This week’s post “The Playboy Mansion” comes from U2’s polarizing mid-90’s album Pop. This was the tour that Bono wore the tight glittery shirts, the fake muscles and the stage was meant to look like a giant shopping mall or McDonald’s. Although it’s not their most solid album it does have some gems on it and some of the more experimental sides of the band that are absent on the more popular albums.
Upon just hearing the title of this song my friend Abraham said it sounded like it was a good All City Affairs type song. There seems to be some kind of message in here about the shallow nature of our times, but I’m not going to try that hard and figure it out. Bono references “Michael Jackson,” “Coke”, “O,J.” and other 90’s pop-culture staples that definitely date the song. The whole Pop album seems to be taking the piss out of mainstream culture, while also embracing it reluctantly and ultimately ending up a little sore but more or less happy. Finally it comes down to spirituality and finding the one common thread through all people, which I guess is pretty much what most U2 songs are about in a nutshell.
Best, Peter – ACA