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Pauly D

Good Take 2.

I think you're right -- I think it's not the Internet but the Marketing of a band that has changed and ruined it all. Such is the case now that there are fewer and fewer "songwriters" and "musicians" but instead bands are formed on looks and body-types and marketing.

It really makes me long for the earlier times.


Me too, Pauly. Seeing as I am a scant 25 years old, I really have only had one period of my life in which Mainstream music was good, and that was the early 90's grunge phase (most of which I missed in my 5 year Christian Music Only phase), but I have often wished I had come of age in a time where we had moon landings and real, honest to God rock 'n roll.


I think that U2's following outside of America has a lot to contribute to what the RS reporter was referring to when he said they are "the biggest and best rock band in the world." Their songs and messages are universal, and touch on both sides of the political spectrum. Blablabla. But I also believe that as a band, U2 has always had the ability to come up with smart marketing plans that are as unique as they are. The week before the album came out, they played ontop of a float that drove all the way through the streets of Manhattan & down into Brooklyn. Nobody knew about this. Nothing was advertised on-line. It was spontaneous and unconventional, and the next day everyone was talking about it! And they're using footage from that day in one of the music videos. Pretty smart. Also, with the release of the latest disc, they also came out with a lavish 4-color coffee table book (that Penguin published) of pictures from all their past concerts. This is nothing new. Everyone tries to release as much product out at the same time to amp sales and create buzz. But this book is like $50. Not all bands can get publishers to allow them the freedom to put out lavish books such as this one, unless they know for sure people will buy it. In my opion, they're not the biggest & best band of all time. But in this day and age, at least it is being said about a band that has been around long enough & still can put out a great album that strives to make a difference. That's my two-cents. :)



I agree with everything you said, but I think it kinda reinforces my point. The mainstream musical landscape is so sparse that Rolling Stone is forced to call "Atomic Bomb" the best album of the year when all it is an aging band attempting to recapture past glory by returning to their old formulas. Case in point, didn't U2 do an impromptu video shoot for "The Sweetest Thing" while driving down the street in a car during the "Achtung Baby" days? I'm pretty sure I remember learning that on Pop-Up Video. There is no doubt they are excellent marketers, but what they are doing is nothing new, especially for them.

To be clear, I like U2. I think they have been an important band, but I don't believe they are anymore.


okay... i had a while to think about everything you wrote, Dil. i wasn't aware of the video they did during their "achtung baby" days. but i completely understand what you mean about the marketing of music being nothing new now. but to be honest though, i never really grasped onto U2 until atomic bomb. I mean, i know all the songs they are known for because of the radio and all, but I never sat down and listened to an entire album until atomic. Which brings up another point. I'm completely biased. My dad's company did a lot of missionary work in south africa with the aid's crisis & bono jumped on board to help him out. My dad had spectacular musical taste growing up (i mean, he's the reason i love music -- all his records from the 60s and 70s are what i listended to in the 90s.) I guess when I realized how into U2 he was, as a result of bono's work with the aid's crisis, it touched me. When I hear the album, I think of him. He's what... 30 years older than me? That's pretty big, for a band to be able to affect both father & daughter. It's a personal thing, and I'm completely biased about my love for the album & my belief that it is one of their very best.


Thanks for the comments, Jules.

First of all, I hope I'm clear that I think U2 is an important, and excellent band, and their longevity speaks to this. The fact that your father and you can share such a bond over them is testimony to this. And no one can equal Bono on his single-mindedness in world care causes. Read Clinton's book and "The Price of Loyalty" by Ron Suskind (really ghost-writing for Paul O'Neill) and you'll see two very powerful, public figures who were inspired and changed because of the passion that Bono showed.

And, I think that "Atomic Bomb" is a decent album. It is just a lot of the same, to me. U2 seems to be one of those bands that has been able to convince critics that they have "returned to their former glory" when, in fact, their former glory was not that far behind them.

But they haven't been innovative recently, and I think it speaks to the state of music today that the truly innovative artists are the ones who are marginalized or diminutive.



THANK YOU! This was an amazing post. You said many things that I have felt myself over the past several years. People are getting caught up in the marketing blitz of Britneyism, and all the meaningful music is lucky to even make it onto the playlists at the local college stations. What this generation needs is another Who, or Beatles, or Nirvana, or Pearl Jam. Sadly we don't have it, even though those out there marketing the new crap that's coming out would have you think differently. I can't even count the times that I have turned on Letterman or Leno and heard the newest, hottest band - sure to be a sensation, and then they are forgotten in two months when their overtly poppy single, not indicative of anything else on their album, has worn out it's welcome on the Top 40. This generation needs a new musical icon, and U2 is not it. They are good, yes, but they are being touted as something they are not. They will never be the next Beatles or Stones, never. It's sad that the industry is more interested in making a bunch of quick dollars on sellouts and flashes in the pan rather than nurturing and developing a killer act that could rock out for ten or twenty years, the way they used to.


Wow. I disagree on almost every point, which may be the first time I've done that with any of your stuff.

1.) You seem to be mixing up Pop and Rock. You can't compare Britney to Beatles. You compare Britney to The Monkees. Or, Davey Jones. See the difference?

2.) Since you are talking about POP, yes, indeed we've been obsessed with the personal lives of early pop icons--look at Sinatra, Elvis, Brenda Lee, etc.

3.) Album oriented music is still viable even for best selling albums. Don't believe me? Look at Outkast.


Alright, fair enough V.

1. I'm, of course, not mixing up Pop and Rock, because I'm not really talking about the music here so much as the position that the particular artists hold in our society. The Rock icons of the 60's and 70's are now replaced by the Pop icons of today: a bad replacement. As such, I can compare the notoriety of The Beatles to Britney. In fact, your point that I can't compare them makes the point I am trying to make: That we are getting jipped when non-substance makes the headlines more than substance. The Beatles had substance, Britney does not. We're making the same point.

2. Yes, cultures have always been obsessed with lower level stars, but does Brenda Lee really have any sort of impact today? No. Sinatra, Elvis do, but they had substance. Where are the substantive icons today? There simply aren't as many.

3. For every Outkast, I'll give you Wilco or Fiona Apple, who's album oriented music found their music shelved for a perceived lack of marketability. Wilco and Fiona managed to get their albums out there, eventually, but how many others are shelved and get no public support simply because no one ever knew about them?

I think there are still great artists that release their albums as an art form. It's just that you have to look a lot harder to find them these days.

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