“Every artist is a cannibal,
every poet is a thief,
All kill their inspiration,
and sing about their grief”
Achtung Baby! is a reinvention when it was not needed at all. When, riding high on the success of “The Joshua Tree”, U2 could have explored that music further and could have tasted easy success with the “tried and tested” formula- They simply abandoned it. And that they did for good. Achtung baby is an all time favorite. Nothing is like it.
Less political than the Joshua tree and more adventurous than any of their albums, Achtung Baby comes like a breath of fresh air. Its evergreen music. Its infinitely inventive. Its something never heard before.
“She wears my love like a see thru dress-
her lips say something, her movements something else”
“one” and “so cruel” explore the emotions of a betrayed heart. “the fly” explores basic human weaknesses as Larry with his drums and Adam Clayton with the bass guitar seem to agree with what Bono says in the song. The rock and roll is gone and makes way for some electronica (which is further explored in Zooropa, U2’s next album). “Mysterious ways” with some HipHop which U2 has never tried before.
The album was worked upon for a period of 2 years, in Dublin and Berlin, hence the name Achtung Baby!. With the Berlin wall coming down and Edge’s marriage breakdown, comes an album that evoked thefts of the stuidio recorded tapes while it was recorded in secrecy, besides being of a musical nature that was a challenge to U2 themselves and their fans. Larry confessed, in one of the interviews, that midway of the recording they felt “oh my god, what have we done- this has gone terribly wrong”. But it was not to be. The kind of success U2 enjoyed with Achtung Baby!, and that too at a point of their career where they were already recognised with a kind of music, they got a success typical to a brand new band’s with a brand new album.
“In the garden I was playing the tart
I kissed your lips and broke your heart
You, you were acting like it was the end of the world “