Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Joshua Tree - U2

Now that the music industry requires artists to record singles in order to make money, old bands have followed different business models to adapt to the exigencies of the age.

The Beatles are re-issuing their albums for the nth time with a new remastering but the same new photos.

The Rolling Stones don't care about albums anymore and decided to engage in a permanent tour singing the same songs they sang 40 or 70 years ago.

Pink Floyd, which see their albums as concepts instead of songs, have recently re-issued their albums but with different editions. If you're a hardcore groupie, you're likely to buy the 150 dollars editions; if you're just a fan, you'll buy the 12 dollars album.

Radiohead are using their fans as guinea pigs, offering their albums for free for some of them, making others pay for the rest, or issuing new albums and songs out of the blue.

U2 is adapting to the times and are issuing individual songs. Or more precisely, they are just doing what they would have loved to do since the beginning of their career. The Joshua Tree is the perfect example of an album composed of three commercially successful songs ("Where the Streets Have no Name"; "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", and "With or Without You") with a bunch of forgettable songs that sound exactly the same but are there to justify charging buyers 10 dollars, or whatever the amount of albums was at the time.

One of the forgettable songs of The Joshua Tree is dedicated to the people disappeared for political reasons around the World, and the booklet contains the traditional plea to join Amnesty International. I wonder how U2 will remain faithful to their tradition of including songs in their albums in favor of political causes now that... there are no albums. (nevermind: Twitter and Facebook are proving excellent tools to bring real change to the World)

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