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Rise: Ten years after U2 assumed the rock 'n' roll throne, they planned the glitzy Popmart tour as an ironic take on consumerism, and they rushed out the accompanying album to meet the deadline.
Fall: The half-baked 'Pop' was so forgettable that U2's next album, 'All That You Can't Leave Behind,' was widely hailed as the band's "comeback" record.
Stats: 'The Joshua Tree' (1987), 10 million; 'Pop,' 1.5 million
*All sales figures are U.S., from RIAA and Nielsen SoundScan, except where indicated.