Monday, October 30, 2000

U2 All That You Can’t Leave Behind released

All That You Can’t Leave Behind

U2


Released: October 30, 2000


Peak: 3 US, 11 UK, 12 CN, 12 AU


Sales (in millions): 4.4 US, 0.9 UK, 12.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: alternative/mainstream rock


Tracks:

Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Beautiful Day [4:08] (9/9/00, 21 US, 19 RR, 4 A40, 1 AA, 14 AR, 5 MR, 1 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU)
  2. Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of [4:32] (1/29/01, 52 US, 30 RR, 9 A40, 1 AA, 35 AR, 35 MR, 2 UK, 1 CN, 3 AU)
  3. Elevation [3:47] (4/28/01, 4 AA, 21 AR, 8 MR, 3 UK, 1 CN, 6 AU)
  4. Walk On [4:56] (1/6/01, 21 A40, 2 AA, 19 AR, 10 MR, 5 UK, 1 CN, 9 AU)
  5. Kite [4:26]
  6. In a Little While [3:39]
  7. Wild Honey [3:46]
  8. Peace on Earth [4:48]
  9. When I Look at the World [4:17]
  10. New York [5:30]
  11. Grace [5:30]

All songs written by U2.


Total Running Time: 48:25


The Players:

  • Bono (vocals, guitar)
  • The Edge (guitar, backing vocals, piano, bass)
  • Adam Clayton (bass)
  • Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums, percussion)

Rating:

4.113 out of 5.00 (average of 22 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“Nearly ten years after beginning U2 Mach II with their brilliant seventh album Achtung Baby, U2 ease into their third phase with 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind. The title signifies more than it seems, since the group sifts through its past, working with Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, all in an effort to construct a classicist U2 album.” AMG The pair had produced 1984’s The Unforgettable Fire, 1987’s The Joshua Tree, and 1991’s Achtung Baby. As a result, U2 “avoid the alienating archness” AMG of 1997’s poorly-received Pop, “returning to the generous spirit that flowed through their best ‘80s records” AMG by returning “to song arrangements that consisted almost entirely of guitar, bass, and drums.” WK

Entertainment Weekly’s David Browne said, “in their hands, falling back on old habits isn’t cowardice, but virtue.” WK Indeed, the album “may be reminiscent of The Joshua Tree,” AMG but it also “retained elements of the band’s 1990s experimentation,” WK albeit with “subtle risks, such as their best pure pop song ever with Wild Honey.” AMG “This is a clever and craftsmanlike record, filled with nifty twists in the arrangements, small sonic details, and colors.” AMG

“They’re so self-confident they effortlessly write their best anthem in years with Beautiful Day.” AMG The song exemplified how they merged their past with modern experimentation. The Edge played a guitar tone he hadn’t used since 1983’s War WK but the song also used a drum machine and rhythm sequencer. WK

U2 also pulled off the unprecedented feat of winning Record of the Year two consecutive years with songs from the same album. After “Beautiful Day” took home Record and Song of the Year honors in 2001, Walk On won Record of the Year in 2002. Previously, the only act to win the prize in consecutive years was Roberta Flack with “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” in 1973 and “Killing Me Softly with His Song” in 1974. They were, however, from two different albums. “Walk On” took on new meaning for listeners after the September 11 attacks. WK

“They offer the gospel-influenced Stuck in a Moment, never once lowering it to the shtick it would have been on Rattle and Hum.” AMG Bono wrote the song as a tribute to his friend Michael Hutchence of INXs who committed suicide in 1997. WK The song garnered the group yet another Grammy – this time for Best Pop Perormance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. All told, the album and its songs won seven Grammys over two years.

Rolling Stone’s James Hunter described the album as “U2’s third masterpiece,” the others being The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby. WK Steve Morse of The Boston Globe said the album is marked by “great songs that tie together beautifully.” WK “Like any work from craftsmen, All That You Can't Leave Behind winds up being a work of modest pleasures, where the way the verse eases into the chorus means more than the overall message, and this is truly the first U2 album where that sentiment applies – but there is genuine pleasure in their craft, for the band and listener alike.” AMG


Notes: A 20th anniversary reissue added a second disc of B-sides, outtakes, and alternate takes. There were also two discs in the super deluxe edition from a live show in Boston and a fifth disc of remixes.

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First posted 3/23/2008; last updated 8/20/2021.

Monday, October 2, 2000

Radiohead’s Kid A released

First posted 3/23/2008; updated 12/19/2020.

