INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Record Collector JANUARY 2010 - by Terry Staunton
U2: THE UNFORGETTABLE FIRE
Remaster of a relatively more humble landmark
The latest addition to U2's ongoing expanded reissue series, The Unforgettable Fire is the first since the weighty 2007 overhaul of The Joshua Tree to be given the super-deluxe treatment. More modest versions are available, but serious fans will most likely be coveting this bumper package the size of a house brick.
Does the album, first heard in 1984, warrant such an elaborate makeover? Over the years it's perhaps unfairly become regarded as a mere dress rehearsal for its more iconic follow-up. In a pre-Joshua Tree world, however, it was nonetheless a pivotal release. Brian Eno produces for the first time, helping the quartet make the leap from traditional rock group to something more ambient and adventurous.
U2 already had a crowd-pleasing protest anthem with 1983's Sunday Bloody Sunday, but here is where Bono the social and political commentator really flexed his muscles, the pensive ruminations of MLK, 4th Of July and Pride (In The Name Of Love) catapulted to dizzying heights by The Edge's burgeoning guitar and effects pedal inventiveness. The DVD compiles promo videos and live clips, while the second CD gather B-sides and two previously unheard songs, one of which, Disappearing Act, was only belatedly completed on the band's recent world tour.