U2 planned to record a new EP before launching the European leg of their ambitious Zoo TV tour in 1993, but the EP quickly turned into the full-length album Zooropa. Picking up where Achtung Baby left off, Zooropa delves heavily into U2's newfound affection for experimental music and dance clubs. While the title track marries those inclinations to the anthems of The Joshua Tree, most of the record is far more daring than its predecessor. While that occasionally means it's unfocused and meandering, it also results in a number of wonderful moments, like the quiet menace of "Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car," and the space-age German disco of "Lemon," the Edge's droning mantra "Numb," and the gentle, heartbroken "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)," one of U2's very best love songs. As the album winds to a close, it drifts off track, yet the best moments of Zooropa rank among U2's most inspired and rewarding music.
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Performance CreditsU2 Primary Artist
Johnny Cash Vocals
Edge Synthesizer,Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals
Bono Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Adam Clayton Bass,Bass Guitar
Brian Eno Synthesizer,Piano,Strings,Harmonium,Background Vocals
Larry Mullen Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals
Larry Mullins Background Vocals
Technical CreditsEdge Composer,Producer
Rob Adams Engineer
Adam Clayton Composer
Brian Eno Sound Effects,Producer,String Arrangements
Daniel Lanois Engineer,Contributor
Larry Mullen Composer
Robbie Adams Engineer
Steve Averill Art Direction
Shaughn McGrath Illustrations
Joe O'Herlihy Engineer
Charlie Whisker Illustrations
Julian Douglas Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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You have to respect U2 for not trying the same old thing. However, I have never been able to warm up to this album. The vocals seem to get lost in all the techno sounds and the songs seem to lack a strong viewpoint or uniting theme. The best number here is closing The Wanderer. Guest Johnny Cash rises above all the trappings and shows Bono and the gang how it should be done. This would be the start of The Man in Black's comeback, although nobody noticed at the time.
I'm 40 years old and I've been a huge U2 fan since the early 80's. I've seen them in concert several times in the 80's, 90's, and this decade. I own all of their albums, except (until recently) Pop and Zooropa. Because of the critics and bad press I stayed away from these 2 albums until this year. Since I purchased Zooropa and Pop (about a month ago) I've listened to each one in it's entirety at least a dozen times. They are both excellent albums. My favorite songs on Zooropa are Babyface, Stay, Some Days Are Better, First Time, and Dirty Day, although they are all very good. U2 rocks and I can't wait to see them this May in Chicago. I have tickets for the Vertigo tour here in Chicago.
Fans and critics alike have called Achtung Baby dark and spacy. Well, if Achtung Baby got sucked into a black hole, what you would find at the other is U2's experimental odyssey that is Zooropa. When I heard the eerie intro to the first track (the title track), I was floored. It's almost like you got zapped into the broadcast airwaves of the band's megalomaniac conception, Zoo TV. Also, if Achtung Baby was (partially) voiced by Bono's alter-ego, The Fly, then Zooropa is voiced by the narcissistic evil himself: Mr. Macphisto. Macphisto was Bono's way of showing what rock stardom (and selling your soul to the devil, which is what rock stardom really is), can do The Fly. When I listen to tracks like "Lemon" and "Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car", I can see Macphisto in his gold suit, white face, slick black hair, and those little red devil horns. The music is amazing. Each song has it's own personality. The proclamation of "Zooropa", the simplicity of "Numb" (voiced by The Edge), the sublime German-techo of "Lemon", the tense pounding groove of "Daddy Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car", the heart-warming storytelling of "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)", the honesty of "The First Time", and the chilling baritone voice of The Man in Black himself, Jonny Cash, in "The Wanderer". If you want to see the world through a different pair of Bug-eyed sunglasses, then I strongly suggest Zooropa
Largely regarded as U2's most experimental album, Zooropa is a mix of synthesizers, rock, and massive bass. The album was criticized for "not being U2", and some long time fans turned their backs. However, the album proved to be a glimpse into the future of music. Zooropa is definitely ahead of its time. ***POSITIVES - Ingenius! Johnny Cash guest stars on "The Wanderer" ***NEGATIVES - May be too experimental for fans of early U2. ***STAND-OUT TRACKS - "Zooropa", "Numb", "Lemon", "Stay (Faraway, So Close)"