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"You know, my first-ever gig was with a country-and-western band. I made 10 pounds."

-- Edge

@U2 home page

Column: off the record..., vol. 8-304

@U2, April 27, 2008
By: John Tuohy


off the record, from @U2

It's official. We're all in full anticipation mode of a new U2 album release. Or maybe just anticipating the re-issue of the first three albums. In one way or another though, we're all getting something new to listen to. Whether it's New new, or just sort of new.

I'm looking forward to comparing the remastered version of War to the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab version that I bought a few years ago. Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, or MFSL, is a company that used to remaster all types of albums. They were known as the best because they would use original studio tapes for their projects. They would also burn the finished product onto a 24 karat gold-plated CD. This would ensure that the disc would last a long time. And it made them look pretty cool, too.

When I got the new remastered version of The Joshua Tree last year, I was happy with the way it sounded, but it wasn't much different sounding than my MFSL version. I was able to do a side-by-side comparison between the new one and the MFSL gold series version. It's really a toss-up between which one sounds better. I could break it down for you with pie charts and graphs, but I don't want to lose all of you in the process. One thing's for sure though, this album was made to be listened to either on good headphones, or on a good high-fidelity sound system.

I prefer the latter because I like to turn things up, and my ears will have a better chance at surviving without the use of headphones. But I'm glad that on this latest remastered version, they didn't just go in and turn up the levels and call it good. Part of the charm on The Joshua Tree is that it takes you on a journey from the high desert, up to the peaks, then all the wayback down to the low valley floor. Not only do the songs relay this feeling to me, but the overall mixing of the album does too. So I'm glad that they didn't take that charm away by just leveling all of the sound out. And I haven't even mentioned the remastered 180g Vinyl LP version either. But that's for another day.

I'm just hoping that Boy and October sound as good too. I was glad to hear The Edge mention that these first two albums would also be remastered from the master tapes. Leave it to The Edge to make sure everything sounds right!

And speaking of the re-issues:

Is anyone else wondering if there's a direct correlation between the release date of the re-issues, and the release date of the new album? There's a story in our Bits & Bytes section that tells us the release date has been pushed back again on some of the online retail stores' Web sites. I'm thinking that they must be ready to release, right? Why delay it then? It makes me wonder if the re-issues are some sort of insurance policy just in case they get delayed releasing their new album. Or maybe they're just something to keep us fans from getting too restless and storming the castle? Or the studio? Or the hotel? Or wherever they might be at that particular time?

And speaking of delays, over in this thread in our forum a story has been posted that *SUGGESTS* that the band has scrapped all of the material they've worked on for the new album and have decided to just start over. Any of this sound familiar? So just be careful, because this is usually the time where all of us fans start hanging onto every single word that comes out of the U2 camp.

...Or from a magazine that likes to spin the truth a bit.


As of today, 53% of voters from the voting booth on our home page have given U2 3D an "A" grade. I gave it a "B." Mostly because I couldn't see the flick. I mean, I was there and all, it's just that I can't see. Now do you get why I don't want to crank the music up while wearing headphones?

I only "saw" the movie once though, and even my wife was surprised that I wanted to go. But when Answer Guy calls, you just don't turn him down. I mean, he's Answer Guy! Half genius, half something or other. Plus, he really wanted to experience the movie while sitting next to a blind guy. Not from a blind guy's perspective, just from the perspective of sitting next to a blind guy. I'm not really sure why though.

One of our forum members said that U2 3D looked and sounded better than a real live U2 show. The last U2 show that I saw with my eyes was Zoo TV-Outside Broadcast. And that looked pretty dang good. (It actually wasn't a bad one to go out on.) But I'll let the rest of you discuss which looks better, a recent U2 show in 3D, or a U2 movie in 3D. Either way though, a real live U2 show will always sound better. Always! There's just no comparison! I have to add though, even I was a little bummed that we didn't get the "blinding lights" version of "Streets" on the Vertigo Tour.

We saw last week that there's a new up-and-coming book reviewer in our midst. I'm sure you're looking for someone to review your new book, m2. Well, after reading this book review, I know that young Madeline, the second-grade daughter of our own Scott Calhoun, will shoot ya straight!

And something stood out to me about her thoughts on this review. She writes: "I really liked it because I really like listening to U2 music and so do my parents. We have almost all the CDs" Um, Scott? What does she mean by "almost"? :-)

And finally:

m2 posted this link on the home page. If anyone is wondering whether the new U2 music is going to sound any different from their old stuff, I think it'll have to. Especially since The Edge keeps giving his guitars away. But if you look further down the list of items to be auctioned off, you come to this:

"Bono stage played guitar (est. $80,000 and up)."

Stage played? Really? I think they might have to relist this item as:


Until next time...

© @U2/Tuohy, 2008.

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