Infobox musical artist
Name = U2

Img_capt = U2 performing at Madison Square Garden in November 2005
Img_size = 250
Landscape = yes
Background = group_or_band
Alias =
Origin = Dublin, Ireland
Genre = Rock, post-punk, alternative rock
Years_active = 1976–present
Label = Mercury (2006–present)
Interscope (US only) (1997–present)
Island (1980–2006)
CBS Records (1979–1980)
URL = [http://www.u2.com www.u2.com]
Current_members = Bono
The Edge
Adam Clayton
Larry Mullen, Jr.
Past_members =
Associated_acts = The Dalton Brothers (1987)
Automatic Baby (1993)
Passengers (1995)
U2 are a rock band from Dublin, Ireland. The band consists of Bono (vocals and guitar), The Edge (guitar, keyboards, and vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar) and Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums and percussion).

The band formed in 1976 when the members were teenagers with limited musical proficiency. By the mid-1980s, however, the band had become a top international act, noted for their anthemic sound, Bono's impassioned vocals, and The Edge's textural guitar playing. Their success as a live act was greater than their success at selling records until their 1987 album "The Joshua Tree" [cite video | people =Paul McGuinness | title =Classic Albums: The Joshua Tree | medium =Television documentary | publisher =Rajon Vision |year=1998 ] increased the band's stature "from heroes to superstars," according to "Rolling Stone".cite book | last = Gardner | first = Elysa | title = U2: The Rolling Stone Files | publisher = Rolling Stone Magazine | year = 1994 | location = New York | pages = page xx | isbn = ISBN 0-283-06239-8] U2 responded to the dance and alternative rock revolutions, and their own sense of musical stagnation by reinventing themselves with their 1991 album "Achtung Baby" and the accompanying Zoo TV Tour. Similar experimentation continued for the rest of the 1990s. Since 2000, U2 have pursued a more traditional sound that retains the influence of their previous musical explorations.

U2 have sold more than 140 million albums worldwide [cite web | url = http://www.data.org/about/bod_bono.html | title = Bono, U2 - Board of Directors | publisher = DATA | accessdate = 2008-09-11; cite web | url = http://www.livedaily.com/news/13932.html | title = U2 signs on with Live Nation | publisher = LiveDaily | first = Kym | last = Kilgore | date = 2008-03-31 | accessdate = 2008-09-11] and have won 22 Grammy Awards, [cite web | url = http://www.livedaily.com/news/13932.html | title = U2 signs on with Live Nation | publisher = LiveDaily | first = Kym | last = Kilgore | date = 2008-03-31 | accessdate = 2008-09-11] more than any other band. [http://www.grammy.com/GRAMMY_Awards/Winners/Results.aspx?title=&winner=u2&year=0&genreID=0&hp=1 Grammy Winners List] grammy.com. Retrieved 15 October 2006.] In 2005, the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. "Rolling Stone" magazine listed U2 at #22 in its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time. [http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/5939214/the_idgjmmortals_the_first_fifty The Immortals: The First Fifty.] Rollingstone.com (24 March 2004). Retrieved on 2008-02-08.] Throughout their career, as a band and as individuals, they have campaigned for human rights and social justice causes, including Amnesty International, the ONE Campaign, and Bono's DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa) campaign.


Formation and early years (1976–1979)

The band formed in Dublin on 25 September 1976. [McCormick (2006), page 27] Larry Mullen, Jr., then 14, posted a notice on his secondary school notice board (Mount Temple Comprehensive School) seeking musicians for a new band. Seven teenage boys attended the initial practice in Mullen's kitchen. It was, as Mullen put it, "'The Larry Mullen Band' for about ten minutes, then Bono walked in and blew any chance I had of being in charge." The group featured Mullen on drums, Paul Hewson (Bono) on lead vocals, Dave Evans (The Edge) and his brother Dik Evans on guitar, Adam Clayton, a friend of the Evans brothers on bass guitar, and initially Ivan McCormick and Peter Martin, two other friends of Mullen. [Chatterton (2001), page 130] Soon after, the group settled on the name "Feedback", because it was one of the few technical terms they knew. [McCormick (2006), page 30] Martin did not return after the first practice, and McCormick left the group within a few weeks. Most of the group's material initially consisted of cover versions, which the band said was not their forte.Fact|date=July 2008 The original material the band did write demonstrated a sound influenced by their post-punk peers. [cite web | url = http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/u2/biography | title = U2: Biography: Rolling Stone | publisher = Rolling Stone | accessdate = 2008-08-14]

We couldn't believe it. I was completely shocked. We weren't of an age to go out partying as such but I don't think anyone slept that night....Really, it was just a great affirmation to win that competition, even though I've no idea how good we were or what the competition was really like. But to win at that point was incredibly important for morale and everyone's belief in the whole project.

The Edge on winning the CBS competition [McCormick (2006), pages 46–47]

In March 1977, the band changed their name to "The Hype". [de la Parra (2003), page 6] Dik Evans, who was older and by this time at college, was becoming the odd man out. The rest of the band was leaning towards the idea of a four-piece ensemble and he was "phased out" in March 1978. During a farewell concert in the Presbyterian Church Hall in Howth, which featured The Hype playing covers, Dik ceremoniously walked offstage. The remaining four band members completed the concert playing original material as "U2".McCormick (2006), pages 46–48] Steve Averill, a punk rock musician and family friend of Clayton's, had suggested six potential names from which the band chose "U2" for its ambiguity and open-ended interpretations, and because it was the name that they disliked the least. [McCormick (2006), page 44]

On Saint Patrick's Day in 1978, U2 won a talent show in Limerick, Ireland. The prize consisted of £500 and funding to record a demo, which was an important milestone and affirmation for the fledgling band. The band recorded their first demo tape at Keystone Studios, in Harcourt Street, Dublin, in April 1978.Wall, Mick, (2005). Bono. Andre Deutsch Publishers. ISBN 0233001593 (Promotional edition published by Paperview UK is association with the Irish Independent), pages 45] In May, Paul McGuinness, who had earlier been introduced to the band by "Hot Press" journalist Bill Graham, agreed to be U2's manager. [McCormick (2006), pages 53–56] U2's first release, an Ireland-only EP entitled "Three", was released in September 1979 and was the band's first Irish chart success. [de la Parra (1994), page 8] In December 1979, U2 performed in London for their first shows outside Ireland, although they failed to get much attention from audiences or critics. [de la Parra (1994), page 10] In February 1980, their second single "Another Day" was released on the CBS label, but again only for the Irish market. [Stokes (1996), page 142; McCormick (2006), page 88]

"Boy", "October", and "War" (1980–1983)

