Tue, 1 Sep 1998 22:49:49 EDT
It is in response to what I've heard about U2's alleged "Greatest
Hits" collection. And I have some other things to throw in as
I must say that I am vehemently opposed to any "Greatest Hits"
released by our boys. And let me also explain why. I hope only
that some of you will see where I'm coming from.
What is it about U2 we've all, as the "devoutest" of devout
fans, come to love? I would bet we could all agree that over the
past 20 years it's been their passion, their creativity, their
sincerity (though often through satirical methodology), their wit,
their intelligence, their worldliness, their heart, their honesty,
their parody, their energy, their courage, their hope, their
dedication, their loyalty, their intensity, and their longevity.
There's a decent list of adjectives to get us started. But from
where do those adjectives originate? Are they specific only to
U2's music? No. In fact, the majority of those adjectives describe
not the music itself, but the four blokes behind it.
So with that having been said, I ask you: What has brought us to
our current devotions?
Since I've started all this, please allow me to answer. It's the
members of U2 THEMSELVES. Their music is phenomonal, of course,
but the music that U2 creates is their method of reaching out to
the world and grabbing hold of those that swoon for the same
passions that they do. It's the touching of millions of human
souls through their expertly wielded art form: music.
How do we know that this is true? Because the qualities of which
I speak are present on every one of their albums. IN EVERY ONE OF
THEIR SONGS. U2 is not a band like other bands. They are not
fly-by-night pop musicians pushing the latest, trendiest sound to
make a quick buck and be forgotten the next day, no matter how much
they wanted anyone to believe it on their last tour.
For as scarce as TRUE art is in our world today, U2 creates it in
every endeavor they undertake. They understand the nature and the
power of art and the importance of dedication to beliefs. They are
crusaders in a world that's quickly losing its soul, a world that
has forgotten how much beauty can be taken from every moment of
every day. A world that bores too quickly and is agitated too
We must fight to keep our bastions of optimism pure, that they're
intact when we need them. U2 is a bastion of optimism, an island
of quality in a sea of degraded values and consumer drivel.
Okay, now let's bring all this back into perspective. Why am I
opposed to a "Greatest Hits" album? Why do I spit in the face of
every poor bastard who cried "sell-out" with the release of
Zooropa because all their friends did, but prayed for a two-disc
set with which they could listen to "Party Girl" right after
"One Tree Hill" without getting off their lazy asses to change
Scroll back up a little ways and check out those adjectives I
threw out a while back. Where does any one of them fit into the
commercial scheming behind a "Greatest Hits" compilation? That's
A "Greatest Hits" compilation is a tired method of marketing
second rate music by an aforementioned fly-by-night pop musician
with the assistance of one or two substanceless, trendy hits,
without which the character in question would never have made his
$1.285 in the first place. They're a con. They're chutney for the
lazy and confused. People who're so visionless and unable to
search out quality for themselves that they rely on MTV and
"population-segment-targeting-marketing-analysts" to do their
dirty work for them!
Now I ask you again, in light of this diatribe, does U2 need to
succumb to this sort of evil?
In case you're too flustered to try, I'll answer that one too.
No. They don't. They'll be even more renowned rock legends for
having not sent up such a pandering to the masses. They'll have
stayed true to the ideals that have placed them in one of the
greatest echelons of not just music, but artistic history.
Let's look forward to seeing what else they have to offer from
their creative spirits. Let us only dwell on what they have
already accomplished as a comparitive means of determining their
growing talent and genius!
As a final thought, I also spit on those that say any one of the
following: 1. U2 has "sold-out" 2. U2 is "past their prime" and
3. "Every other band has released a greatest hits collection,
so U2 should too." Number one is just bullshit. I'm not even
going to dignify that with a response. Number two is equal to one
in ambient bullshit content, but let me just ask this: How can
an increase in talent, experience, worldliness, intelligence, and
number of souls touched by the amazing music they've created add
up to a DECLINE in ability? And finally, just because someone out
there owns Duran Duran's "Decade" disc and still creamed in their
jeans over "Electric Barbarella" doesn't mean that U2 should erode
their established respect by stooping to such levels.
Well, that's all I have to say. C'mon people, get some balls on
this newsgroup and stand up for what you believe in. Quit
apologizing to everyone for your viewpoints. It's that kind of
mushy-middle fanbase that U2 doesn't need.
I look forward to scalding, caustic replies, and slashed tires in
the morning. But I also know that there are many out there that
see this the way I do.
I love U2 and I want to see them CREATING until the day they
pack it in. And I never want their efforts summed up by a
marketing strategy. How long must I sing this song?
Just Another Mofo,
Brian Patrick Lydon
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b2 on Tue Sep 01 1998 - 19:52:25 PDT