It’s remarkable that, for a band of their calibre, nothing like a definitive U2 hits compilation exists. That’s largely the fault of their two-volume Best Ofs covering everything until All That You Can’t Leave Behind. If it’s perhaps understandable that the recently reissued first 1980-90 instalment was messy in trying to condense six albums into 16 songs, this second part manages to do an even worse job, despite having only four albums to include. Proper classics Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, Elevation and The Fly (a UK No. 1, ferchrissakes) are nowhere to be seen. Instead, you get shrugging filler such as Gone and The First Time. The thennew Electrical Storm and The Hands That Built America are typically bland ‘Better write a hit’ pap taking up space where, say, Lemon could have been. Considering U2 were at their artistic peak in the 90s, it’s an achievement how big a failure this is.
Written by John Earls. Released on Island.