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U2

U2

Rock group

For the Record

U2 Got Serious

Finally Won Critical Acclaim

Zoo TV Tour and Beyond

Continued Social Activism

Selected discography

Sources

In 1984, U2 lead singer Bono told Jim Miller in Newsweek, The message, if there is a message in our music, is the hope that it communicates. Nearly ten years later, after being called everything from pompous and self-righteous social crusaders to sincere and involved political activists, U2 decided it was time to step out of the identities the world had superimposed on them. Bono Vox, who by this time had become simply Bono, told Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times, We felt we were being made a cartoon of the good guys of rock and so forth so we decided to make some cartoons of our own and send them out as disinformation. U2 forged ahead to reach rock icon status with multiplatinum albums including Rattle and Hum, War, The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, and the groups 2000 release, All That You Cant Leave Behind.

U2 started off humbly enough as a Dublin, Ireland, school boy band formed in response to an ad placed on the Mount Temple High School notice board by Larry Mullen, Jr. in 1976. Of the several students that came to his house to audition for the rock band, Mullen noted that, although some could play, technical merit wasnt the decisive factor. Mullen told Jay Cocks of Time that the original band consisted of one fellow who

For the Record

Members include Bono (originally Bono Vox; born Paul Hewson on May 10, 1960), vocals; Adam Clayton (born on March 13, 1960), bass; The Edge (born David Evans on August 8, 1961), guitar; Dick Dik Evans (left group, 1976), guitar; Larry Mullen, Jr. (born on October 31, 1961), drums.

Group formed in Dublin, Ireland, 1976; began as Feedback, then toured locally as the Hype, playing mainly cover tunes; changed name to U2, 1977; won talent competition, signed with CBS Ireland, released first EP, U2:3, 1978; signed with Island Records, U.K., 1980; released debut album, Boy, 1980; appeared in Live Aid, 1985; released The Joshua Tree, embarked on tour, 1995; released double-album Rattle and Hum, 1988; released Achtung Baby, 1991; launched Zoo TV tour, 1992; released Zooropa, 1993; released Pop, launched PopMart tour, 1997; released single Beautiful Day and album All That You Cant Leave Behind, 2000.

Awards: British Record Industry Award, Best International Group, 198889; Grammy Awards for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, Album of the Year for Joshua Tree, 1987; Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for Desire and Best Performance Music Video for Where The Streets Have No Name, 1988; Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for Achtung Baby, 1992; Best Alternative Album for Zooropa, 1993; Best Music Video, Long Form for Zoo TV-Live From Sydney, 1994; Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, Song of the Year, and Record of Year for Beautiful Day, 2000; BRIT Awards, Best International Group, Outstanding Contribution to the British Music Industry, 2001.

Addresses: Record company Interscope Records, 2220 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404, website: http://www.interscope.com. Website U2 Official Website: http://www.u2.com.

meant to play the guitar, but he couldnt play very well, so he started to sing. He couldnt do that either. But, he was such a charismatic character that he was in the band as soon as he arrived. That fellow was Paul Hewson, who later adopted the name Bono Vox (Latin for good voice, which Hewson appropriated from a billboard advertisement for a hearing aid retailer). David The Edge Evans, a guitarist who could play, Adam Clayton, a bassist who just looked great and used all the right words, like gig, Mullen on drums, and second guitarist Dick Dik Evans, The Edges older brother, made up the rest of the band.

U2 began their musical odyssey as Feedback. After playing mainly cover tunes for a few shows in small local venues, Dik Evans left the band to form the Virgin Prunes, and the band changed its name to the Hype. Clayton, acting as band manager, sought advice from all the music industry sources he knew, including Steve Rapid, a singer for the local band the Radiators, who suggested that they change their name. Clayton wanted something ambiguous; Rapid suggested U2 because there was a U2 spy plane, a U2 submarine, a U2 battery made by Eveready, as well as the obvious you, too and you two.

U2 Got Serious

In March of 1978, U2 entered a talent competition sponsored by Guinness at the Limerick Civic Week. They won £500 and the opportunity to audition for CBS Ireland, after which they secured supporting spots on tours with the Stranglers and the Greedy Bastards. In September, they recorded additional demos at Dublins Windmill Lane Studios with Chas de Whalley, which subsequently lead to their signing by CBS Ireland. After building a considerable following in Ireland, they released their first EP, U2:3, which featured the tracks Out Of Control, Stories, and Boy-Girl. It was available only in Ireland, where it topped the charts and where U2 found themselves playing sold-out shows. It was in December of the next year that U2 played their first United Kingdom datesto a cool reception.

