"Achtung Baby" - U2

Reissued Album (20th Anniversary)

Track Listing:

Extra Audio Materials:

Extra Video Materials:

Additional Track Notes:

This album came in a number of configurations containing the tracks above.

Super CD and Uber CD:

  • Disc 1 (Achtung Baby): Zoo Station / Even Better Than the Real Thing / One / Until the End of the World / So Cruel / The Fly / Mysterious Ways / Tryin’ To Throw Your Arms Around the World / Ultra Violet (Light My Way) / Acrobat / Love is Blindness
  • Disc 2 (Zooropa): Zooropa / Babyface / Numb / Lemon / Stay (Faraway So Close!) / Daddy’s Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car / Some Days are Better than Others / The First Time / Dirty Day / The Wanderer
  • Disc 3 (Uber Remixes): Night and Day (Steel String Remix) / Even Better than the Real Thing (Solar Plexus Extended Club Mix) / Lemon (The Perfecto Mix) / Can’t Help Falling in Love (Triple Peaks Remix) / Lady with the Spinning Head (Extended Dance Mix) / Even Better than the Real Thing (V16 Exit Wound Remix) / Mysterious Ways (Ultimatum Mix) / The Lounge Fly Mix / Mysterious Ways (The Perfecto Mix) / One (Apollo 440 Remix)
  • Disc 4 (Unter Remixes): Mysterious Ways (Tabla Motown Remix) / Mysterious Ways (Apollo 440 Magic Hour Remix) / Can’t Help Falling in Love (Mystery Train Dub) / One (Apollo 440 Ambient Mix) / Lemon (Momo’s Reprise) / Salome (Zooromancer Remix) / Even Better than the Real Thing (Trance Mix) / Numb (Gimme Some More Dignity Mix) / Mysterious Ways (Solar Plexus Magic Hour Remix) / Numb (Soul Assassins Mix) / Even Better Than the Real Thing (Apollo 440 Stealth Sonic Remix)
  • Disc 5 (B Sides and Other Stuff):
  • Disc 6 (Kindergarten – The Alternate Achtung Baby):
  • DVD 1 (From the Sky Down Documentary)
  • DVD 2 (The Videos)
  • DVD 3 (Bonus Material)
  • DVD 4 (ZooTV Live from Sydney)

Vinyl Box Set:

  • Disc 1 (Achtung Baby): Zoo Station / Even Better than the Real Thing / One / Until the End of the World / Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses / So Cruel
  • Disc 2 (Achtung Baby): The Fly / Mysterious Ways / Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World / Ultra Violet (Light My Way) / Acrobat / Love is Blindness
  • Disc 3: (Uber Remixes): Even Better Than the Real Thing (The Perfecto Mix) / Night and Day (Twilight Remix) / Mysterious Ways (The Perfecto Mix) / Even Better than the Real Thing (Fish Out of Water Remix)
  • Disc 4: (Unter Remixes): Salome (Zooromancer Remix) / Mysterious Ways (Solar Plexus Club Mix) / Lemon (The Perfecto Mix)

Deluxe 2 CD:

  • Disc 1 (Achtung Baby): Zoo Station / Even Better Than the Real Thing / One / Until the End of the World / So Cruel / The Fly / Mysterious Ways / Tryin’ To Throw Your Arms Around the World / Ultra Violet (Light My Way) / Acrobat / Love is Blindness
  • Disc 2 (B Sides and Bonus Tracks): Lady With the Spinning Head (UV1) / Blow Your House Down / Salome / Even Better Than the Real Thing / Satellite of Love / Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses (Temple Bar Remix) / Paint it Black / Even Better Than the Real Thing (Fish Out of Water Remix) / Mysterious Ways (The Perfecto Mix) / Night and Day (Steel String Remix) / The Lounge Fly Mix / Fortunate Son / Alex Descends into Hell for a Bottle of Milk – Korova 1 / Where Did it All Go Wrong?

