"Achtung Baby" - U2

30th Anniversary Release

Main Album:

Digital Version (Disc Two / Three: The Remixes):

Digital Version (Disc Four: B-Sides):

Background Information

2021 is the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Achtung Baby and to celebrate U2 have planned a number of releases, both in vinyl and in digital formats, as well as other events planned in conjunction with the release. The versions of Achtung Baby master that will be used for these releases is the 2018 master, directed by The Edge, and done by Scott Sedillo. This remaster was previously only available when you bought the vinyl released in 2018 and has not been released to digital services until now. The bonus tracks being used on digital releases have been newly remastered in 2021.

On vinyl there will be two different colours released. One will feature the album in red and blue vinyl, which will be limited and numbered. The other will be a standard black pressing. Both of these releases will be in 180-gram vinyl and the album will be spread over two discs. Both versions will contain a new poster, folded, inside the vinyl. The poster will be of the band sitting inside the trabant, an image fans are familiar with from the singles covers for the album. Both versions will also include a newly updated 8-page booklet of credits and lyrics. In both cases the album will be pressed from the 2018 master. The 2018 release was the first time this master was released, and at the time it was only released when you bought the vinyl. The remaster was done by Scott Sedillo under the direction of The Edge.

The coloured vinyl will come in a special slip case. These will be numbered, and each album will have it’s own number on the back of the red slipcase. Each of these slipcase editions will feature one of four different images on a cover inside the slipcase which will not be visible through the package. These are being called “mystery covers”. The regular album cover is also being included. Unlike earlier coloured vinyl releases, these will be numbered. In the images below you can see the slipcase standing behind the vinyl. The “mystery cover” will be sold inside this outer sleeve. The four covers include naked Adam, front and back titled Adam, photos of U2 from carnival wearing masks on both sides, titled Carnalville, and image of cows in blue with a group shot of U2 in red and blue on the back, titled Achtung Baby, and two photos of Bono with the topless woman from the front cover, titled Achtung Baby.

The listing for the black vinyl at Universal lists “A limited-edition black vinyl release of the Grammy-award winning U2 album Achtung Baby, to celebrate its 30th Anniversary.” It also lists, “30th Anniversary Limited Edition Deluxe Product, 2 × 180g heavyweight black vinyl, A newly designed 8-page booklet including lyrics & credits, A limited-edition bespoke 60cm x 60cm folded poster”. The listing for the coloured vinyl lists, “A limited-edition deluxe vinyl release of the Grammy-award winning U2 album Achtung Baby, to celebrate its 30th Anniversary.” It also lists as the contents, “30th Anniversary Limited Edition Deluxe Product, 2 × 180g heavyweight colored vinyl – LP1 pressed on Red Transparent vinyl, LP2 pressed on Blue Transparent vinyl, Exclusive slipcase with an individually numbered sticker on the reverse, Both LPs housed in a wide-spine sleeve with a newly designed 8-page booklet including lyrics & credits, A limited-edition bespoke 60cm x 60cm folded poster, 1 of 4 limited edition mystery covers.”

Where can you buy? U2.Com is selling both versions online. Local Universal Music sites that offer a store are also selling both versions. (MusicVaultz, UDiscover, TheSoundOfVinyl all fall under the Universal umbrella.) Many independent shops are also selling these, as is HMV in the UK. Due to the short turn around time between announcement and being placed on sale, not all shops may have their listings up to date yet, so please check with your local retailers direct if you have questions about these items. Previously coloured vinyl releases were not available on Amazon or at other big box shops, and at this time there is no listing that we’ve seen at these sites.

A digital release is also expected through all digital retailers and streaming sites. This is labeled as a four disc set. These four discs are the same as the six disc set released in 2011, but the “baby” versions are not included and neither is Zooropa. The remixes and additional tracks have been remastered in 2021 for this release. The set will contain an alternate cover which contains the doodle of “Cosmo”, the Achtung Baby, which can be seen above. The digital release will happen on December 3, 2021. The tracks included have all previously been released in 2011 as part of the Uber and Super Deluxe versions of Achtung Baby but this is the first time many of the tracks will be available outside of those physical collections. The remixes include remixes of tracks from Zooropa as well as Achtung Baby, as was done in 2011.

Also to be announced today is a 30th anniversary exhibition being held at Hansa Studios. The exhibition put on by U2 in conjunction with artist Thierry Noir will run from November 19 – 26, and will be open from 12 noon – 8pm. Noir is the artist who painted the trabants used in the Achtung Baby promotional campaign. The covers of “The Fly” and “Mysterious Ways” feature his artwork photographed from one of these trabants. You can register now at achtungbaby30.de for more information about this exhibit. Guests must each book a time slot individually even if coming in groups. Each time slot will last for 30min and has a maximum capacity of 6 guests. More information on Thierry Noir’s artwork and the newly created artwork for the exhibition is available here. The hood from the Noir painted trabant will then be exhibited in London from December 2 – December 9 and on December 9th will be auctioned in Phillips’ New Now sale. 100% of the proceeds from the auction will go to Berlin Institute for Sound and Music.

Additional items of Interest:

  • U2.Com have launched a new Achtung Baby shop with a wide range of prints, pins, T-shirts, jewelry, and other items related to the album.
  • Dave Fanning spoke with journalist John Meagher and designer Steve Averill on November 13. (Listen here)
  • RedBeard will be re-visiting his 1992 Achtung Baby Interview on November 15. (Available Now)
  • Anton Corbijn appears on Elevation on U2 X-Radio to talk about the album Anniversary on November 14, and it was teased there will be more Achtung Baby in the weeks to come. The show is available on demand to subscribers of SiriusXM Radio.
  • The Irish Independent’s John Meagher took a look at Achtung Baby at 30 (Read Here)
  • U2 X-Radio is focusing on Achtung Baby all month long with soundbites from fans collaborators and other musicians discussing the album.
  • Pat Carty from Hot Press will be on RTE Radio 1 on November 17, 2021 discussing the anniversary. (7:00pm Dublin Time)
  • Jo Whiley will discuss the 30th Anniversary with Bono and The Edge on Radio 2 on November 18, 2021. (7:30pm London Time)
  • Y108 will present a special celebrating the 30th anniversary of Achtung Baby through archival interviews on November 19, 2021 at 8pm ET. (Available here)
  • Edge is featured on the cover of this month’s Guitar World Magazine talking about the anniversary (available on newsstands now.)

Liner Notes


Original sleeve is by Steve Averill and Shaughn McGrath

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