Acrobat (4:30)

Cover of Achtung Baby

From Achtung Baby and 5 other releases

“Acrobat” is a song by rock band U2 and the eleventh track from their 1991 album Achtung Baby.

It features 12⁄8 time signature and has The Edge playing a heavily distorted tremolo.

U2’s approach to recording Achtung Baby had been to “throw out” all that they knew, to work with music they didn’t know, in a place (Berlin) that they didn’t know, and to re-arrange roles and responsibilities within the band. This was an alienating experience for long-time collaborator and producer Daniel Lanois, particularly on recording “Acrobat”. Bono described him as trying get the band to play to their strengths while Bono was trying to experiment and play to their weaknesses.

Lyrically, it is one of the most personal on Achtung Baby with Bono acknowledging personal weakness, contradictions, and inadequacy. Bono’s long standing friend, artist Gavin Friday, suggests its chorus “Don’t let the bastards grind you down” is aimed at the press.

It is the only song from the album that was never played live, but was rehearsed in acoustic form for the opening shows of Zoo TV: Outside Broadcast Tour rehearsals in Hershey, Pennsylvania.


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