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How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb CD

3.3 out of 5 stars 1,574 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, November 23, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

U2 formed in their native Dublin in 1978 and remains intact with its four original band members: Bono, Larry Mullen, Adam Clayton and The Edge. The band has sold more than 120 million records worldwide in an extraordinary career that has firmly established them as one of the world's greatest rock 'n' roll bands. Along the way, U2 has earned a phenomenal 14 Grammy Awards, seven of which were for their last studio album, 2000's 'All That You Can't Leave Behind,' including two consecutive awards for 'Record of the Year.' As popular for their legendary live shows as for their groundbreaking albums, U2 innovates and inspires while packing football stadiums and sweaty clubs around the world. What is next for the group that continues to reinvent themselves and push the boundaries of music?

The album that carries U2 into its 25th year--and likely the mixed blessings of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame--is one of its most frank and focused since the days of October and War. But its gestation was anything but simple, in part salvaged from '03 sessions the band deemed subpar. Enter Steve Lillywhite, the band's original producer and sometime collaborator in the decades since, who helped retool the track "Native Son" (originally an antigun screed) into the aggressive iPod anthem "Vertigo" and leaves his distinctive stamp on the muscular "All Because of You." Perhaps weary of ceaseless, fashion-driven reinvention in the wake of monumental success, U2 seem only too happy here to re-embrace their original sonic trademarks in service of more daring, pop-melodic hooks than they've collected in one place in decades. The Eno/Lanois produced "Love and Peace or Else" may shimmer with the duo's electro-production conceits, but it's Edge's lugubrious, postmodern John Lee Hooker guitar swagger that drives it. Elsewhere, Bono's trademark dramaturgy is spotlighted on "City of Blinding Lights," the unabashed romance of "A Man and a Woman," and the confessional "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own." It may come wrapped in a conundrum--is it nostalgic retrenchment or a sum of the band's endless musical catharsis?--It's also the album where, Fly and MacPhisto be damned, U2 boldly claims its arena titan mantle with apologies to no one. --Jerry McCulley

Recommended U2 Discography


The Joshua Tree

Achtung Baby

All That You Can't Leave Behind

The Best of 1990-2000

The Best of 1980-1990

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 23, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Interscope
  • ASIN: B0006399FS
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,574 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,897 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I dig U2 and I like collector's editions (I have lots of cars). These "special" editions always cost more and most folks want to know is it worth it. Well, in this case (as in most) it depends.

This limited collector's edition contains three items--the cd "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (Hoppy looooves bombs), a studiomentary DVD, and a book. Obviously the price is higher than just the single cd or that other limited edition thing that includes the cd and dvd only (these potato farmers are marketing geniuses).

And that's for several reasons: The cd contains a bonus track not included on either the regular edition or the cd/dvd combo. It's not listed in the amazon listing above this review (who knows why?) and is a pretty upbeat, punkish number titled "Fast Cars". It's pretty good, but a little out of place in spite of the clever lyrics. The cd itself is probably worth 4.7 stars and the Edge really rocks. It's a very spirtual cd with some cool words and a lot of nifty base (especially on "Love and Peace or Else"). So overall the cd is very good--on par with the last release (the one with the song I quote to my fat lazy spouse Bessie just about every other day--"Walk On") and very reminiscent of the band's earlier style ('October' early). Again, the guitar is prominent and there's some modern techno keyboardy strange sound stuff on here too. Very good overall, but the point is there is a bonus track on this set (I believe it's on the Japanese version as well). As for the DVD...

The accompanying DVD is about 20 minutes long and in spite of what you'll read elsewere, doesn't really contain any complete videos or performances although the primary focus is on "Vertigo" and the moving "Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own".
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By Adam Block on December 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The album is excellent, I give the album itself 5 stars as it really is a wonderful work for the band reflecting their ability to stay ahead of trends.

The reason why I give this collectors edition only 3 stars is that I feel the packaging is dissapointing. The CD is housed in a little cardboard pocket, that will make it very easy to get scratched or damaged over time. The book, while a nice little collectors piece, really seems to be a one time read, devoid of interesting reading or stories. The Addition of Fast Cars, again seems to be an ode to collectors in the US, as I don't believe the song adds value to the CD as it feels out of place.

Finally, my biggest pet peeve comes with the fact that the two cheaper versions include full lyrics in the insert, while this edition, despite a hardcover book includes no lyrics.

The CD is excellent, the DVD is interesting and worthwile, the Collector's Edition packaging and content leaves much to be desired. I would have preferred saving money and getting the Deluxe Edition CD/DVD combo. I recommend that others do the same.
Comment 36 of 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
U2, known primarily for grandiose convictions, an intense desire to be the biggest band in the world, and a huge, guitar-driven sound with soaring vocals, have become rather conservative in their evolution. Retreating from their 1980s work, U2 primarily focused on broadening their artistic pallette, bringing in electronica, techno, and other weird fusions. This created a problem with U2's fan base as the decade drew to a close, because the farther U2 strayed into the eclectic musical territory they were pursuing, the more difficult it was for the fans to follow their evolution. When U2 experimented successfully, they made some of the most successful music of their career (ACHTUNG BABY). Yet they grounded their experimentation with a sense of purpose, and they always kept their ambition within the elasticity of the fans' and critics' admiration. At least, they tempered their music with a good dose of rock in the early 90s. ACHTUNG BABY, one of their most experimental, evolutionary records, has been universally hailed by both fans and critics alike as some of their most significant music. ACHTUNG BABY set the course for much of the decade, with U2 going more and more into post-modernism.

Then the 1997 nadir POP happened. Not that POP was necessarily a BAD album. Instead of sounding a natural progression of the band's ambition, the experimentation never really gelled, much like R.E.M.'s UP. POP comes across as torn between two different directions - the anthem-driven, spiritually aware U2 lamenting a loss world, and a strange, dance-driven beat that is supposed to celebrate living with almost primitive desire, instead of commenting on the moral and social decline of earth.
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Format: Audio CD
I only heard a short clip of Vertigo prior to buying this. When I came here to make the buy, thought I would see what some of the other citizens thought of it. As I read the reviews, a few idle thoughts came to mind, not listed in any order of importance:

Several people expressed dismay that the sound of U2 has changed. There was disappointment that the Edge may not still have that "edge" that separated him from so many other second fiddles that stood directly behind many group's headliners. There was an abundance of lamenting concerning Bono not possessing that "Bono Vox" he has given the world for the almost thirty plus years.

After reading the reviews and listening to this, I found that it is a work that is exactly where it should be. It sounds like U2 should sound today. It is reflective of an incredible musical career that is beginning to span two generations. And it is the sound and contains the energy and drive that makes U2 what it was....what it is today, and what it will be remembered as.

I did not buy this hoping it would sound like "The Unforgettable Fire". I already own "The Unforgettable Fire" and am very content and satisfied with the way it sounds. I bought this with a reasonable expectation that I would hear a musical group in the autumn of their career still putting out some of the best, most original and undoubtedly most creative musical work on the planet. And I was not disappointed....I don't think you will be either.
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Topic From this Discussion
"U2 Fans"?
I agree that progress is very subjective in regards to U2. I don't find the past two albums to be subpar at all and I found significant "progress" being made. Just because U2 acknowledges and embraces its past doesn't mean they've taken a step backward.

I love the U2 of the 90s. ... Read More
Sep 12, 2007 by Jeffrey Rickel |  See all 5 posts
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