INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
The Austin Chronicle MARCH 30, 2001 - by David Lynch
U2: THE UNFORGETTABLE FIRE
Released in September 1984, U2's fourth album was named after an exhibit of artwork made by survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic holocausts. In stark contrast to the mindless cock rock, New Wave synth, and big-hair metal vogue at the time, The Unforgettable Fire was a breath of fresh air, dealing with such weighty issues as heroin overdoses (Wire, Bad) and war atrocities (A Sort Of Homecoming, The Unforgettable Fire). While the quartet's prior catalog holds memorable songs, The Unforgettable Fire is U2's first really cohesive album, both sonically, as its rich hues and deep tones are painted on a warm analog tableau, and thematically, as the songs often deal with loss due to unnecessary death. Nearly everyone knows Pride (In The Name Of Love) and Bad, but this milestone album also contains the mercurial Wire and the impressionistic Elvis Presley And America. While the band would go on to create wonderful albums, at this point U2 was still drawing inspiration primarily from their native Emerald Isle - before the pretensions of success clouded their judgment, before they felt a need to reinvent themselves. These ten songs find U2 hungry for honest expression and sonic experimentation, producing/engineering accolades going to Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. Like any true classic, The Unforgettable Fire stands the test of time. It is now like it was in 1984: bittersweet, deep, and magical.