Island Records signed U2 in March 1980, and "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" became the band's first internationally released single that May. [Stokes (1996), page 142] The band's debut album, the Steve Lillywhite produced "Boy", followed in October, and received generally positive reviews. [cite web | url = http://www.u2.com/music/index.php?album_id=3&type=lp | title = "Boy" Review | publisher = Hot Press |month=October | year=1980 | accessdate = 2007-09-06; cite web | url = http://www.u2.com/music/index.php?mode=full&news_id=1073&news_type=review | title = "Boy" New Music Express review | publisher = New Music Express | date = 1980-10-25 | accessdate = 2007-09-06; cite web | url = http://www.u2.com/music/index.php?mode=full&news_id=1074&news_type=review | title = "Boy" Billboard review | publisher = Billboard | date = 1980-09-30 | accessdate = 2007-09-06; cite web | url = http://www.u2.com/music/index.php?mode=full&news_id=1075&news_type=review | title = "Boy" The Washington Post review | publisher = The Washington Post | date = 1980-09-30 | accessdate = 2007-09-06] Although Bono's lyrics were unfocused and seemingly improvised, a common theme was the dreams and frustrations of adolescence. [cite web | url = http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/7088993/u2_here_comes_the_next_big_thing | title = U2: Here Comes the "Next Big Thing" | publisher = Rolling Stone | first = James | last = Henke | date = 1981-02-19 | accessdate = 2007-09-06] The album included the band's first United Kingdom hit single, "I Will Follow". "Boy"'s release was followed by U2's first tour of continental Europe and the United States. [de la Parra (2003), pages 16,17] Despite being unpolished, these early live performances demonstrated U2's potential, as critics noted that Bono was a "charismatic" and "passionate" showman. [cite web | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4540228.stm | title = Voice of Influential U2 Frontman | publisher = BBC | date = 2006-12-23 | accessdate = 2007-09-06]

The band's second album, "October," was released in 1981 and contained overtly spiritual themes. During the album's recording sessions, Bono and The Edge left the band due to spiritual conflicts, and U2 ceased to exist for a brief period of time. [cite album-notes |title=October |albumlink=October (album) |bandname=U2 |year=2008 |last=McCormick |first=Neil |format=Remastered deluxe edition CD booklet |publisher=Island Records |publisherid=B0010948-02] Bono, The Edge, and Mullen had joined a Christian group in Dublin called the 'Shalom Fellowship', which led them to question the relationship between the Christian faith and the rock and roll lifestyle. [Flanagan (1995), pages 46–48] The album received mixed reviews and limited radio play. It did not sell well outside of the UK, which put pressure on their contract with Island and focused the band on improvement. [McCormick (2006), page 120]

Resolving the doubts of the "October" period, U2 released "War" in 1983. [Stokes (1996), page 36] A record where the band "turned pacifism itself into a crusade," [Reynolds, Simon. "Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984". Penguin, 2005. p. 367. ISBN 0-14-303672-6] "War"'s sincerity and "rugged" guitar was intentionally at odds with the "cooler" synth-pop of the time. [Graham (2004), page 14] The album included "Sunday Bloody Sunday," where Bono had lyrically tried to contrast the events of Bloody Sunday with Easter Sunday. [McCormick (2006), page 135.] "Rolling Stone" magazine wrote that the song showed the band was capable of deep and meaningful songwriting. "War" was U2's first album to feature the photography of Anton Corbijn, who remains U2's principal photographer and has had a major influence on their vision and public image. [McCormick (2006), page 127] U2's first commercial success, "War" debuted at number one in the UK, and its first single, "New Year's Day", was the band's first overseas hit. ["New Year's Day" reached number ten on the UK charts, and received extensive radio coverage in the US, almost breaking that country's Top 50. (McCormick (2006), page 139); cite web | url = http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=892 | title = Songfacts: New Year's Day by U2 | publisher = Songfacts.com | accessdate = 2007-09-06]

On the subsequent War Tour, the band performed to sold-out concerts in mainland Europe and the U.S. The image of Bono waving a white flag during performances of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" became a familiar sight. [cite web | url = http://www.motherjones.com/arts/books/1989/05/Bono.html | title = Bono Bites Back | publisher = MotherJones.com | first = Adam | last = Block | date = 1989-05-01 | accessdate = 2007-09-06] U2 recorded the "Under a Blood Red Sky" live album on this tour and a live video was released, both of which received extensive play on the radio and MTV, expanding the band's audience and cementing the band's prowess as a live band. [cite web | url = http://netmusiccountdown.com/inc/artist.php?artist=U2 | title = Net Music Countdown: U2 | publisher = netmusiccountdown.com | accessdate = 2007-09-06] Their generally unfavourable record deal with Island Records was coming to an end, and in 1984 U2 signed a highly lucrative extension. They negotiated the return of their copyrights (such that they owned the rights to their own songs), an increase in their royalty rate, and a general improvement in terms, at the expense of a larger initial payment. [cite journal | last = Connelly | first = Christopher | title = Keeping the Faith | journal = Rolling Stone | date = 1984-03-14 | accessdate = 2007-09-06 ]

In start date|2008|7, U2 released re-mastered and deluxe versions of "Boy", "October", and "War". [cite web | url = http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0718/morningireland_av.html?2400283,null,209 | title = Re-mastered U2 albums released | publisher = RTÉ | accessdate = 2008-07-18]

"The Unforgettable Fire" and Live Aid (1984–1985)

We knew the world was ready to receive the heirs to The Who. All we had to do was to keep doing what we were doing and we would become the biggest band since Led Zeppelin, without a doubt. But something just didn't feel right. We felt we had more dimension than just the next big anything, we had something unique to offer. The innovation was what would suffer if we went down the standard rock route. We were looking for another feeling.

Bono on "The Unforgettable Fire's" new direction.McCormick (2006), page 147]

"The Unforgettable Fire" was released in 1984. Ambient and abstract, it was at the time the band’s most marked change in direction.Parra, Pimm Jal de la "U2 Live: A Concert Documentary", pages 52–55, 1996, Harper Collins Publishers, ISBN 0-7322-6036-1] The band feared that following the overt rock of the "War" album and tour, they were in danger of becoming another "shrill", "sloganeering arena-rock band".cite journal
last =Pond | first =Steve | title =The Joshua Tree Album Review | journal =Rolling Stone | date=9 April 1987 | url = http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/u2/albums/album/108063/review/6067670/the_joshua_tree | accessdate = 2008-02-08
] Thus, experimentation was soughtGraham (2004), page 21] as Adam Clayton recalls, "We were looking for something that was a bit more serious, more arty." The Edge admired the ambient and "weird works" of Brian Eno, who, along with his engineer Daniel Lanois, eventually agreed to produce the record. [Island Records boss Chris Blackwell initially tried to discourage them from their choice of producers, believing that just when the band were about to achieve the highest levels of success, Eno would "bury them under a layer of avant-garde nonsense". (McCormick (2006), page 151)]

"The Unforgettable Fire" has a rich and orchestrated sound. Under Lanois' direction, Larry's drumming became looser, funkier, and more subtle and Adam's bass became more subliminal; the rhythm section no longer intruded, but flowed in support of the songs.cite book| last = Stokes| first = Niall| title = Into The Heart: The Story Behind Every U2 Song| publisher = HarperCollins"Publishers"|year=1996| location = Australia| pages = pages 50–51| id = ISBN 0-7322-6036-1] Complementing the sonic atmospherics, the album's lyrics are open to many interpretations, providing what the band called a "very visual feel". Bono's recent immersion in fiction, philosophy, and poetry made him realise that his songwriting responsibilities—about which he had always been reluctant—were a poetic one. Due to a tight recording schedule, however, Bono felt songs like "Bad" and "Pride (In the Name of Love)" were incomplete "sketches".McCormick (2006), page 151] "Pride (In the Name of Love)", about Martin Luther King, was the album's first single and became the band's biggest hit at that point, including being their first to enter the U.S. top 40. [Graham, (2004), page 23, 24]

