The Best of 1980–1990 is the first greatest hits compilation by Irish rock band U2, released in November 1998. It mostly contains the group's hit singles from the eighties but also mixes in some live staples as well as one new recording, Sweetest Thing. In April 1999, a companion video (featuring music videos and live footage) was released. The album was followed by another compilation, The Best of 1990–2000, in 2002.

A limited edition version containing a special B-sides disc was released a week earlier than the single-disc version. At the time of release, the official word was that the 2-disc album would be available the first week the album went on sale, then pulled from the stores. While this threat never materialized, it did result in the 2-disc version being in very high demand. Both versions charted in the Billboard 200.

The boy on the cover is Peter Rowen, brother of Bono's friend Guggi (real name Derek Rowen) of the Virgin Prunes. He also appears on the covers of the early EP Three, two of the band's first three albums (Boy and War), and Early Demos.


 [hide*1 Track listing

Track listing[edit]Edit

Disc one[edit]Edit

All music composed by U2, with lyrics by Bono.

No. Title Album Length
1. "Pride (In the Name of Love)"   The Unforgettable Fire (1984) 3:48
2. "New Year's Day(Special version) War (1983) 4:17
3. "With or Without You"   The Joshua Tree (1987) 4:55
4. "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"   The Joshua Tree (1987) 4:38
5. "Sunday Bloody Sunday"   War (1983) 4:40
6. "Bad(Best Of edit) The Unforgettable Fire (1984) 5:50
7. "Where the Streets Have No Name(Best Of edit) The Joshua Tree (1987) 4:35
8. "I Will Follow"   Boy (1980) 3:36
9. "The Unforgettable Fire"   The Unforgettable Fire (1984) 4:53
10. "Sweetest Thing(The Single mix) "Sweetest Thing" single 3:00
11. "Desire"   Rattle and Hum (1988) 2:59
12. "When Love Comes to Town"   Rattle and Hum (1988) 4:17
13. "Angel of Harlem"   Rattle and Hum (1988) 3:49
14. "All I Want Is You" / "October(hidden track) Rattle and Hum (1988)

October (1981)



Total length: 65:35
Japan bonus track
No. Title Length
15. "One Tree Hill"   5:24
16. "October(hidden track) 2:20
17. "A Sort of Homecoming"   5:29
Total length: 69:32

Disc two (Limited Edition B-sides Disc)[edit]Edit

All songs written and composed by U2, except where noted. 

No. Title Originally Released on Length
1. "The Three Sunrises"   "The Unforgettable Fire" single 3:52
2. "Spanish Eyes"   "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" single 3:14
3. "Sweetest Thing"   "Where the Streets Have No Name" single 3:03
4. "Love Comes Tumbling"   "The Unforgettable Fire" single 4:40
5. "Bass Trap" (Best Of edit) "The Unforgettable Fire" single 3:31
6. "Dancing Barefoot(extended version; Patti SmithIvan Kral) "When Love Comes to Town" single 4:45
7. "Everlasting Love(Buzz Cason, Mac Gayden) "All I Want Is You" single 3:20
8. "Unchained Melody(Alex NorthHy Zaret) "All I Want Is You" single 4:52
9. "Walk to the Water"   "With or Without You" single 4:49
10. "Luminous Times (Hold on to Love)"   "With or Without You" single 4:35
11. "Hallelujah Here She Comes" (Best Of edit) "Desire" single 4:00
12. "Silver and Gold"   "Where the Streets Have No Name" single 4:37
13. "Endless Deep"   "Two Hearts Beat as One" single 2:57
14. "A Room at the Heartbreak Hotel(Best Of edit) "Angel of Harlem" single 4:32
15. "Trash, Trampoline and the Party Girl"   "A Celebration" single 2:33
Total length: 59:53
  • Note: The version of "Bass Trap" found on this compilation is a shortened edit from the original 5:14 version found on the "The Unforgettable Fire 12" single EP of 1985. Same goes for the version of "A Room at the Heartbreak Hotel" which is an edit from the original version on the "Angel Of Harlem" single from 1989.

Chart positions and certifications[edit]Edit


Chart (1998) Peak


Australian Top 50 Albums[7] 1
Austrian Top 75 Albums[8] 1
Belgium (Flanders) 100 Albums[9] 1
Belgium (Wallonia) 100 Albums[10] 1
Canadian Albums Chart[11] 1
Finnish Top 50 Albums[12] 3
French Compilations[13] 1
German Albums[14] 1
Netherlands Top 100 Albums[15] 1
New Zealand Top 40 Albums[16] 1
Norwegian Top 40 Albums[17] 2
Swedish Top 60 Albums[18] 1
Swiss Top 100 Albums[19] 1
UK Albums Chart[20] 1
US Billboard200[11] 2
Chart (2005) Peak


Danish Top 40 Albums[21] 8
Spanish Top 100 Albums[22] 46


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Argentina (CAPIF)[23]

Standard edition

3× Platinum 180,000x
Argentina (CAPIF)[24]

+ B-Sides

Platinum 60,000x
Australia (ARIA)[25] 8× Platinum 560,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[26] 2× Platinum 100,000x
Belgium (BEA)[27] 6× Platinum 300,000
Canada (Music Canada)[28] 6× Platinum 600,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[29] Platinum 50,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[30] Gold 29,864[30]
France (SNEP)[31] 2× Platinum 600,000
Germany (BVMI)[32] Platinum 500,000^
Greece (IFPI Greece)[33] 2× Platinum 60,000^
Hungary (Mahasz)[34] Gold
Mexico (AMPROFON)[35] 2× Gold 200,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[36] 9× Platinum 135,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[37] Platinum 50,000
Poland (ZPAV)[38] Platinum 100,000
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[39] 4× Platinum 400,000^
Sweden (GLF)[40] Gold 40,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[41] 3× Platinum 150,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[42] 5× Platinum 1,500,000^
United States (RIAA)[43]

Standard edition

2× Platinum 2,000,000^
United States (RIAA)[44]

+ B-Sides

2× Platinum 1,000,000^
Europe (IFPI)[45] 7× Platinum 7,000,000

  • sales figures based on certification alone ^shipments figures based on certification alone xunspecified figures based on certification alone</p>


The Best of 1980–1990
Video by U2
Released April 1999
Recorded 1980–1989, 1998
Genre Rockpost-punkroots rock
Length 138 mins
Label Island / PolyGram
Director Donald Cammell, Meiert Avis, Barry Devlin, Gavin Taylor, Phil Joanouet al.
U2 chronology
PopMart: Live from Mexico City


The Best of 1980–1990


Elevation 2001: U2 Live from Boston


<p style="margin-top:0.5em;line-height:20.363636016845703px;color:rgb(37,37,37);font-family:sans-serif;">Music and words by U2. All tracks have been remastered for this release.</p>

  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" (from U2 Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky)
  6. "Bad" (from Rattle and Hum)
  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"
  13. "Angel of Harlem"
  14. "All I Want Is You"
  15. "One Tree Hill" (Live - from a previously unreleased cut of Rattle and Hum)


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