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U2 – Zoonited Kingdom (Godfather G.R. BOX 15)

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Zoonited Kingdom (Godfather G.R. BOX 15)

Twenty years ago U2 staged one of the most elaborate tours in rock and roll history with the Zoo tour.  The “Zooropa 93″ tour was the fourth leg which began on February 29th, 1992 in Florida and would end in Tokyo on December 10th, 1993.

In  Zoonited Kingdom Godfather have collected together one of their most ambitious box sets to date.  Six shows on twelve discs, they cover the bulk of the UK shows at the end of August.  All of the shows are sourced from audience recording in very good sound quality and represent the best available record of these unforgettable shows.  

The setlists for the six, with a few exceptions, are quite similar, meant to be played in sync with the visuals.  The liner notes discuss the structure of the show in some detail, pointing out that:  “The concept of the tour was inspired by a multitude of TV programs and focused on the strong criticism about the devastating effects that a certain type of communication had on the masses.  The stage was made up of dozens of television screens on which were projected TV shows, lighting effects, clips of modern art, images of characters from past history and contemporary phrases or words meant for effect….

“Before the show, fans were invited to be filmed in a confessional and they could freely state their opinions, either serious or joking, and then see the result during a show break before the encores….Bono came back onstage for the encores transformed into his alter ego Mr. MacPhisto dressed in a gold suit, lipstick, makeup and horns, a sort of devil speaking in strong English accent and pretending to come from the past to call on the phone his designated victim, intimidating them, creating an ironic and theatrical short break, perfectly in line with the targeting theme of the show.” 

Who Is The Devil? (G.R. BOX 15 A/B)

Wembley Stadium, London, England – August 11th, 1993

Disc 1 (71:26):  Intro. (Bees / Drummer Boys / Drug Of The Nation), Zoo Station, The Fly, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Mysterious Ways / Funky Town / Love To Love You Baby), One / Unchained Melody, Until The End Of The World, New Year’s Day, Numb, Zooropa, Babyface, Stay (Faraway So Close), Satellite Of Love, Sarajevo link up

Disc 2 (59:39):  Bad / Fool To Cry / The First Time, Bullet The Blue Sky, Running To Stand Still / The End, Where The Streets Have No Name, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Zoo TV Confessionals, Desire / You Make Me Feel So Young / Those Were The Days, My Friend, phone call to Salman Rushdie, Ultraviolet (Light My Way), Love Is Blindness, Can’t Help Falling In Love

The August 11th Wembley show is sourced from a very good but thin audience recording.  This is perhaps the most famous of the shows.  Bono phones author Salman Rushdie, who actually follows up the phone call by coming down to the show for his first public appearance since 1989, when Ayatollah Khomeini issued the fatwah against him for The Satanic Verses. 

 Sarajevo Is All Over The News (G.R. BOX 15 C/D)

Wembley Stadium, London, England – August 12th, 1993

Disc 1 (71:32):  Intro. (Bees / Drummer Boys / Drug Of The Nation), Zoo Station, The Fly, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Mysterious Ways, One / She’s A Mystery To Me, Until The End Of The World, New Year’s Day, Numb, Zooropa, Babyface, Stay (Faraway So Close), I Will Follow, Satellite Of Love, Sarajevo link up

Disc 2 (62:08):  Bad / Fool To Cry / The First Time (w/Shankar on violin), Bullet The Blue Sky, Running To Stand Still, Where The Streets Have No Name, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Zoo TV Confessionals, Desire / Getting To Know You, phone call to Lady Diana / hanging on the telephone / I Just Called To Say I Love You, Ultraviolet (Light My Way), Love Is Blindness, Can’t Help Falling In Love

The August 12th Wembley show has the same sound quality as previous night.  “I Will Follow” has been added to the set and Bono phones Lady Diana in the phone call section of the show.  