Much of The Unforgettable Fire Tour moved into indoor arenas as U2 began to win their long battle to build their audience. [de la Parra (1994), page 62–63] The complex textures of the new studio-recorded tracks, such as "The Unforgettable Fire" and "Bad", were problematic to translate to live performance. One solution was programmed sequencers, which the band had previously been reluctant to use, but are now used in the majority of the band's performances. Songs on the album had been criticised as being "unfinished", "fuzzy", and "unfocused", but were better received by critics when played on stage. ["Rolling Stone", which was critical of the album version of "Bad", described its live performance as a 'show stopper'. cite journal | last =Henke | first =James | title ="Wide Awake in America" Album Review | journal =Rolling Stone |date=18 July 1985]

U2 participated in the Live Aid concert for Ethiopian famine relief at Wembley Stadium in July 1985. [Kaufman, Gil (29 Jun 2005). [http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1504968/20050629/story.jhtml Live Aid: A Look Back At A Concert That Actually Changed The World] MTV.com. Retrieved 31 October 2006.] U2's performance was considered one of the show's most memorable and was a turning point in the band's career. [McCormick (2006), page 164] During the song "Bad", Bono leapt down off the stage to embrace and dance with a fan, showing a television audience of millions the personal connection that Bono could make with audiences. [de la Parra (2003), pages 72–73] In 1985, "Rolling Stone" magazine called U2 the "Band of the 80s," saying that "for a growing number of rock-and-roll fans, U2 have become the band that matters most, maybe even the only band that matters." [Peake, Steve. [http://80music.about.com/od/artistsqu/p/u2profile.htm U2, the Only Band that Mattered in the '80s?] about.com. Retrieved 31 January 2007.]

"The Joshua Tree" and "Rattle and Hum" (1986–1989)

Motivated by friendships with Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Keith Richards, the band looked back to the roots of rock music, and Bono focused on his skills as a song and lyric writer. [McCormick (2006), page 179] Realising "that U2 had no tradition", the band explored American blues, country, and gospel music. [Bono in McCormick (2006), pages 169, 177] For their fifth album, the band wanted to build on "The Unforgettable Fire's" atmospherics, but instead of its out-of-focus tracks, they sought a harder-hitting sound within the strict discipline of conventional song structures. [cite journal | last =DeCurtis | first =Anthony | authorlink = | coauthors = | title =U2 Releases The Joshua Tree | journal =Rolling Stone |date=27 March 1987 cited in Cite book
last =Gardner | first =Elysa (ed) | title =U2: The Rolling Stone Files | publisher =Sidgwick & Jackson | year =1994 | location =London | id = ISBN 0-283-06239-8
] U2 interrupted their 1986 album sessions to serve as a headline act on Amnesty International's A Conspiracy of Hope tour, but rather than be a distraction, the tour added extra intensity and power to their new music. [McCormick (2006), page 174] In his 1986 travels to San Salvador and Nicaragua, Bono saw the distress of peasants bullied in internal conflicts subject to American political intervention. This first-hand experience later became a central influence on the new music. The band wanted music with a sense of location, a 'cinematic' quality; the album's music and lyrics draw on imagery created by American writers whose works the band had been reading. [Graham (2004), pages 27–30]

The wild beauty, cultural richness, spiritual vacancy and ferocious violence of America are explored to compelling effect in virtually every aspect of "The Joshua Tree"—in the title and the cover art, the blues and country borrowings evident in the music...Indeed, Bono says that "dismantling the mythology of America" is an important part of "The Joshua Tree's" artistic objective.

— "Rolling Stone" [cite journal | last =DeCurtis | first =Anthony| title =Truths and Consequences | journal =Rolling Stone | date = 7 May 1987]

"The Joshua Tree" [so named as a "tribute" to, rather than a "metaphor" for, America (McCormick (2006), page 186)] was released in March 1987. The album juxtaposes antipathy towards America against the band's deep fascination with the country, its open spaces, freedom, and what it stands for. [McCormick (2006), page 186] It became the fastest-selling album in British chart history, and was number one for nine weeks in the United States. [cite video
title =Classic Albums: The Joshua Tree | medium =Television Documentary | publisher =Eagle Rock Entertainment |year=1998
; McCormick (2006), page 186
] It won U2 their first two Grammy Awards. [Grammy Award for Album of the Year and a Grammy for the Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal. [http://www.grammy.com/GRAMMY_Awards/Winners/Results.aspx?title=&winner=u2&year=1987&genreID=0&hp=1 Grammy Winners List] grammy.com. Retrieved 4 December 2006.] The album's first two singles, the 'rock & roll bolero "With or Without You" and the rhythmic gospel "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", quickly went to number one in the U.S. U2 became the fourth rock band to be featured on the cover of "Time" magazine, [The Beatles, The Band, and The Who were the first three.] which declared U2 "Rock's Hottest Ticket". [" [http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19870427,00.html Rock's Hottest Ticket] " Time Magazine Archive, April 1987. Retrieved on 20 January 2007.] The album brought U2 a new level of success and is cited by "Rolling Stone" as one of rock's greatest. [http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/5938174/the_rs_500_greatest_albums_of_all_time/ The RS 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time] Rollingstone.com. Retrieved 15 October 2006.] The Joshua Tree Tour was the first during which the band played numerous stadium shows alongside smaller arena shows. [de la Parra (1994), pages 102–103, 111]

The documentary "Rattle and Hum" featured footage recorded from The Joshua Tree Tour, and the accompanying double album of the same name included nine studio tracks and six live U2 performances. Released in record stores and cinemas in October 1988, the album and film were intended as a tribute to American music. [Stokes (1996), page 78; Graham (2004), pages 36–38] The film included tracks recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis and tracks performed with Bob Dylan and B. B. King. Despite a positive reception from fans, "Rattle and Hum" received mixed reviews from both film and music critics; [ [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:zsd1vwvva9lk "Rattle and Hum" review] . Allmusic.com. Retrieved 3 November 2006; Christgau, Robert. " [http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?name=u2 "Rattle and Hum"] . robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 3 November 2006.] one "Rolling Stone" editor spoke of the album's "excitement", another described it as "bombastic and misguided".cite book | last = Gardner | first = Elysa | title = U2: The Rolling Stone Files | publisher = Rolling Stone Magazine | year = 1994 | location = New York | pages = page xxiii | isbn = ISBN 0-283-06239-8] The film's director, Phil Joanou, described it as "an overly pretentious look at U2".cite book | last = Gardner | first = Elysa | title = U2: The Rolling Stone Files | publisher = Rolling Stone Magazine | year = 1994 | location = New York | pages = page xxiv | isbn = ISBN 0-283-06239-8] Most of the album's new material was played on 1989's Lovetown Tour, which primarily consisted of shows in Australia and Europe. With a sense of musical stagnation, Bono announced at an end-of-decade concert that U2 had come to the end of an era and had to "...go away and just dream it all up again". [McCormick (2006), page 213; "A Story of One" [Video documentary] .]

