For any fan of U2, the new double-disc live album U22, from the record-breaking U2 360° tour, is something really special. This exclusive U2 Fan Club release features 22 live tracks that were voted on by fans, all recorded during the two year, 110 show tour. What’s really unusual with this release is that the tracks selected are not just the classic U2 hits you might expect but fan favorites like ‘Bad’, ‘Ultra Violet’, ‘Moment of Surrender’ and ‘Zooropa.’
Another innovation with the release of U22 is the beautiful packaging. The 2-disc set comes in an LP-sized book of breathtaking photos from the tour, which as you probably know featured a unique looking ‘Claw’ stage set-up for 360° viewing. The book also comes with liner notes talking through the tracks written by bassist, Adam Clayton.
An exclusive limited-edition release for U2.com subscribers and with a track list chosen by the fans, U22 really captures the sense of community within the U2 Fan Club. A subscription will also get you access to 11 downloads from the 22 tracks on the discs, and a 12th bonus download ‘Unknown Caller – as well as a range of other special online content and benefits.
Fans interested in learning more about taking out a subscription and getting a copy of this awesome package can head to U2.com.
This week at Hard Rock Hideout we give you not one, but three Top 10 lists for 2009. We will post one each day this week, as well as our top 10 of the decade later this week. Ryo Vie joined HRH’s merry team of rockers this year, and has reviewed some fantastic music for us. Today I give you Ryo’s Top 10 of 2009.
So here we are – at the close of another year. Rob has graciously asked me to put together my top 10 releases for 2009 and I was more than happy to comply. The rock and roll fan got a TON of great music released this year, from Bon Jovi to Winger to Lynch Mob, it was a great year to be into hard rock. However, not everything can make the list (that’s why it’s a top 10) and since this is HARD ROCK HIDEOUT, I kept this list to my ten favorite hard rock records of 2009. If you’d like to see my list of general favorites for 2009, feel free to visit my blog at http://rockandrollguru.blogspot.com
Now without further adieu, here are Ryo Vie’s Top 10 hard rock albums for 2009 !
#10: House of Lords – Cartesian Dreams
Considering that I left this band for dead years ago, I had no expectations whatsoever when House of Lords released Cartesian Dreams. Perhaps that’s why I had an unbiased mind when I first spun this disc. After one play, I was hooked. Holy hell what an exceptional offering this band turned out. Slick with their euro-metal sound, House of Lords came back in a big way this year. I’m hoping that they team up with other hair metal acts to tour, or at least show up at the major festivals. To hear songs like Bangin’ live would be excellent!
#9: Flyleaf – Memento Mori
A sophomore effort that was worth the wait is the best way to describe Flyleaf’s Memento Mori. They were able to overcome the dreaded sophomore jinx by releasing an incredible record that showcases the talent of lead vocalist Lacey Mosley. As I mentioned in my recent review, she sings with emotion that sweeps through the listener, pulls them in, and doesn’t let go. It is her pure energy that makes Memento Mori such an excellent record. Combined with the talents of her other band members, 2010 should be a huge year for this band. As it is, 2009 landed them at number 9 on my list of best rock albums of the year.
#8: Winger – Karma
Winger surprised everyone this year, including their most die-hard fans, by releasing an incredible rock and roll record. Although Kip Winger sounds like David Coverdale on some songs, Karma is a beautiful disc immersed in a thick grunge sound that gives the record power. The ballads are incredible, and the heavier tracks are quality rock songs that will have you shaking your ass (if you’re into that sort of thing). Karma is an absolutely incredible record that any rock and roll fan should own.
#7: U2 – No Line On The Horizon
Shocked. That’s how I was when I listened to No Line On The Horizon. I was skeptical of the new U2 disc. How could they possibly release another great disc after All That You Can’t Leave Behind and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb? Well, somehow, they made it happen again. Another near perfect album came out this year from the Irish rockers beloved the world over. With incredible songs like the title track, Breathe, and Moment Of Surrender U2 continues to dazzle and show us just why they are one of the greatest rock bands in existence.
#6: Chickenfoot – Chickenfoot
Rock supergroups can be hit or miss especially when there are high expectations. (Case in point: Them Crooked Vultures – awful miss). Fortunately for rock fans (and Van Halen fans) Chickenfoot was a huge hit. Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony have been working together for years, so there was no doubting their chemistry, but when you add in two other super players (guitarist Joe Satriani and drummer Chad Smith) it’s a wild card. These four pulled it off. Satriani showcases some of his best guitar work ever, and Sammy sounds as happy as when he first joined Van Halen. Chickenfoot wins the award for feel good record of the year, and they land in my top 10 for 2009.
