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November 27, 2007



Good call on the old U2, although I do like "Achtung Baby" a lot, and even have a strange soft spot for "Pop". It's tough to admit to being a fan in the wake of the iTunes commercials, though.

Alex in NYC

Oh, don't get me wrong -- I love Achtung Baby, and equally love a lot of the stuff on Pop (notably the track, "Gone," which I rank as among their best ever). I just happened to like them a little bit more when they younger/smaller/rougher-around-the-edges.


Dude, liking U2 AND Killing Joke is analogous to liking Japan AND Duran Duran and not seeing the artistic drop off and massive appropriation of one by the other. Even though I loved their (U2) early stuff, that was before I knew of Killing Joke.

"Here Bono and Co, suck on "Sun Goes Down" kills anything you ever attempted."

Check the video out on youtube....looks like Paul Hewson was taking notes. Bad ones.

Oh yeah, Bono is one of the biggest fans of Ms Patti Smith, so that is just another reason to adore them.

Have you read the book on Bono called "Killing Bono"? I kept waiting for the ultimate murder mystery. Shame really.

Alex in NYC

Are you attempting to suggest that U2 ripped off Killing Joke in some fashion? U2 are surely guilty of several crimes, but I cannot agree with you that that's one of'em. Given their respective sounds, perspective and aesthetics, U2 are practically the absolute inverse of Killing Joke. U2 have certainly appropriated a lot -- PiL, Gang of Four, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Stiff Little Fingers, etc. -- but I'd say they owe nothing to the `Joke.

And yes, Bono's a massive fan of Patti Smith. We all have our faults.


Alex, would you like a link to the 1985 Munich performance of "Sun Goes Down" by KJ?

Quickly, off the top of my head:
I am most struck by the "warlike" (haaa!) Teutonic drumming that is particularly emblematic of KJ's sound during this period of time, the way Jaz Coleman interacts with the crowd during this song in a militaristic/pseudo-spiritual fashion, the placid coolness of Geordie Walker (like another guitar player...hmmm)....shall I continue? All elements seem to be very similar to a certain band.

I LOVE this video, used to play it all the freaking time and have had people mistake it for U2 (I wanted to slap them, yes). These all are elements that U2 appropriated. I am not writing a dissertation, just making cursory observations, so I will not go into agendas, perspectives, etc.

I am surprised you don't see the similarity. Geordie even made a bitchy statement about it about two years ago, in his last interview. Have you watched Jaz's discussion about Bono on the KJ site? Interesting.

Again, Alex I am talking about this particular era of KJ. Lord knows I ain't talking about the "Hosannas" period, but I could make an argument for that. Time just has everything to do with it.

Bottom line, I see and hear much more of KJ than Siouxie and the Banshees in U2 and I am very well aquainted with the corpus of work of all three bands.

"Like a Song" (oh, the irony) off "War" is particularly telling. It was released in 1983.....and "Sun Goes Down" was in '82 and "Unspeakable" 1980, correct?

Just planting seeds.


Oh yeah, dude, where is your Jaz interview from the 1990s? Is it online?

Thanks man,

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