From the Vault...


"The Best Of 1980-1990"

© Island Records

Year of Release: 1998

track listing
  • Pride (In The
    Name Of Love)
  • New Year's Day
  • With Or Without You
  • I Still Haven't Found
    What I'm Looking For
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday
  • Bad
  • Where The Streets Have
    No Name
  • I Will Follow
  • The Unforgettable Fire
  • Sweetest Thing
  • Desire
  • When Love Comes To Town
  • Angel Of Harlem
  • All I Want Is You
  • The Three Sunrises
  • Spanish Eyes
  • Sweetest Thing
  • Love Comes Tumbling
  • Bass Trap
  • Dancing Barefoot
  • Everlasting Love
  • Umchained Melody
  • Walk To The Water
  • Luminous Times
    (Hold On To Love)
  • Hallelujah Here She Comes
  • Silver And Gold
  • Endless Deep
  • A Room At The
    Heartbreak Hotel
  • Trash Trampoline And
    The Party Girl

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    U2 related sites:
    U2 Website
    Previous Review: #614
    Sting--The Soul Cages
    Next Review: #616
    Frankie Yankovic--Frankie Yankovic And His Yanks' Greatest Hits
    "The Best Of 1980-1990"

    U2 is considered THE band of the 1980s. And for those many fans who collect all of their albums, a "Best Of" compilation would most likely be ignored, because all of the songs were already owned by the die-hard fans. However, in most cases, a "Best Of" features one or two songs that were never released. In U2's case, the 1998 Best Of 1980-1990 features a two-CD set, consisting of well-known songs (with one unreleased) on the first CD. The second CD features all songs that have never been released on any major studio album. These songs are B-Sides, as they were the flip sides (yes, 45 rpm vinyl was around in the 1980s) to U2's biggest hit songs. What makes this "Best Of" a must for the U2 fan, is that the second CD was a limited-edition bonus. When this CD was first released last year, the second CD would only be available during the first week of release. After that, like the old saying, "Once they're gone, they're gone."

    Another great bonus as I listen to the first CD, all of the songs have a much fresh, crisp sound (remastered). The instrumentation such as the bass and especially the drums are much sharper, as I heard things much clearer and differently from the original U2 albums. At the end of the first CD is a "bonus track" not listed with the other songs; the beautiful instrumental title track from the band's October album. The only minor complaint concerning the first CD is that the songs weren't arranged in chronological order, like most "Best Of" compilations are arranged.

    Obviously, the well-known favorites are here, from their 1980 debut album Boy, all the way to 1988's Rattle And Hum. To name a few favorites: "Pride (In The Name Of Love)," "New Year's Day," "I Will Follow," "With Or Without You," and "When Love Comes To Town" (with B.B. King) definitely makes the "Best Of" complete. Like many bands and artists, U2 released songs that weren't included on their major album releases (Bruce Springsteen was famous for this). U2 also followed this pattern, where only radio stations would have some of the unreleased gems, while other songs were only available as B-Sides, making the die-hard fan to keep their tape recorders ready to hear that special unreleased song, and/or run out and try and locate that special song, when they already have the major release album already in their collections.

    So we focus now on the limited second CD, featuring 15 B-Sides. "The Three Sunrises" has a definite early 1980s pop sound (not to be confused with the sound from their album called Pop). When I saw the song title "Spanish Eyes", I thought maybe the band had recorded the remake of the Al Martino hit. But I was mistaken; it's a different song altogether, as it is another pop-sounding song that was probably recorded in the mid-1980s. There are two versions of "Sweetest Thing". And quite frankly, I don't see any major differences in the two, other than the first version is a single mix on the first CD.

    "Love Comes Tumbling", like the first two songs heard on the second CD, has the definite 1980s sound, comparing bands like Duran Duran and The Cure. This one is a bit more moody, (like David Bowie's original version of "Cat People"). But you can definitely tell this song is U2. "Bass Trap" is a pleasant sounding instrumental, good for a movie soundtrack.

    "Dancing Barefoot" is another head-bouncer, 1980s pop style. "Everlasting Love" is the 1970s remake done by Carl Carlton, where U2's version is a bit more fast-paced, focusing the accoustic guitar. "Unchained Melody" is obviously the remake, famous by The Righteous Brothers. It's slow, but it's slightly different in sound than what we're normally used to. It starts out slow, but then there's a nice medium rock beat throughout the rest of the song, giving it a nice touch.

    "Walk To The Water" is another medium-paced, yet moody tune, most likely recorded during The Unforgettable Fire sessions. "Luminous Times (Hold On To Love)" is another smooth-pacing song, as it would have made a good track for the Rattle And Hum album. "Hallelujah Here She Comes" has a somewhat "galloping horse" feeling, where this song has a gospel harmony, as this song could possibly be recorded by a country artist, yet it's not really country. (you figure that one out...)

    "Silver And Gold" starts out eerie and mysterious, yet when it kicks in, it's a great U2 song. This song is a different version than originally on the Rattle And Hum album. "Endless Deep" is an instrumental moody rocker, in the style of a rocking song by Bryan Ferry and/or Roxy Music.

    Another great rocker is "A Room At The Heartbreak Hotel," where it defines the driving rock U2 is famous for. This song is almost the same in sound as "Bad", but it has a more harder driving rock edge. And lastly, "Trash, Trampoline And The Party Girl" has a slight reggae touch to it, where it's almost like the Police song "The Bed's Too Big Without You." from their album Reggatta de Blanc.

    The Best Of 1980-1990, having the limited second CD is a definite must for the U2 fan. Even though the first CD definitely defines the best material, the second CD makes this Best Of much more enjoyable, where most people are disappointed in a "Best Of" because they already have all of the songs listed. A whole CD dedicated to unreleased material is definitely better than just having one or two new songs included.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Island Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #614
    Sting--The Soul Cages
    Next Review: #616
    Frankie Yankovic--Frankie Yankovic And His Yanks' Greatest Hits