Kid A

Radiohead


Released: October 2, 2000


Peak: 11 US, 12 UK, 12 CN, 2 AU


Sales (in millions): 1.48 US, 0.3 UK, 3.48 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: experimental alternative rock


Tracks:

Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Everything in Its Right Place
  2. Kid A
  3. The National Anthem
  4. How to Disappear Completely
  5. Treefingers
  6. Optimistic (10/7/00, 10 MR)
  7. In Limbo
  8. Idioteque
  9. Morning Bell
  10. Motion Picture Soundtrack


Total Running Time: 49:56


The Players:

  • Colin Greenwood (bass)
  • Jonny Greenwood (guitar, keyboards)
  • Ed O’Brien (guitar, effects, backing vocals)
  • Philip Selway (drums, percussion)
  • Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar, keyboards)

Rating:

3.660 out of 5.00 (average of 20 ratings)


Quotable: “The weirdest album to ever sell a million copies, but it’s also a testament to just how complicated pop music can be.” – Josh Tyrangiel/ Alan Light, Time


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“Rather than return to a straight ahead guitar sound after OK Computer, Radiohead went further down the experimental rabbit hole” TL “with a disc of complex electronic explorations.” EW’09 While OK Computer is considered Radiohead’s ultimate masterpiece” EB Kid A is “the sound of the biggest band in the land reinventing itself before our eyes.” PM Lead singer Thom Yorke said the album was “like getting a massive eraser out and starting again.” RS’11

“With producer Nigel Godrich, Yorke, guitarist Ed O'Brien, drummer Phil Selway, bassist Colin Greenwood and guitarist Jonny Greenwood created an enigma of slippery electronics and elliptical angst, sung by Yorke in an often indecipherable croon.” RS’11 With Kid A, “Radiohead made the first true rock of the future.” RS’11 It “has proved to be the band’s most influential record” EB and “easily the most successful electronica album from a rock band – it doesn’t even sound like a rock band, even if it does sound like Radiohead.” AMGPut another way, this is “the weirdest album to ever sell a million copies, but it’s also a testament to just how complicated pop music can be.” TL

“From the spine-tingling four-note downward melody that opens Everything in Its Right Place, it was clear that Radiohead had taken a huge leap into colder, stranger territory.” GU “The heavily Cuisinarted voice of Thom Yorke declar[es] ‘Yesterday I woke up sucking on a lemon,’ and only gets cheerier from there.” TL

“Cold to the core, Kid A made alienation sound so alluring.” EB This is the “opposite of easy listening” TL “Instead of simply adding club beats or sonic collage techniques, Radiohead strive to incorporate the unsettling ‘intelligent techno’ sound of Autechre and Aphex Twin” AMG by “embracing samplers, sequencers and, to the eternal dismay of drummer Phil Selway, a drum machine.” TL “To their immense credit, Radiohead don’t sound like carpetbaggers, because they share the same post-postmodern vantage point as their inspirations.” AMG

The electronic influences that had filtered into OK Computer reached maturity – most spectacularly on techno anthem Idioteque.” GU It “seems to be about an evacuation or apocalypse, underscored by a driving and syncopated loop of electronic percussion and a moving set of four sampled chord inversions from avant-garde classical music.” PM

“The closest thing to riffing…was the fuzz-bass lick in The National Anthem.” RS’11 It “rode a driving four-measure bass line to chaotic joy, allowing a group of eight saxophones and brass to play like a Mingus band on free-jazz amphetamines.” PM “Yorke’s loathing of celebrity inspired the contrary beauty” RS’11 of the “delicate and shimmering” PM How to Disappear Completely, “with its watery orchestration and his voice flickering in and out of earshot.” RS’11 Meanwhile, “the guitars in Morning Bell sounded more like seabirds” RS’11 and Yorke’s “electronically squished pleading in Kid A sounded like a baby kicking inside a hard drive.” RS’11

OK Computer required many plays before revealing the intricacies of its densely layered mix; here, multiple plays are necessary…to get a handle on quiet, drifting, minimally arranged songs with no hooks.” AMG “Of course, the natural reaction of any serious record geek is that if the music demands so much work, it must be worth it – and at times, that supposition is true.” AMG “About half of the songs positively shimmer with genius,” AMG but Kid A is “self-consciously alienating and difficult.” AMG For some that will mean that “your tenth listen is better than your first and your hundredth best of all.” PM For others, the album may come across as seeming “deeper than it actually is.” AMG


Notes: A collector’s edition of the album added a second disc of live recordings.

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