Monday, August 11, 2008

Why U2 Is NOT the Greatest Band Of My Generation

So my purpose of this blog is not to offend people. I'll try my best to keep it clean. What I have chosen for my first music post however might turn some people off. This is an explosive topic but something that I feel very strongly about. I'm sorry, I might lose some friends but I'm not going to sugar coat my feelings - U2 sucks balls.

Alright U2 is a talented band. I'll give them that. They don't actually suck balls. But I don't like them and I never have. I own over 1000 CDs, I'm talking actual CDs. I have roughly 250 gig of downloaded music that I may or may not have purchased. Let's say they were "found" online. (Screw you for judging me) My vinyl collection is at least 100 albums strong. So, with all of this music at my disposal guess how many U2 albums are found in my collection? None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Granted my vinyl collection is courtesy of my late Grandpa Stratford Loosle (may he rest in peace) so it is mostly show tunes, Neil Diamond and MoTab. What does that have to do with U2 sucking? Nothing. I just wanted to show how hip I was by stating that I have a vinyl collection. I suppose I shouldn't have detailed said collection if I wanted to remain hip, oh well.

Back to the subject at hand. Let's go back to 4th grade. My music taste in 4th grade was less hip than my Grandpa's old records. We got a new stereo for Christmas (that deserves its own post at some point) that included a revolutionary new thing called a "compact disc." Under the Christmas tree I received from my sister Kim a "compact disc" (I'm not sure why she was tipped off about the stereo system but I digress). The CD was the soundtrack to Top Gun. Soon after the following gems made their way into my collection - Billy Ocean - Love Zone and La Bamba.

Yes that Billy Ocean. As you can see from the picture above, Love Zone included such hits as "When the Goin Gets Tough (The Tough Get Going)" and "There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)." Anyway, go ahead and laugh. But if you don't get a hop in your step when you hear "When the Goin Gets Tough" or if "Carribean Queen" doesn't but a smile on your face then you are no friend of mine.

I'm rambling now. Focus KG, focus. So we're still in 4th grade for those of you who are still reading. The Joshua Tree bursts on to the scene. Some girls in my grade and a few boys with older brothers (I'm looking at your Matthew Hilbig and Dalyn Montgomery) start talking about this U2 band. My only exposure to them is when I'm watching MTV hoping to see the Fat Boys rapping "Wipe Out" and "Where the Streets Have No Name" or "With or Without You" come on instead and I want to punch myself in the face. I still can't listen to "With or Without You" to this day. Sweet mercy I hate that song. Sure I used to dance with attractive ladies during that damn song at stomps and stake dances but I didn't have to like it. It took all of my concentration to focus on the gentle touch of said attractive gal to displace the anger raging inside of me because of that blasted song. From that point with every subsequent album I hated U2 more and more. Sure they had some good songs. Some I dare say are even great. However, when they get played roughly 10000 times on 10 different stations on any given week (you do the math I'm tired) I don't feel the need to purchase any of their albums to hear the songs.

So if U2 is not the greatest band of my generation, who is? I would say R.E.M. is better. I'll go out on a limb and say Nirvana or Pearl Jam were more influential for my generation. Perhaps I just have more of a soft spot for gay guys who wear eye makeup (I love you Michael Stipe!) rather than egotistical blowhards with a penchant for sunglasses (take a bow Mr. Bono if that is your real name.)

I promise I'm almost done here. I debated this very topic with one of my friends the other night. Although he agreed that R.E.M. is probably the better band, I realized that the main reason I don't like U2 is that I've never given them an actual chance. I brought up this subject with my friend because of the recent re-releases of U2's first albums Boy and War. I'm going to uh, "find" them online (back off Mr. FBI man, what's with all the questions?) and give them a proper spin. Perhaps I will find out that my taste is actually that which indeed sucks balls. I will return and report.


Corbie said...

Okay, it's me, commenting again. I think if this friendship of ours which has existed since practically the days when vinyl records were still still in circulation, you should take this whole posting back. You know, print some kind of retraction to the blogging Gods and apologize for your momentary lapse in judgment. Admittedly, (and I've told you this) U2 is much more likeable when they are more old school than latest sensation...Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum beat Atomic Bomb any day. And I even hate to love music that everyone else loves...after all, I am holding strong with my Sawyer Brown fixation. But when a band's got it, they've got it, no matter how hard one digs their heels in. You go give Rattle and Hum a listen - my favorite is the far too obscure song Love Rescue Me - and I will rethink ending this friendship of ours.

Here's what you have to realize, and where you and I might slightly agree...Bono is an arrogant blowhard and the whole circus that surrounds U2 is hard to get into because you are left feeling like the dork in high school chasing around the cool kids that you know really aren't all that cool. But, if you can get past all the fanfare, all the p.r. b.s. (did you like that double acronym gem there?) then you will find that their music, in most instances, is pure, unadulterated brilliance. It would be like not dating the cheerleader simply to prove a point because everyone else liked her...and look where that would have gotten wife and two adorable daughters less. Think about it...I expect a change of heart. Oh, and without question, REM rocks. And Pearl Jam. And Neil Diamond. The full collection of each shuffle around on my ipod.

brohammas said...

