Wednesday, January 25, 2012

U2 'From the Sky Down' the Making of Actung Baby

Just yesterday U2 officially released their DVD of From the Sky Down, the documentary chronicling the making of their 7th studio album, Achtung Baby. The documentary which commemorates the 20th anniversary of the release of the album has been out in some shape and form for a while now. It aired on Showtime TV here in the US, and it was also available as part of one of the deluxe box sets of Achtung Baby for a hefty price tag.
I found the doc interesting for a number of reasons. First I can't believe that its been 20 years since it's release, because I remember it well when it came out, and that just flat out makes me feel old. I was a bit of a U2 fanatic back in those days, from let's say the mid 80's to the early 90's I loved everything the band was doing. When they released Achtung Baby in '91 it was like nothing the group had done previously, a clear shift not only stylistically & musically, but also visually (album art, video, etc.) with the image the band was portraying. The stark shift in sound & mood showed the band taking on influences of industrial, dance music, and electronics that was previously unfamiliar to fans. I remember hearing "The Fly" on the radio for the first time and I wasn't quite sure what to make of it .

The album quickly grew on me and it became one of my favorite works from U2, and still is. One of the interesting things about the album is that I think it actually holds up to the test of time, and feels almost as fresh today as it did back in '91. I would definitely rank the album up there with some of my favorites over the past 20 years, and the documentary is a great watch for fans to see what the band was working thru to make the LP. You have to remember this is all pre-internet so details of the album weren't like what you find today with leaks and all. But we later learned of the struggles that went into making the disc, both internally among the band, and externally with group members failing marriages and relationships. We didn't know what a big pivot point it as for the group at the time, but the documentary captures the turmoil well, and it's a great look back at a fantastic album. It brings back good memories for me too, even if it does make me feel old. Check out some of the clips below, and you can grab it in stores now on Blu-ray and DVD. 


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