In Ireland, their single Another Day peaked on the charts at number one. U2 was to remain popular in Ireland, while struggling for years to get a foothold in both England and the United States. Although signed to an English record company, Island Records, fairly early in their struggle, U2 found success first in the United States with a 1981 tourtheir second in the U.S.that pushed Boy into the charts. England was a miss with 11 oclock Tick Tock and with Boy, until Fire finally hit the charts (followed by Boy as a latecomer). In mid 1982 the band retired to the studio to record new music. It was that October, during a concert in Belfast, that they introduced Sunday, Bloody Sunday to their fans. That song carried a message of peace in Northern Ireland that would later become the focal point of the band, seemingly fusing their lyrics and politics. Beginning in February of 1983, U2 played a 27-date sold-out tour in the United Kingdom. In November of 1983, as U2 was constantly meeting the demand for concerts and chart-topping hits in both the United States and the United Kingdom, they released Under a Blood Red Sky their first live albumto again meet the demand for new work. It became the most successful live album of the time.

Their next studio album, 1984s The Unforgettable Fire, reached number one in the United Kingdom. The band headlined at Madison Square Garden in 1985, and Rolling Stone touted them as The Band of the Eighties. In between the philanthropy that was to become an ever-increasing indentifying aspect of the bandparticipating in Do They Know Its Christmas for Ethiopian famine relief, singing for Artists Against Apartheid, raising funds for Irish unemployed, and doing gigs for Amnesty Internationalthey released the EP Wide Awake in America and resumed world touring in 1986.

Although it seemed that U2 were the social crusaders of their generation, Bono assured Times Cocks that he would hate to think everybody was into U2 for deep and meaningful reasons. Were a noisy rock n roll band. If we got on stage, and instead of going Yeow! the audience all went Ummmm or started saying the rosary, it would be awful. Regardless of how Bono saw it, the bands social consciousness is one of the main reasons, according to Christopher Connelly of Rolling Stone, U2 has become one of the handful of artists in rock (and) roll history that people are eager to identify themselves with.

Finally Won Critical Acclaim

In 1987 U2 embarked on a 110-date world tour. Their new album, The Joshua Tree, entered the United Kingdom charts at number one and the album went platinum in 48 hours, making it, at the time, the fastest-selling album in United Kingdom history. In mid April, The Joshua Tree reached the top of the American charts where it remained for nine weeks. Shortly thereafter, the band appeared on the cover of Time with the headline: U2: Rocks Hottest Ticket. The Edge released a soundtrack for the political kidnapping film Captive. In November, Eamon Dunphys book Unforgettable Fire: The Story of U2 was released. It became a bestseller in the United Kingdom although the band retracted their support of the volume after they could not get parts of the text changed that they maintained were inaccurate.

In 1988 U2 received the award for Best International Group at the British Record Industry Awards, which was followed by their first Grammy Awards for Best Rock Performance by a Group and Album of the Year for The Joshua Tree. That same year, the lovine-produced double album Rattle and Hum, featuring live recordings from the previous two years as well as studio tracks, was released and topped the charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom. U2 also released the live documentary film Rattle and Hum, directed by Philip Joanou. As if these achievements hadnt raised their profile high enough, the band also appeared on the live television show Smile Jamaica for Jamaican Hurricane relief, where they were joined onstage by Keith Richards and Ziggy Marley.

The year 1989 brought the group the British Record Industry Award for Best International Group for the second year in a row. Grammy Awards for Best Rock Performance for Desire, Best Performance Music Video for Where The Streets Have No Name, and an MTV Music Video Award for their collaboration with B. B. King on When Love Comes to Town, followed. The rest of the year, the band spent working tirelessly, touring Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and then finally returning home to Dublin, where the tour culminated with a New Years Eve show that was broadcast live on the radio. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Radio TelefÍs Éireann (RTE), Irelands National Public Service Broadcasting Organization, collaborated to transmit the show throughout Europe and the former U.S.S.R. to a listening audience estimated at more than 500 million.

Although they had not released an album since 1988, U2 discovered new diversions in 1990. In February, the Royal Shakespeare Company produced A Clockwork Orange 2004, which featured music by The Edge. In June, Mullen wrote the official Eire World Cup Soccer teams song. But as always, busy as they were, U2 found time for good works. This time they contributed to an anthology of Cole Porter songs that was released as Red Hot + Blue and benefitted AIDS education. They also traveled to Berlin to film a video featured in a television special airing on International AIDS Day.

In November of 1991, U2s next, long-awaited album finally surfaced, but without the media blitz that seemed to accompany all the other year-end major releases. U2 had decided that the album would sell itself to their fans just fine without the fanfare. They were right, as initial shipments of Achtung Baby totalled upwards of 1.4 million units.