#5: Bon Jovi – The Circle
The bad boys from Jersey have grown into the gentle men from New Jersey, but even after all these years they still know how to rock! The Circle delivers the goods in every way imaginable and is more than you’d expect from a Bon Jovi album. Straying away from the country tinged themes of their previous album (Lost Highway), Bon Jovi returns to the rock and roll with this year’s release. Gearing up for a 2010 tour, I can’t wait to hear The Circle live. In the meantime, I’ll be playing this record on a constant loop.
#4: HURT – Goodbye to the Machine
Stunned. That’s a good word to use that describes how I felt after the first few times I listened to this record. I had no expectations going into my review, and after a few listens to Goodbye To The Machine, I was smitten. This record is simply amazing! A heavy, grunge type rock, Hurt delivers exceptional songs backed by intense rhythm, strong lyrics, and a highly talented lead singer. Goodbye To The Machine was probably the best surprise I heard all year, and I’m proud to add it to my top 10.
#3: Pearl Jam – Backspacer
In September, Pearl Jam released their long awaited album Backspacer to the delight of many fans (cousin Ryo included). It had been a long time since their last record (2006’s Pearl Jam) and the new songs were something that fans were crying to get their ears on. Well, the wait was worth it and the time between records paid off. Pearl Jam delivered another fantastic record, and while not quite as good as their self titled previous effort, Backspacer is certainly a worthy disc. A well crafted, well thought, beautifully arranged work of art.
#2: Lynch Mob – Smoke And Mirrors
I’ll be honest, when I heard that this album was coming out featuring original vocalist Oni Logan, I didn’t have much hope for greatness. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited and I wanted the album to do well and sound incredible. However, I’m a realist, and with Logan being MIA for so long, and George being out of the spotlight, I wasn’t sure if they still had that magical chemistry. Am I ever so glad that they erased any doubt that I had. Smoke And Mirrors is a metal classic!
#1: KISS – Sonic Boom
Those who know me will scream bias for picking KISS as my number 1 hard rock record of 2009, but that is not why they are being chosen. Yes, Kiss is my favorite band, but Sonic Boom is a worthy contender for record of the year. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley went into the studio with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer and put together one incredible album. Sonic Boom is so much more than a great Kiss record – it’s a great record. If you played it and had no idea what band it was, you’d still like it. It’s their best work in decades, it’s a strong rock record, and it is the best release of 2009.
For more great top lists for 2009, please check out the following websites:
U2.com today confirms that the U2 360 Tour will open at the Nou Camp Stadium in Barcelona on 30th June. The U2 360 Tour is sponsored by BlackBerry(R) and is the band’s first stadium outing since the Vertigo Tour 05/06 and follows the release of their acclaimed album, No Line On The Horizon. Their 12th studio album, No Line On The Horizon is already number 1 in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Japan and the Czech Republic with further chart positions to be announced this week.
Produced by Live Nation Global Touring, U2 360 will visit 14 cities across Europe including dates in Milan, Gothenburg, Amsterdam, Paris, Nice, Dublin, Chorzow, Berlin, Gelsenkirchen, London, Sheffield and Glasgow before finishing at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 22nd August. The European tour will be followed by dates in North America beginning at Chicago’s Soldier Field on September 12th, 2009.
Long-time U2 Show Director Willie Williams has worked again with architect Mark Fisher (ZooTV, PopMart, Elevation and Vertigo), to create an innovative 360 design which affords an unobstructed view for the audience. U2 360 also marks the first time a band has toured in stadiums with such a unique and original structure (which can be viewed at U2.com).
“U2 has always been at their best when surrounded by their audience, this staging takes a giant leap forward. With 85 percent of the tickets priced at less than $95.00, general admission floor tickets priced at $55.00 and at least 10,000 tickets at every venue priced at the $30.00 price range, we have worked very hard to ensure that U2 fans can purchase a great priced ticket with a guaranteed great view,” says U2’s manager Paul McGuinness.
Arthur Fogel, Chief Executive Officer Global Touring/Chairman – Global Music Live Nation commented: “Following the overwhelming worldwide success of the Vertigo tour where every available ticket was sold, there is tremendous anticipation for this tour and to experience this revolutionary production. As usual fans will not be disappointed.”
Commenting on the new relationship between U2 and BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM), Paul McGuinness added: “This tour announcement marks the first stage of a relationship and shared vision between RIM and U2 that we expect will lead to new and innovative ways to enhance the mobile music experience on the BlackBerry platform for U2 fans. We look forward to sharing more details as the relationship unfolds.”
