Hoping to dig into new territory after "War," U2 hired Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois to produce its fourth LP.
U2's first three discs were produced by Steve Lillywhite and, unsurprisingly, all had a similar sound, although the third record -- 1983's "War" -- was more raw than its predecessors.
But the following year, Lanois and Eno added their ambient and etherial sound to The Edge's chiming guitars when U2 recorded "The Unforgettable Fire" at Ireland's Slane Castle.
The result was a record that spawned the hit "Pride (In the Name of Love)" and became the entryway into the band's music for many. The 1984 disc is now released in a deluxe three-disc edition.
For me, "The Unforgettable Fire" was the first U2 record I didn't really pay much attention to. So, getting the new set with the original record remastered, a disc of outtakes and b-sides and a DVD with videos, live footage and a documentary, allows me to take a fresh look at this record that Bono has called "out of focus."
Although even remastered the production is surprisingly flat in retrospect, the performances are electric and the songwriting -- Bono's occasional doubts aside -- is a clear link from earlier discs to "The Joshua Tree," which followed "The Unforgettable Fire" and really catapulted U2 into superstardom.
So, in that sense, "The Unforgettable Fire" is U2's "missing link."
A heavy cardboard slipcase and a thick, illustrated booklet complete this package, which makes a perfect gift for U2 devotees and also more casual fans.
For big fans, there is also a limited edition box set with the three discs, five photographic prints and a 56-page hardcover book.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.