Roundhay Park Makes Wembley Stadium Look Like A Bowling Green
(G.R. BOX 15 E/F)

Roundhay Park, Leeds, England – August 14th, 1993

Disc 1 (68:55):   Intro. (Bees / Drummer Boys / Drug Of The Nation), Zoo Station, The Fly, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Mysterious Ways, One / Unchained Melody, Until The End Of The World, New Year’s Day, Numb, Babyface, Stay (Faraway So Close), Angel Of Harlem,  When Love Comes To Town, Satellite Of Love

Disc 2 (55:16):  Bad / Fool To Cry / All I Want Is You, Bullet The Blue Sky, Running To Stand Still, Where The Streets Have No Name, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Zoo TV Confessionals, Desire / You Make Me Feel So Young / Solid Gold Easy Action, phone call to John Gummer / Moon River / I Just Called To Say I Love You, Ultraviolet (Light My Way) / My Way, Love Is Blindness, Can’t Help Falling In Love

The Leeds show was played in a big natural amphitheater and was one of the biggest shows U2 gave.  It was the biggest until the September 20th, 1997 show in Reggio Emilia drew 150,000 people.  The audience tape is very thin, clear and loud.  “Angel Of Harlem” replaces “I Will Follow” in the set and the phone call is to John Gummer who was Secretary of State for the Environment under conservative PM John Major at the time.

Shopping In Wales (G.R. BOX 15 G/H)

Arms Park, Cardiff, Wales – August 18th, 1993

Disc 1 (68:20):  Intro. (Bees / Drummer Boys / Drug Of The Nation), Zoo Station, The Fly, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Mysterious Ways, One / Unchained Melody, Until The End Of The World, New Year’s Day, Numb, Babyface, Angel Of Harlem, Dancing Queen, Stay (Faraway So Close), Satellite Of Love

Disc 2 (63:06):  Bad / Irish Heartbeat / The First Time, Bullet The Blue Sky, Running To Stand Still, Where The Streets Have No Name, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Zoo TV Confessionals, Desire / You Make Me Feel So Young / Green Green Grass Of Home, phone call to Margaret Thatcher / I Just Called To Say I Love You, Ultraviolet (Light My Way), With Or Without You, Love Is Blindness, Can’t Help Falling In Love

The  August 18th show is from a clear and well balanced audience tape.  Played in the Arms Park rugby stadium, the audience are very excited and enthusiastic.  U2 add “Dancing Queen” to the set, “Irish Heartbeat” to the “Bad” medley and “With Or Without You” to the encores.  MacPhestio’s phone call is to ex-PM Margaret Thatcher.  

The New Religion (G.R. BOX 15 I/L)

Wembley Stadium, London, England – August 20th, 1993

Disc 1 (66:44):  Intro. (Bees / Drummer Boys / Drug Of The Nation), Zoo Station, The Fly, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Mysterious Ways, One / Unchained Melody, Until The End Of The World, New Year’s Day, Numb, Babyface, Angel Of Harlem, Stay (Faraway So Close), Satellite Of Love

Disc 2 (62:27):  Bad / Fool To Cry / The First Time, Bullet The Blue Sky, Running To Stand Still / The End, Where The Streets Have No Name, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Zoo TV Confessionals, Desire / Getting To Know You / I Just Called To Say I Love You, phone call to Archbishop George Carey, Ultraviolet (Light My Way), With Or Without You, Love Is Blindness, Can’t Help Falling In Love

The August 20th Wembley tape is clear but with significant distance and echo.  Although it’s listenable, it is the poorest sounding tape in the box.  MacPhisto’s phone call is to Archbishop George Carey, leader of the Church Of England.  

Wembley Stadium In The Rain (G.R. BOX 15 M/N)

Wembley Stadium, London, England – August 21st, 1993

Disc 1 (67:50):  Intro. (Bees / Drummer Boys / Drug Of The Nation), Zoo Station, The Fly, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Mysterious Ways / Love To Love You, One / Unchained Melody, Until The End Of The World / Singin’ In The Rain, New Year’s Day, Numb, Tryin’ To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Angel Of Harlem, Dancing Queen, Stay (Faraway So Close), Satellite Of Love

