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U2 Albums Ranked in Order of Awesomeness

Legendary Irish rock band U2 have the rare distinction of being one of the most loved and most hated bands in the world. Fans adore the group’s monolithic albums like The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby and All That You Can’t Leave Behind, but U2 also made iPhone owners pretty upset in 2014 when Songs of Innocence showed up on their phones without warning.

But U2 were only in a position to make that kind of wide-reaching move because of the infallible reputation they’ve built during the course of their 13 studio albums since released since 1980 — well, 14 albums if you count Passengers (their experimental side project with Brian Eno).

Unfortunately, the band sometimes falls victim to accusations that all their songs sound the same, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Boy is a post-punk album, Pop is an electronic dance record, and “Numb” from Zooropa could almost loosely be considered a rap song. This misplaced hate often stems from the anthemic, chiming guitar sound that was prevalent on The Joshua Tree and became so impactful and important in its time — and beyond. It’s that aesthetic that often informs under-informed critics’ thoughts on the band.

But it goes without saying that U2 are far more than “Where the Streets Have No Name.” We’ve ranked each of the band’s studio albums (in the gallery above) to prove that while not all of U2’s albums have reached legendary heights, it’s hard to fault them for trying something new with each one.

Worst to First: Every R.E.M. Album Ranked

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