After Rattle and Hum, U2 went away to 'dream it all up again.' Achtung Baby was widely regarded as a sonic and visual reinvention of the band: a step too far in some territories, where Adam's nude image on the sleeve was covered with an appropriately fixed X or clover. At U2's request, Achtung Baby was the first album by a major act to be released in two eco-friendly packages - the jewel box (without the long box attachment) and the cardboard Digi-Trak. The Digi-Trak featured long-box sizes cardboard, which, once its shrink-wrap and two plastic struts are removed, folds around the CD. In Germany, Universal released a 2-CD box set with a copy of both Achtung Baby and Zooropa.
The album peaked at No. 2 on the US album chart and at No. 1 on the UK album chart. It was certified multi-platinum by the RIAA with 8 million units sold. In Switzerland, Achtung Baby reached No. 3 on the album charts and stayed in the charts for a total of 19 weeks and was certified Gold. In Australia, Achtung Baby was certified 5 times platinum by the ARIA.
U2 won the Grammy for Best Rock Album by a Duo or Group and producers Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno won Producers of the Year for Achtung Baby. Additionally, the album was nominated for Album of the Year. In the Rolling Stone annual reader's poll, it came No. 1 for Best Album and Best Album Cover.
Produced by Daniel Lanois with Brian Eno mainly at Hansa Ton Studios, Berlin, Dog Town, S. T.S., and Windmill Lane, Dublin. Engineered and Mixed by Flood with Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses and Even Better Than The Real Thing mixed by Steve Lillywhite (U2.com)
,,In Berlin erschufen U2 eine neue Version ihrer Band: abenteuerlicher, aber mit der alten Tiefe." (Rolling Stone, Dezember 2011)
C. Böhm in Audio 1 / 92:"...ein inovatives,
phantastisches Album, voll Dramatik, Dynamik
ROLLING STONE ALBUM GUIDE ***** "Thanks to the sound-
shaping technology applied to the Edge's guitar and
Larry Mullen's drums, the band's sound is more intri-
cate and articulate than ever, affording the album
a stylistic range that runs from the techno grunge
of "Zoo Station" to the hip-hop inflected groove of
"Mysterious Ways". Bono's delivery often says more
than the words themselves, proving once again that
U 2's sound is invariably more eloquent than its