U2 – “Mysterious Ways”

When: November 1991
Where: My dad’s ’88 Corolla (radio tuned to KROQ-FM), southbound on Mariondale Avenue, Los Angeles
Who: My mother
Weather: Overcast

There isn’t much to say about my memory that isn’t already above. Although since starting up a Background Music playlist for my mom, this is the first memory that we seem to share. I’d rather talk about U2.

U2 is the poster-boy for “Better to burn out than fade away.” Most bands stop being good 10 years after their first LP, and while U2 beats that rule by a year, they had already ruined their public persona when Achtung Baby was released. “Rattle and Hum,” the documentary on the making of The Joshua Tree, had portrayed Bono and company as selfish, ruthless yuppies doing anything for a quick buck; a sharp contrast to their diplomatic image.

Achtung Baby was three years after this PR disaster, and while it was a good album, it was their creative dead end. While the band is still commercially successful, the newer music is poorly-received and gives the impression that U2 is on a never-ending reunion tour. One can only wonder how people would feel if they’d called it quits after releasing this single.

Have you had your Lucky Clovers?Next: 1992 arrives, and Trip-Hop helps a decade take shape.

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