share
The editors of SPIN have ranked the most influential releases since the magazine's 1985 beginnings - and Achtung Baby comes in at No.1.

'U2's most immediately dynamic music since 1982's War, and its most emotionally frank songs to date, capturing that particular early-'90s rub of boundless possibility and worn-down despair...

'One' became an indelible anthem because it admitted 'we're not the same' but urged that we've gotta 'carry each other' nonetheless. The squalling swagger of 'The Fly' resonated due to the rock star at its center confessing he's a liar and a thief. And for 'Mysterious Ways,' the Edge somehow concocted a jubilantly snarling riff that transformed Bono's gospel come-on...'

Here's what Spin says.

So what's so special about Achtung Baby ?

COMMENTS

154
bigdaforprez
23 May, 2010
Ultraviolet
This song has practically no publicity, but is one of the best songs on the album. Gotta love it
steog
13 May, 2010
so cruel
The album was fantastic start to finish but so cruel was such araw and emotional song that every time I hear it, even now, I get goosebumps
BOCKER
12 May, 2010
happy birthday BONO
many happy returns of the day to an inspiration..you have been a massive influence on my life and i will be forever grateful to you. i am 50 also this year on 5th November and will see you at the Olympic Stadium, Athens in Sept to celebrate... LOVE ALWAYS TO THE BAND, John, Liverpool......
Darrenk
12 May, 2010
What More Can You Say
Boy...did SPIN get this one right! I remember the day Achtung Baby came out. I skipped class in college so my roommate and I could go to the local mall and get U2's new CD. I had seen the video for The Fly and didn't quite know what to make of it. When we got back to our room and put the CD in, I was blown away from the first notes of Zoo Station to the last notes of Love Is Blindness. Every song was fantastic and needless to say, the CD hardly ever came out of the player most of the next two semesters. To this day, this is their best album, Zoo TV is the best tour I've ever seen and the opening combo of Zoo Station & The Fly is the best start to any of their shows. I was a U2 fan before this album but became an even bigger fan after.
rmikejones
10 May, 2010
Bruce had to move over...
Much as Born to Run raised above the medicore of AOR of the mid-70's in came Achtung Baby with a swagger of seduction no opiate running a vein could ever deny admission, and the heady rush of new sounds resurrection remain as relative and fresh presently as the first distorted notes of Zoo Station assaulted the ears and consciousness breeding a renewed universe of U2 fans from that already loyal nation in place. We knew then U2 will never end.
bolsan
09 May, 2010
Happy birhday Bono!!!
Happy birthday Bono. I thank you for all that you give us every day with your music, the words, your life So I want to thank you for all of this. See you next 6th august at Torino. Happy birthday again!! A big kiss. Sandra
philipgroark
09 May, 2010
Love at first listen
Fantastic choice, SPIN. This is the album that made me fall head over heels in love with the band. I remember hearing The Fly for the first time, I believe it was the first track released, on the radio in Chicago and the dj on WLUP was unsure what to make of it. I thought then it was the most beautiful noise I ever heard. It still stands as my favorite song and album and I even pay homage to to the album on my license plate. The ensuing Zoo TV tour, in my mind, stands as the greatest live rock show ever and set the standard for all megatours today.
andisetsfire
09 May, 2010
Best Album by U2
Achtung Baby Is just a great great piece of music. You cant say that theres any bad track on it , every song for its own has a message , which is great . Everysong sounds good live and not just on cd which makes it even better... BUT : WHY DONT YOU GUYS PLAY ACROBAT LIVE !? Probably one of the best songs ever written by U2 and one of bonos favourites so comon U2 - play acrobat live on the 3rd/4th Leg of the 360 Tour !!!
Lemon Girl
09 May, 2010
The time before Achtung Baby and the tim
