share
It was going to be an EP, maybe four songs. Some time had opened up on the ZOOTV tour and in February 1993 the band went into The Factory in Dublin for a couple of weeks. Half way through Bono had a thought:  'If we're going to all the bother of making an EP, let's push ourselves and see if we can make a full album.'

And they did and it came out twenty years ago this week. And here's some of the ways in which we love it.  (Tell us the ways you love it, in the comments below.)

That Falsetto. On Lemon.



Unlikely but True. It's a U2 record which took twelve weeks to record.

It's Got Johnny Cash.  The Wanderer is among the finest 'duals' the band have been involved in. 'That voice. It's not a subload. I don't know how he lives, carrying that voice around with him. It's so heavy.'  (Bono, who found the heavy when the band performed The Wanderer in Nashville on U2360.)

Edge Takes Lead Vocal. Numb.

It's Mad Good as Opposed to Mad Bad. 'The show would finish at 11.' remembers Larry.' As soon as we left the stage it was straight down into the cars, straigh to the airport, take off. Because the shows were in Europe, normally they were an hour or two ahead, so we'd arrive back in Ireland about midnight, go straight into the studio, do a couple of hours work, go home, go to bed. There were often a couple of days between shows, so we'd go into the studio in the afternoon, work into the night, get up the next day, head to the airport and fly to the next city. There was a month of that. It was mad, but it was mad good as opposed to mad bad.'

It's Got Stay (Faraway, So Close). The bang and the clatter.

Some of the Lyrics Are Seriously Out There. 'Don't change your brand/Don't listen to the band/Don't gape/Don't ape/Don't change your shape/Have another grape...' (Numb)



It's Got Dirty Day.  'Iggy Pop was very much an influence in terms of the way he'd make up songs in performance. This is really U2 in its most raw state. I see Charles Bukowski in my head and the kind of advice he gives, like 'Always give a false name.' (Bono on Dirty Day)

Shhhhh.  'After being on the road for a year we wanted something a bit quieter.' (Adam)

It Has Parables. 'The Prodigal Son returns and refuses his father's offer. He goes away and doesn't come back.' Bono on The First Time which started out as a reading of The Parable of The Prodigal Son written for Al Green.



Some Genius Reviews.  'Like a memoir written while the applause is still thundering, Zooropa is a plugged-in, spaced-out dispatch from the blinking LED eye of the multimedia storm.' (Guy Garcia in Time Magazine)

It Was Seriously Mixed Up. The Paul Oakenfold/Steve Osborne remix of Lemon, became a big hit in clubland, the first of several Zooropa tracks to get a DJ/Producer sonic makeover. Two years later Lemon, Numb and Stay were on the tracklist when the band released Melon (Remixes for Propaganda) a limited edition CD for members of the fan club.

Never heard Zooropa? Take a listen on our audio player.

