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The Unforgettable Fire

U2Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)

Price: $6.50 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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U2 formed in 1978 after Larry Mullen pinned a 'musicians wanted' ad to the notice board at Dublin's Temple Mount School. Adam Clayton had discovered rock'n'roll as a thirteen year old, buying his first acoustic guitar and then talking his parents into buying him a bass guitar. 'It just sounded good to me. Deep and fat and satisfying.'

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Frequently Bought Together

The Unforgettable Fire + Joshua Tree + War
Price for all three: $24.50

Buy the selected items together
  • Joshua Tree $9.00
  • War $9.00

Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Island Records
  • ASIN: B000001FA4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,415 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

1 x CD Album
UK 1996

1A Sort Of Homecoming5:28
2Pride 3:48
4The Unforgettable Fire4:56
64th Of July2:13
8Indian Summer Sky4:17
9Elvis Presley And America6:23

The Unforgettable Fire finds U2 caught between the taut angry rock of War and the kinetic, spiritual energy of The Joshua Tree. That's not a bad place to be, but like any crossroads it has its moments of indecision. "Pride (In the Name of Love)," "Wire", and the heroic "Bad" rank with their finest work. "4th of July" and "Elvis Presley and America" do not; hence this album's unstable foothold in their canon. Its strengths make it a must for fans, but its weaknesses make War, Joshua Tree, or Achtung Baby a better place to start. --Michael Ruby

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
82 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally A Good Unforgettable Fire CD Release October 26, 2009
Format:Audio CD
I've never been very happy with U2's 1980s work on CD. The mastering was not done well for the format and it really took some life out of it. Now that has mostly been corrected (Rattle and Hum is the lone 80s album yet to be remastered).

This box set is fantastic, in the tradition of The Joshua Tree box set from 2007. You get a beautiful book with pictures and comments from Eno, Lanois, and others reminiscing. The lyrics are there as well, something excluded for the CD release. Also some nice black and white photographs on textured parchment that are frame worthy.

The first disc is the album, sounding better than ever. Adam's bass is more pronounced here and the dynamic range of the CD is finally put to good use, giving as a better feel for each song. Very well done. There's stuff in there that I had not heard before, only ever hearing the old CD version.

The second disc is full of extras. Only a few songs had not been released in the past. Most of it is remastered stuff that appeared as b-sides for the singles or on the Wide Awake In America EP, making that EP obsolete. Disappearing Act is a great song, featuring recently added vocals by Bono, much like Wave Of Sorrow on Joshua Tree. Yoshino Blossom is a good instrumental that had not been officially released. Then there are two remixes of Wire and an excellent Sort of Homecoming remix done by Daniel Lanois as he was working with Peter Gabriel on So. And because of that you can hear Gabriel on this quite excellent version of the song.

Everything else on this disc was released before but it sounds better than ever, just like the album itself. It also compiles all the releases that occurred surrounding The Unforgettable Fire into one set.

Now onto the DVD.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars U2's Quantum Leap October 27, 2009
Format:Audio CD
This is a review of the 2009 Deluxe Edition (2CDs) of U2's The Unforgettable Fire.

As a college DJ, I was one of the first Americans exposed to, and to play, the music of U2 when their debut album Boy was released in 1980. That album, together with their third album, War, cemented U2's status as a major rock band. But it was their next studio album, The Unforgettable Fire, that catapulted U2 to superstar status. The experimental nature of U2's first of many collaborations with producer Brian Eno and engineer Daniel Lanois and the strong songwriting on the album, together with a growing awareness that U2 was a unique, politically conscious band, gave U2 a special cache and took them to another level. The following year, U2 was one of the most highly anticipated acts at the 1985 Live Aid concert, and their follow-up studio album, The Joshua Tree, was probably the best album of the 1980s. The groundwork for that masterpiece, however, can be found on The Unforgettable Fire.

