There's no question 1991 was an incredible year in music history, maybe even the best ever, as landmark albums like Nirvana's Nevermind, Guns N' Roses' Use Your Illusions, Pearl Jam's Ten, Metallica's Black Album, My Bloody Valentine's Loveless, and countless more essentials were released in the span of 12 months. Fast forward 20 years, and 2011 is gradually becoming an incredible year for 1991 reissues: Nevermind, Spin Doctors' Pocketful of Kryptonite, Primal Scream's Screamdelica, and Smashing Pumpkins' Gish have so far announced deluxe treatment. Now another '91 gem, U2's Achtung Baby, is getting a powerhouse reissue that trumps them all.
U2 revealed their grand plans to revisit the album that gave us "One" and "Mysterious Ways" on their official site today, and it makes Nirvana's giant Nevermind box set look scant in comparison. First off, the reissue will be accompanied by a new making-of documentary called From the Sky Down, which will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. Achtung will be available in five different editions, but the diehards will want to pay attention to the "Uber Deluxe Edition" that contains six CDs, four DVDs, five 7" vinyl singles, a hardback book, and a pair of those sunglasses Bono wore in "The Fly" video. Here's the breakdown of the Uber contents:
"A magnetic puzzle tiled box which will contain: 6 CDs including the original Achtung Baby album, the follow-up album, Zooropa, B-sides and re-workings of previously unheard material recorded during the Achtung Baby sessions. 4 DVDs including 'From The Sky Down', 'Zoo TV:Live From Sydney', all the videos from Achtung Baby plus bonus material. There will also be 5 clear 7" vinyl singles in their original sleeves, 16 art prints taken from the original album sleeve, an 84-page hardback book, a copy of Propaganda magazine, 4 badges, a sticker sheet, and a pair of Bono's trademark 'The Fly' sunglasses."
The price tag on that behemoth is £385.99, or $629 here. That might seem excessive, but considering that the 1993 follow-up Zooropa is included in this set, that's also money you won't have to spend on a Zooropa reissue (we don't think). Other options include the Super Deluxe Edition, which contains the six discs and four DVDs, a vinyl box set, a two-CD version with Achtung and its B-sides, and the plain old Achtung Baby. And unlike the Nevermind reissue, this Achtung is promising tons of unreleased songs recorded during this era from U2's vaults. The Achtung Baby reissue is out October 31st. Happy Halloween -- you can dress up like Bono!
- Achtung Baby