With their regular producers in tow, U2 retreated to Berlin in 1991 to re-imagine their sound in the form of Achtung Baby.
The eighth album in their repertoire, Achtung Baby was produced by U2 regulars Steve Lillywhite, Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, the latter of which was key to transforming David Bowie‘s sound on the Berlin trilogies.
Transformation is the name of the game here, as well, as the band’s knob turners soaked Bono’s vox in gallons of distortion, ran yards of 40 grit sand paper over The Edge’s guitar and submerged the group’s rhythm section in a mound of heavy beats.
The resulting dozen songs yielded tunes experimental (“Zoo Station”), riff-laden (“Even Better Than the Real Thing”) and downright funky (“Mysterious Ways”). It also spawned a half-dozen singles that hit the pop charts, including the US #1 (“One”) and the UK #1 “The Fly.”
Since it hit shelves 20 years ago in November 1991, Achtung Baby has sold 9 million copies.