U2 - The Best of 1980 - 1990 
Music Disc Reviews Audio CD
Written by Jason Karsh   
Tuesday, 03 November 1998

The Best of 1980-1990,
Island Records
| Performance 7.5 | Sound 8 |

For most 'true' U2 fans, the only music that matters came before 1990's 'The Joshua Tree.' After that, common thought holds that Bono and the boys bit too hard on the apple of commercialism and their music suffered because of it. The release of this disc wholeheartedly goes to support such a claim. For in all of their albums released from 1980-1990, it is hard to believe--especially if you've heard any of these numerous works--that these thirteen songs and one remix are the best U2 had to offer. After all, thirteen songs in a decade aren't a lot.

A better description of the included would be that these were the most successful singles U2 put out during the time. Every song on this album--including, but not limited to, the newly remixed "Sweetest Thing"--had (or is currently having) radio success. Yet, while this may qualify these songs as profitable, it does not necessarily qualify them as the best music this band made during the time. What is truly the best the band had to offer from this period can actually only be ascertained by each individual listener, however we think we can speak for at least a fair share when we say U2 (or their record company) took the easy way out on this album, selecting the tracks they did. If you're looking for a collection of U2 singles, you'll probably be pleased with this purchase, but if you're looking for something interesting, even revealing about U2 before they were The Band of the early '90's, it will only be found on the limited edition of this release. This two-CD set includes this same underwhelming first disc, but fifteen B-sides as well, almost justifying the double CD retail price.

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