Zoo TV Tour and Beyond

In February of 1992, U2 began their Zoo TV tour. They took the radio transmission concept inaugurated on New Years Eve 1989 one step further by incorporating a satellite dish into the show. A short European tour followed, during which a contest winner had the show beamed live by satellite to his home in Nottinghamshire from Stockholm, courtesy of MTV. The tour concluded with a Greenpeace concert in Manchester in which barrels of contaminated United Kingdom sand were delivered back to a nuclear power plant site where U2 and others were protesting the opening of a second plant. In August, they went back on the tour circuit, taking Zoo TV to the stadiums of the United States with their outside broadcast tour. When the tour ended in mid November in Mexico City, U2 had played to an estimated 2.5 million people.

During a break in the Zoo TV tour, U2 took the time to record an ER That EP eventually became the ten-song Zooropa album, winner of the Grammy Award for Alternative Album of the Year in 1993. On May 9th the Zoo TV tour, which had since mutated into the Zooropa 93 tour, started an ambitious schedule of visiting 18 countries in four months and closing the trip back in Dublin in August.

The group released the techno-oriented Pop in March of 1997, which featured the singles Staring at the Sun and Discotheque. Though some fans and critics found the album to be a stylistic puzzle of sorts, Time magazines Christopher John Farley called the album passionate, futuristic and completely engaging. The group embarked on the massive PopMart arena tour in support of the album in May. Staging for the tour included the worlds largest video screen, a 35-foot mirrorball lemon, a 12-foot wide stuffed olive, and a 100-foot high golden arch. About the tour, Bono told Chris Willman of Entertainment Weekly, We thought lets have some fun with our bigness. You know, we cant be hung for that. Because humor is the evidence of freedom, isnt it?

Following the success of Pop, U2 released All That You Cant Leave Behind in 2000, an album that returned to the generous spirit that flowed through their best 80s records, according to Stephen Thomas Erlewine of All Music Guide. The album spawned the single Beautiful Day, for which the band won Grammy Awards for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, Song of the Year, and Record of Year. David Browne of Entertainment Weekly called the album unwaveringly assured and said that the group no longer seems wary of their tendency toward the an-themic and grandiose, and they shouldnt be; it still sets them apart for nearly everyone else Macleans called All That You Cant Leave Behind U2s strongest album in years. The group again headed out in support of their newest release, this time on the worldwide Elevation tour.

Continued Social Activism

In addition to their musical pursuits, social activism remains important to U2. The group has championed the causes of eliminating Third World debt and gun control. U2 often uses concert performances to address the audience about these issues. Were treading a very fine line between artists and wanting to lecture Americans about issues that are important. Its basically turning a mirror on the audience, The Edge told Rolling Stones Jenny Eliscu. Bono has appeared in front of the United States Congress to urge the countrys participation in erasing the debt of Third World nations, and he met with Pope John Paul II to lobby support for the issue. As the Daily Telegraph stated in 2000, [O]ne senses that for him (Bono) and his colleagues in U2, rock stardom is a complicated business in which the freedom that success has brought them is counterbalanced by responsibility.

When asked what theyre all about, bassist Adam Clayton explained it best in an interview with Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times when he said, I feel we made a decision then (going into the 90s) that if we are going to be the righteous men of rock r roll, we are going to be very miserable. I think we realized that issues are more complicated than we once thought, and we dont want to be continually earnest about what we do. We are not a religious cult we are not a political theory. We are a rock n roll band.

Selected discography

U2:3 (EP; includes Out of Control, Stories, and Boy-Girl), CBS Ireland, 1979.

Boy (includes A Day Without Me and I Will Follow), Island, 1980.

October (includes Fire and Gloria), Island, 1981.

War (includes New Years Day and Two Hearts Beat as One), Island, 1983.

Under A Blood Red Sky (live), Island, 1983.

Unforgettable Fire (includes Pride (In the Name of Love)), Island, 1984.

Wide Awake in America (EP; includes live version of Bad, Three Sunrises, and Love Comes Tumbling), Island, 1985.

The Joshua Tree (includes With or Without You, I Still Havent Found What Im Looking For, and Where the Streets Have No Name), Island, 1987.

Rattle and Hum (includes Desire, Angel of Harlem, When Love Comes to Town, and All I Want Is You), Island, 1988.

Achtung Baby (includes The Fly, Mysterious Ways, One, Even Better Than the Real Thing, and Wild Horses), Island, 1991.