"Achtung Baby", Zoo TV, and "Zooropa" (1990–1993)

Buzzwords on this record were "trashy, throwaway, dark, sexy," and "industrial" (all good) and "earnest, polite, sweet, righteous, rockist" and "linear" (all bad). It was good if a song took you on a journey or made you think your hifi was broken, bad if it reminded you of recording studios or U2...Berlin became a conceptual backdrop for the record. The Berlin of the Thirties—decadent, sexual and dark—resonating against the Berlin of the Nineties—reborn, chaotic and optimistic...

Brian Eno on the recording of "Achtung Baby" [cite journal | last =Eno | first =Brian | authorlink =Brian Eno | coauthors = | title =Bringing Up Baby | journal =Rolling Stone | volume = | issue = | pages = | publisher = | date = 28 November 1991 | url = | doi = | id = | accessdate = ]

In November 1991, U2 released their seventh studio album, "Achtung Baby". Stung by criticism of "Rattle and Hum", the band made a calculated change in musical and thematic direction, their most dramatic since "The Unforgettable Fire". [Flanagan (1995), pages 4–6; Graham (2004), page 43] Sonically, "Achtung Baby" incorporated dance, industrial, and alternative rock influences of the time and the band referred to the album as the sound of "four men chopping down the Joshua Tree". [cite web | last = Paulsen | first = John | title = Deep Cuts: U2: Part I
publisher = bullz-eye.com | date = 2005-09-20 | url = http://www.bullz-eye.com/music/deep_cuts/2005/U2_part_1.htm | accessdate = 2008-02-09
] Thematically, it was a more inward-looking and personal record; it was darker, yet at times more flippant, than the band's previous work. Commercially and critically, it has been one of the band's most successful albums and a crucial part of the band's early 1990s reinvention. [Graham (2004), page 44] Like "The Joshua Tree", it is cited by "Rolling Stone" as one of rock's greatest.

The band initially worked on "Achtung Baby" in East Berlin, seeking inspiration and renewal on the eve of German reunification. Daniel Lanois produced the album with assistance from Brian Eno. [Flanagan (1995), page 7] In the Berlin sessions, conflict arose within the band over the quality of material and musical direction. While Adam and Larry preferred a sound similar to U2's previous work, Bono and The Edge were inspired by alternative and European dance music and advocated a change. Weeks of slow progress, arguments, and tension subsided when the band rallied around a chord progression The Edge had written, creating the song "One". [Flanagan (1995), pages 6–11]

The Zoo TV Tour of 1992–1993 was a multimedia event, and showcased an extravagant but intentionally bewildering array of hundreds of video screens, upside-down flying Trabant cars, mock transmission towers, satellite TV links, subliminal messages, and Bono's over-the-top stage characters such as "The Fly", "Mirror-Ball Man", and "(Mister) MacPhisto". The extravagant shows were intentionally in contrast to the austere staging of previous U2 tours, and mocked the excesses of rock and roll by appearing to embrace these very excesses. The shows were, in part, U2's way to represent the pervasive nature of cable television and its blurring of news, entertainment, and home shopping. [de la Parra (1994), pages 139–41; Flanagan (1995), pages 12,13, 58–61; Stokes (1996), pages 110–11] Prank phone calls were made to President Bush, the United Nations, and others. Live satellite uplinks to war-torn Sarajevo caused controversy. [de la Parra (2003), pages 153, 166]

Quickly recorded and released during a break in the Zoo TV tour in mid-1993, the "Zooropa" album continued many of the themes from "Achtung Baby" and the Zoo TV tour. Initially intended as an EP, the band expanded "Zooropa" into a full-length LP album. It was an even greater departure from the style of their earlier recordings, incorporating techno influences and other electronic effects. [Graham (2004), page 51] In keeping with this intentional departure from their previous style, Bono stepped down from the mic for the final track on "Zooropa", and invited Johnny Cash to perform "The Wanderer".

Most of the songs were played at least once during the 1993 leg of the tour, which extended through Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan; half the album's tracks became fixtures in the set. [de la Parra (2003), pages 166–72]

Passengers, "Pop", and PopMart (1995–1998)

In 1995, U2 released an experimental album called "Original Soundtracks 1". Brian Eno, producer of three previous U2 albums, contributed as a full partner, including writing and performing. For this reason, and due to the record's highly experimental nature, the band chose to release it under the moniker "Passengers" to distinguish it from U2's conventional albums. It was commercially unnoticed by U2 standards and it received generally poor reviews. However, the single "Miss Sarajevo" featuring Luciano Pavarotti, and which Bono cites as one of his favourite U2 songs, [McCormick (2006), page 261–62] was a hit.

It's not enough to write a great lyric; it’s not enough to have a good idea or a great hook, lots of things have to come together and then you have to have the ability to discipline and screen. We should give this album to a re-mixer, go back to what was originally intended, so that 'Mofo' is on top of the stickiest groove with a proper plastic attack, 'Do You Feel Loved' is done as a liquid bass line hook that carries the intimacies whispered on top of it, 'If God Will Send His Angels' should be diamonds and pearls.

Bono on "Pop" [McCormick (2006), page 269]

On 1997's "Pop", U2 continued experimenting; Tape loops, programming, rhythm sequencing, and sampling provided much of the album with heavy, funky dance rhythms. [Graham (2004), pages 62–63] Released in March, the album debuted at number one in 35 countries, and drew mainly positive reviews. [cite web | url = http://www.u2.com/music/index.php?mode=full&news_id=1111&news_type=review | title = (U2 have) relaxed sufficiently to allow a certain funk into their music... | publisher = NME | accessdate = 2006-10-31; cite web | url = http://www.u2.com/music/index.php?mode=full&news_id=1110&news_type=review | date=2007-02-28| title = U2 have not reinvented themselves so much as rediscovered themselves... | publisher = Sunday Times (UK) | accessdate = 2006-10-31] "Rolling Stone", for example, stated that U2 had "defied the odds and made some of the greatest music of their lives." [cite journal|title =Rolling Stone Pop Review| journal =Rolling Stone| issue =756 |month=March | year=1997| url =http://www.u2station.com/news/archives/1997/03/index.php| accessdate = 2008-02-08] Others felt that the album was a major disappointment and sales were poor compared to previous U2 releases. [cite web | url = http://www.andrewmueller.net/display.lasso?id=88 | title = U2's Pop reconsidered | author = Mueller, Andrew | publisher=andrewmueller.net |accessdate = 2008-01-07; cite web |author=Dentler, Matt| date= 30 October 2000| url = http://media.www.dailytexanonline.com/media/storage/paper410/news/2000/10/30/Entertainment/U2.Makes.Album.World.Is.Waiting.For-700580.shtml | title = U2 makes album world is waiting for | publisher = The Daily Texan online | accessdate = 2008-01-07; cite web | url = http://www.christianitytoday.com/music/reviews/2002/thebestof19902000.html | title = The Best of 1990–2000 - U2 | publisher = Christianity Today | author= Breimeier, Russ| accessdate = 2008-01-07] The band was hurried into completing the album in time for the impending pre-booked tour, and Bono admitted that the album "didn't communicate the way it was intended to". [cite web | url = http://www.contactmusic.com/new/xmlfeed.nsf/mndwebpages/u2%20set%20to%20rerecord%20pop | title = U2 Set to Re-Record Pop | publisher = contactmusic.com | accessdate = 2006-10-31]

