Customer Review

151 of 156 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for your U2 collection, November 2, 2011
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This review is from: Achtung Baby (Super Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
Okay I'm going to do my best to break down Achtung Baby Super Deluxe Edition.

First, the packaging: The set comes in a nice box that includes 16 LP size cardboard photos from the album sessions. The other part of the set is the book. The book is great with essays by Andrew Mueller, Daniel Lanois, Anton Corbijn, Martin Scholz, Martin Wroe, Brain Eno, and Bill Flanagan. There are also tons of photos and the hand written lyrics to "One". There are also several pages dedicated to the CDs and DVDs in the set with the track listings, times, original release info, etc. The one complaint is all of the CDs and DVDs are actually housed in the inside covers rather then having individual cases (got to get the Uber edition for that).

The Music: Most U2 collectors will have 85% of the music on these 6 discs. There have been some tweeks to Achtung Baby and I think it sounds great. Zooropa appears to be the same mix but is still a great album and I hope it gets its own edition when the time comes. Disc 3 is the first of the re-mix CDs. All have been release before except the final track which is "One (Apollo 440 Remix) which basically adds a new intro, throws some beats in the middle and tags on a new drum ending. That being said, Achtung Baby is an album that really lends itself to remixes but I think Disc 4 is the better of the remix CDs. Again Disc 4 has only one unreleased song. Another remix of "One" again by Apollo 440 but I prefer this "Ambient" mix to the one on Disc 3.

Discs 5 and (especially) 6 are the reasons most are buying the set. Disc 5 has B-Sides and some unreleased songs. The Unreleased songs are mostly from the Achtung Baby sessions. The only one not from the sessions is "Even Better Then the Real Thing (Fish out of Water Remix)". The unreleased songs are "Blow Your House Down" a nice rocker, "Heaven and Hell", a moody song that seems to be Bono riffing with lyrics. "Oh Berlin" kind of a mid-tempo song that feels like the band felt like they had to write a song about the city in which they were recording. "Near the Island" a nice little instrumental which has a real Edge/Eno (even though Eno isn't credited) feel to it. "Down All The Days", this is a really good song that with a little work could have been great. Not sure why it got put away. One of those songs that just builds and builds. Finally there is "Everybody Loves A Winner" a slower song with Bono mostly singing in falsetto and some nice Edge background vocals. The rest of Disc 4 are previously released B-Sides.

Disc 6-Kindergaten: I'd love to go into a song by song review of just this CD. This is a billed as an early version of Achtung Baby or demos from early songs. It feels more like pieced together bits of demos from each song but that is not a bad thing. Some stick fairly close to the original (Zoo Station, One) and some are almost brand new songs (Even Better Then The Real Thing, Trying to Throw Your Arms Around the World). This is a fantastic Disc! It will never replace the original but it is definitely something that will get repeated listens and not just the once over and put away.

The DVD's: The set also includes 4 DVDs. The first is the Documentary "From the Sky Down". While I really enjoy this documentary it seems to have a problem decided if it is a film about the history of U2 or a film about the making of Achtung Baby. I would have preferred more of the behind the scenes from the making of the album. There is one great part though when Bono and The Edge are listening to some of the original sessions a certain song suddenly morphs into another and a huge light bulb goes off...don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it but it is one of the best moments caught on tape of the birth of a song.

DVD 2 is a collection of the music videos from Achtung Baby and Zooropa. Some are better then others but it's nice to have them all.

DVD 3 has quite a bit on it. There is Zoo TV Special. Which is sort of but not quite behind the scenes of the ZooTV tour. Basically the concert intercut with some behind the scenes and some ZooTV news updates and other things. The rest of the DVD is comprised of shorts. There is The MTV show "Most Wanted" where a fan won a chance to see a U2 show via satellite from his house. It shows some interviews and music videos but is actually a bit boring. There is also a MTV documentary, U2 on Naked City, and U2 on TV-AM which are all about the same...interview clips, music clips, ZooTV craziness all mashed together. The last documentary is called Trabantland. It's about the small, East German car that is featured in some of the videos and promo photos. It's enjoyable especially after seeing "From the Sky Down" and how the band used to see these cars abandoned daily because their East German drivers made the pilgrimage to Berlin just as the cars gave out. There is also some CD-Rom content on this disc. Wallpapers, Screensavers, and links to websites.

Disc 4 is the ZooTV live in Sydney Concert. I didn't own the video of this (just the CD) so I was glad to add this to my collection. Concert films aren't my favorite things to watch but this was a really great show with a nice set list. I wish they could have cleaned up the video for this release but that may have something to do with how it was originally shot.

Overall this is a 5 star buy for me. Yes I own a lot of the material already but the new items and the packaging (mainly the book) justify double dipping for this release. I hope this review helped. It's my first music review but I wanted to let people know what to expect from this wonderful set.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 17, 2011 2:35:28 PM PST
KimPopmart says:
Thanks for all of the details!

Posted on Dec 4, 2011 10:00:31 AM PST
R. Cervi says:
This was one of the most useful and decidedly helpful reviews I've ever read. Thanks so much for taking the time. Every single question I had when I heard about this new release was answered by this one, extensive review.

I've never reviewed a review before....but I really appreciated this.

Posted on Dec 31, 2011 4:18:53 PM PST
S. Barrett says:
Could I trouble you to comment a bit more on Zoo TV Special on the bonus DVD? Specifically, there was a documentary of the Outside Broadcast tour in 1992 called "Philips DCC Presents Zoo TV Featuring U2" that was simply spectacular. I am trying to confirm if this "special" is in fact that same show? Any chance you could give a track listing of the songs played? Were there bizarre cuts to bogus news reports talking gibberish in between some of the songs, and other snippets of interviews and whatnot?

Appreciate any insights here. This will make or break the sale for me. Cheers!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012 6:06:03 PM PST
Syd, it is the "Phillips DCC Presents" just confirmed it. It's listed as "ZooTV Special - A Documentary" but is the Phillips one you describe. It runs about an hour and ten minutes (ends with Bono calling The White House). It doesn't have its own menu but does have chapters within the concert. Hope that helps.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2012 10:43:12 AM PST
S. Barrett says:
Brilliant! Thanks, mate! Pretty much sold it for me - cheers!

Posted on Jan 15, 2012 10:41:05 AM PST
chad says:
thanks for your review, very helpful.

regarding your comment about the song "down all the days" from disc 5 being put away - it wasn't really discarded.. they reworked the song, had edge sing, and called it "numb" on the zooropa album. the guitar riff is the same though.

Posted on Feb 4, 2012 1:42:40 PM PST
This was an extremely helpful review. Thanks for taking the time and putting the careful thought into writing it for the rest of us. This set is expensive, but after reading your review I feel I can make an informed purchase decision.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 5:34:25 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Oct 28, 2012 9:30:58 AM PDT
I HAVE reviewed reviews and this stands as one of
the most useful (if not THE most useful) review I've ever read. U-2 being my favorite group since "Boy", I'm unbelievably appreciative! GOOD STUFF............SOLD!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2013 1:06:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 18, 2013 1:08:44 PM PDT
Finally came in the mail & am so glad to have it that I've gone back to source your review
and hit the key points first (why not just devour the damn thing hunh??). TONIGHT....I promise!!!
(Stop puttin' off what's good for you son!)
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