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Its hard for me to quantify a list because their sound has changed and matured over time. The pictured first album is good, but not in the same way Goo is or even Rather Ripped and Eternal is. I like them all but for different reasons. Some people hate on their later stuff because it became a bit more mainstream but really,….when Geffen started trying to make stars out of Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana, it never really panned out for Sonic Youth. Quite frankly, I think they handled it best.
I’m a long time fan and SY are a great band…and while some albums are better than others, I love them all.
In high school, say a year after this album hit….EVERYONE liked the album. It didn’t seem to matter who you were or what you were into, it seems like it was universally loved at my high school. Which is funny as the school was very cliquey and uptight. I would disagree with the author’s assessment of Rattle and Hum however. That album was the zenith of that era…the period to the sentences that started with Unforgettable Fire through Joshua tree. A mini album/experimental americana album/live album, I think it was as perfect a way to end that era of their career. My opinion I guess. I was at the Joshua Tree show and it was HUGE. When I see the movie and they show Sun Devil Stadium from the helicopter circling overhead…I get the goosebumps.
Achtung Baby was good, but in a different way, as was Zooropa. POP was awful. Their middling albums after though were good. I’d say “Sometimes You Can’t Make it on your Own” is a great song.
Anyway, YES. Joshua Tree is an amazing album. Top to bottom, its solid all the way through. It will live forever, long after Adele and the disposable music of the current generation. It will remain and I expect that in the next 10 years, it will see a revival. A new generation will discover it and realize how great it was. I think the album’s only detractions are Bono’s continued messianic attitudes.
But I will say this…and I’ve pondered this as I, like a lot of people, stopped listening because of the politics and his save the world pontificating. In the 90′s people like me were wondering where the next Bob Marley was going to come from. Some one who’s music went across generational and stylistic boundaries. Someone who could use his fame and power for good in the world. And while I wouldn’t say Bono was the next Bob Marley, I realized that this was his lot and his aim.
He is the singer for the biggest band on the planet. He sees that he can take some pages from the Bob Marley playbook and accomplish them. It wasn’t about money, it was about change. He felt he could enact change and make things happen…and really he did. He got heads of state to meet with warring factions and he raised awareness to apartheid (sp) and all these things that I think people overlook. Was he/is he a pompous ass? YES. But he took his fame and decided to make change with it. And really, in this shitty, complicated world…that has to be admire at least a little bit. Like him or not, he did what few have done. He made his career and his fame his vehicle for change and used his influence to get things done.
I have to say that, in my old age, I tip my hat to the man.
I think Angel Dust is an amazing album that is still fresh to me today. It did indeed destroy its predecessor fully and completely. Having seen Faith No More on that very tour (I believe it was Mike Patton’s 28th B-Day – with openers Kyuss and Babe’s in Toyland) the guy really showed his vocal skills. A memory that I still visit often.
I loved this album when it came out and continue to love it still.
The RnR HOF is a complete Joke. I’d like to see The Beastie Boys and RHCP and The Cure boycott. I would. Who gives a flying F&ck what filthy rich record execs believe is good?