I was 16 at the time, confused, didn't have any positive role models, listened to music like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Roxette and just what was on the radio ... And then it was Christmas 1994. I got a present from my sisters. I just looked at this casette with a half-naked-man on it, a snake, a man with heavy eye-liner - and just said: Thank you - you know like you're supposed to do - one of my sisters saw my confusion and asked: But don't you like U2? I had never heard of U2 before - and definitely didn't know whether I liked them or not - but I didn't want to be an ignorant, so I just nodded, smiled and said: Sure I do! And then I just put the cassette away on the table. I had this feeling that I'd never listen to this cassette again (so much for 6th senses - I mean, could I be more wrong?). So Christmas night (in many countries in Europe we celebrate Christmas Eve on the 24th) I listened to the tape on my old player. I was horrified. What was this sound? I quickly removed the tape, threw it in the back of my closet and forgot all about it. A few months went by - I found the tape again, and I listened to it once more. The sound was enormous, frigthening but also a bit intriguing - and then I listened to it again - it was strange. Something happened. A whole new colourful/dark/vivid/adventurous/deep world opened. It was a marvellous experience - almost-walking-from-the-closet-into-Narnia-experince. I was just totally blown away. I simply HAD to listen to the tape again. And again. It was almost addicting. I did not know who was in the band - and I did certainly not know how popular they were. I was just caught up in this wonderful music. 15 years on and Achtung Baby is still my favourite album - it did change my life. I discovered a whole new world, new big ideas (there were not many big ideas in my home town, I assure you) and just a whole new perspective on things. There certainly was a time before and a time after I heard Achtung Baby for the first time ... that album is a true miracle.
jamore
08 May, 2010
The day Music changed
The day this album came out is etched vividly in my brain. I remember jumping in the car, ripping open the tape, throwing it in and hearing Zoo Station and was like, can I return this to the store? What did U2 do to themselves!!! Then I listen to the whole album, over and over and over, I wore out 3 cassettes till I finally ponied up to by a CD player for my car. (After hearing hearing Zoo Station live really made me understand that it was always meant to be played live and I appreciated the song even more.) This album is what made U2 the greatest band ever. The reason is that the band changed and adapted and stayed relevant. Other "great bands" sound the same as their first album. U2, willing to throw it all away to find it again, showed how special they are to the music world. How many bands release an album 30 years after their first and hit number 1? If U2 had not made Achtung Baby, but instead made Joshua Tree Part 2, they would be doing reunion tours, not setting records selling-out concerts. And what is amazing, this album still works today - Mysterious Ways - amazing; The Fly, Acrobat - pure joy; One - timeless. I was really glad when they decided to play Ultraviolet on this last tour - never could understand why this was not released as a single on the radio. And as for the rest of the 90's albums, Zooropa and Pop do not get the credit they deserve - they are a part of the U2 journey and one I hope lasts decades to come. I know many say, Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree, greatest album ever... But for me, knowing the history of how this album came to be and the timelessness of the songs, Achtung Baby is the album all of their work should be compared to, it is what changed the band to be the band that is today, U2.
jamore
08 May, 2010
The day Music changed
The day this album came out is etched vividly in my brain. I remember jumping in the car, ripping open the tape, throwing it in and hearing Zoo Station and was like, can I return this to the store? What did U2 do to themselves!!! Then I listen to the whole album, over and over and over, I wore out 3 cassettes till I finally ponied up to by a CD player for my car. (After hearing hearing Zoo Station live really made me understand that it was always meant to be played live and I appreciated the song even more.) This album is what made U2 the greatest band ever. The reason is that the band changed and adapted and stayed relevant. Other "great bands" sound the same as their first album. U2, willing to throw it all away to find it again, showed how special they are to the music world. How many bands release an album 30 years after their first and hit number 1? If U2 had not made Achtung Baby, but instead made Joshua Tree Part 2, they would be doing reunion tours, not setting records selling-out concerts. And what is amazing, this album still works today - Mysterious Ways - amazing; The Fly, Acrobat - pure joy; One - timeless. I was really glad when they decided to play Ultraviolet on this last tour - never could understand why this was not released as a single on the radio. And as for the rest of the 90's albums, Zooropa and Pop do not get the credit they deserve - they are a part of the U2 journey and one I hope lasts decades to come. I know many say, Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree, greatest album ever... But for me, knowing the history of how this album came to be and the timelessness of the songs, Achtung Baby is the album all of their work should be compared to, it is what changed the band to be the band that is today, U2.
