U2’s ‘Achtung Baby’ gets expansive 20th anniversary reissue

08.05.11 6 years ago

AP Photo

Hey, how much do you like U2? A lot? Did you help contribute to their historic 360 touring run? Do you hope and pray to hear “One” and “Mysterious Ways” and “Acrobat” in a big way?

And, perhaps, do you have about $630 to spare?

The Irish rockers are preparing a traditional and expanded reissue on their 1991 album “Achtung Baby” for its 20th anniversary, and by “expanded” I mean death-defyingly excessive.

Or Uber Deluxe, if you’re their handlers. This six-CD, four-DVD, five-7″ boxed kit may not get you out of the woods when and if you get lost, but it does come with a pair of sunglasses that are guaranteed to make you look like Bono*. “Zooropa,” “Achtung’s” follow-up, is included, as are some previously unreleased recordings from the album’s sessions, a DVD of Toronto Film Festival opener “From the Sky Down,” an 84-page hardback book of photos and recounts, etc. etc., all details here.

All in all, there will be five different configurations in which you can buy this reissue, including the single-disc original album and a vinyl boxed set.

I do not have half of a thousand dollars to spare, but this release does mark a special moment in the band’s history. Not only did U2 kill the Rolling Stones’ previous record for highest gorssing tour in the history of the world, but 20 years on my favorite U2 album is something to celebrate. It was darker, and more sophisticated, than anything they’d ever done before; Bono’s lyricism stuck out as more eloquent and centered. And the band was famously fighting all during their Berlin-based Lanois/Eno recording stint.

Twenty years later? Can you name bands that old that still have their lineup intact?

I think I’ll spring for the vinyl.

*Yes on sunglasses, but no on making you look like Bono, you’re not even close.

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