January 21, 2005

U2.com Will Not Get My $40

I'm not paying that much money for middling content dressed up as "exclusives!" Nor am I wasting my dough on an opportunity to enjoy crashed servers while trying to sign up for "fan-club only!" deals on concert tickets. I don't care that much. When the U2 organization fosters the cliche that they are rock's Sole Remaining Superpower and swaggers and stomps with the same old bombast, I can't stop yawning enough to belatedly call Bullshit.

And I consider myself a fan. I guess. I grew up on the bizarro-world U2 of the 1990s, and was too much of a freak about that for a long time before I finally calmed down a bit. So how did it come to this? Step in the wayback machine, Sherman:

I didn't really mind that "The Complete U2" iTunes box set advertises its 400-song-strong girth, even though many of the tunes are repeated and if you buy the whole shebang, you end up paying for many of the same songs two and even three times.

I accepted the fact that "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" would be a feverishly overhyped but extremely conservative (in terms of sound) album, and that most of the lyrics weren't half as deep as Bono made them out to be.

I had no problems with the Vertigo iPod ad other than that it ran way too often, and it made the song seem silly and superficial- which, come on, it kind of is anyway.

I didn't mind that the Boston and Slane Elevation concert DVDs, nice and sparkly as they were, still, STILL did not include the entire concerts from beginning to end.

I didn't mind that "The Best Of 1990-2000" was a half-baked piece of shameless revisionism that pissed all over U2's great 90's output. I didn't mind that "Electrical Storm" was a bit sloppy in the lyrics department and that "The Hands That Built America" outright sucked, sucked, sucked.

I don't care that Clear Channel/SFX sponsored the 2001 tour. I likewise didn't mind so much that the only show I saw on that tour was a royal pain to get tickets to- and that they ended up being 85 bucks for last-row, back-against-the-wall-of-the-Staples-Center seats. I only minimally bitched that U2 played a largely greatest-hits type set.

I didn't dwell on the fact that "All That You Can't Leave Behind" was terribly, embarassingly overrated, with only two really good songs ("Walk On" and "Kite"), and one of those- "Kite"- hobbled with dated references in the lyrics.

I didn't freak out when I first heard U2's remake of a shitty B-side called "Sweetest Thing" for their 80's hits compilation, even though I knew for sure that things might go downhill from there.

So I guess, if I'm going to be a whiny jerk about this, I could say I've been more than patient with the continuing foibles of the Four Jerks and their Police Escort. Or I could just say that none of this is really a big deal, since aside from this post I've grown out of being a freak about anyone's band anywhere.

Except mine.

Update 1/25:The pre-sale melted everyone's heads. LP says so too.

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