Emergency Broadcasting Network Numb Remix

COMMENTS

68
zutopian
20 September, 2013
Pulled Me Back From Hell
Zooropa was the 'save your life' albums for me. I was at an all time low, coming out of a highly abusive marriage, Zooropa was just the wakeup call I needed to get me back on my feet. Being single with two kids, trying to regain my sense of self, I would listen to Zooropa as my workout album and feel the weight of the world lift from my shoulders. Before then, I thought U2 were okay, but have carried the U2 torch since Zooropa healed my soul. Thank you boys, and my kids thank you too!
mirrowman81
12 September, 2013
Otto Sander RIP
Miss you Otto Sander R.I.P. you will be forever a part of my personal Zooropa, my key to Zooropa and you were much more- Thank you so much
pain_18_
14 August, 2013
Questions II
How long have you known ? Does fear control our minds?
pain_18_
13 August, 2013
Questions
Do we need a God? How did you know it was me?
bono's hat
11 August, 2013
I would buy it again!!
Please give it it's own deluxe reissue/ remaster Zooropa deserves it
jenkins36
01 August, 2013
Way to bring it back on 360 tour
What are you thinking about Is conflict inevitable What difference does it make What sort of democracy for what sort of world Why did you have to leave How could have I been so stupid Why does it always take so long Why do you put up with me How do I know what's true WTF When will I know if I am a good father What are you afraid of Was it worth it Where is my mind Is history bound to repeat itself Do you still love me Is there something I should know Why is it so hard How do we get out of this What have I done to deserve this What difference does it make Why can't we all just get along Is anybody home Can we make it work this time Is love really ours What's going on How many times do I have to tell you Will you ever be able to trust me again Are we still on for Friday Are we still on for Friday Are we there yet Is it better to remember What do you want Don't ever put anyone out Which one is best to use What do you want Ultra Detergent! Who do you love Who do you love What do you want What do you want Don't ever put anyone out What do you want What do you want What do you want Who do you love Who do you love
ZoostationUK
01 August, 2013
Awesome
End of discussion :)
Milosz
31 July, 2013
So Zooropean :)
Zooropa is crazy, I love it. It's different than any other U2 album in that it was completely unanticipated. It just happened. Back then I didn't even know it was going to be released, I just found it in a record shop one day :) It's also a brave album, cool, brave, experimental, unconstrained and plane crazy. So Zooropean :)
PaDDY JOE
27 July, 2013
Farking nuts
I love it cos its nuts..
boomski1965
25 July, 2013
In my face
When Zooropa was released , i went to Plato's in Utrecht (the Netherlands) to listen and buy the album. Something I never did before; normally I would just go out and buy the Lp or CD. While listening there were a number of songs that threw my off my feet. I had recently become a father for the first time and the relationship with my wife was , to put it gently; terrible. I left the store and didn't buy Zooropa: it was way too confronting to me. When later that year the marriage fell apart, one of the first things I did was to go out and buy Zooropa. It has been in the CD player for quite a while: Programmed on 3, 5, 7 and 9 .One night after a night at the town, i remember, I wrote down the lyrics of Dirty Day on the living room wall. It stayed there for like 2 months, The moment I picked up the pieces of my life and left that part of my life behind, I repainted the wall. Nowadays I love this album, 'cause of the impact it has had in a period in my life , when I needed hope and comfort. and looking back that was just what Zooropa offered me. Without this ordeal , my path would not have lead to this extraordinary beautiful woman I have the pleasure of sharing my life with now. So it it alle turned out for the best. Therefor U2 is more than just music; to myself it is the soundtrack to my life. With Love from Holland!
drfo
23 July, 2013
The Cosmic Gift!......
SPACEBOY, SPACEBOY, SPACEBOY, SPACEBOY
U2Zooman
19 July, 2013
The birth of Mr Macphisto
Brillant and ever changing, the way that U2 challenges themselves. Loved the album and the birth of Mr Macphisto.... I leave behind video cameras for each of you... So many different amazing songs that continue to let me fall in love with them all over again... 20 years later.
neilbarb
19 July, 2013
I'm still numb
I remember listening to this album over and over that summer. It was so cool and funky while also being heavy in areas. I still love this album and am so glad the band followed through on their inspiration.
curleydowling
15 July, 2013
Daddy's Gonna Pay......
....For Your Crashed Car! U2 wandering through the machines....
Hijynx76
15 July, 2013
The perfect transitional album