Additional Video Notes:

The disc titled “Videos” includes:

  • The Fly
  • Mysterious Ways
  • One (Corbijn Version)
  • Even Better than the Real Thing
  • One (Pellington Version)
  • One (Joanou Version)
  • Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
  • The Fly (Performance Only)
  • Even Better than the Real Thing (Perfecto Mix)
  • The Fly (Text Only, Audio from Live from Sydney)
  • Until the End of the World (Live from Oakland)
  • The Fly (Live from Sellafield)
  • Even Better than the Real Thing (Live from Sellafield)
  • Love is Blindness
  • Lemon
  • Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
  • Numb
  • Numb (EBN Video Remix)

The contents of the disc titled Bonus Material includes:

  • Zoo TV Special – A Documentary (01:09:09): includes “Zoo TV Intro” (Live from New York, August 29, 1992), “George Bush Rap” (Live from New York, August 29, 1992), “Zoo Station” (Live from New York, August 29, 1992), The Fly (Live from New York, August 29, 1992), Even Better Than the Real Thing (Live from Houston, October 24, 1992), Mysterious Ways (Live from New York, August 29, 1992), Until the End of the World (Live from New York, August 29, 1992), Tryin’ To Throw Your Arms Around the World (Live from Houston, TX, October 24, 1992 and footage from a variety of other shows), Satellite of Love (Live from New York, August 29, 1992), Bullet the Blue Sky (Live from New York, August 29, 1992), Running to Stand Still (Live from Houston, October 24, 1992), Where the Streets Have No Name (Live from New York, August 29, 1992), Desire (Live from New York, August 29, 1992) – these tracks are intermixed with “Interference” and many are stopped and started throughout the special. [When Love Comes to Town (Live from New York, August 29, 1992) was in the original Television special but is not included here]
  • MTV’s Most Wanted – Zoo TV Special (45:33): Includes live footage including “Even Better than the Real Thing (Live from Stockholm, 1992), Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World (Live from Stockholm, 1992), Dancing Queen (Live from Stockholm, 1992) as well as videos for The Fly, Angel of Harlem, Mysterious Ways, One (Corbijn Version), Sunday Bloody Sunday (Live at Red Rocks), and A Celebration.
  • MTV Rockumentary (24:13): Includes the History Mix.
  • U2 on Naked City, 1993 (11:46)
  • U2 on TV Land, 1992 (15:12)
  • Trabantland Documentary (07:54)
  • Two wallpapers and a screensaver in the DVD-Rom portion

Background Information

In 2011, it was the 20th anniversary of “Achtung Baby” and to celebrate the anniversary, a reissued version of “Achtung Baby” was released in a variety of formats. The new version of the album was sold in a number of configurations, a single CD, a double deluxe CD, a super box set including six CDs and 4 DVDs, a vinyl box set with four 12-inch vinyl records, and an Uber box set with six CDs, 4 DVDs, 5 7-inch singles, magazine, book, and much more.

The package was originally rumoured throughout 2010 as a possible fall release, but it wasn’t until September 17, 2011 that John Vanderslice on twitter let slip that “Achtung Baby” was being “remastered” in the next room to the one he was working in at Bernie Grundman studios in Los Angeles. A listing on Amazon.com on July 29, 2011 was the first news fans had of the album though, with U2.com announcing the set on August 4. There was significant talk about whether or not the album had been remastered, and Neil McCormick reported that the album was not remastered. “In answer to queries about Achtung Baby, I went to the source. It hasn’t been remastered because it “didn’t need to be”, apparently it’s been sonically tweaked & polished but not, technically, remastered. Hope that makes more sense to you than it does to me. I’m just telling you what I’ve been told. Not remastered. But tweaked & boosted. Its definitely louder.” When the re-release was first announced on u2.com it was not listed as remastered, however, when they updated the article with the track listing it was then called a “remaster”, but that article was eventually edited again to remove any mention of that.

A number of the bonus tracks are new to this recording, and are still in their original format, but some tracks have been updated and “finished” with the addition of new vocals and instrumentals. The booklet lists additional production and recording on the tracks by Declan Gaffney so they are easy to spot. “Blow Your House Down”, “Oh Berlin”, “Heaven and Hell”, and the baby version of “Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World” all have new recorded pieces added to the original tracks. Additionally Gaffney did some mixing work on the baby versions of “One” and “Love is Blindness” but neither list that new recording has been done for these tracks.

Prior to the release of this set, U2’s manager, Paul McGuinness, was interviewed and said, “There will be multiple formats. If you pile a lot of extra material and packaging and design work into a super-duper box set, there are people who will pay quite a lot for it, so you can budget it at a very high level and pump up the value.” And indeed that path was taken with this release. There was a “Uber Box” version of this set released which was limited to just 600 copies. That box contained 10 discs, 6 CDs and 4 DVDs. It also included the album on two 12-inch vinyl records (black vinyl) and included new pressings of all five 7-inch singles on clear vinyl. The box included 16 art prints, an 84-page hard cover book, a reprinted copy of U2’s fan magazine “Propaganda” featuring Achtung Baby, four pins, a sticker sheet and Fly sunglasses. The box was a two level box with a drawer that slid out, and featured 16 magnets on the outside that fit together to make up the cover of the album. Each Uber box was numbered on the backside. A cheaper “Super Deluxe” version of the release contained the 6 CDs and 4 DVDs but omitted most of the extra bonus items for a significant lower price. This box did include the 16 art prints, as well as being packaged into a hard cover book, released inside an outer box. Only the Uber release came with access to download the content of the box set, and also came with a bonus audio track to download taken from the documentary “From the Sky Down,” the Edge singing “Love is Blindness.”

