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Monday, 30 October 2017

Rewind: All That You Can't Leave Behind - U2 (2000)

All That You Can't Leave Behind - U2
Island Records
Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno
Released 30th October 2000
UK Chart #1
Irish Chart #1
US Chart #3
Canadian Chart #1
Australian Chart #1
New Zealand Chart #1
Austrian Chart #1
French Chart #1
German Chart #1
Italian Chart #1
Swedish Chart #1
Spanish Chart #1
Dutch Chart #1
Finnish Chart #1
Norwegian Chart #1
Belgian Chart #1
Danish Chart #2
Polish Chart #2
Swiss Chart #2

 Listen to All That You Can't Behind Here:

    Bono – vocals, guitar, synthesisers (Stuck In A Moment)
    The Edge – guitar, piano, vocals, synthesisers (Elevation), strings (Kite)
    Adam Clayton – bass guitar
    Larry Mullen Jr. – drums, percussion

Additional musicians
    Brian Eno – synthesisers, programming, backing vocals, string arrangement
    Daniel Lanois – backing vocals, additional guitar
    Paul Barrett – brass (
Stuck In A Moment)

Singles on All That You Can't Leave Behind
Click On The Links To Listen
03. Always


01. Beautiful Day

Released 9th October 2000
UK Chart #1
US Chart #21



01. Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of

Released 29th January 2001
UK Chart #2
US Chart #52

01. Elevation (Tomb Raider Mix)    
02. Elevation (Escalation Mix)
03. Elevation (The Vandit Club Mix)


Released 12th June 2001
UK Chart #3


01. Walk On (Video Version)    
02. Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of (Acoustic)

Released 19th November 2001
UK Chart #5


This was the album that got me back listening to U2 again. I had been disappointed for a number of years by Achtung Baby, Zooropa and Pop (though over the years there are songs on each of those albums that I have come to actually like). I had felt that their move into a more experimental "dance" and "electronica" infused sound was not really for me and so All That You Can't Leave Behind represented (at least to my mind) a bit of a return to form. Now, I know some of my friends who are fans of U2 might object to that, and some have tried to encourage me to delve into what they consider some of their finest work with the likes of Achtung Baby etc but where Rolling Stone had considered The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby as two of their "masterpieces" (All That You Can't Leave Behind was considered as their third!) my own thoughts were that The Joshua Tree and it's forerunner The Unforgettable Fire had that particular mantle!

The first hint to me of a bit of a new sound came in the form of the early October release of the first single Beautiful Day. The single became their 4th #1 on the UK Singles Chart.

The album as I mentioned seemed to me like a bit of a return to the "old U2". The album cover - black and white, photographed by Anton Corbijn in the departure terminal at Charles de Gaulle in Paris gives an impression of the band "going home". 

Even the inclusion of J33-3 on the Gate Departure notice was a little sign maybe of a clearer spiritual view than had been present on the former three albums (J33-3 referencing Jeremiah 33:3 - "Call unto me and I will answer thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not." Bono would often refer to that particular verse as "God's phone number". Like it or not, Spirituality is a theme that runs throughout the album from the Biblical imagery of the Book of Genesis found in the opening track Beautiful Day to the closing track Grace ("Grace, it's the name for a girl/It's also a thought that changed the world")!

The album contains some of my favourite lyrics of theirs, here's just a few of them:

"What you don't have you don't need it now
What you don't know you can feel it somehow"
- Beautiful Day

"And if the night runs over
And if the day won't last
And if your way should falter
Along the stony pass
It's just a moment
This time will pass"
- Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of

"Love, lift me out of these blues
Won't you tell me something true
I believe in you"

- Elevation

"Leave it behind
You've got to leave it behind
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you steal
All this you can leave behind
All that you reason
All that you sense
All that you speak
All you dress up
All that you scheme"

- Walk On

"Did I waste it?
Not so much I couldn't taste it
Life should be fragrant
Roof top to the basement"

- Kite

"So I try to be like you
Try to feel it like you do
But without you it's no use
I can't see what you see
When I look at the world"

- When I Look At The World

"In the stillness of the evening
When the sun has had its day
I heard your voice a-whispering
Come away child"

- New York

"What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because Grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things"

- Grace

If I was pressured into saying what my favourite song on the album is it would probably be a three-way tie between Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of, Walk On and Kite.

The album and all of the singles would win Grammy Awards and to date it has sold over 12 million copies.

There would be a deeper appreciation for some of the songs on the album after 9/11 when the band appeared as part of the 9/11 America: A Tribute To Heroes television benefit show where they performed a snippet of Peace On Earth followed by a rousing performance of Walk On.

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