In my U2 travels I've found there are roughly 6 types of U2 fans (not every last U2 fan will fit into these categories, but 90% will):
1. Fans who only like their first 3 albums. Most of these people think U2's peak was the War album. They don't like anything after that because they think U2 stopped being "punk" and went "soft".
2. Fans who worship The Joshua Tree. These people are borderline obsessed with this album and can't seem to enjoy much that came after it because... well, it's not as good as The Joshua Tree!
3. Same as number 2 except substitute Achtung Baby for The Joshua Tree.
4. Fans who think U2's mid-to-late-'90s experimentalism was their peak. To these people the most impressive thing U2 ever did was their risky musical "left turn" in the '90s. Some of them seem to resent U2's return to their classic sound in the '00s because they see it as tantamount to "selling out".
5. Fans who think their post-2000 albums are their best. Overall this is the smallest subset of U2 fans. They are usually people who only discovered U2 in the 2000s and are emotionally attached to that era.
6. Fans (like me) who appreciate U2's whole career for it's consistent quality and diversity. We think that War, The Joshua Tree, and Achtung Baby will probably go down in history as their best albums, but we also know they have gems strewn throughout their entire career, including their most recent albums.
I'm a mixture of 1, 4 and 6
I agree with 1. that their first 3 albums were the peak of U2 career. Although I have no ideolgiocal connection to "punk" music. I believe the first 3 albums is where The Edge was at his peak of his powers as a guitarist where his playing was at the same standard as the likes of Tom Verlaine. The Live At Red Rocks DVD that contains live performance from the first 3 albums is the best U2 related thing you can get
I agree with 4) as Their 90's experimentation was fascinating and Zooropa is one of U2 greatest album and I believe that All That You Can Leave Behind was the album where U2 ceased to be a creative band and became a nostalgic act even if for a moment it was a well-written nostalgic act.
However I agree with 6. because I essentially like all eras of U2 even if I don't like them equally.
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