Click to return to Dave’s Music Database home page.

* compilation *

Recorded: 1979-1989
Released: November 3, 1998

Rating: 4.250 (average of 8 ratings)

Genre: college rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Pride (In the Name of Love)
  2. New Year’s Day
  3. With or Without You
  4. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  5. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  6. Bad
  7. Where the Streets Have No Name
  8. I Will Follow
  9. The Unforgettable Fire
  10. Sweetest Thing
  11. Desire
  12. When Love Comes to Town [with B.B. King]
  13. Angel of Harlem
  14. All I Want Is You

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 2.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated 1.5
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. 6.0
sales worldwide - estimated 18.5


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 2
peak on U.K. album chart 1 1

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • I Will Follow (10/19/80) #81 US, #20 AR
  • New Year’s Day (1/22/83) #53 US, #10 UK, #2 AR
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday (3/83) #7 AR
  • Pride (In the Name of Love) (9/15/84) #33 US, #3 UK, #2 AR
  • The Unforgettable Fire (5/4/85) #6 UK
  • Bad (8/24/85) #19 AR
  • With or Without You (3/21/87) #1 US, #4 UK, #1 AR, #23 AC
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (3/28/87) #1 US, #6 UK, #2 AR, #16 AC
  • Where the Streets Have No Name (4/4/87) #13 US, #4 UK, #11 AR
  • Desire (10/1/88) #3 US, #1 UK, #1 AR, #1 MR. Gold single.
  • Angel of Harlem (10/22/88) #14 US, #9 UK, #1 AR, #3 MR, #38 AC
  • When Love Comes to Town (with B.B. King) (10/22/88) #68 US, #6 UK, #2 AR, #10 MR
  • All I Want Is You (7/1/89) #50a US, #4 UK, #13 AR
  • Sweetest Thing * (10/17/98) #43a US, #3 UK, #31 AR, #9 MR
* This was originally the B-side to “Where the Streets Have No Name,” but was remixed as a single for this album.

Notes: This album is also available in a limited edition format that included a second CD with B-sides from various singles throughout the ‘80s.


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. one of the Top 100 All-Time World’s Best-Selling Albums The World’s Best Selling Album of the Year. Click to go to awards page.

The Best of 1980-1990
“As one of the most popular bands of the '80s, U2 didn't quite fit into any particular category. They were a post-punk band that quickly found acceptance from a hard rock audience, a group that made fully formed albums but often made their best statements on individual songs, especially during the ‘80s.” STE

“Consequently, they're a very hard band to anthologize. Since they were most effective on single songs, it seems that throwing all of them together on one disc would work. The problem is, each of the albums, from Boy to Rattle and Hum, has a distinctive flavor that doesn't necessarily blend when combined, especially in the nonchronological form of The Best of 1980-1990.” STE

“There’s little quibbling with the featured tracks on U2's first compilation – a few important songs, such as ‘Gloria’…and ‘Two Hearts Beat as One,’ may be missing, but everything else deserves to be here (Pride, New Year’s Day, With or Without You, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, Desire, etc.).” STE

“Even though the song selection is strong, the album winds up as less than the sum of its parts – each song is pretty great of its own accord (even the single mix of the B-side Sweetest Thing, which is, in truth, not much different at all), but the overall effect is a little underwhelming. On one hand, it may be a good choice for casual fans or nostalgia mongers, since it does contain everything they need to hear, but anyone who has more than a passing interest in the band will be better suited with individual albums.” STE

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Links:

Previous Album: Rattle and Hum (1988) U2’s DMDB page Next Album: Achtung Baby (1991)

Last updated November 15, 2010.