I have talked a lot about Achtung Baby this year, as befits one of the greatest albums of all day, an album that resonates to this day through the U2 universe. The album produced so many hits, so many bits, and so many different looks at the band from that time. One of those looks was the video collection that they released for the album, which showcased a lot of the period, a lot of what was happening around the band, and a few other bits and pieces, along with a whole lot of interference.
The thing of it is that not only have I spilled a lot of words about Achtung, but so have so many others. Even though The Joshua Tree is the better album, I would guess that Achtung has had more written about it. I think this is a function of the times, the wider availability of the music, of the ability to write and be published, of the whole ecosystem around the album. I think there were many more releases for Achtung Baby, official releases that is, than there were for Joshua, which means more opportunity to talk about it. This might have been the period when the U2 marketing was at its peak, and perhaps before there was the public backlash which caused them to back down a little (even if it didn’t seem like it). So yeah, more things to write about means more writing, and it seems that I have followed suit this year. I don’t think it has been a detraction within this project, like I said there have been plenty of things to write about, each of them worth it.
This video is enjoyable, one of those ones that I can put on when I want to just relax and see some old U2. The problem I have is that I have it in VHS, believe it or not, in fact I’m not sure it’s even available on DVD. If it is I should probably get it sometimes (hmmm, wonder if there’s something coming up that I might have a reason to ask for it?), since my VHS recorder is getting pretty long in the tooth, and becoming kind of difficult to use any more (bottom of the rack, requiring some switching of wires, so it’s not just a pop it in and run thing).
I have said several times this year that I like when we get to see behind the scenes, I have talked about that especially with the books about the band. The videos here show a similar thing, they are not just a collection of videos, but all the interference parts in between actually show little clips from here and there within the recording and the tour, just a slice of life of the band if you will. There are of course parts when it gets a little too much, it wouldn’t be Achtung Baby if it wasn’t at least somewhat over the top, but they are few and far between and usually can be laughed off pretty easily. I remember saying once earlier in the year that I cringe at the thought of Bono dressed as MacPhisto, and I do, but that flush of embarrassment can be covered up just by singing along when the next video starts (which leads to an entirely different flush of embarrassment).
My rating for Achtung Baby Video Collection: 8 / 10