The subsequent tour, PopMart, commenced in April 1997. Like Zoo TV, it featured advertising influences and was intended to send a sarcastic message to those accusing U2 of commercialism. The stage included a convert|100|ft|m|sing=on tall golden yellow arch (reminiscent of the McDonald's logo), a convert|150|ft|m|sing=on long video screen, and a convert|40|ft|m|sing=on tall mirrorball lemon. U2's "big shtick" failed, however, to satisfy many who were seemingly confused by the band's new kitsch image and elaborate sets. [cite journal|last=Carter|first=Geoff|title=U2 live: Play-by-play of the concert|journal=The Las Vegas Sun|date=1997-04-27; Anderson, Kyle (4 October 2006). [http://www.spin.com/community/blogs/kyle_anderson/2006/10/061004_u2/ U2, Brute?] spin.com. Retrieved on 29 December 2006; [http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/u2/albums/album/321527/review/5942462/pop U2:Pop : Music Reviews.] Rollingstone.com, 18 December 1997. Retrieved 29 December 2006.] The late delivery of "Pop" meant rehearsal time was severely reduced, and performances in early shows suffered. [de la Parra (2003), pages 193–202] A highlight of the tour was a concert in Sarajevo where U2 were the first major group to perform following the Bosnian War. [ [http://www.rockonthenet.com/artists-u/u2_main.htm Rock On The Net: U2] rockonthenet.com. Retrieved 31 October 2006] Larry Mullen, Jr. described the concert as "an experience I will never forget for the rest of my life, and if I had to spend 20 years in the band just to play that show, and have done that, I think it would have been worthwhile." [ [http://entertainment.msn.com/news/article.aspx?news=106185&mpc=2 U asked U2!] msn.com. Retrieved 15 January 2007; Furthermore, Bono described the show as "one of the toughest and one of the sweetest nights of my life." ( [http://www.u2station.com/news/archives/1997/09/index.php Bono in Conversation.] The Independent (26 September 1997). Retrieved 15 January 2007)] One month following the conclusion of the PopMart Tour, U2 appeared on the 200th episode of "The Simpsons", "Trash of the Titans," in which Homer Simpson disrupted the band on stage during a PopMart concert. [cite news |url=http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1435008/19980424/u2.jhtml |title=U2 And Homer Share Stage In "Simpsons" 200th Episode |publisher=MTV |date=1997-08-14 |accessdate=2008-05-09]

"Reapplying to be the best band in the world" (2000–present)

"All That You Can't Leave Behind" is easy to relate to, full of solid songs that appeal to a wide audience with its clear notions of family, friendship, love, death, and re-birth. More Lanois than Eno on first impression, the sounds on this album come from a band that has digested the music it started to consume while making "Rattle and Hum". This time they are neither imitating or paying tribute. This time it's soul music, not music about soul.

— Caroline van Oosten de Boer

Following the comparatively poor reception of "Pop", U2 declared on a number of occasions that they were "reapplying for the job ... [of] the best band in the world". [cite web |url=http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,212605,00.html |title=Bono's Mission |accessdate=2007-03-10 |last=Tyrangiel |first=Josh |work=Time |date=2002-02-23 ] Since 2000, the band has pursued a more traditional sound while maintaining influences from their previous musical explorations. [McCormick (2006), pages 289 & 296] "All That You Can't Leave Behind" was released in October 2000 and reunited the band with producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. The album was considered by many of those not won over by the band's 1990s experimentation as a return to grace; [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/friday_review/story/0,,388228,00.html#article_continue Time to Get the Leathers Out.] Guardian.co.uk (27 October 2000). Retrieved on 31 October 2006] "Rolling Stone" called it U2's "third masterpiece" alongside "The Joshua Tree" and "Achtung Baby". [cite journal| last = Hunter | first = James | title = Review: All That You Can't Leave Behind | journal = Rolling Stone Magazine | issue = RS 853 |date=26 October 2000|url = http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/232369/all_that_you_cant_leave_behind|accessdate = 2008-02-08] The album debuted at number one in 22 countries [ [http://www.therockradio.com/u2/biography.html The Rock Radio: U2 biography.] therockradio.com. Retrieved 31 October 2006.] and its world-wide hit single, "Beautiful Day" earned three Grammy Awards. The album's other singles, "Walk On", "Elevation", and "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of" also won Grammy Awards.

For the Elevation Tour, U2 performed in a scaled-down setting, returning to arenas after nearly a decade of stadium productions. A heart-shaped stage and ramp permitted greater proximity to the audience. Following the September 11 attacks, the new album gained added resonance. [Cite web
title = The RS 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
date = 30 November 2003
url = http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6598735/139_all_that_you_cant_leave_behind
accessdate =2008-02-02
publisher = rollingstone.com
; McCormick (2006), pages 308–309
] In October, U2 performed a series of sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City. In later interviews, Bono and the Edge called these New York City shows among their most memorable and emotional performances. [cite video | title =VH1: All Access: U2 | medium =Television documentary | year=2005 | url = ; McCormick (2006), page 309] In early 2002, U2 performed during halftime of Super Bowl XXXVI. [de la Parra (2003), page 268]

The band's next studio album, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb", was released on 22 November 2004. Sonically, the band was looking for harder-hitting rock than "All That You Can't Leave Behind". Thematically, Bono states that "A lot of the songs are paeans to naiveté, a rejection of knowingness."Cite journal | last =Wenner | first =Jann S | title =Bono On The Records | journal =Rolling Stone | issue =648 | pages =pages 74, 75 |month=February | year=2006] The first single, "Vertigo," was featured on a widely-aired television commercial for the Apple iPod, in conjunction with the release of a special edition U2 iPod and an iTunes U2 box set. The album debuted at number one in the U.S. where first week sales doubled that of "All That You Can't Leave Behind" and set a record for the band. [ [http://www.rockonthenet.com/artists-u/u2_main.htm Rock On The Net: U2] rockonthenet.com. Retrieved 31 October 2006.] Claiming it as a contender as one of U2's three best albums, Bono said, "There are no weak songs. But as an album, the whole isn't greater than the sum of its parts, and it fucking annoys me." Using a similar setup and stage design as the previous tour, the Vertigo Tour featured a set list that varied more across dates than any U2 tour since the Lovetown Tour, and included songs not played since the early 1980s. Like the Elevation Tour, the Vertigo Tour was a commercial success. [Waddell, Ray (13 December 2005). [http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001659352 U2's Vertigo Leads Year's Top Tours.] billboard.com. Retrieved 31 October 2006.] The album and its singles won Grammy Awards in all eight categories in which U2 were nominated. In 2005, Bruce Springsteen inducted U2 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/4349877.stm U2 stars enter rock Hall of Fame] bbc.co.uk (15 March 2005). Retrieved 17 January 2007; [http://www.u2station.com/news/archives/2005/03/transcript_bruc.php Transcript: Bruce Springsteen Inducts U2 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.] u2station.com. Retrieved 17 January 2007]

