Tuesday, September 23, 2014
If It's Tuesday, I Must Get Some Things Off My Chest
If you haven't already read the piece in Salon titled "How U2 became the most hated band in America," it's HERE. It's worth the effort and I don't have much to add, though I wanted to go on record by saying that I always liked U2, not loved U2, especially the later records from "Achtung Baby" on, that seem to be reviled by so many.
I remember seeing a commercial for Ford trucks and hearing a new John Mellencamp tune as its soundtrack and thinking how Mellencamp was such a hypocrite, until I read an interview a few weeks later where he said, "Where else can my music be heard? No one plays me on the radio anymore. There is no radio." I actually felt bad for John Mellencamp.
The U2/Apple stunt is a far cry from recording a demo for a guy in a suit and having him finagle some airplay on some 500 watt local radio station. But I don't care. There are worse people out there than Bono and the music he makes with his band is far better than alot of the unlistenable crap that gets more respect.
Since 1991, the Rolling Stones have released 6 live albums (5 of them rotten) and 3 mediocre studio albums. Since 1991, U2 has released 7 studio albums, 3 of which became some of the biggest records of their career. Apples and oranges? Maybe. But the way the Stones have conducted themselves, with their extravagant tours and odious ticket prices (and boring set lists) and the aforementioned inferior output, is certainly fodder for some serious ridicule which miraculously, never comes. Yet when it comes to these two bands, the disparity in respect is laughable.
There's no need to remind me of the history or the difference between the greatness of "Sticky Fingers" versus the greatness of "Achtung Baby." I'm already there. I know of the Rolling Stones contribution to music. I am a Stones fan. This is not about who is a better band. I am just always intrigued by what it takes to make music lovers with deep and varied tastes in styles and genres, stick with something that they know no longer delivers and not bother at all with something that just might be worth their time. Or worse, just hate someone enough, that there is no need to hear the music at all.
"Songs Of Innocence" is worth the time. It is not better than "Sticky Fingers." It's not even better than "Tattoo You." But it is a whole lot better than anything the Rolling Stones have delivered in the last 23 years...except for "Stripped." I love "Stripped."