No one is more surprised than me that we're just now talking about the upcoming Achtung Baby re-issue by U2, but it's been amateur hour at Camp McGuiness trying to get the details of what's actually IN this monstrosity and I've been so angry with them about it at nearly every turn that I just haven't had the heart to discuss it but I will now as we have a trailer from the documentary that will be included. From The Sky Down tells the story of the making of Achtung Baby, one of U2's classic works. It's hard to call it their defining record as they made this thing called The Joshua Tree but Achtung Baby and ZooTV changed their sound and career trajectory for an entire decade and is still one of the great albums of the '90s. Don't believe it? They'll tell you in this documentary.
Remember how happy I was in July, how in love with U2 I was after an epic, glorious night in Nashville? Yeah, that ship has sailed, and it sailed about the time news of this Achtung Baby re-issue was announced. Welcome to another episode of 'Leave It To Bono (To Fuck It All Up).'
They think so much of the record they're re-issuing it in about 27 formats, and none of them are any good. There is still some controversy about whether they remastered the album, meaning you might be getting exactly what you bought 20 years ago and you might not. Don't worry, guys. We don't mind being surprised. There's even a story that says they didn't actually remaster the record but merely tweaked it, making it :: wait for it :: louder. Yeah, because that's what audiophiles want.
You will be getting the same DVD from ZooTV you already own, that being the Live From Sydney DVD. Makes sense. It's not like with all that equipment and all those TV screens they didn't record any other show from the tour. I'd like a second identical copy of the album and DVD. Oh, they're throwing Zooropa into the box set, as if I don't already have that. They didn't remaster it, either. Good thing they're putting in that documentary DVD, right?
There are remixes, rarities, and some previously unreleased material in this $120 box set, but the ratio of what I have versus what I don't isn't looking like $120 worth and they ought be ashamed at themselves for treating Zooropa like a novelty. I'm actually sitting this one out. Me. The King Of I'll Buy Anything They Put In A Box. Yes, that guy is sitting this one out.
It's (presently) on my Christmas wish list and those who have me on their Christmas list should feel free to spring for the Deluxe Edition; I'll find a home for it. I'm just pissed at how they've missed a golden opportunity to make a truly special edition of a truly special record.