Unlike U2's prior, more straightforward, work, The Unforgettable Fire had an atmospheric feel to it, undoubtedly as a result of Brian Eno's involvement. I always felt, however, that the album sounded somewhat muddy, and the initial CD release of the album certainly was. This new re-mastering cleans up the sound without compromising the atmospheric feeling that pervades the album. The album has probably never sounded better than it does here. Larry Mullin's drums, Adam Clayton's bass, the Edge's guitar and Bono's voice just leap from the speakers. The albums closing song, MLK, is just phenomenal.

The second bonus disc is not too shabby either. It includes various B sides and outtakes, including all of the Wide Awake in America EP.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Heart and Soul of U2 October 31, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
THE UNFORGETTABLE FIRE was the album that forever changed my taste in music. I was not a U2 fan before this album was released; I didn't dislike their previous music but it never inspired me to buy one of their albums. But when my college roommate first played this album in 1984 it struck me like a lightning bolt, or a revelation. It was haunting, beautiful, soaring music, like nothing I had ever heard before. It instantly transformed me into a lifelong U2 fan.

After the WAR album, U2 felt that they had reached the creative limit of their post-punk sound, so they decided to explore new musical territory. This was the riskiest move they had made in their career to that point. The safe move would have been to release WAR Part II rather than to risk alienating their growing fan base with an experimental album. But they felt that they had more artistic potential than post-punk would allow, so they sought to expand their sonic palette. With the help of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, they were able to shed their prior musical influences and explore uncharted territory. They all achieved new levels of musicianship on this album. The Edge developed more complex, layered guitar work, Adam and Larry developed more sophisticated rhythms, and Bono's vocals soared to heights they had never reached before. To me, this album represents U2 in their purest form, unencumbered by other musical influences and discovering their own unique sound. After this album they began assimilating American musical influences, and in the 1990s they moved on to assimilate Europop. All of these phases led to some great music, but their sound was never quite as original or unique as it was during the UF era.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars three of U2's greatest live songs were born - the brilliant
The album where U2 discovered their cinematic sound thanks to their maiden voyage with Eno and Lanois. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Brian Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 14 days ago by Susan Rodas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Sounds great.
Published 1 month ago by Loan McIntosh-Rupp
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A must have for U2 fans. That's all I have to say.
Published 2 months ago by Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars is Simply AWESOME!
This set, which includes additional tracks not on the original, is Simply AWESOME!
Published 3 months ago by Alison Vandermolen
5.0 out of 5 stars besides the amazing album, the bonus CD is great as well
The box set is obligatory for U2 fans, besides the amazing album, the bonus CD is great as well, featuring Wide Awake in America and more.

*Lacks full show.
Published 3 months ago by yuri
5.0 out of 5 stars Fav Album EVER.....but I purchased for my niece for her new "RECORD...
My niece bought a record player for herself and suddenly got herself totally into Vinyl Albums. I sent her a bunch of brand new "records". She LOVES them !
Published 3 months ago by PJ Donald M.
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
u2 are smart.
too smart.
they realized they could redo history here.
CD2 is amazing.
disappearing act is the first song and is great. Read more
Published 5 months ago by SFNico
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it.
Fantastic album. U2 fans must have it in their collection. It's other worldly. The songs are iconic and are some of the best the band had written
Published 7 months ago by Tma
5.0 out of 5 stars The Title Track Inspired My Poetry
It was easy to return the album on cd for MP3s instead. While I was up late one night, the title track inspired my poetry, ending with "You can't take it with you when you die,... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Noel AY
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u2 is just a tree hugging hippie band that has a little bit of a rock...
This guy is so annoying, worst poster on Amazon, ruins the music forums, any way we can get him banned? LOL. He just pastes the same post over and over again on whatever artist he doesn't like. Hey man, GET A LIFE. He doesn't even know anything about current music
he's just some bitter 70 year... Read More
May 19, 2007 by Brett G. |  See all 3 posts
Interesting Revisit Review of Unforgettable Fire Be the first to reply
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