• Band Name: U2
  • Record Label: Island
  • Release Date: Nov 1, 2011
Metascore
93

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Dec 15, 2011
    100
    This reissue underlines how much Achtung Baby's high-wire triumph owed to an era in flux and it's as excessive as it needs to be. [Dec. 2011 p. 138]
  2. Nov 18, 2011
    100
    Since that time in 1991, U2 has had other weighty tracks, sensualist personal soliloquies and dense production - but nothing better than this truly real thing.
  3. The bonus material on discs five and six of the box set (which also includes Achtung Baby's severely underrated 1993 follow-up Zooropa and two pointless discs of remixes that likely won't be of much use even to die-hards) only serve to illuminate how much had to go right for the album to be as good as it was.
  4. Nov 11, 2011
    100
    Upon further reflection, an Achtung Baby shorn of any extras should be more than enough to satisfy you, after all-that's how it's been served for the past two decades. Everything else is mere garnish on top of a flat-out genius work.
  5. Nov 1, 2011
    100
    Achtung Baby sounds a like a typical U2 record--a terrific U2 record, arguably the best record U2 has ever made, but not exactly the decisive break from the band's past it is remembered as. What Achtung Baby instead represents is U2's last great creative gasp.
  6. Nov 1, 2011
    100
    The bonus material is not essential listening, but since U2 rarely pull back the curtain on their creative process, it's fascinating to hear this rough draft of history.
  7. 100
    The six discs in Achtung Baby: Uber Deluxe Edition may seem like overkill, but most everything here, from the raw demos (a stripped-away "Mysterious Ways" is especially revelatory) to the cache of beat-science remixes that put 1993's confusing Zooropa into better context, is essential to understanding the most inscrutable stadium-filling band in history.
  8. Oct 31, 2011
    100
    Some of the remixes sound like little more than historical curios, but a surprising amount are either vigorous or imaginative and they all underscore how Achtung Baby truly was the first U2 album that could lend itself to these kind of mixes.
  9. Nov 9, 2011
    95
    The worthy additions in this "super deluxe edition" are nearly all visual.
  10. Oct 31, 2011
    94
    Achtung Baby is the last great U2 album and one of the best records ever made, but is this $150 six-CD, four-DVD 20th anniversary edition worth your time and money? Short answer: F--k yeah
  11. 90
    Musically and lyrically, Achtung Baby sounds as fresh and relevant as it did 20 years ago.
  12. Nov 4, 2011
    90
    Achtung Baby is worth the admission fee alone and ultimately a must-have addition to anyone's music collection.
  13. Oct 31, 2011
    90
    Twenty years on, Achtung (German for "Attention") Baby still sounds zestful and compelling, with some of U2's all-time highs.
  14. Nov 1, 2011
    80
    Two decades on, it remains U2's brightest, darkest, finest hour. [Nov 2011, p.100]
  15. Oct 31, 2011
    80
    Repackaging it all as a six-disc set (including remixes and alternate versions) is pretentious, extravagant, and romantic--U2, after all.
  16. Nov 9, 2011
    70
    These tracks are not enough to justify the second disc as anything more than marketing filler, so again, unless you've purchased the biggest, baddest, bank-breaking box set (complete with a replica of The Fly sunglasses), it would be smart to stick to the single-disc version.
  17. Dec 8, 2011
    20
    An alternate and/or nascent mix of Achtung Baby not only doesn't add to the dialog, it perhaps subtracts from it.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 76 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Jan 3, 2013
    10
    Surely only those who have deeper knowledge knows the importance of this monumental album. Beginning with such classics as One and MysteriousSurely only those who have deeper knowledge knows the importance of this monumental album. Beginning with such classics as One and Mysterious Ways, and other gems like Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses and Love Is Blindness, the disc wraps up as one of the greatest 90s. Surely without this album U2 would never be the great band it is today, and would have stopped his career with one last great album, which was Joshua Tree. Full Review »
  2. Nov 1, 2011
    8
    Some of the reviews on here are slightly ridiculous. This was a great album, possibly their best. I remember the controversy when The Fly wasSome of the reviews on here are slightly ridiculous. This was a great album, possibly their best. I remember the controversy when The Fly was released and was one of the weakest selling singles to get to number one. "One" is for me the best song of the 90s. The album has a few mediocre tracks so how can you give it a 10? However, the Zoo tv tour for me is the greatest of all time and can't wait to see who can top that. Full Review »
  3. Nov 30, 2013
    5
    What a bore. I can't think of anything, besides the shoegaze influence that The Edge brought in here, that can justify the claim that U2 madeWhat a bore. I can't think of anything, besides the shoegaze influence that The Edge brought in here, that can justify the claim that U2 made a huge comeback in quality with this. Even with the one strength this LP had, there was already a way better shoegaze album released in the same year, from the same country My Bloody Valentine's "Loveless".

    I imagine that Rattle and Hum wasn't gold, but this can't possibly be that much better. Half the tracks on here are just a bore to me. There's little to no variation within the album, and only a few tracks I really enjoyed. It's all painfully slow, with The Edge and Adam Clayton spinning up a few cool concoctions only to have Bono bring them down with his surprisingly poor singing voice (he sounded awesome on The Joshua Tree!).

    The tracks that I did like unfortunately did not contribute to my enjoyment of the album, the reason being that they sound so helplessly out of place. "One" doesn't have the guitar work or the compositions of the other tracks. I would enjoy some variation within this album especially considering how bland it is, but when this is pretty much the ONLY track that stands out, it seems like it belongs on a different record.

    I'm sorry, I can't like this at all. I feel a strong 4 to a light 5 on this. Even their later efforts, like All That You Can't Leave Behind and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, did a better job at making good music than this dead-as-a-rock excuse for a comeback album.

    STANDOUT TRACKS: ONE, WHO'S GONNA RIDE YOUR WILD HORSES, FLY
    Full Review »