U218 Singles

If you thought that U2's last two greatest-hits discs had just a few too many minor songs on them, U218 Singles is the collection for you. Made in a land where Boy, October, Pop and Zooropa don't exist, this CD is U2's catalog stripped down to the stadium-shaking warhorses. With no attempt made to put them in chronological or any logical order ("Sunday Bloody Sunday" follows "Sweetest Thing"), the only reason anyone but the most casual U2 fan needs to check this out is the inclusion of two new tracks produced by Rick Rubin. The first, a cover of "The Saints Are Coming," by 1970s Scottish punk band the Skids, is an above-average "Walk On"-style anthem that — despite the presence of Green Day — has been thoroughly de-punked. The second, "Window in the Skies," sounds like a "City of Blinding Lights" remake with Bono's trademark vocal acrobatics. The astonishing success of The Beatles 1 proved there's a huge market for single-disc hits collections from monster bands, so Singles should almost certainly do well, even if it does feel a bit perfunctory.

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