The version of “From the Sky Down” included here on DVD as part of the Super and Uber sets is a shortened version of the documentary. When the video was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival, as well as on British television, it included several scenes which are omitted from the DVD packaged in this collections. The scenes that are missing include a scene where Bono listens to an early version of “Mysterious Ways” titled “Sick Puppy” and comments “it’s not alright” as the Edge laughs; Edge tells a story about “Love is Blindness” and how he was putting everything he had into it only to have Lanois comment it wasn’t very good; and a scene where Bono goes through a list of bands that they started out with who are no longer together. These scenes would be released as part of a standalone release for “From the Sky Down” on DVD and Blu-Ray.

There was a production issue with the sets which included the DVDs. Although the discs were supposed to be region free, a production error caused the “Zoo TV: Live from Sydney” disc to be formatted as region 2 which made the disc unplayable in North America. Universal launched a replacement program for this disc, sending out copies in the proper format by mail to replace these discs to customers who were not in the region 2 area.

Part of the promotion of this set included the launch of a U2 tribute album titled “(Ǎhk-to͝ong Bāy-Bi) Covered“ — this album featured a number of artists performing the songs of Achtung Baby including Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Snow Patrol, and Jack White. The album was initially launched as a free giveaway with Q magazine in the UK but demand for the issue was so high that the album was released digitally as well worldwide. Also featured on the album was a new remix of “Even Better than the Real Thing” by Jacques LuCont. In the early planning for the album a release of a single of remixes of “Even Better than the Real Thing” was proposed, but only the “Fish Out of Water” mix featured on this album, and the LuCont mix featured on the tribute album were released. No single was released for the album, however, “She’s Gonna Blow Your House Down” was serviced to radio stations in a digital format and did receive some airplay.

One error did slip into the credits, “Lemon (Momo’s Reprise)” is wrongly credited to Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne, but it was actually David Morales who remixed the song for that mix.

Liner Notes

Recognition and Awards

  • #48, The 100 Greatest Albums of All Time (Absolute Radio, March 2016, voted by Listeners)
  • Q Magazine, Top 100 Albums Readers Poll #15 (January 1998)
  • Top 102 Albums of the 1990s, 102.1 The Edge: #5 (February 1998)
  • #9, 250 Best Albums of Q’s Lifetime (Q Magazine, February 2011)
  • Q Magazine’s Top Ten Recordings of 1991
  • #3, Q Magazines The Music That Changed the World (Q Magazine, March 2004)
  • #6, Q Magazine’s Top 20 Albums in the Lifetime of Q Magazine (Q Magazine, November 2006)
  • #10, Readers Choice, Top 100 Albums (Rolling Stone, October 2002)
  • #2, Best Album, Critic’s Picks 1991 (Rolling Stone Magazine, 1991)
  • #1, Best Album, Readers Picks 1992 (Rolling Stone Magazine, 1992)
  • Listed in Rolling Stone Magazine’s Essential Rock Collection
  • #62, Top 500 Albums (Rolling Stone, December 2003)
  • #63, Top 500 Albums (Rolling Stone, April 2012)
  • #86, Top 100 Alternative Albums (Spin Magazine, December 1995)
  • #19, Top 90 Albums of the 90s (Spin Magazine)
  • #11, 100 Greatest Albums 1985 – 2005 (Spin Magazine, July 2005)
  • Listed in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (2005 and 2008 ed) by Robert Dimery
  • #24, Top 50 Best Albums of All Time [Listener voted] (BBC Radio 6, UK, 2002)
  • #58, Albums of the Millennium [Survey] (Channel 4 / HMV / Guardian Newspaper, Autumn 1997)
  • #65, VH1’s Rock N Roll Top 100 Albums (VH1 Television, 1999)
  • Nomination (Did Not Win), Album of the Year (Grammy Awards, 1993)
  • Nomination and Win, Best Rock Performance by Duo / Group (Grammy Awards, 1993)
  • #3, 100 Greatest Irish Albums of All Time (Hot Press, February 24, 2005) [Public Polling]
  • #39, Top 100 Albums of All Time (2FM Radio, October 1995) [Listeners Poll]

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