Friday, April 29, 2011

U2 FAQ by John D. Luerssen: A Book Review

Although not in question and answer form, U2 FAQ is exactly what the title implies - an extensive account of all of the little details you'd ever want to know about one of the greatest bands of all time. Separated into chapters that focus on a certain topic relating to the band's history, author John D. Luerssen covers all grounds, from the band members' early days all the way through their latest release, 2009's underrated No Line On The Horizon.

I guess I consider myself a bit of a U2 scholar, but never knew that Bono competed in adult chess competitions when he was just ten years old. LOL. The pages are filled with all kinds of minutiae that hardcore U2 fans will easily digest.

Here's a snippet of the focus on some of the chapters:
  • Unreleased early songs
  • The album art (read more below)
  • The essential gigs... accounts of pivotal shows in their career
  • Controversies and public embarrassments - like the time Bono jumped off a speaker and split his pants in front of a crowd of record executives.
  • Song details on every single album
  • Cover songs, side projects and collaborations
  • The 20 best U2 b-sides
Some of the author's opinions seeped in, for example stating that Zooropa is universally regarded as U2's worst album cover. Really? I love it. He also states that Pop is the third best cover after The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby. I completely disagree. A few factual mistakes rear their head. The blatant one jumping out right on page 9, confusing Running To Stand Still with One Tree Hill, in regards to the song where Bono sings about the Seven Towers.

Despite the aforementioned problems, I found it insightful, well-researched and fun. Obviously U2 FAQ is not for the casual fan. It was a quick read and enjoyable for someone like me who is obssessed with books related to my favorite bands. 

Purchase U2 FAQ on Amazon:  Book, Kindle
Published by Backbeat Books on October 15, 2010
400 pages / Softcover

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