is notable for combining elements of popular nineties techno with traditional U2 alternative guitar rock. Although an early
commercial success at the time of its release — it reached number one in many countries, including the UK
and the US — its lifetime sales are among the lowest
in U2's catalogue. Critical reaction was mixed at the time of its release, and it has come to be regarded as one of the band's
The Edge described the album as "about as far away from U2 as it is possible to be". It is much more dark and experimental
than, as the title would imply, light and mainstream. It has some of the band's most jaded and desolate lyrics, such as the
political "Please" and the haunting "Wake Up, Dead Man". Bono has described the album as starting at a party and ending at
a funeral, and indeed, the mood gets very bleak after the first couple of songs.
song has its own unique noises and nuances, like the watery guitar of "Staring at the Sun", the siren wailing of "Gone", or
the gritty drumtrack of "Miami". Despite its rough production, it is an immensely
textured record sonically. It spans various styles as well, such as the beat-driven trance of "Do You Feel Loved?", the techno
of "Mofo", and the loungy balladeering of "If You Wear That Velvet Dress".
the subsequent Popmart Tour, the band expressed their dissatisfaction with the final product. Since the tour was booked well
in advance, the recording of the album had to be rushed. The vocals to "Last Night On Earth" were reportedly recorded at the
mixing desk the day the album was to be sent for pressing. Between the album's various singles and the band's The Best of
1990-2000 compilation (and disregarding dance remixes and the like), the band has re-recorded, remixed, and rearranged "Discothèque",
"If God Will Send His Angels", "Staring at the Sun", "Last Night On Earth", "Gone", and "Please".
band took a considerably more conservative, stripped down approach with Pop's follow-up, All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000),
along with the Elevation Tour that supported it, and the few songs from Pop that did sometimes end up in Elevation setlists
("Gone", "Please", "Staring at the Sun", and "Wake Up Dead Man") were presented in relatively bare-bones versions. On the
more recent Vertigo Tour, songs from Pop were even more rarely played, though a tentative stab at "Discothèque" managed to
invade the beginning of the third leg.
album's first single, "Discothèque", was a huge dance and airplay success. It also reached number one in the singles charts
of most of European countries including the United Kingdom,
where it was their third number one single after 1988's "Desire" and 1991's "The Fly".
the United States, "Discothèque" is notable for being U2's
only single since 1991 to crack the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100. However, it did not spend very long on the chart, as
its dance elements limited its appeal. The follow-up single, "Staring at the Sun" became a moderate airplay success in the