In August 2006, the band transferred some of its operations to The Netherlands two months after Ireland capped its artists' tax exemption at €250,000. [cite web|url=http://www.independent.ie/national-news/u2-move-their-rock-empire-out-of-ireland-133364.html|title=U2 move their rock empire out of Ireland|date=2006-08-06 | accessdate=2008-02-08 |author=McConnell, Daniel|publisher=independent.ie] Since 2006, the band have been writing and recording new material, initially with Rick Rubin, and more recently with Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. The band's twelfth album is planned to be released in 2009. [Cite web
title = U2 Pen “Fifty to Sixty” Songs, New Album Pushed to 2009
date = 3 September 2009
url =http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2008/09/03/u2-pen-fifty-to-sixty-songs-new-album-pushed-to-2009/|publisher= Rolling Stone
accessdate = 2009-09-03
] The album has been described as "hand-played but it's also electro." [cite web|url=http://www.atu2.com|title="Hands on Electro"|date=2008-02-16|accessdate=2008-02-16] Bono has been quoted as saying that the sessions show a real departure from the themes of the last two albums, with "trance influences," [cite web|url=http://mog.com/Charley_Rogulewski/blog_post/128853|title=Bono Says New U2 Album Has "Trance Influences"|date=2007-12-05 | accessdate=2008-02-21] and Lanois has said the album will push the limits of the sound arena much like "Achtung Baby" years earlier. A 3-D concert film, "U2 3D", filmed at nine concerts during the Vertigo Tour, was released on 23 January 2008. On 31 March 2008, it was confirmed that U2 signed a 12 year deal with Live Nation worth an estimated $100 million (£50 million). [ U2 ties knot with Live Nation deal [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/money/2008/03/31/bcnu2131.xml] ] The deal includes Live Nation controlling the band's merchandise, sponsoring and their official website.

Musical style

Since their inception, U2 have developed and maintained a distinctly recognisable sound, with emphasis on melodic instrumentals and expressive, larger-than-life vocals.Peake, Steve. [http://80music.about.com/od/artistsqu/tp/topu2songs.htm Top 10 U2 Songs of the '80s.] about.com. Retrieved 18 February 2007.] This approach is rooted partly in the early influence of record producer Steve Lillywhite at a time when the band was not known for musical proficiency. [Fricke, David (15 December 2004). [http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6769075/u2_dissect_bomb U2 Dissect "Bomb".] rollingstone.com. Retrieved 18 February 2007.] The Edge has consistently used a rhythmic echo and a signature delay [Darling, Tim (May 2006). [http://www.amnesta.net/edge_delay/ A Study of the Edge's (U2) Guitar Delay.] amnesta.net. Retrieved 18 February 2007] to craft his guitar work, coupled with an Irish-influenced drone played against his syncopated melodiesHutchinson, John (1986). [http://www.amnesta.net/edge_delay/musician_magazine_1986.html U2's Leading Edge.] "Musician Magazine", reprinted at amnesta.net. Retrieved 25 February 2007.] that ultimately yields a well-defined ambient, chiming sound. Bono has nurtured his falsetto operatic voice [Maione, Marylinn (12 February 2006). [http://www.atu2.com/news/article.src?ID=4234&Key=off%20the%20record&Year=&Cat=12 Column: off the record..., vol. 6–201] atu2.com. Retrieved 18 February 2007.] and has exhibited a notable lyrical bent towards social, political, and personal subject matter while maintaining a grandiose scale in his songwriting. In addition, the Edge has described U2 as a fundamentally live band.

Despite these broad consistencies, U2 have introduced new elements into their musical repertoire with each new album. U2's early sound was influenced by bands such as Television and Joy Division, and has been described as containing a "sense of exhilaration" that resulted from The Edge's "radiant chords" and Bono's "ardent vocals". [Reynolds (2005), page 368] U2's sound began with post-punk roots and minimalistic and uncomplicated instrumentals heard on "Boy" and "October", but evolved through "War" to include aspects of rock anthem, funk, and dance rhythms to become more versatile and aggressive. [Considine J.D. (22 January 1997). [http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/210489/review/6067451/war Rolling Stone: War: Review.] rollingstone.com. Retrieved 18 February 2007.] The two albums were labeled "muscular and assertive" by "Rolling Stone", influenced in large part by Lillywhite's producing. "The Unforgettable Fire", which began with the Edge playing more keyboards than guitars, as well as follow-up "The Joshua Tree", had Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois at the production helm. With their influence, both albums achieved a "diverse texture". The songs from "The Joshua Tree" and "Rattle and Hum" placed more emphasis on Lanois-inspired rhythm as they mixed distinct and varied styles of gospel and blues music, which stemmed from the band's burgeoning fascination with America's culture, people and places. In the 1990s, U2 reinvented themselves as they began using synthesizers, distortion, and electronic beats derived from alternative music, dance music, and hip-hop on "Achtung Baby", [Gardner, Alysa (22 January 1997). [http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/u2/albums/album/116432/review/5941852/achtung_baby U2: Achtung, Baby: Music Reviews.] rollingstone.com. Retrieved 18 February 2007.] "Zooropa" and "Pop".Pareles, Jon (28 April 1997). [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0DE5DC1531F93BA15757C0A961958260 Under A Golden Arch, Sincerely U2.] nytimes.com. Retrieved 18 February 2007.] The 2000s had U2 returning to a stripped-down sound, with less use of synthesizers and effects and a more traditional rhythm.

Lyrics and themes

Social and political commentary, often embellished with Christian religious and spiritual imagery,Pareles, Jon (14 November 2004). [http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/14/arts/music/14pare.html?ex=1258174800&en=f3575bdf103425da&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt U2: The Catharsis in the Cathedral.] nytimes.com. Retrieved 18 February 2007.] are a major aspect of U2's lyrical content. Songs like "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Mothers of the Disappeared" were motivated by current events of the time. The former was written concerning the troubles in Northern Ireland [McCormick (2006), pages 135, 139] while the latter described the plight of the mothers of kidnapped Argentinians that opposed the country's coup d'état in 1976.

Bono's personal conflicts and turmoil related to family colour songs like "Mofo", "Tomorrow" and "Kite". An emotional yearning or pleading is another frequent conveyance, in tracks such as "Yahweh", [ [http://www.uncut.co.uk/music/u2/reviews/400 U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb Review.] uncut.co.uk. Retrieved 18 February 2007.] "Peace on Earth", and "Please". The investigation of loss and anguish coupled with hopefulness and resiliency, which is central to "The Joshua Tree", has motivated much of U2's songwriting and music. Some of this lyrical ideation has been amplified by Bono and the band's personal experiences during their youth in Ireland, as well as Bono's campaigning and activism later in his life. U2 have used tours such as Zoo TV and PopMart to caricature social trends, such as media overload and consumerism, respectively.