In keeping with their long-standing tradition, U2 will welcome a number of different support acts to the tour including Glasvegas, Elbow, Kaiser Chiefs, Snow Patrol and Black Eyed Peas with additional artists to be announced.
Tickets for U2 360 performances in Milan and Gothenburg go on sale this Friday, March 13th. Tickets for the Amsterdam performance go on sale this Saturday, March 14th. Full details of all dates and on-sale information as well as a virtual model of the unique production and seating positions can be found on a dedicated microsite at U2.com. As usual, existing subscribers to U2’s official website u2.com will have an opportunity to purchase tickets in advance of the public on sale date.
U2 360 TOUR
Presented by BlackBerry
EUROPEAN TOUR SCHEDULE:
30-JUNE BARCELONA, SP NOU CAMP 07-JULY MILAN, IT SAN SIRO 11-JULY PARIS, FR STADE DE FRANCE 15-JULY NICE, FR PARC CHARLES EHRMANN 18-JULY BERLIN, DE OLYMPIC STADIUM 20-JULY AMSTERDAM, NL ArenA 24-JULY DUBLIN, IE CROKE PARK 31-JULY GOTHENBURG, SE ULLEVI 06-AUG. CHORZOW, PL SLASKI STADIUM 10-AUG. ZAGREB, HR MAKSIMIR STADIUM 14-AUG. LONDON, UK WEMBLEY STADIUM 18-AUG. GLASGOW, UK HAMPDEN PARK 20-AUG. SHEFFIELD, UK DON VALLEY STADIUM 22-AUG. CARDIFF, UK MILLENNIUM STADIUM
NORTH AMERICAN TOUR SCHEDULE:
12-SEPT. CHICAGO, IL SOLDIER FIELD 16-SEPT. TORONTO, ON THE ROGERS CENTRE 20-SEPT. BOSTON, MA GILLETTE STADIUM 24-SEPT. NEW YORK, NY GIANTS STADIUM
In September and October, U2 360 will also visit: Atlanta, GA; Charlottesville, VA; Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Norman, OK; Phoenix, AZ; Tampa, FL; Washington, DC and Vancouver, BC. Complete Tour and ticketing information to follow.
VISIT WWW.U2.COM FOR THE VIRTUAL CONCERT EXPERIENCE!
To celebrate the release of No Line On The Horizon, the new studio album from U2, Hard Rock Hideout and U2 are giving one lucky winner the chance to score the ultimate U2 prize pack! Jam packed with a limited edition artwork proof, long sleeve shirt, disposable camera, sunglasses, badge, keyring, mug and leather notebook all branded with the U2 logo, this package is the ultimate for any fan!
The contest will end on March 31st, so act now!
I am not ashamed to admit that I have been a U2 fan over the years. The band has been chugging out quality rock since 1980.
The music and production on this CD is exactly what you would expect it to be, awesome as always. The Edge plays with this perfect guitar tone that is easily recognizable as U2 as soon as you hear it.
With that being said, I don’t think this is U2’s best effort. I wasn’t overly impressed with their first single, “Get On Your Boots”. The have done a lot better stuff that this. To me, this feels like a leftover track, from one of their past releases. As a whole, it seems that there are more filler tunes than hit worthy cuts on this disc.
There are however some stand out tracks. “Stand Up Comedy” has a Zeppelinish guitar riff, and is one of the more rocking cuts on the record. “Breathe” out to be the second single off of the record. This song screams hit, and probably will be before it is all said and done.
After a few more passes, this CD may grow on me more. Overall, I feel that this is a good but not great album from U2.
1. No Line On The Horizon
3. Moment Of Surrender
4. Unknown Caller
5. I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight
6. Get On Your Boots
7. Stand Up Comedy
8. FEZ-Being Born
9. White As Snow
11. Cedars Of Lebanon
Bono – Vocals and Guitar
The Edge – Guitars and Piano
Adam Clayton – Bass
Larry Mullen Jr. – Drums & Percussion
No Line On The Horizon, the new studio album from U2, will be released in North America on Tuesday, March 3, 2009.
Written and recorded in various locations, No Line On The Horizon is the group’s 12th studio album and is their first release since the nine million selling album How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, released in late 2004.
Sessions for No Line On The Horizon began last year in Fez, Morocco, and continued in the band’s own studio in Dublin, before moving to New York’s Platinum Sound Recording Studios. It was completed at Olympic Studios in London.