Top 10 albums from ex-Mansun frontman Paul Draper – Number 8 – Achtung Baby (U2)

Draper - Achtung Baby

I’ve always been a big U2 fan. They’re completely unfashionable at the minute so I want to support them even more. But it’s hard to remember how innovative “Achtung Baby” actually was. When they made that album, they were so naff after doing “Rattle and Hum” – doing blues covers with BB King and Bono with his leather waistcoat and cowboy boots on – and everyone was like ‘this is so stale’. So they went away and just did something completely new. And when they came back with the first single “The Fly”, the sonics of the album – again here is the thread that runs through my Top 10 – it was engineered by Flood. It was the sonics of it – all the distorted vocals, the distorted guitars – because of course dance music was fashionable at the time. All the drums sounded like drum loops and there were Led Zeppelin riffs in there and it was really interesting. “Achtung Baby” was the complete reinvention of U2. The image was brilliant and the production is sensational. They were the biggest band in the world and they went to dip but that album just projected them right back up there to the ultimate stadium band. I don’t know whether you’d call it a comeback album or a cementing of them as the biggest band of their era but that is a phenomenal record and I absolutely love it.

For Number 7 in Paul Draper’s Top 10 favourite albums, please go here.

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Martin Leay started writing for Louder Than War after a chance meeting on a boat with John Robb. They were docked alongside Millennium Pier at the time and had just witnessed a blistering set by the world's only Parliamentary Rock Band, MP4. Besides MP4, Martin cites The Smiths, Libertines, Stone Roses, Billy Bragg, Belle and Sebastian, Art Brut, The Cure, Jamie T and Bloc Party amongst his favourite musical artists. He lives in Camberwell, works in Parliament, supports Tranmere Rovers, loves Coronation Street and once ran a marathon.

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