Thursday, May 7, 2015

17. U2 - Achtung Baby

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On this work I left the math to do the art. The original album cover art design (below) has 16 images of which six are monochromes and ten are colour photos. The ten colour photos were halved into
'reds' and 'blues'. This work is actually composed of two montages. Each montage has 16 images.

For the montage at left, I used the five 'blue' images twice, positioning each one starting at top left and moving counter-clockwise. I used the monochromes to fill the remaining spaces.

For the montage at right, I used the five 'red' images also twice and the six monochromes for the remaining spaces to cover a total of 16 squares as I did at left. On some parts
I used a quarter size of the image four times. The arrangement of the 'red' images starts with the citrus vendor, the one to the right of the star-formed stack of
bullets (or bombs?), moving half a step upwards then to the right corner, and from there towards the bottom left corner and then to the right, and
finally moving half a step upwards, ending with the same image as the one used at the start.

This is the original album cover art design.

  No. 23, Entertainment Weekly, 100 Greatest Albums Ever; No. 36, The Virgin All-Time Album Top 1000; No. 48, Rate Your Music, The 100 Greatest Albums of All Time;
No. 63, Rolling Stone, The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time; No. 88, Billboard, The 300 Best-Selling Albums of All Time.

Art design by Steve Averill and Shaughn McGrath, photos by Anton Coribjn. Album produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. Island 1991.

To parallel the band's change in musical direction, Averill and McGrath devised sleeve concepts that used multiple colour images to contrast with the seriousness of the individual,
mostly monochromatic images from previous U2 album sleeves. Rough sketches and designs were created during the recording sessions, and some experimental designs were 
conceived to closely resemble, as Averill put it, "dance-music oriented sleeves. We just did them to show how extreme we could go. But if we hadn't gone to these
extremes it may not have been the cover it is now."

An initial photo shoot with the band's long-time photographer Anton Corbijn was done near U2's Berlin hotel in late 1990. They commissioned Corbijn for an additional
two-week photo shoot in Tenerife in February 1991 and a four-day shoot in Morocco. Additional photos were taken in Dublin in June. The images were
intended to confound expectations of U2, and their full colour contrasted with the monochromatic imagery on past sleeves.

Several photographs were considered as candidates for a single cover image. Ultimately, a multiple image scheme was used, as U2, Corbijn, Averill, and the
producers thought that "the sense of flux expressed by both the music and the band's playing with alter egos was best articulated by the lack
of a single viewpoint". The resulting front sleeve is a 4×4 squared montage. Some photographs were used because they were striking
on their own, while others were used because of their ambiguity. 

The German word "Achtung" translates into English as "attention" or "watch out". The title was selected in August 1991 near the end of the album
sessions. According to Bono, it was an ideal title, as it was attention-grabbing, referenced Germany, and hinted at either romance
or birth, both of which were themes on the album. The band was determined not to highlight the seriousness of the lyrics
and instead sought to "erect a mask". Bono said, "It's a con, in a way. We call it Achtung Baby, grinning up our sleeves
in all the photography. But it's probably the heaviest record we've ever made." Full article

(A) Zoo Station - Even Better Than the Real Thing - One - Until the End of the World - Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses - So Cruel

(B) The Fly - Mysterious Ways - Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World - Ultraviolet (Light My Way) - Acrobat - Love is Blindness

"Until the End of the World" live 2012 from JohnnyTiger88 on YouTube.