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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
PauloSilva
06 July, 2013
zzzzzzzzoropa the best
perfect u2 álbum i love it,,all songs are special in lbum,,love u2 ever from portugal
pain_18_
05 July, 2013
A Little Play With Words
I made a lemonade for my girl. I left the Lemon Numb on the table and told her that I was a Wanderer until I met her. She looked at me with a Babyface and promised she'll always Stay..Faraway, So Close...However...I remembered that I crashed the car on that Dirty Day, she assured me, very confident: Don't worry Baby, Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car ! In the early summer morning we put on Zooropa and kissed for The First Time while the sound of a lonely guitar echoed in the quietness of our feelings. I guess Some Days are Better Than Others...
calman
05 July, 2013
New title
Would anyone out there like to give a guess as to what the title of the new album might be!!? The last title of "No Line On The Horizon" gave me the impression that the band were trying to say that there was no end in sight....I hope that's the case by the way!! Any ideas anyone?
corrado1977
05 July, 2013
so strange,so lovely
it's fucking strange but it's fucking lovely to listen to.....Lemon will be in my head forever.
Carlitos_Gonzalez
05 July, 2013
Stay!
Perfect complement to Achtung baby. Far away, to close, up with the static, and the radio waves...
keith360
05 July, 2013
Too Much is Not Enough...
What a great review of Zooropa. Makes me think of the moment my mom first told me that she had read the album announcement in the paper (while U2 was still on the ZooTV tour) to the moment I got my copy and listened to the opening sounds of Zooropa (Vorsprung durch Technik). I vividly remember hearing the sound of radio channels being rapidly changed followed by Edge's lead-in notes and thinking, "This is the future of music." Fun.
KittyCatClaudine
04 July, 2013
Purrrrrrfect album. The cat's meow!!
You cry for momma, but Daddy;s right along. He gives you the keys to a flaming car, Daddy's with you wherever you are. Daddy's a comfort, Daddy's your best friend, Daddy'll hold your hand right up til the end!! Brilliant Album, Brilliant Concept!! Another U2 stealth bomber tactical joy ploy!! OH MY :)
lemmon
04 July, 2013
Just 10...
I was 10, in post-communist just-peacefully-separated country growing child, listening to Ace of Base and other cool disco of the time ;) when my 9 years older brother came up to me with this tape: Zooropa on A side, Joshua Tree on B. He turned the deck on feeling like a God (he finally got his pirated U2 albums) and I remember listening to that first minute of Zooropa song and telling him what a crap he brought! But suddenly I was struck by the strange sounding guitar and I knew I was lost! Totally, till the end of my life! I still got goosebumps listening to that... ...And still don't know how to get the sound off my guitar, damn ;) Edge, please help! :) One of the best things that happened to me! Very heavy, true, alternative, full of ideas and yet sadly a bit underestimated U2 album. REAL MASTERPIECE!
tan_lejos_tan_cerca
04 July, 2013
Zooropa is a BEAST of an album
I love it since I had it in my hands. When it was released I sat down listening and I couldn't believe it... It's U2 breaking the mold, inmediately after breaking the mold with Achtung Baby.
pain_18_
04 July, 2013
Now I get it !
If you listen closely, Zooropa becomes a real tender lullaby towards the end: "Don't worry Baby, it's gonna be alright, you've got the right shoes to get you through the night..." U2 made it really clear when they had put that Baby-laughter-sequence after Zooropa on the 360 show...
nicoverhelle
04 July, 2013
Zooropa
listened to it in the car this morning, it came out when i became fan, reminds me of my student days in 1993: listening to Zooropa while studying... still love Numb and Stay
zoosanna
03 July, 2013
Vital, creative and unique
'Zooropa' is such a great album capturing this special vital and creative period of U2. I remember listening to it for the first time, stunned because of the uniqueness of the music. It was hard to believe that after AB U2 would release another masterpiece... but they did... and that's why we all love them so much! :)
phllee
03 July, 2013
Like a Fine Wine
Like a fine wine, Zooropa gets better with age. By far, my favorite U2 CD to listen to now. Being an American, I think we get envious of the fact that this album is a very Euro-centric album. However, I will say this till the day I die, The Wanderer deserves to be in the Great American Songbook, it's the perfect mash of Bono's lyrical tug-of-war with his Christianity and echoes so clearly in the dire baritone of Johnny Cash. Zooropa was my personal highlight of the 360 tour and now if we can convince the guys to bring out Daddy's Gonna Buy Your Crashed Car on the next tour, I will be a complete U2 fan!!!!
djmartin
03 July, 2013
a big surprise, when it went into shops
I remember it very well, that day, when I went into my most beloved Record-Store, as I did it often that days. To my big surprise I saw this new album in the window. I was very stunned about that, because I hadn't heard before, that the boys would bring a new record. And I loved this record so much, after Achtung Baby another one, that broke with all the old Rock'n- Roll-rules! For me, this two albums marking the beginning of a new time in Rock'n Roll. Whenever I hear MUSE or The Killers, I also have this two albums in my head, ever thinking, they made the music of these bands possible.
alexct
03 July, 2013
Stay
I loved this song at first hearing and at that time it run in my head over and over. Even now, after all these years, it gives me chills in my spine. Wonder why they didn't put the Moncton version in U22. The "360 leaving town" was the perfect end of a wonderful tour.
jstroop
03 July, 2013
Firing on All Cylinders
Zooropa sounds nothing like a U2 album and yet it's quintessential U2 at their most confident. By recording on tour they were putting their movement to tape as it was happening (and while they were living it). The lyrics are often quite personal ("She wore lemon"; "I feel numb"; pick a song) but aren't overthought, and the result is that song for song this is U2s strongest album lyrically (not surpisingly, Boy comes in a close second). Sonically it's similar: the ideas are fresh, complex but not overthought, and the result is consistently rich and unique. U2 should make more albums in 12 weeks. I'm going to go listen to it now.
