Friday, February 4, 2011

U2 14: Best Of 1990-2000

Following their ongoing success in the new century, The Best Of 1990-2000 did its best to bring the U2 story up to date. This time, the hits were a little less obvious, with only four real albums from which to choose. No matter the context, each of the hits from Achtung Baby still soar, alongside such other favorites as “Stay”, “Beautiful Day” and “Stuck In A Moment”.
As part of their continual desire to remix everything in multiples, three tracks from Pop appear in new albeit decent mixes. Even “Numb” was updated for some reason, in a mix that brings Larry’s backing vocals up front. The album also collected such strays as “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” from a Batman movie, “The Hands That Built America” from a recent Scorsese film, and an edit of the majestic “Miss Sarajevo” from the Passengers project. And of course, there was the token “new song”, the underwhelming “Electrical Storm”, which appeared in two mixes. We’re not sure what “The First Time” from Zooropa is doing on here; it wasn’t a single, but it’s a nice enough song. Maybe they just wanted it to mirror the similar sounding “All I Want Is You”, which closed the first volume.
As with its predecessor, a limited edition bonus disc of B-sides was included (along with a 4-track DVD promoting the companion video compilation) with initial pressings. Here the pool of possibilities was even stranger to navigate, with all the different mixes that had filled up so many CD singles since Achtung Baby. While such unique songs as “Lady With The Spinning Head”, “Salome” and “North And South Of The River” were welcome, whether we needed extended, occasionally unrecognizable versions of “Lemon”, “Discotheque”, “Mysterious Ways” and other dancefloor clearers was up to personal taste. (And the techno-rap version of “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”? From whom were they stealing that back?) Meanwhile, the Passengers track and eventual B-side “Your Blue Room” was included, but “Slow Dancing” and such one-offs as “Night And Day” and Bono’s crazy duet with Frank Sinatra on “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” were left aside. Perhaps they’ll appear on any number of Deluxe Editions someday.

U2 The Best Of 1990-2000 (2002)—4

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