babslee
07 May, 2010
Art school
I listened to Achtung Baby all through art school, it helped me get into a creative mood with a lot of my paintings.
rllanos
06 May, 2010
Achtung Baby and the art of reinventing
I remember when I first listened to the album, after their last two albums (Joshua and Rattle), my initial reaction was: "O.k......what is this!!??"...."U.2. has gone off it's tracks...".were my thoughts...But that's exactly what they needed to do: "dream up something new". Little by little the album started to grow on me..."Zoo Station" was not such an alien song to me anymore and I started to sense the band's sentiment: "....I'm ready to let go of the steering wheel...." It was becoming quite clear to me that something new was brewing here and they were unafraid to explore tierra incongnita at the expense of shedding successful, but old models. Up to this day, this album has been the album I have listened to, by far, the most (of U2 and of any artist). When I first bought the album, it was in the form of a cassette...well wore that out and I had to buy a cd, twice! Yes I know that's obsessive, but the album's edginess, honesty, vulnerability and willingness to experiment and try new things combined to create a sheer masterpiece in my ears. I still listen to this album and I was really glad to hear quite a few songs from that album played at the Rose Bowl concert last year. I'm glad to hear that this album took the #1 spot. U2: Thank you for being "ready....ready for the laughing gas and ready for what's next".....
Angelica1976
05 May, 2010
Makes me smile =)
This have been my favorite U2 album since I was a teenager... I played the CD for so long that I had to get another one since it broke :S This album is a great transition from the 80's to the early 90's music. LOVE IT!!! Glad the band plays the songs from this album on tours.... LOOOOOOOOVE IT!!
rfachtmann
05 May, 2010
#1
One says it all :) Glad you Irish stuck in the moment as One!
iris75
05 May, 2010
Zoo Station
I was in Berlin 2 weeks ago and the soundtrak in my mind was all Achtung Baby, specially Zoo Station , everytime i have to get a metro there.Its an amazing album.
foto007
04 May, 2010
Zoo tv
My First U2 Concert the Actung Baby has a beat and songs that just arrive's Like the So Cruel and Never forget the The Fly and The End of the world are the my best song's of the Early 90's after High School the best Album in the U2 Collection. See you this Summer the U2concert in Oakland ,Ca " Never Trust a Man with Shades"
salvar
04 May, 2010
just one
I think this is a well earned mention. If not AB, i think the number 1 would've go to another U2 album, zooropa perhaps
holmesy079
04 May, 2010
the real thing
Couldn't agree more with lastniteonearth. Vertigo etc are cringeworthy songs and u could add get on ur boots to that list. All 3 albums in the 90's are stunning - pop gets such a raw deal its unreal !! I was a u2 fan from a young age, but I was about 15 when I heard The Fly and couldn't believe what I was hearing! It blew me away. Still to this day my fav u2 track. With the release of achtung baby & the zoo tv tour they became the coolest band on the planet. Not a bad track on the album. My favs - The Fly, Wild horses & Ultraviolet
lastniteonearth
03 May, 2010
light my way
Sometimes I feel like checking out.....zoo tv tour, the show opener Zoo station, and esp Ultraviolet still give me chills. Sorry to say that the album and tour haven't been equalled again but NLOTH is great and hopefully the boys will springboard back towards zooropa and POP (THE MOST UNDERRated album.......brilliant..) If i never hear vertigo, elevation, beautiful day again live, i won't shed a tear...HOw about arm's around the world, wild horses and SO CRUEL! Mothers of the disappeared....one tree hill...stop me.
dismantle_this
03 May, 2010
Incredible
Finally. AB has received the acclaim it has deserved since '92! IMHO, we didn't SPIN to tell us this was U2's best album, or tha tit's the best album of (IMO) all time. AB speaks for itself. OF all their albums, AB speaks to us musically, lyrically, spiritually, metaphysically, creatively. FAN-Tastic! Everyone should receive a copy at birth :-)
jimmythefish
02 May, 2010
father ted is right...
