Irish rock gods, U2, are re-releasing what some might argue was their last truly great album. All That You Can’t Leave Behind was originally released, to great fanfare, on October 30th 2000. And to mark the precise 20th anniversary, the band is re-releasing the album, with added extras, today.
The band’s 10th studio album saw a welcome return to their more familiar guitar-based rock sound after the experimental Pop album received mixed reviews. The 4 Dubliners celebrated the album’s original launch with a live performance for the BBC’s Top of the Pops, from the roof of The Clarence Hotel, which the band owned at the time.
Well-received by critics and fans alike, the album sold 12 million copies worldwide, reaching number one in 32 countries. It spawned several massive hit singles; Beautiful Day, Walk On, Elevation and Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of. In total, the album garnered seven Grammy Awards. It is still the only album in history to have won more than one Record Of The Year Grammy Awards; Beautiful Day in 2001 and Walk On in 2002. In support of the album, the hugely successful Elevation Tour saw U2 at their stadium-filling finest.
The re-released version is a very meaty 5 disc, 51 song extravaganza. Remixes abound with the likes of Wyclef Jean, Paul van Dyk and Nightmares on Wax, contributing to what is an ecletic mix of sounds. There’s a disc of B-sides and songs that didn’t make the cut on the original album.
The original 11 tracks have been remastered. Guitarist The Edge, remaniscing about the album’s release 20 years ago, said “It was kind of an innocent time. You know, it was pre-9/11, it was free of this sort of strange shift into political tribalism that we have seen happening since so, yeah, it does seem, in some ways, like it was yesterday, but so much has changed.”
While a lot has changed, U2 fans will find welcome additions and a happy return to innocence in this re-release.