Zooropa (includes Numb and Lemon), Island, 1993.

Pop (includes Discotheque and Staring at the Sun), Island, 1997.

(Compilation) Best of 19801990, Island, 1998.

All That You Cant Leave Behind (includes Beautiful Day, Wild Honey, and Stuck in a Moment), Interscope, 2000.

Sources

Books

Dickey, Lorraine, The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Rock, Carlton Books, 1993.

Dolgins, Adam, Rock Names, Citadel Press, 1993.

Rees, Dafydd, and Luke Crampton, Rock Movers & Shakers, Billboard Books/ABC CLIO, 1991.

Robbins, Ira A., Trouser Press Record Guide, fourth edition, Collier Books, 1991.

Periodicals

Billboard, November 16, 1991.

Daily Telegraph, October 28, 2000.

Entertainment Weekly, May 9, 1997; November 3, 2000.

Hollywood Reporter, March 2, 1994.

Los Angeles Times, March 1, 1992; March 22, 1992; June 4, 1993; September 12, 1993.

Macleans, November 2, 1987; November 20, 2000.

Melody Maker, May 30, 1992; December 5, 1992.

Musician, March 1992; September 1992.

Newsweek, December 31, 1984.

People, April 1, 1985.

Rolling Stone, October 11, 1984; March 14, 1985; May 7, 1987; September 8, 1988.

Spin, August 1993.

Time, April 27, 1987; March 10, 1997.

Village Voice, December 10, 1991; December 22, 1992.

Online

Robbie Williams, U2, Coldplay Dominate Brit Awards, MTV News, http://www.mtv.eom/news/articles/1440978/20010226/u2.jhtml?paid=1022 (September 20, 2001).

U2, All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (September 20, 2001).

U2, RollingStone.com, http://www.rollingstone.com (August 15, 2001).

Additional information was obtained from the Wasserman Group, Island Records, and MTV, 1994.

Charlie Katagiri

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U2

U2

Rock band

Originally Known as Feedback

First Break Into Charts

Finally Won Critical Acclaim

Zoo TV and Beyond

Selected discography

Sources

In 1984, U2 lead singer Bono told Jim Miller in Newsweek, The message, if there is a message in our music, is the hope that it communicates. Nearly ten years later, after being called everything from pompous and self-righteous social crusaders to sincere and involved political activists, U2 decided it was time to step out of the identities the world had superimposed on them. Bono Vox, who by this time had become simply Bono, told Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times, We felt we were being made a cartoon of the good guys of rock and so forth so we decided to make some cartoons of our own and send them out as disinformation. The band wanted to make sure that there was no one identity that could be forced on them. So who are they really? Four young men from Ireland who became megastar rock gods with a reported $60-million-plus, six-record deal with PolyGrams Island Records.

U2 started off humbly enough as a Dublin, Ireland, schoolboy band formed in response to an ad placed on the Mount Temple High School notice board by Larry Mullen, Jr. in 1976. Of the several students that came to his house to audition for the rock band, Mullen noted that, although some could play, technical merit wasnt the decisive factor. Mullen told Jay Cocks of Time that the original band consisted of one fellow who meant to play the guitar, but he couldnt play very well, so he started to sing. He couldnt do that either. But, he was such a charismatic character that he was in the band as soon as he arrived.

That fellow was Paul Hewson, who later adopted the name Bono Vox (Latin for good voice, which Hewson appropriated from a billboard advertisement for a hearing aid retailer). David The Edge Evans, a guitarist who could play, Adam Clayton, a bassist who just looked great and used all the right words, like gig, Larry Mullen, Jr. on drums, and second guitarist Dick (Dik) Evans, The Edges older brother, made up the rest of the band.

Originally Known as Feedback

U2 began their musical odyssey as Feedback. After playing mainly cover tunes for a few shows in small local venues, Dik Evans left the band to form the Virgin Prunes, and the band changed its name to the Hype. Clayton, acting as band manager, sought advice from all the music industry sources he knew, including Steve Rapid, a singer for the local band the Radiators, who suggested that they change their name. Clayton wanted something ambiguous; Rapid suggested U2 because there was a U2 spy plane, a U2 submarine, a U2 battery made by Eveready, as well as the obvious

For the Record

Members include Bono (originally Bono Vox; born Paul Hewson, May 10, 1960), vocals; Adam Clayton (born March 13,1960), bass; The Edge (born David Evans, August 8, 1961), guitar; Dick Evans (left band, 1976), guitar; and Larry Mullen, Jr .(born October 31, 1961), drums.