My name has been defamed.
Now I do owe yousaome allegiance since that CD player propelled you into unreachable heights of coolness and yet you still found time to let us little people lip sync LaBamba in your living room.
I admit U2 sucks, but they didn't always suck.
Sunday Bloody Sunday is still the standard for modern, non 60's rooted, socially conscious songs. Intelligent lyrics, appropriate passion, and what made U2 great was Edge on the guitar.
Then Achtung Baby came out and they left my rotation forever. If the edge is what made you great, the foundation of your "sound" why would you depart. Now I understand wanting to grow musically, but growth is not the same as TechnoSucking....which they did and because of it, still do.
R.E.M. is great, in fact GREEN was the first album I actually purchased and didn't just dub, but they are no Red Hot Chili Peppers.
You are pressed to find a better rock musician than Flea PERIOD. (do you need to type a period if you just spelled it out?) Despite Anthony's lapse in judgment (SInead O'Connor and David Navarro) they have been awesome since 1985.
If you want to piss me off you can talk about bands like Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, an even a band I love, Rage Against the Machine, started the Rock/Rap genrea of music.
Freakin' Peppers have been doing that forever! Go listen to Uplift Mofo Party Plan. Funky grooves, bouncy vocals, and with a sing songy yet still screaching guitar over the top of it.
They have enjoyed a long lasting string of success like none other. Anthony may have cut his hair and now wears more than a sock on stage, but Bono is loosing his hair and can't seem to find the time to both save Africa and make good music.

UtahFun said...

Not sure that you can say that about a band who's front man has the guinness worlds records for continually wearing sun glasses. Even the great Corey Hart has nothing on him. Lastly I'm not sure you can say of "my generation" if you were still in elementary when the band was really rocking. I agree with Brohammas, but I'll take it back to October ~ a gritty album, less known but equally as loved to the true generational fans who owned that cassette or vinyl in the 9th grade.

UtahFun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maya Simmons said...

I knew it! I knew I wasn't the only person out there to think that U2 stinks. Along with my first CD player came two cd's, U2-The Joshua Tree, and Jesus Jones-Doubt. I can't tell you how much I tried to like U2. I might have even told people I liked them just to be cool. Hey, everyone else was doing it! I've got to come clean though, Jesus Jones got way more play on that CD player than any U2 filth. I'll tell you what I find facinating, the only good song put out by U2 is Van Diemen's Land from Rattle and Hum. I think I like it because it really doesn't sound like U2. I'm thinking that it's not actually Bono singing. (I'd love to hear if someone knows that for sure.) All I know is that I never have been able to understand the infatuation out there for U2. Geez, I'd take Billy Joel over U2 for heaven sakes. I'd take The Music Man over U2 any day. Then again, I was born to be Herald Hill. So Kirk, I always knew you were wise. I've witnessed many times that your wisdom proved to be well beyond it's years. When traffic was berring down on us you had the uncanny lighting fast wisdom to advise me to: "Quick, pick it up, we'll give it to Krissy!"

Jen said...

Sorry to turn your comments on U2 into something different, but what the H is going on with Mike's picture? It would only be better if he had a Russian furry hat on.

Corbie said...

Dave S.:
It is The Edge singing Van Diemen's Land - he wrote it and also sings lead vocals. And yes, it is the second best U2 song (after Love Rescue Me) - both get less attention than they deserve (in my opinion).

Herms said...

You warned me that this would be your post and I still can't believe you are going there. Yes the U2 circus is irritating, and I agree with brohammas that there is a difference between "wanting to grow musically, but growth is not the same as TechnoSucking" They became popular and then tried to create music that would keep them popular, and it didn't work. I don't even recognize U2 in anything after Joshua Tree. BUT they were brilliant, they changed "alternative" music.

Ok ok ok...I am settling down, just because someone decides that Billy Ocean is musically superior doesn't mean i should go nutty.

Alright then...I am also going to open up my mind and run a similar test. There were two albums released in 1984...
U2 - The Unforgettable Fire
Billy Ocean - Suddenly

I am going to listen to both of them and see what I am missing...maybe get some new insights into powerful lyrics like
"She dashed by me in painted on jeans
And all heads turned 'cause she was the dream
In the blink of an eye I knew her number and her name yeah
Ah she said I was the tiger she wanted to tame"

This could be an interesting test...I will post my results.

kg said...

Wow. All I can say is who knew what kind of sh*tstorm I was conjuring up. Threats, angry phone calls. This is why I blog. I'm just trying to create some meaningful debate.

Corbie - Since you listed Neil Diamond as cool I will give the listed U2 songs a listen. I realize our friendship depends on it.

Brohammas - Red Hot Chilli Peppers are alright but they are no Kiiiiiiiiid Rock! Just kidding. However, speaking of bands that try to change to become popular, hasn't RHCP just written the same song 30 times since Californication?

Utah Fan - I promise to listen to October if you promise to never wear that outfit again.

David S - nothing to add. You are a genius and I love your body.

Aaron - I'm eagerly awaiting the results of your Billy Ocean listening party. I still own the CD if you need to borrow it. I'm pretty sure you had a good time this afternoon picturing the "Carribbean Queen" in her painted on jeans. I bet you still have a smile on your face.

My work here is done.