U2 – U218 Singles

U2 – U218 Singles

AMG Review: U2’s first two greatest-hits albums neatly divided themselves by decade, with the first covering the ’80s and the second summing up the ’90s. Their third hits comp, 2006’s U2 – U218 Singles, is at once more ambitious and more concise, offering an overview of their first 26 years on a single disc comprised of 18 tracks — and since two of those are new songs, that leaves just 16 songs to tell their whole story. That’s not much space for a band with a career as lengthy and ambitious as U2, so it’s inevitable that some painful cuts have been made. Nothing from October, Zooropa or Pop is here, and unless you’re buying various import editions that have “I Will Follow” as a bonus track, there’s nothing from Boy, either. There’s only one cut each from The Unforgettable Fire and Rattle and Hum — and bucking conventional wisdom, none of their three widely accepted masterpieces — War, The Joshua Tree, or Achtung Baby — provide the most songs here. No, out of all their albums the one that dominates U218 Singles is All That You Can’t Leave Behind, their 2000 comeback from the depths of the misguided Pop, and one of two records that they’ve released since their last hits compilation, The Best of 1990-2000….
Then again, U2 always were the best arena rockers of their generation, and for those who love the spectacle and sound of the band in full flight, U2 – U218 Singles serves up that side of the band quite well, along with two new entries that find the band continuing the assured, even-handed sound of Atomic Bomb: a cover of the Skids’ “The Saints Are Coming,” recorded with Green Day and rewritten to vaguely address the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and “Window in the Skies,” an anthemic pop number that relies too heavily on synth strings yet is saved by the band’s sturdy songwriting and reliable performance. As such, it might not cover all the bases, but it covers enough of the major ones to be a good summary for fellow travelers who just know U2 from the radio, and it’s also a good one-stop introduction to the basics for neophytes. –by Stephen Thomas Erlewine


U2 – U218 Singles Tracklist

1. “Beautiful Day” 0:00
2. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” 04:05
3. “Pride (In the Name of Love)” 08:40
4. “With or Without You” 12:30
5. “Vertigo” 17:27
6. “New Year’s Day” 20:38
7. “Mysterious Ways” 24:56
8. “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” 28:59
9. “Where the Streets Have No Name” 33:33
10. “The Sweetest Thing” 38:20
11. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” 41:21
12. “One” 46:01
13. “Desire” 50:37
14. “Walk On” 53:38
15. “Elevation” 58:07
16. “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” 1:01:54
17. “The Saints Are Coming” (feat. Green Day) 1:07:01
18. “Window in the Skies” 1:10:23
19. “I Will Follow” (Only on CD in United Kingdom and Australia)1:14:34

U2 - U218 Singles

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