U2, The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
It was the first album by U2 that I heard. And that title track had an impact instantly. To this day I think of it as U2’s finest song – their best. I have very little interest in the band now; they get worse with each release (but that’s a curse that most bands suffer from, c’mon be honest) and it’s easy to dislike what Bono stands for (which, apparently, is everything). I most dislike how he is the There’s Wally! of rock documentaries. He’ll speak about any and every band and writer as an influence; maybe they were. But it’s annoying. I always liked The Unforgettable Fire though – always. Sure, it was The Joshua Tree that got me hooked (one of the first albums I ever bought for myself with my own pocket money) but it was Unforgettable Fire that well, started the fire; that was unforgettable. My aunty had a copy of it. I think outside of various records by The Beatles it was the first music that impacted on me as an album. And it’s replaced Joshua Tree and Zooropa and Achtung Baby – they all took turns as my favourite album. The only other U2 album I could probably stand hearing all the way through these days is October. That was always a favourite too. Unforgettable Fire feels like a different album from a different band – but I guess it has two very typical U2 songs – Pride is obviously ruined now as some flag-waving live favourite by the mouth-breathing troglodytes that still cue for U2 tickets. And Bad is probably the best U2 Song that U2 ever wrote; meaning it’s a template – for both good and bad. The innocence and the excess – the twin virtue/curses that Bono best encapsulates. I look to Unforgettable Fire now for the weird little soundscape pieces (thanks Brian Eno!) and for the songs that don’t feel like your typical U2 fare – whilst still, somehow, promoting the band’s actual strengths. Unforgettable Fire is class. For me it’s the U2 album in a league of its own.
Sample Track: A Sort Of Homecoming
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown