Sunday, July 27, 2008

This Means War

As I mentioned in my previous post, U2 is going to be getting a few more of my bucks over the next couple of months and it started last week when I picked up the deluxe remastered edition of their third album, War. I am getting all three but I had to order the other two because they weren't in – which actually might be a good thing – it will spread them out for me.

First of all, the packaging is very nice. I liked the big box deluxe version of Joshua Tree very much and this, while it is a smaller (and cheaper) version it complements that one well – there is a booklet inside a slipcase which holds the two CDs as well as a number of pages of pictures, essays and information. Edge has notes on many of the tracks from the bonus CD and there are lyrics along with any notes about single releases. The sound on the remastered version of the original is fine – although there was nothing revelatory.

The bonus CD, though, is much better that I anticipated. Of the three bonus CDs this is the one I was least excited about because a look at the setlist indicates that four versions of "New Year's Day" and three of "Two Hearts Beat As One." I wasn't real excited about that. But it turns out that I really like them – the dance mixes are actually quite different and have a cool vibe to them. The other tracks are OK. One was already on the b-sides from 1980-1990 and the others are interesting but far from essential.

But the real find is the two live tracks that close out the CD, "I Threw A Brick Through a Window/A Day Without Me" and "Fire." These show a youthful U2 in full force back when they opened shows for others and had to proves themselves to the crowd in 30 minutes – and they do a fabulous job.

If you're a U2 fan then this is a must – a great version of a great album. I'm looking forward to the other two CDs more than ever now – I hope they arrive soon!

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