While the band and its fans often affirm the political nature of their music, U2's lyrics and music have been criticized as apolitical because of their vagueness and "fuzzy imagery", and a lack of any specific references to actual people or characters. [cite web|title=The soaring nothingness of U2|author=Plotz, David|url=http://www.slate.com/id/2061087/|date=25 January 2002|publisher=slate.com|accessdate=2008-01-19]


The band cites The Who, [McCormick (2006), page 113] The Clash, [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/2600669.stm Clash Star Strummer Dies.] BBC news 27 December 2002. Retrieved on 2008-02-08.] , Ramones,cite web|url=http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,107223,00.html?internalid=ACA|title=Eulogy: Bono Remembers Joey Ramone|author=Bono|publisher=time.com|month= April | year= 2001|accessdate=2008-02-13] The Beatles, [cite web | url = http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/07/24/1058853193517.html | date = 26 July 2003| title = Saint Bono | work = The Age | accessdate = 2008-01-07 ] Joy Division, ["NewOrderStory" [DVD] . Warner Bros., 2005.] Siouxsie & the Banshees [ [http://www.gigsinscotland.com/events.html?cmd=view&event_id=3845 Siouxsie Sioux.] Gigs In Scotland. Retrieved on 2007-02-08; [http://web.archive.org/web/20070528192946/http://siouxsie.trinitystreetdirect.com/news/archived_news.asp The Creatures - Siouxsie Sioux Official Website. Archived News:] Mojo Icon Award 17.06.05. Last night Siouxsie lifted the Icon Award and the Mojo Honours Awards. The award was given to her by U2's The Edge who cited Siouxsie as a big influence on Bono and U2 before handing over the Award. Retrieved 17 May 2007] and Patti Smith [cite web |author=Wenner, Jann S. |authorlink=Jann Wenner |date=2005-11-03 | publisher=Rolling Stone |url=http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/8091949/bono |title=Bono Interview |accessdate=2008-02-15 |work=Issue 986] as influences. Van Morrison has been cited by Bono as an influence [Bayles, Martha. "Hole in Our Soul: Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music." New York: Free Press, 1994, p.321.] and his influence on U2 is pointed out by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. [cite web | url=http://www.rockhall.com/inductee/van-morrison/ |title=Van Morrison: Induction year 1993 | publisher=rockhall.com | accessdate=2008-08-20] Other musicians and bands such as Snow Patrol, [ [http://www.interference.com/stories/id131623.html] Snow Patrol Talks Opening For U2 and New Album. Retrieved on 2008-02-11] The Fray,cite news|last=Gitlin|first=Lauren|publisher=Rolling Stone|title=Enter the Fray|date=10 August 2006] OneRepublic, [ [http://www.amiannoying.com/(S(d2zjkz55ykz1ba55dwhjn4rd))/view.aspx?ID=21766 Musicians.] OneRepublic's AmIAnnoying.com. Retrieved on 2008-02-08.] Coldplay,Rolling Stone, Issue #1025–1026, 3 May–17 May 2007.] The Academy Is..., [ [http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/academy_is/related_artists.jhtml?influencedBy=true The Academy Is... | Related Music Artist | Discover New Music | MTV ] ] The Killers, Your Vegas [ [http://musicunderfire.blogspot.com/2008/05/muf-interviews-your-vegas.html Music Under Fire: MUF Interviews Your Vegas ] ] and Angels & Airwaves [NME's 10 Most Influential Bands/Artists. NME Magazine, 2002; Chan, Alvin. [http://www.musicomh.com/interviews/angels-and-airwaves_0606.htm Angels & Airwaves - Between the Blinks.] musicOMH.com June 2006. Retrieved 18 February 2007.] have in turn been influenced by the work of U2. Cover versions of U2 songs have been made by performers such as Our Lady Peace, Mary J. Blige, Johnny Cash, The Chimes, Joe Cocker, Pearl Jam, James Blunt, tobyMac, Darlene Zschech, Pet Shop Boys, Ignite, The Smashing Pumpkins, Keane, Pillar, Utada Hikaru, Dream Theater, Sepultura, Saul Williams, The Living End, The Upper Room and The Bravery. U2 have also worked and/or had influential relationships with artists including Green Day, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, B.B. King, Luciano Pavarotti, [McCormick (2006), pages 39, 113, 343] Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Wim Wenders, R.E.M., Salman Rushdie, and Anton Corbijn.

Campaigning and activism


thumb|right|Bono_with_President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil]

Since the early 1980s, the members of U2—as a band and individually—have collaborated with other musicians, artists, celebrities, and politicians to address issues concerning poverty, disease, and social injustice.

In 1984, Bono and Adam Clayton participated in Band Aid to raise money for Ethiopian famine relief. The initiative produced the hit charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?", which would be the first among several collaborations between U2 and Bob Geldof. In July 1985, U2 played Live Aid, a follow-up to Band Aid's efforts. Bono and his wife Ali, invited by World Vision, later visited Ethiopia where they witnessed the famine first hand. Bono would later say this laid the groundwork for his Africa campaigning and some of his songwriting. [Tyrangiel, Josh (4 March 2002). [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1001931-2,00.html Bono.] "Time" magazine. Retrieved 16 January 2007; McCormick (2006), page 289]

In 1986, U2 participated in the A Conspiracy of Hope tour in support of Amnesty International and in Self Aid for unemployment in Ireland. The same year, Bono and Ali Hewson also visited Nicaragua and El Salvador at the invitation of the Sanctuary movement, and saw the effects of the El Salvador Civil War. These 1986 events greatly influenced "The Joshua Tree" album, which was being recorded at the time.

In 1992, the band participated in the "Stop Sellafield" concert with Greenpeace during their Zoo TV tour. [McCormick (2006), page 238] Events in Sarajevo during the Bosnian war inspired the song "Miss Sarajevo", which premiered at a September 1995 Pavarotti and Friends show, and which Bono and the Edge performed at War Child. [McCormick (2006), page 262] A promise made in 1993 was kept when the band played in Sarajevo as part of 1997's PopMart Tour. [McCormick (2006), page 277] In 1998, they performed in Belfast days prior to the vote on the Good Friday Agreement, bringing Irish political leaders David Trimble and John Hume on stage to promote the agreement. [McCormick (2006), pages 285–86] Later that year, all proceeds from the release of the "Sweetest Thing" single went towards supporting the Chernobyl Children's Project.

In 2001, the band dedicated "Walk On" to Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. [McCormick (2006), pages 295–96] In late 2003, Bono and the Edge participated in the South Africa HIV/AIDS awareness 46664 series of concerts hosted by Nelson Mandela. The band played 2005's Live 8 concert in London. The band and manager Paul McGuinness were awarded Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award for their work in promoting human rights. [ [http://www.artforamnesty.org/aoc/events_2005.html Ambassador of Conscience Award: 2005 Award Ceremony.] artforamnesty.org. Retrieved 5 February 2007]

Since 2000, Bono's campaigning has included Jubilee 2000 with Bob Geldof, Muhammad Ali, and others to promote the cancellation of third world debt during the Great Jubilee. In January 2002, Bono co-founded the multinational NGO, DATA, with the aim of improving the social, political, and financial state of Africa. He continued his campaigns for debt and HIV/AIDS relief into June 2002 by making high-profile visits to Africa. [Kagan Daryn. [http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/05/24/bono.africa.cnna/index.html CNN Access: Bono backs 'effective aid' for Africa.] CNN.com, 24 May 2002. Retrieved 31 October 2006; [http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/africa/05/30/bono.oneill.kagan.otsc/index.html Bono and O'Neill in Africa: Summing up the trip] CNN.com. Retrieved 31 October 2006; [http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/africa/06/20/bono.chirac/index.html Bono wins Chirac aid boost pledge] . CNN.com, 21 June 2002. Retrieved 31 October 2006.]