For me Zooropa was the perfect soundtrack for the closure of my adolescence. I had left school and was out in the world trying to make sense of a lot of stuff that I didn't know existed (coming from a really small town). Zooropa complimented Achtung Baby perfectly, and marked the end of yet another reincarnation of the band. The songs from these two albums were always there, at wild parties, breakups, in the car, hanging out with mates. They all provided a sense of meaning for whatever was going on, and in the process gained a lot of context in my life. I now look back on them with great fondness, still amazed by their meaning. They are like an old friend.
gat
14 July, 2013
Babyface
I loved this song, Babyface, the best of the album for me and one of my favorites of U2. I remember the first time that I heard the album and I was very surprised for the voice of Bono in Lemon. I can't believe it. Even today this album is really perfect for me.
rach_877
13 July, 2013
It surprised me!
The first U2 album I ever heard was All That You Can't Leave Behind, and the second was Zooropa. That was quite a shock!
massimo4u
12 July, 2013
WORST EVER
Following the fabs since '83 but this one is just a mistake they could have avoided
peach23
12 July, 2013
11 Number 1 Albums
ARIA celebrates 30 years of charts Updated: 16:21, Wednesday July 10, 2013 The Australian Recording Industry Association has marked 30 years since the July 10, 1983 launch of its weekly charts. Irish stadium rockers U2 have had the most no.1 albums with 11 reaching the top whilst Radiohead have had 5 albums reach no.2 without ever reaching pole position. ZOOROPA is one of those albums :)
newsman
12 July, 2013
It didn't need remastered ...
Actually, like Achtung Baby, which wasn't remastered, Zooropa didn't need a remastered because it was perfect the way it was.
jdstanton
11 July, 2013
zooropa
sad it never got its own remaster...tucked away in the ab release... ep then a full lp in cold blood just a snippet from an interview crazy mix of Stay on far away sound track lemon my fav but the rest aint far behind
ATTS
09 July, 2013
WIDE AWAKE IN SPACE
THANK YOU for ZOOROPA, BEST WISHES on #13 Hoping the band will continue to release b-sides, EPs and between tour records. Just watched From the Sky Down again and each quote from the band helped underscore the best of NLOTH and made me hope they have the gaul to unleash an artsy record. Loved UF, AB and Zooropa, followed by Pop, NLOTH - which are great but not as solid. Indeed,
musicabona
09 July, 2013
A Bluer Kind Of White
Thinking about records that made us aware of U2´s wide variety of artistic expression, Achtung Baby comes to mind first. But the album that really surprised me with a stunning complexity of sounds was Zooropa. Shortly after its release I experienced it as a very artificial introduction into the world of the late 20th century and when listening I was thrilled to discover the fascinating result of U2´s courage to experiment. The album reveals its layers slowly, with an atmospheric piano intro evoking a dark mood reflecting our yearning for love and spirituality in confusing modern surroundings. A brilliant piece of work leading us to a surreal kind of Europe, an imaginary place populated by various characters.
aedoh
08 July, 2013
Pat Kenny radio show
I queued for this album on Grafton street and was interviewed for the Pat Kenny radio show which was aired the following morning. An Aunt down in Wexford rang to say she'd heard it. From start to finish as Larry once famously said "It's a musical journey really." I love Lemon live.
amaurihtdaab
08 July, 2013
Zooropa, twenty years later
When this album was released was only four years without know what it was U2. But after 2006 when he became a fan, I knew this album is fantastic, alternative, one of the best works of the band. The sound of this album sounds wonderful, the lyrics elaborate.
norwaylad
07 July, 2013
Green light, Seven Eleven
My son was four when Zooropa came out, and Stay was the first U2 song I ever herd him sing along too. I was just getting my head around Achung Baby , then Zooropa came along . What a gift!
rayson_detre
07 July, 2013
it was just tremendous.
thankfully the impact wasn't too big to write about. it's just too big for here. in terms of push the envelope, this is, and will remain, the one. it is also the most peaceable, gentle and benign album creature in the U2 catalogue, its power all the greater for it. for sheer creativity in so little a time space, it's up there with the Rolling Stones and the like as a bomb of beauty. same for groundbreaking. and yes it deserved its Grammy for alternative, just made me feel sorry for the alternatives.
karl20
07 July, 2013
karl20
great album saw them at wembley 93 great gig paul oakenfold on dj duties and the TFI u2 heads on stage before the gig love stay saw u2 perform it at wembley and cardiff on 360 tour
Jaime16
06 July, 2013
Its U2 with a taste of Kraftwork
the most underestimated album of u2
mark1708
06 July, 2013
So why has it not been reissued?
Superb, fantastic, excellent, delightful, artistic, creative, emotional, moving, adorable, congenial, harmonious, delectable, captivating…..
Newer comments    1 - 30 of 68    Older comments

Recent News all news

27 Nov, 2014
Live From the MTV EMA in Glasgow. Every Breaking Wave.
6
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.
18
24 Nov, 2014
Take 11 urban artists, all inspired by Songs of Innocence. Result? Films Of Innocence.
6

Related Topics