U2 is a band that needs no introduction. Their body of work is legendary all the way from debut entry Boy back in 1980 up through their last, No Line On the Horizon in 2009. Some may argue that one album is greater than another, citing their favorites as the “obvious” proof of their declarations. But usually, if you point to their early releases, you’ll get agreeable nods all the way around.
On November 19, 1991, U2 released the edgy album, Achtung Baby. While it didn’t outperform the sales mark of Grammy sweeping classic The Joshua Tree (1987), the album performed quite well. Within, memorable songs like “One,” “Mysterious Ways,” “The Fly,” and “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” solidified the passion for this album among fans, some of whom would be willing to call Achtung Baby the band’s greatest work.
A few months back, rumors began circulating that the band would follow their path of remastering and creating definitive editions of their albums, thus far their first five (Boy - 1980, October - 1981, War - 1983, The Unforgettable Fire - 1984, The Joshua Tree - 1987). The rumors were confirmed in June that Achtung Baby would be enhanced with all the goodness supplied to the previous five (bonus tracks, outtakes, etc).
On October 31 (UK), November 1 (US), the band will release their 20th Anniversary
Editions of Achtung Baby in five different formats, which will include an “Uber
Deluxe Version,” Super Deluxe Version, Vinyl Box Set, a two-CD Deluxe Edition,
and a single disc standard reissue.
Here’s your rundown:
The Uber Deluxe Edition will be a Limited Edition, numbered, magnetic puzzle tiled box containing six CDs including not only the original, newly remastered, Achtung Baby, but also the band’s Achtung Baby follow-up (also remastered), Zooropa (1993). The remaining CDs will contain assorted B-sides, and alternate takes from the Achtung Baby sessions (there are no released track-listings available as of yet).
Also included in this massive set will be four DVDs, containing a brand new U2 documentary from Davis Guggenheim called From the Sky Down, Zoo TV: Live From Sydney, all Achtung Baby-related videos, as well as assorted bonus materials.
The "Uber" set also boasts five clear-vinyl 7” singles housed in their originally designed sleeves, sixteen art prints taken from the original album sleeve, an 82-page hard-bound book, a copy of Propaganda magazine, four badges, a sticker sheet, AND a pair of Bono’s "The Fly" sunglasses. That’s quite a show, actually!
The Super Deluxe Edition will contain the same six CDs and four DVDs, plus a 92-page hardback book, along with sixteen art prints held within a wallet. From there, a two-CD Deluxe will be available with the original album remastered and the second disc with B-sides and rarities tracks. Scaled down further, the 20th Anniversary campaign will offer a single CD edition of the remastered album.
For vinyl LP aficionados, a Limited Edition Box of four LPs will be sold. Two of the LPs will be pressed in translucent blue vinyl, which will contain remixes and B-sides. The box will also provide a 16-page booklet.
Finally, it should be noted that there will be digital versions available for those that are firmly lodged within the digital age.
Gorge, U2 fans gorge!