- U2: Bono (vocals, guitar); The Edge (guitar, keyboards, background vocals); Adam Clayton (bass); Larry Mullen (drums).
- Additional personnel: Daniel Lanois (guitar); Brian Eno (keyboards).
- Recorded at Hansa Ton Studios, Berlin, Germany; Dog Town, S.T.S. and Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin, Ireland.
- Personnel: The Edge (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Bono (vocals, guitar); Adam Clayton (bass guitar); Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums, percussion).
- Audio Mixer: Flood .
- Recording information: Dog Town, Dublin, Ireland; Hansa Ton Studios, Berlin, Germany; Sts, Dublin, Ireland; WindMill Lane Studios, Dublin, Ireland.
- Illustrator: Charlie Whisker.
- Photographers: Richie Smyth; Anton Corbijn.
- In 1991, U2 shocked the pop-music world with ACHTUNG BABY, a striking departure from the Irish band's beloved '80s arena-rock sound. Here the group careens into sonically adventurous territory, reveling in distorted guitars, drum loops, and layers of synthesizers.
- The stunning opening track, "Zoo Station," kicks in with fierce, fuzzed-out guitar and a clanging industrial beat, Bono's distinctive voice the only tell-tale sign that this is indeed a U2 album. From here, ACHTUNG BABY deftly maneuvers between giddy electro-pop (the shimmering "Even Better Than the Real Thing," the funky "Mysterious Ways"), bold techno-tinged rock (the majestic punch of "Until the End of the World," the seductive squall of "The Fly"), and contemplative ballads (the heartbreakingly beautiful "One," the haunting closer "Love Is Blindness"). Throughout it all, the quartet plays to the peak of its abilities, aided by the atmospheric, top-notch production of Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. This is the record where Bono, for better or worse, fully embraced the role of "rock star," with the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen, Jr. ably accompanying him every swaggering step of the way. One of the group's finest outings, ACHTUNG BABY is indisputably U2's most adventurous album.
Rolling Stone (p.75) - Ranked #2 in Rolling Stone's '10 Best Reissues Of 2011' -- "[O]ne of rock's great acts of rebirth."
Rolling Stone (12/11/03, p.113) - Ranked #62 in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time" - "...The album has lots of uncertainty, irony and distortion. It also has one of the most beautiful songs U2 ever recorded: 'One'..."
Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.50) - Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the '90s."
Rolling Stone (1/9/92, p.50) - 4.5 Stars - Outstanding - "...the band is able to grow confidently and consistently on its own native strengths...few bands can marshal such sublime power..."
Spin (p.76) - "From ACHTUNG BABY on, panoramic ballads sat side by side with mini-rebellions..."
Spin (9/99, p.128) - Ranked #19 in Spin Magazine's "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s"
Entertainment Weekly (p.75) - "[E]ssential to understanding the most inscrutable stadium-filling band in history." -- Grade: A
Entertainment Weekly (11/29/91) - "..refreshingly personal - deeper and denser than any of the band's previous releases..." - Rating: A
Q (10/01, p.96) - Ranked #9 in Q's "Best 50 Albums of Q's Lifetime"
Q (12/99, p.70) - Included in Q Magazine's "90 Best Albums of the 1990s"
Q (12/91) - 5 Stars - Classic - "...U2's heaviest album to date. And best..." - One of Q Magazine's 50 best albums of 1991.
Magnet (p.60) - "[A] sexy, sleek and cynical synthesis of playful falsettos, Euro-trash dance grooves, grinding guitar tones...and a hopeless/heartbroken worldview ripped from the chest of Leonard Cohen."
CMJ (1/6/03, p.16) - Included in CMJ's list of "Top 25 College Radio Albums of All Time"
Musician (12/91) - "...ACHTUNG, BABY is dense, tough and endlessly surprising...a great accomplishment..."
Jazziz (Dec.-Jan./92, p.94) - Picked by critic John Dilberto as one of the 10 best albums of 1992.
New York Times (Publisher) (1/1/92) - "..Dense, self-serious and overly ambitious: all the things this band is rightfully famous for.."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.103) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "To call ACHTUNG BABY a pivotal release is an understatement....Carbed up on a diet of Bowie, Reed and (at a stretch) Talking Heads, Bono and chums opted for a more arty, corrosive battle plan..."