U2 (formed 1976)
U2 are an Irish rock band, consisting of Bono (vocals), Larry Mullen Jr. (drums), Adam Clayton (bass) and The Edge (guitar, keyboards and vocals).
The Early Years: The members of U2 formed the band when Larry Mullen Jr., aged 14, posted a note on the notice board at Mount Temple Comprehensive School, looking for people to form a band with.
All four members off the band attended the initial practice, in Mullen's kitchen and chose the name Feedback. There were three other boys at the rehearsal, none of whom made the final grade. Dick Evans lasted the longest, eventually walking offstage at a farewell gig at Howth Presbyterian Church. It was at this moment that the band changed their name to U2.
The band won a talent show in 1978, winning £500 and the chance to record a demo tape. Paul McGuiness agreed to be their manager and their first EP was released in Ireland only. Entitled Three, the EP was their first success in the Irish charts.
The Mainstream: In 1980, U2 were signed to Island Records. '11 O'Clock Tick Tock' was the band's debut internationally released single. Steve Lillywhite was drafted in to produce their debut album, Boy, which was well received by music critics.
October was the band's second album. It did not sell well outside of the UK and Island records put pressure on the band to improve. U2's answer to this pressure was the album, War. The album's artwork featured the photography of Anton Corbijn. War went straight to number one in the UK charts and the debut single was 'New Year's Day' became their first overseas hit single. The live album, Under a Blood Red Sky was recorded on the promotional tour for War, which saw the band playing to sold-out venues across Europe and the States.
In 1984, the band released The Unforgettable Fire. Produced by Brian Eno, the album saw a more experimental change in direction. The debut single from the album, 'Pride (In The Name of Love)', written about Martin Luther King was the band's best-selling single at that point in their career, including an entry in the US charts, which had eluded them until that point. The live tour for the album saw the band playing in indoor arenas and their performance at Wembley Stadium's Live Aid concert is still considered one of their most memorable gigs ever.
Acting on criticism that The Unforgettable Fire was somewhat fuzzy and unfocused, the band's next album featured more conventional song structures. In March 1987,The Joshua Tree was released. The album was number one in the US for nine weeks and was their fastest-selling album in the UK. The band were rewarded with two Grammy Awards and the first two singles 'With or Without You' and 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' both went to number one in the US. The accompanying tour became the subject of the documentary Rattle and Hum. The double album of the same name featured live tracks of the tour and nine studio tracks. The film featured tracks recorded with B.B. King and Bob Dylan.
Achtung Baby was U2's seventh studio album. Released in 1991, the album was influenced by dance, industrial and alternative music. Recorded initially in East Berlin, this album was again produced by Brian Eno and his engineer, Daniel Lanois. In 1992/3, the band embarked on the Zoo TV tour. The tour was an ambitious multimedia event, with hundreds of video screens, flying cars and mock transmissions towers.
The Zooropa album was originally intended as an EP and incorporated techno music influences and electronic music. The final track on the album, 'The Wanderer', was sung by Johnny Cash.
Original Soundtracks 1 was an experimental album released in 1995. Brian Eno was this time not just a producer, but contributed to the writing and performing of the songs. It was released under the name Passengers, to distinguish it from U2's conventional releases. One track, 'Miss Sarajevo' featured Luciano Pavarotti was a hit, though the album performed poorly compared to other U2 albums.
Pop, released in 1997 saw U2 continue with their experimentation, involving tape loops, sampling and sequencing. The album debuted at number one in 35 countries and was a critical success. A month after the PopMart tour - which saw U2 being the first rock band to play in Sarajevo following the Bosnian war - the band appeared on an episode of The Simpsons entitled 'Trash of the Titans'.
In October 2000, the band released All That You Can't Leave Behind. The album was number one in 22 countries and spawned the singles 'Beautiful Day', 'Walk On', 'Stuck in a Moment You can't Get Out Of', and 'Elevation', all of which won Grammy awards.
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb hit the stores in 2004 and the single 'Vertigo' was the soundtrack to a widely publicised advert for Apple's iPod. Apple also manufactured a limited edition U2 iPod and an iTunes U2 box set. The tour saw the band playing songs that they had not played since the 1980s. The next year, U2 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Bruce Springsteen.
Nothing reflects the ethos of European football than We Are The People.
At a time where team sports have never been so important, U2's Bono and The Edge have teamed up with Martin Garrix for an emotional song entitled We Are The People, released to promote the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship this Summer.
Bono performing live in Miami, 2017 / Photo Credit: Ron Elkman/SIPA USA/PA Images
The dismay was palpable across the continent when it was announced that Euro 2020 would inevitably have to be postponed a year thanks to COVID-19 pandemic, but now that UEFA are bringing last year's event to us imminently (and under the same name too), the excitement is doubled.
Ring in the New Year with a very appropriate playlist...
