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.
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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
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