Battling the Beatles?

Rock critic Robert Hilburn at the LA Times answers questions, and this week there’s one about U2:

Q: It seems that U2 has garnered your attention on a lot of responses. What makes them so good in your opinion? Is it the fact that they have endured, be it evolved into a political statement for the poor of the world, or is it that they have returned to what they know best–music as a blues-based medium?

A: “I am a huge fan of U2. I think they are one of the half dozen great rock bands ever, a group that would have battled the Beatles for chart position and creative acclaim if they would have been around then. I find the music itself frequently inspiring, with the Edge’s guitar-playing leading us on truly wondrous sonic journeys. Plus, they have something to say in their music that is uplifting, yet reflects life’s struggles. The band has also amassed a strong body of work, has had the courage to change its style and direction from time to time, and is great live. In other words, I think U2 ranks high on any measurement. I’m also a big fan of REM, though I don’t find the music quite as revealing or as finely crafted.”
[thx Marc]

2 thoughts on “Battling the Beatles?

  1. What?! I didn’t read that Answer at the site. Anyway, I thought it very INTERESTING that U2 were referenced in the questions having to do with the music biz (ticket prices, band vs. individual). This guy says he’s into songs more than anything and NOT into cartoon bands like the Monkees who had songs written for them. Uh…U2 are the modern Monkees just like the Monkees were the modern Beatles. In my humble opinion…
    “One thing I’ve noticed, however, about the bands that make it–like Police and U2, mentioned above–is that the artists are fiercely committed to it, and emotionally strong enough to stand up to the pressures and frustrations.” – Rober Hilburn

  2. What?! I didn’t read that Answer at the site. Anyway, I thought it very INTERESTING that U2 were referenced in the questions having to do with the music biz (ticket prices, band vs. individual). This guy says he’s into songs more than anything and NOT into cartoon bands like the Monkees who had songs written for them. Uh…U2 are the modern Monkees just like the Monkees were the modern Beatles. In my humble opinion…
    “One thing I’ve noticed, however, about the bands that make it–like Police and U2, mentioned above–is that the artists are fiercely committed to it, and emotionally strong enough to stand up to the pressures and frustrations.” – Rober Hilburn

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