bad, so being a counterfeit explains a lot.

U2 - Achtung Baby pymander

December 8, 2010
Absolutely! I owned a red one, sounded terrible.
Was also confirmed by the U2 fanclub and a german U2 website owner.

U2 - Achtung Baby makisgroove

November 15, 2010
Hi there..are you sure about this?