Product Red, a 2006 for-profit brand seeking to raise money for the Global Fund, was founded, in part, by Bono. The ONE Campaign, the US counterpart of Make Poverty History, has been shaped by his efforts and vision. Bono has also teamed up with Yahoo! to promote the ONE Campaign, which Yahoo! has helped to re-develop.

In late 2005, following Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, The Edge helped introduce Music Rising, an initiative to raise funds for musicians who lost their instruments in the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast. [ [http://www.modernguitars.com/archives/001351.html The Edge (U2) Announces 'Music Rising', a Campaign to Aid Musicians Affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita] modernguitars.com. Retrieved 16 January 2007] In 2006, U2 collaborated with punk rock band Green Day to record a cover version of the song "The Saints Are Coming" by The Skids to benefit Music Rising. [cite web | last =Hiatt | first =Brian | title =U2, Green Day Unite | work =Rolling Stone | date = 25 September 2006 | url =http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/11788881/u2_green_day_unite_for_a_new_orleans_benefit_song_play_superdome | accessdate =2007-05-04]

U2 and Bono's social activism have not been without its critics however. Several authors and activists who publish in politically left journals such as CounterPunch have decried Bono's support of political figures such as Paul Wolfowitz, [cite web | url=http://www.counterpunch.org/okeefe03232005.html | author = O'Keefe, Derrick | title = The Empire Moves and Co-opts in Mysterious Ways | publisher=CounterPunch|date = 23 March 2005| accessdate = 2008-01-19] as well as his "essential paternalism". [cite web | url=http://www.counterpunch.org/browne05162006.html | author = Browne, Harry | title = RED Light District: Bono's Independent | publisher=CounterPunch|date = 16 May 2006| accessdate = 2008-01-19] Other news sources have more generally questioned the efficacy of Bono's campaign to relieve debt and provide assistance to Africa, with 20/20 declaring that "foreign aid often just makes politicians rich—but leaves their people poor". [cite web | url = http://www.abcnews.go.com/2020/Story?id=1955664&page=4 | title = Will More Foreign Aid End Global Poverty? | author = Stossel, John and Patrick McMenamin | date = 12 May 2006|accessdate = 2008-01-19 ; and cite web | url = http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2092-1964947,00.html | title = Bono aid is making Africa sick | accessdate = 2008-01-19|work=The Sunday Times|date=1 January 2006]

Other projects

The members of U2 have undertaken a number of side projects, sometimes in collaboration with some of their bandmates. In 1985, Bono recorded the song "In a Lifetime" with the Irish band Clannad. The Edge recorded a solo soundtrack album for the film "Captive" in 1986, [McCormick (2006), page 169] which included a vocal performance by Sinéad O'Connor that predates her own debut album by a year. Bono and The Edge wrote the song "She's A Mystery To Me" for Roy Orbison, which was featured on his 1989 album "Mystery Girl". [McCormick (2006), page 211] . In 1990, Larry Mullen co-wrote and produced a song for the Irish International soccer team in Italia '90, called "Put 'Em Under Pressure", which topped the Irish charts. Together with The Edge, Bono wrote the song "Goldeneye" for the 1995 James Bond film "GoldenEye", which was performed by Tina Turner. [de la Parra (2003), page 141] Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr. did a rework of the title track of the movie "" in 1996. [de la Parra (2003), page 132] Bono loaned his voice to "Joy" on Mick Jagger's 2001 album "Goddess in the Doorway". [cite web | last =Wenner | first =Jann S | title =Goddess In The Doorway Review | work =Rolling Stone | date =2001-12-06 | url =http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/mickjagger/albums/album/114714/review/5942832/goddess_in_the_doorway
accessdate =2007-05-04
] Bono also recorded a spare, nearly spoken-word version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" for the "Tower of Song" compilation in 1995.

Aside from musical collaborations, U2 have worked with several authors. American author William S. Burroughs had a guest appearance in U2's video for "Last Night on Earth" shortly before he died. [Perry, Tony (1997-08-03). [http://www.chron.com/cgi-bin/auth/story/content/chronicle/features/books/97/08/03/burroughs.html William S. Burroughs dies at 83; Beat Generation godfather.] "Houston Chronicle". Retrieved on 2006-10-31; Parry, Ryan and Rebecca Smith (2003-07-03). [http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/topstories/tm_objectid=13136269&method=full&siteid=94762-name_page.html How Mystical 23 Changed Course Of History.] mirror.co.uk. Retrieved on 2008-01-25.] His poem "A Thanksgiving Prayer" was used as video footage during the band's Zoo TV Tour. Other collaborators include William Gibson and Allen Ginsberg. [Pancella, Angela. [http://www.atu2.com/news/connections/gibson/ U2 Connections: William Gibson.] atu2.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-25; [http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/database/ginsberg_a.html American Masters: Allen Ginsberg] PBS.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-25.] In early 2000, the band recorded three songs for the "The Million Dollar Hotel" , including "The Ground Beneath Her Feet," which was co-written by Salman Rushdie and motivated by his book of the same name. [ [http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/News/9901/22/showbuzz/#story2 Salman Rushdie's Words Become U2 Lyrics] CNN.com (1999-01-22). Retrieved on 2008-01-25.]


* "Boy" (1980)
* "October" (1981)
* "War" (1983)
* "The Unforgettable Fire" (1984)
* "The Joshua Tree" (1987)
* "Rattle and Hum" (1988)
* "Achtung Baby" (1991)
* "Zooropa" (1993)
* "Pop" (1997)
* "All That You Can't Leave Behind" (2000)
* "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (2004)


U2 first received Grammy Awards for the "The Joshua Tree" in 1988, and have won 22 in total since, tying U2 with Stevie Wonder as contemporary artists with the most Grammys. These include Best Rock Duo or Group, Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Rock Album. The British Phonographic Industry has awarded U2 seven BRIT Awards, five of these being for Best International Group. In Ireland, U2 have won 14 Meteor Awards since the awards began in 2001. Other awards include one AMA, four VMAs, ten Q Awards, two Juno Awards, three NME Awards, and a Golden Globe Award. The band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in early 2005.



* Chatterton, Mark (2001). "U2: The Complete Encyclopedia". Firefly Publishing. ISBN 0-946719-41-1
* Flanagan, Bill (1995). "U2 at the End of the World". Delacorte Press. ISBN 0-385-31154-0
* McCormick, Neil (ed), (2006). "U2 by U2". HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-00-719668-7
* de la Parra, Pimm Jal (2003). "U2 Live: A Concert Documentary". Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-9198-7
* Wall, Mick, (2005). "Bono". Andre Deutsch "Publishers. ISBN 0233001593 (Promotional edition published by Paperview UK in association with the Irish Independent)


External links

* [http://www.u2.com/ U2 Official Website]

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