All That You Can't Leave Behind

This week we found some old VH1 Videos “Behind the music: U2” and we will be releasing one a day for the next six days.

Watch for those videos coming this week. The staff spent the weekend enjoying some great music and kicking back and getting ready for EURO tour coming soon. Well thats what we hope.

Mean time we had a chance to look back at our thoughts of All That You Can’t Leave Behind…….

All That You Can’t Leave Behind is the tenth studio album by rock band U2. It was released on 30 October 2000 by Island Records in the United Kingdom and Interscope Records in the United States. Following the mixed reception to their 1997 album, Pop, All That You Can’t Leave Behind represented a return to a more conventional sound for the band after they experimented with alternative rock and dance music in the 1990s.

At the time of the album’s release, U2 said on a number of occasions that they were “reapplying for the job … [of] the best band in the world”. U2 brought back producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois who had produced a number of the band’s previous albums. The album was originally named “U2000”, which was a working title for their past PopMart Tour.

All That You Can’t Leave Behind has sold over 12 million copies, received wide critical acclaim, and won seven Grammy Awards. The songs “Beautiful Day”, “Walk On”, “Elevation”, and “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” were all successful singles. In 2003, the album was ranked number 139 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.

The band were not pleased with the reception of the Pop album and PopMart Tour. After the band’s experimentation with alternative rock and electronic dance music on their previous three records, guitarist The Edge said the band had “taken the deconstruction of the rock ‘n’ roll band format to its absolute ‘nth degree. The band wished to return to song arrangements that consisted almost entirely of guitar, bass, and drums, and to regroup in the studio relatively quickly after the PopMart tour wrapped up. They reunited with producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, who also produced The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby albums.

While the band wanted to develop material before recording, Eno convinced them to work on writing material quickly in the studio. For three weeks in late 1998, U2, Eno, and Lanois recorded demos in Hanover Quay Studios. One of the few quality ideas from these brief sessions, was the song “Kite”. Lead singer Bono’s vocals inspired everyone in the studio and came following vocal problems he had been having for the last few years.U2 believed they would have a new record completed in time for 1999.

After the band’s brief demo sessions, The Edge worked alone on song ideas before the band reunited at Hanover Quays. They recorded with the mentality of a “band in a room playing together”, an approach that led to the album’s more stripped-down sound.

Bono’s involvement in the Jubilee 2000 campaign prevented him from dedicating all of his time to the album’s recording, something Eno thought was a distraction.There was also a two-month break in the sessions when Bono worked with Lanois and Hal Wilner on the Million Dollar Hotel film soundtrack.The band had thought they could complete the album for 1999, but the sessions ran long,with band members’ conflicting schedules playing a large part in the delay. U2 did not want to put a deadline on completing the album after their experience with their previous album which had to be rushed to completion before the pre-booked PopMart Tour.

In the summer 1999, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. bought houses in the South of France, in order to be near Bono and Edge’s homes so they could have a place to both “work and play”.

The band have said that All That You Can’t Leave Behind was an album that acknowledged the band’s past. For example, there was a big debate amongst the band members during the writing and recording of “Beautiful Day”; The Edge was playing with a guitar tone that he hadn’t used much since their 1983 album War and the band wanted something more forward-looking. The Edge won out and the sound would make it into the final studio version for the song. Additionally, although the record was described as “a return to the traditional U2 sound”, many songs were complex and retained elements of the band’s 1990s experimenting; “Beautiful Day” features an electronic drum beat, and the song’s intro features an “electronification of the [chorus] chords with a beat box and a string part”; “New York” came together when the band members were away at a meeting and Lanois and Eno were playing around with a drum loop that drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. had recorded. The album’s recording wrapped up in 2000.