The New Year is almost here, and we've never been more relieved or felt the need to celebrate more. Of course, our celebrations will be dampened by social distancing regulations, but we reckon a good playlist is all we need to ring in a very welcome 2021.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
1. Thank U, Next - Ariana Grande
Continue reading: Time For A Fresh Start? Here's Our Ultimate New Year Playlist
Ringside seats to Hagler vs Leonard and buddying up with Frank Sinatra, U2 have fond memories of their time in Vegas.
It was the night Bono and U2 went to the ringside in Las Vegas “feeling like U2, Dublin, Ireland, and left feeling like the number one group on the planet”.
The SuperFight between Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard - the subject of a new book by Irish author Brian Doogan - was a $100 million showdown at Caesars Palace in April 1987 which coincided with U2’s shoot for the iconic video to I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For; the second track on The Joshua Tree album.
The SuperFight: Marvelous Marvin Hagler - Sugar Ray Leonard by Brian Doogan
U2 are struggling to find four $10,000-a-night mansions to rent for their upcoming Sydney, Australia shows.
U2 are looking to rent four $10,000-a-night mansions for their upcoming Sydney, Australia shows.
The quartet - Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton - are reportedly each seeking their own palatial pad for their stay in the city as part of their 'Experience + Innocence' tour but the quest is proving difficult.
A source told The Sydney Morning Herald that finding huge properties for the stars and their families is proving impossible.
Continue reading: U2'S 10k A Night House Hunt
The former music manager talks about what it was like at the centre of the U2 universe.
It doesn't take long to appreciate you are in the presence of rock music royalty when you are offered an audience with Paul McGuinness.
U2's manager for more than three decades of their remarkable existence has long-since been credited with creating the DNA of Ireland's most successful band and changing the face of stadium rock forever, yet this charming Irishman has never attempted to steal a slice of the limelight from the icons he helped to create.
Riviera / Photo Credit: Sky Atlantic
The latest music news rounded up, including speculation on U2's retirement, and a collaboration album between Karen O and Danger Mouse.
Stormzy CONFIRMED AS FIRST GLASTO 2019 HEADLINER
Grime superstar Stormzy has been named as the first headliner for the 2019 edition of Glastonbury Festival. The 25 year old rapper will be taking to the iconic Pyramid Stage on Friday June 28th.
Glastonbury confirmed the news on Thursday afternoon, after fans had spotted official signs from the festival saying ‘Stormzy Friday’ this week.
Bono told fans at their Berlin gig this week that U2 would be "going away now".
U2 fans are wondering about the future of their heroes this morning, waking up to speculation that the massive stadium-rockers might be calling it a day after wrapping their latest world tour last night.
The Irish band completed the final date of ‘Experience + Innocence’ world tour on Tuesday night (November 13th) in Berlin. However, near the end of the gig, lead singer Bono addressed the crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, and hinted that, more than four decades after forming in 1976, U2 might be preparing to retire.
“We’ve been on the road for quite some time, just going on 40 years, and this last 4 years have been really something very special for us. We’re going away now…” the singer, real name Paul Hewson, told the thousands of fans.
Continue reading: U2 Fans Speculate On The Band's Future
The singer completely lost his voice mid-show over the weekend.
U2 fans in Germany were left hearbroken when the band were forced to cut short their show over the weekend, when frontman Bono found himself suddenly struck down with vocal problems. He's since made a full recovery and announced a rescheduling of the show.
U2 performing live
According to audience members at Berlin's Mercedes-Benz Arena on Saturday (September 1st 2018), he had been struggling through 'Beautiful Day' when he started to struggle hitting the right notes, despite having been singing perfectly fine beforehand. He actually wondered aloud whether the smoke machines were to blame for his croaky vocals.
Continue reading: U2 Forced To Cut Berlin Show Short Over Bono's Vocal Struggles
He doesn't reveal what happened, only that it was a 'shock to the system'.
Bono reveals all about U2's latest album 'Songs of Experience' in an eloquent narrative entitled 'Liner Notes'; a short black and white film that explores the thoughts behind each of the songs that he wrote and the experiences that inspired them, including a brush with death.
Bono at the 40 Music Awards
The U2 frontman speaks about everything from his mother's death to his summers the South of France, from the war in Syria to the changing climate of America in the Matt Mahurin produced film. Plus, of course, what it means to find true joy. But perhaps the most telling note in his narration was that about his near death experience.
The U2 frontman used a poor choice of words while lamenting the current music scene.
Bono has described the current music scene as “very girly”, adding that “hip-hop is the only place for young male anger at the moment.”
The U2 frontman made the comments during an interview with Rolling Stone, after revealing that his children help him discover new music.
Bono at the Los40 Music Awards
Continue reading: Bono Says Music 'Has Gotten Very Girly'
Bono and U2 - Celebrities arrive at the Sarm studios to record the Band Aid 30 single 'Do they Know It's Christmas'. The new Band Aid 30 song and music video will debut on The X Factor results show Sunday night (16Nov). at The X Factor - London, United Kingdom - Saturday 15th November 2014