The Glue
02 July, 2013
Summer of 93
I was looking for this album in stores in July 93 but they only had achtung baby at the time, which ended up being my first u2 album...then a radio station here in Winnipeg played a triple shot, lemon, dirty day and numb... Lemon and Dirty Day weren't even singles then
lgg
02 July, 2013
I love Zooropa
For Zooropa! The dystopia in that song is amazing. It's like plunking someone into the world long after it had frozen to a stand still (leaving the world as it was in 1993)...except the lights are still on. Stay, Some Days, Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car are all excellent tunes still 20 years on.
frannyt
02 July, 2013
Unusual and lovely!
Zooropa was a strange and wonderful unexpected treat! U2 always stays current and relevant and keeps us oh so interested.
Gwellan
02 July, 2013
The Special One
This album is really special and so underrated. I loved Zooropa and rediscovered it on the 360Tour : what a release ! And Stay, one of the greatest U2' song. Numb, Lemon, The Wanderer. The 1st time : in 1993 I just met the girl who, 20 years later, is still my wife. Daddy's... : in 1993, I broke my daddy's car... All these songs have still sounds to me.
Yury Zachek
02 July, 2013
U2 started with Zooropa for me
I love it because I started listening to U2 when Zooropa came out. On the ruins of the USSR the records only started to become available for us in Russia. It is a milestone for me and the first U2 album I ever heard. I was 13 then and still live it now the most.
cnug
02 July, 2013
cnug
I remember thinking at the time that the U2 diehard fans wouldn't like it but after listening to it a few times I soon realised it was a touch of class So thank you guys for another masterpiece..... but hurry up with the new album....
karlanni
02 July, 2013
9 out of 10 ain't bad
Zooropa was not my favorite U2 album, it always felt it sounded more like Autung out takes, but good ones. Always liked Lemon and its remixes and Numb. Still really like the album ..... except The Wanderer. Maybe it's just me but I hate it. Always stop the disc before it plays.
Eilis
01 July, 2013
Inspirational and Just Plain Cool
This album actually inspired me to write a novella, so I'd say it's pretty inspirational. As for the just plain cool, that sort of speaks for itself. I mean, 'Stay (Faraway, So Close!)'? How can you not love that song? And then there's 'Numb' (Edge has a great voice) and 'Zooropa' (which really creates a cool picture in your head). Certainly one of my favourites!
electricco
01 July, 2013
Zooooooooooropa ZZoooorrropppaa Zoooropa
as would said mister mac phisto ...... incredible summer of 1 9 9 3 ... meet the band .... my avatar pic was taken 20 years ago (june 25 in paris) , someone ask to the edge about his Numb song = just can't wait to have an edge's song on the next album . 1 9 9 3 was hot ... and 2013 even More ???????
lassche
01 July, 2013
We? don't look mutch back....
at our music, the best pits of the past we try to bring them with us. My favorit song of the album is: Stay.............. Why is that song called Stay, Bono? Love and light, Detlev Lassche.
NanyandGonzo
01 July, 2013
Having recapitulated
Ok, I must admit this was not my fav one some time ago. The lyrics and even the music was difficult for me, even when the Syndey concert was more than amazing. I guess there was a moment, to be more precise, in the 360 degrees tour and then with our beautiful presents from Edge and U22 that I started listening to it differently. Now, Stay has become one my best songs ever, I love the abstract situation in Lemon and Zooropa, and well, I do believe it really gives a new and fresh sound to what we're using to listening in U2, all the guys sound different I guess. And who can forget the unforgettable MacPhisto in Lemon?
paoladegliesposti
01 July, 2013
Zooropa for me 2 reasons to love the alb
It is rich in sound, in lyrics and concepts. It represents the modern turnover. It is like October album, to me, regularly i need to listen to it from the first song to the last one ( and i am talking about ' the wanderer', how great it is!)
billybollox
01 July, 2013
And I have no compass...................
Can remember following the Zooropa tour through Europe, from Holland, Portugal, Spain, Belgium and Germany, hearing stories about the band recording a new album while on tour. By the time the tour reached Lausanne I got talking to Willie Williams about it's release. He was excited as he'd just received his cd copy, a week before it's release. He then took me backstage onto his tour bus and gave me a C-90 cassette that Edge had given him with the album on it, so that we could hear the new album while driving through the wonderful Swiss countryside to the next gig in Basle. By the time we got to Basle the tape had been played non stop in the car and we knew all the tracks. By the UK gigs the band had started to put some of the tracks into the live show, can remember "Babyface" at Wembley as being particularly good. Zooropa reminds me that I somehow managed to see 22 out of the 43 European dates, a truly mad summer to remember. I topped off the tour with a 4 day return trip to Australia for one gig in Brisbane, Was worth it for the chance alone, to hear "Lemon" bouncing around the stadium. My 35th and final gig over all 5 legs of the tour.
cluttercoco
01 July, 2013
Zooropa still rules
I play this album often still. Aside from the obvious favourites, Dirty Day is right up there for me. I would list this among my favourite U2 songs of all time.
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