Zoo Station
by U2

Album: Achtung Baby (1991)
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Songfacts®:

  • The title comes from Zoo Bahnhof, a train station in Berlin where the underground portion of the U2 line begins. Officially called Zoologischer Garten, the station is the stop for the Berlin Zoo.
  • The band went to the Berlin Zoo after arriving in Berlin to record Achtung Baby. Bono got the idea there to use the zoo as a theme. The zoo image would reappear on their next album, Zooropa, and the subsequent Zoo TV tour.
  • This was the first track on Achtung Baby album. The metallic riffs that open the song portend a change of direction for U2 into a more futuristic, electric sound.
  • U2 used this as the opening number on their 1992-1993 Zoo TV tour, an elaborate send-up of media intrusion and the band's own popularity. The concerts immersed the audience in what felt like a TV broadcast, with constantly shifting images flashing across banks of monitors. It was a major strategy shift for the band, which was looking for a new way to connect with the MTV generation.

Comments: 9

  • James from UsaJohan, you’re indicting U2 for singing about a place where Kentler committed some of his awful crimes? Is there any reason to believe U2 knew about that association or any evidence that they condone pedophilia? If not, that’s a despicable, malicious charge to level.
  • Johan from DenmarkIt’s 2021 and Berlin’s state run pedophile ring has just come to light in the New York Times. Kentler, the man behind this atrocity, frequented the “zoo station” where he would pick up male underage prostitutes. Perhaps U2 should be more careful in showing their inner selves.
  • Chris from Germany Great opener and I think it was their best choice in their lives to make this kind of music.

    It was 1991 and so many 80s bands very banned by MTV and radio because grunge and alternative rock became household names in the Charts. REM, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and so many others had success so they could survive by making this.
  • Uraf from Pomadour, American SamoaU 2 is the band, who played a song called Zoo Station.
  • Ferdinand from Hilversum, NetherlandsHi Alex, is there a German frase in Zoo Station? I think you got it mixed up with the song Zooropa, in which Bono sings "Vorsprung durch Technik", which means: "progress through technical development". It's the slogan of the German car manufacturer Audi.
  • Alex from L.a., CaWhat is the German phrase in the first line of the lyrics?
  • Brian from Meriden, CtThanks for the enlightenment, hahaha, and Peter, too. I always thought this was an odd opener to a legendary album. "standing round with your face pressed up against the glass" It set the album's tone with hipper, trippier beats, which were making their way into rock from hip/hop, and by its international flavor.
  • Hahaha from Zagreb, CroatiaThere's a book Kids from the ZOO station (Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo)written by a teenage girl Christianne F. She's a girl who became a 14 (or 16, don't remember-read the book a long time ago) year old heroin addict, as well as her year older boyfriend Detlef. The time is the late '70-es, the place is East Berlin. It's a shocking story about a large number of kids doing anything to get some money for a shot (selling everything of value at first, being a thief and a prostitute at the end, no matter girl or boy), about lots of them trying to be cured (Christianne made it,still lives in Germany)and larger number of them who died (her boyfriend, and some of her best girl-friends). Since Achtung baby was recorded in Berlin, the title of the song and every lyric sort of "told" me that Bono read the book. Those kids were so enthusiastic when they started a trip from marihuana to heroin ---"...ready to let go of this steering wheel...."; and at the end only a couple of them made it. If you can, read the book, and you'll find so many things that relate the song to it, and again speaks about the stupidity of throwing your life away by using drugs. -- Goran Vinovrski
    This book is very popular in Europe.
  • Peter from Berlin, GermanyThe refered "Zoo Station" is actually on the train line U 2
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