I Don’t Want To Make You Feel Old, Old Man…

But as J. Christian Adams points out, the U2 album Achtung Baby is 20 years old this month. Which would make The Joshua Tree, what, 25? You remember the olden days, when bands had comeback albums after their initial success, and that time period was like five years? And it seemed like a long time?

Here’s my favorite U2 song, “One”, which is from the album:

Like all good U2 songs, and by which I mean “both,” (“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” being the other), the song starts out highly personal, where the listener can relate in a very raw fashion, and then all of a sudden we take an Automan-like left turn and Bono is singing about Universal Harmony and Feeding Africa (but not manufacturing there). Strangely, I spent most of my youth thinking the song was about a man and a woman rehashing, again, their broken relationship, but apparently I was enjoying a meaning at odds with the song’s real meaning. So it’s my failure as a listener that makes this song my favorite from U2.

So I posted on Facebook about the age of Achtung Baby, and a contemporaneous friend said, “And the album hasn’t aged one bit, I still listen to it all the time.”

To which I replied, “You tell yourself that. To an eighteen-year-old today, you might as well be listening to Pat Boone.”

And not the metal Pat Boone:

What? No More Mr. Nice Guy is fifteen years old?

But he was just on Letterman the other day promoting the album.

Now I’ve made myself feel old, old man.

UPDATE: Welcome, VftP readers. Hey, if you’ve got a buck, I’ve got a comedy to sell you. The Courtship of Barbara Holt is now available for the Kindle. It, like Achtung Baby is about 20 years old, but I’ve stripped most of the dated pop culture references from it except a reference to the Spin Doctors.

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