U2s best album by far. Bono always spoke of Rock 'n' Roll before this album but that's not really U2. This is Rock - an amazing album and the Zoo TV Tour, the greatest show I have ever seen. They've tried since but the live shows since 2001 just haven't had the sheer 'power' AB brought. Zoo Station, U/violet and End of the World - a different class. I'd like to think it's not the money father ted but asking us to subscribe a year in advance and then not coming back to the UK says a lot. Now I know what Lemon was about!
yardie
02 May, 2010
Definative masterpiece
I remember watching the Zoo Tv spectacle as it rolled into Landsdowne Road,Dublin,late August 1993. Even though the album release had been some relatively considerable time before,the dust hadn't settled at all on the Achtung Baby release,and the tracks were buzzing still.U2 had probably a saturation high point at that time,nevermind sattelite television,they were hittng terrestial television in UK/Ireland during that period just about as much as any band could - a great plus for U2 fans at the time! 'Trying to throw your arms around the world',one of my favourites,a fabulously subtle track,epitomised the band at that time for me...and 'ONE',timeless and still poinant today as I listened to 2FM radio in Dublin reflect on the sudden death of one of thier presenters and long time U2 fan & friend Gerry Ryan. 20 years on and still dreamin out loud.Fantastic.
Raq
02 May, 2010
The whole disc
This is my favorite disc from U2, I remember that I was 13 years old when I saw One video and met the band, I was in love with the band for the rest of my life
BerylliumN
02 May, 2010
BerylliumN - Munich
Bono keeps emphazising the lyric in "One" is:..we GET to carry each other... doesn't he? It should point out the possibilities in it, it's not a "must".
Rich T.
01 May, 2010
Acrobat
It makes me sad that they don't play this song live.
01 May, 2010
ruined my life
could have gone my whole life listening to music, because of this album now i dissect everything i hear. brilliant piece of work.
sleddy35
01 May, 2010
Arrive
I remember seeing an interview with Edge where he says that some songs on 'Achtung Baby' "just arrive" and he is so, so right. The whole album arrived amongst some concern that U2 was moving too far away from it's thoughtful, spiritual, globally conscious past albums, and a probable concern that, in an attempt to not have a weak "same-same" follow-up to the brilliant 'Joshua Tree' album, the band went too far in the other direction. But, for me, what 'Achtung Baby' is a Masterpiece. It is my favorite because of its innovation AND its simplicity. It is sexy, raw, pleading, yearning, passionate, cerebral...I could go on. There isn't a track that you would skip, and they all are so well placed on the playlist. I feel emotional when I listen to it. It is a journey, albeit difficult in parts. They certainly evolved as musicians, lyricists...and the album just arrives....
drfo
30 April, 2010
EVEN BETTER THAN THE REAL THING.... CHIL
It's gratifying to read so many tributes and sentiments attached to AB, an unparalleled masterpiece. I was fortunate enough to see several live shows and was, at the time as well as to this date, dumbstruck with all that AB offers. It's 18 years later and I'm still deeply affected by the music, it's messages, and the associated remembrances. If one needs any convincing of this musics raw power, heartbreaking melancholy, seething sexuality, and genuine humanity, just slip "ZOO TV, Live In Sydney" in your DVD player and witness what I recon is THE greatest musical performance by the greatest musical performers in history, and I mean EVER! That comment may seem like hype on par with what U2 was satirizing at the time, but I dare anyone to view that concert or have been lucky enough to see the shows live and argue that any performer(s) at any moment in time captured more soul and substance that what the boys accomplished. It still brings me to my knees - Casey
HARVEJO
30 April, 2010
Bono comments at the Point
I was at the gig in the Point which featured Bono's famous "dream it all up again" speech that signalled the change in the band's musical direction. My god they did Achtung is the greatest album ever
Newer comments    1 - 30 of 154    Older comments

Recent News all news

25 Nov, 2014
Rare live set from 1980, now on double vinyl and digitally remastered. Introducing our 2014/15 subscription offer.
24 Nov, 2014
'It’s one of the proudest moments in U2’s history.' Band interview in new Mojo Magazine.
11
24 Nov, 2014
Take 11 urban artists, all inspired by Songs of Innocence. Result? Films Of Innocence.
3
19 Nov, 2014
Rolling Stone reports on Bono's cycling injury.

Related Topics