This collection spans the band's entire 26 year career and includes 16 of the band's best known songs. Two brand new tracks have been recorded for the album: 'The Saints Are Coming', a collaboration with Green Day, which is the album's first single, and second single, 'Window On The Sky'. Both tracks are produced by Rick Rubin.
Whittling down the back catalog of one of the most popular and respected bands of the last quarter-century to a single-disc collection is bound to inspire argument and dissent from the fans and faithful over what is included--and all that gets left behind--and U2's 26-year career is as celebrated and beloved as any band of their generation. U218 Singles
doesn't try to please everyone, wisely sticking to the acknowledged high points (and there are many) between 1983's War
and 2004's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
. Nitpickers may quibble that the collection leans too heavily on the band's most popular albums and skips the (admirable if less anthemic) techno-pop tangents of Zooropa
and the earnest energy of the Boy/October
years, but the musical majesty accumulated here testifies to the undeniable power and emotion U2 can muster in a four-minute pop song. Two new Rick Rubin-produced tracks don't break new ground for the band, but both would fit snugly somewhere in the U2 canon--"Window in the Skies" is pure late-period arena rock with a typically towering falsetto chorus, while Green Day helps inject some October
-era urgency into "The Saints Are Coming". The sum of these 18 tracks is a first-rate primer, perfect for that 10-year-old niece or nephew who thinks U2's big break was that iPod commercial. --Ben Heege