U218 Singles

U218 Singles

4.5 13
by U2
     
 

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While U2 have already looked back once or twice in order to assemble best-of collections, this set marks the first time that the Irish rockers have done so with a wide lens -- culling material from their entire career rather than distinctly divided eras. Rather than simply arranging the tracks in chronological order, the band chose to mimic the flow of one of their… See more details below

Overview

While U2 have already looked back once or twice in order to assemble best-of collections, this set marks the first time that the Irish rockers have done so with a wide lens -- culling material from their entire career rather than distinctly divided eras. Rather than simply arranging the tracks in chronological order, the band chose to mimic the flow of one of their live shows, opening with the one-two emotional punch of "Beautiful Day" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and segueing into the thoughtful strains of "Pride (In the Name of Love)." The breadth of the band's playing is showcased beautifully here, with the focus falling alternately on the melodic inventiveness of the Edge (the driving force on songs like "New Year's Day") and the often overlooked potency of the lockstep rhythm section of Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton, who fuel "Desire" and "Vertigo" in high-octane fashion. To bring fans completely up to date, 18 Singles includes a pair of new songs: the elegiac "Window in the Skies" and "The Saints Are Coming," the '70s punk classic that U2 and Green Day retooled earlier this year for the benefit of charities on the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast. It brings full circle this distillation of what continues to be an inspired, and inspiring, career.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
U2's first two greatest-hits albums neatly divided themselves by decade, with the first covering the '80s and the second summing up the '90s. Their third hits comp, 2006's U218 Singles, is at once more ambitious and more concise, offering an overview of their first 26 years on a single disc comprised of 18 tracks -- and since two of those are new songs, that leaves just 16 songs to tell their whole story. That's not much space for a band with a career as lengthy and ambitious as U2, so it's inevitable that some painful cuts have been made. Nothing from October, Zooropa or Pop is here, and unless you're buying various import editions that have "I Will Follow" as a bonus track, there's nothing from Boy, either. There's only one cut each from The Unforgettable Fire and Rattle and Hum -- and bucking conventional wisdom, none of their three widely accepted masterpieces -- War, The Joshua Tree, or Achtung Baby -- provide the most songs here. No, out of all their albums the one that dominates U218 Singles is All That You Can't Leave Behind, their 2000 comeback from the depths of the misguided Pop, and one of two records that they've released since their last hits compilation, The Best of 1990-2000. The other record they've released since then is How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, which provides two songs here -- or, as many as there are from War and Achtung Baby. What this means is that this compilation skews very heavily toward latter-day U2 -- eight out of 18 tracks, a full 44 percent of the collection, are from 2000 on, which means that U218 Singles presents the classicist version of the band, featuring the anthems from U2 at their peak, plus the highlights from when U2 were trying their best to sound like U2 at their peak. They did it quite well, of course, from both a commercial and artistic standpoint, sometimes writing songs that stood proudly alongside "Pride (In the Name of Love)" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (as in "Beautiful Day") and sometimes not ("Elevation"). When it's all mixed together, it paints a portrait of a band that's a little slicker and streamlined than it often was, and it's hard not to miss the big-hearted yet moody band that made "Bad," "Gloria," and "A Sort of Homecoming," not to mention the middle-aged Euro experimentalists responsible for "Numb" and "Stay! (Faraway, So Close)," two essential components of the band that has been forced aside by the arena rock pros on display here. Then again, U2 always were the best arena rockers of their generation, and for those who love the spectacle and sound of the band in full flight, U218 Singles serves up that side of the band quite well, along with two new entries that find the band continuing the assured, even-handed sound of Atomic Bomb: a cover of the Skids' "The Saints Are Coming," recorded with Green Day and rewritten to vaguely address the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and "Window in the Skies," an anthemic pop number that relies too heavily on synth strings yet is saved by the band's sturdy songwriting and reliable performance. As such, it might not cover all the bases, but it covers enough of the major ones to be a good summary for fellow travelers who just know U2 from the radio, and it's also a good one-stop introduction to the basics for neophytes.
Rolling Stone - Andy Greene
If you thought that U2's last two greatest-hits discs had just a few too many minor songs on them, U218 Singles is the collection for you.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/21/2006
Label:
Interscope Records
UPC:
0602517135420
catalogNumber:
000802702
Rank:
7849

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

U2   Primary Artist
Edge   Guitar
Adam Clayton   Bass Guitar
Larry Mullen   Percussion,Drums
Terry Lawless   Wurlitzer

Technical Credits

Edge   Composer
Arnie Acosta   Mastering
Stuart Adamson   Composer
Paul Barrett   Engineer
Bono   Composer
Adam Clayton   Composer
Brian Eno   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Flood   Engineer
Nellee Hooper   Producer
Jimmy Iovine   Producer,Audio Production
Richard Jobson   Composer
Kevin Killen   Engineer
Daniel Lanois   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Steve Lillywhite   Producer,Audio Production
Patrick McCarthy   Engineer
Dave Meegan   Engineer
Larry Mullen   Composer
Tim Palmer   Engineer
Rick Rubin   Producer
Paul Thomas   Engineer
Carl Glanville   Engineer
Robbie Adams   Engineer
Greg Fidelman   Engineer
David Corio   Cover Photo
Stephen Harris   Engineer
Paul McGuinness   Management
Joe O'Herlihy   Engineer
Richard Rainey   Engineer
Sam O'Sullivan   Studio Manager,Drum Technician
Dallas Schoo   Guitar Techician
Scott Sedillo   Digital Editing
Dawn Kenny   String Arrangements
Craig Thomas   Producer

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