The Best of 1980-1990
U2 ended the decade as arguably its most important band. Certainly they carried themselves with a self-importance that pointed up their serious intentions towards world issues and their own evolution in sound. This non-chronological collection of hits and integral album tracks represents a powerful look into their stylistic versatility and emotional gravitas. “Pride (In the Name of Love)” stands as a towering anthemic opener, bursting with layers of shimmering, chiming guitars and Bono’s trademark yawp that leaps from centerstage to the back of the arena without losing nuance or impact. Even on the group’s most reflective moments, Bono serves grand dynamics. “Bad” is heartwrenching. “All I Want is You” longs with a somber hangover. While the obvious hits — “New Year’s Day,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday” — are wrapped in gorgeous production details that capture a band that understood the beauty of recordmaking as well as the need to speak the truth as they viewed it. Pompous? Grandiose? Perhaps. But also, great fun and only the first step in their musical journey.