Disc 2 (62:09):  Bad / Candle In The Wind / Fool To Cry / The First Time, Bullet The Blue Sky, Running To Stand Still, Where The Streets Have No Name, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Zoo TV Confessionals, Desire / Singin’ In The Rain / Solid Gold Easy Action, phone call to Graham Taylor / You’ll Never Walk Alone, Ultraviolet (Light My Way) / My Way, With Or Without You, Love Is Blindness, Can’t Help Falling In Love

The sixth and final show in the collection comes from a very good but slightly distant audience tape.  Bono makes several references to “Singin’ In The Rain” since the show was played in the rain.  “Tryin’ To Throw Your Arms Around The World” is added to the setlist and the phone call is to Graham Taylor.  Bono sings “You’ll Never Walk Alone” instead of “I Just Called To Say I Love You.”  

Zoonited Kingdom is a spectacular box set for the U2 collector.  As the liner notes say, “in August 1993, U2 were way ahead of the rest of rock, the Zoo TV Tour introduced a new and different way to communicate, making a multimedia event out of a rock show, where even the spectators in the cheap seats or back rows, could be somehow involved in an experience that was unique and extraordinary.  The Zoo TV tour is still, even today, an inimitable and incomparable work of art.”

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U2 - Zoonited Kingdom (Godfather G.R. BOX 15), 5.0 out of 5 based on 4 ratings

4 Comments

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  1. Avatar of mojopin72
    mojopin72 says
    November 20, 2012, 11:48 am

    I quote 3 words of Zimbo….this box is a “dream-come-true”.

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  2. Avatar of zimbo
    zimbo says
    November 20, 2012, 7:54 am

    There was a time when I spent quite some time (and for that part money) on tracking down the recordings from the Wembley shows on 11 and 12 July 93. Part reason being the incredible shows as a whole, while part reason was the extended Zooropa set included after New Year’s Day (Numb/Zooropa/Babyface/Stay) only included for a short while before being largely dropped. Of course these days the band has picked up the song Zooropa in the complete version again. The same goes for Stay. However, apart from those few performances in August 1993 it took close to 20 years for this to happen. Babyface on the other hand was never performed again.
    I was lucky enough to catch one of these shows in Copenhagen just a week or two before this, and remember what an absolutely overwhelming experience it was. I have seen some of the largest stadium acts (Pink Floyd in -94 in particular comes to mind) but I still think U2 was the most massive show I ever experienced (maybe rivalled only by themselves on the Popmart tour – which was great, but not as adventurous as Zooropa ’93). Musically it still was fresh, but since the ’92 arena tour the shows had become incredibly muscular. Surprisingly for us attending these shows we were lucky enough to catch some new songs – to various degrees. This all seemed a bit odd as the last album was just over a year away and suddenly there was a new one coming. In all honesty it took me years to start liking Zooropa, but the set as included in the Wembley shows was always a favourite.
    So, what about this box then? Speaking for myself I have to say that this is a bit of a dream-come-true. I spent so much time hunting the rare and few recordings from this relatively short period around the release of the album. To finally get it all served in this absoluely massive box is a godsend. Overall the sound quality of the included 6 double Cd sets is stellar with differences as outlined in the review above – all very listenable though. On top of that Godfather has gone that extra mile to include also replicas of some of the memorabilia from the era. This is really one that any U2 fan ought to get hold of ASAP! It is really a pride for your collection!
    Listening to the Leeds show while writing this I have to say that it is hard not to feel quite some of the enthusiasm that I remember feeling listening to Achtung Baby and Zooropa at the time of the their releases. This package really is a milestone!

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  3. Avatar of Stuart
    Stuart says
    November 4, 2012, 12:08 pm

    As Mojopin72 has already mentioned, this is a seriously luxurious package. I was astounded by the wealth of work that the Don must have had to research to put in to this set. The great recordings notwithstanding, this is a beautiful addition to the rest of the Don’s back catalogue.

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  4. Avatar of mojopin72
    mojopin72 says
    October 30, 2012, 3:13 pm

    There are great replicas from zooropa tour items in this set: official and unofficial tour books, august 1993 promo poster, london august 20-21 concert poster and the famous zooecu…..then pictures captured from those uk nights, newspapers from Leeds and Cardiff. A real labour of love!

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