Group formed in Dublin, Ireland. 1976; began as Feedback, then toured locally as the Hype, playing mainly cover tunes; changed name to U2, 1977; won talent competition, signed with CBS Ireland, and released first EP, U2:3, 1978; signed with Island Records, U.K., 1980; released debut album, Boy, 1980; Bono and Clayton participated in Band Aid recording, 1984; appeared in Live Aid, 1985.

Selected awards: British Record Industry Award for best international group, 1988 and 1989; Grammy awards for best rock performance by a duo or group with vocals, and album of the year, both 1988, both for Joshua Tree; Grammy awards for best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal, for Desire, and best performance music video, for Where The Streets Have No Name, both 1989; Grammy Award for producer of the year, 1991, for Achtung Baby; Grammy Award for best alternative album, 1993, for Zooropa; MTV Music Video Award for viewers choice, 1987, for With or Without You, for best video from film, 1989, for When Love Comes To Town (with B. B. King), and for best group video and best special effects in a video, 1992, for Even Better Than the Real Thing.

Addresses: Publicist The Wasserman Group Inc., 6500 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90048. Record company Island, 14 East 4th St., New York, NY 10012.

you, too and you two. The remaining members were skeptical at first but eventually accepted it.

In March of 1978, U2 entered a talent competition sponsored by Guinness at the Limerick Civic Week. They won £500 and the opportunity to audition for CBS Ireland, after which they secured supporting spots on tours with the Stranglers and the Greedy Bastards. In September, they recorded additional demos at Dublins Windmill Lane Studios with Chas de Whalley, which subsequently lead to their signing by CBS Ireland. After building a considerable following in Ireland, they released their first EP, U2:3, which featured the tracks Out Of Control, Stories, and Boy-Girl. It was available only in Ireland, where it topped the charts. It was in December of the next year that U2 played their first U.K. datesto a cool reception. They were even mis-billed as V2 at the Hope & Anchor pub in London, where a mere nine people showed up to see them perform.

Although they played to sold-out shows in their homeland, U2 had yet to conquer the U.K. charts. In February of 1980, Another Day hit Number One in Ireland and the band took another try at playing the United Kingdom. This time around the reception was better and talent recruiter Bill Stewart signed them to U.K.s Island Records (although they remained on CBS in Ireland). In May, their debut Island single, 11 oclock Tick Tock, was released but it failed to break into the U.K. charts. The band embarked on another U.K. tour and appeared at the Dalmount Festival in Dublin with the Police and Squeeze.

Their debut album, Boy, was preceded by the singles A Day Without Me and I Will Follow, both of which failed to chart in either the U.K. or the U.S. However, in conjunction with the release of Boy, U2 was given the opportunity to embark on their first U.S. campaign: a three-week club tour of the East Coast. When they returned to the U.K. in December, they supported Talking Heads on a U.K. tour.

First Break Into Charts

In 1981 U2 embarked on their first major U.S. tour, pushing Boy onto the U.S. charts. In July, U2 finally broke into the U.K. charts at Number 35 with Fire, which was then followed by Boy, belatedly breaking in at Number 52. By the end of the year, after an 18-date U.K. tour and the release of the album October, U2 readied themselves for a new series of U.S. dates. By mid-1982, after playing to an Irish audience for the first time in over a year and to sold-out crowds in the United Kingdom, U2 retired to the studio to record new music. It was that October, during a concert in Belfast, that they introduced Sunday, Bloody Sunday to their fans. That song carried a message of peace in Northern Ireland that would later become the focal point of the band, seemingly fusing their lyrics and politics.

In February of 1983, the band that had played to only nine people in a London pub just four years earlier, opened a sold-out, 27-date U.K. tour with the single New Years Day. The song topped the U.K. charts at Number Ten, and their album War reached Number 12 in the U.S. By March, their album took the Number One spot on the U.K. charts. It looked as though U2 had finally arrived. The band spent the next few months touring arenas in the U.S., including participating in the three-day US Festival in San Bernardino, California. In November, as a bid to meet the growing demand for new work, U2 released Under a Blood Red Sky, their first live album. It became the most successful live album of the time, but it didnt end the circulation of bootleg U2 recordings, which was rampant.

Their next studio album, 1984s The Unforgettable Fire, reached Number One in the United Kingdom. Later that year, the bands humanitarian side resurfaced when they participated in the Band Aid recording of Do They Know Its Christmas? for Ethiopian famine relief, with Bono contributing a lead vocal and Clayton playing bass. 1985 found the band headlining at Madison Square Garden; Rolling Stone touted them as The Band of the Eighties.

Once again giving in to their charitable tendencies, U2 performed at Live Aid in July, and in November, Bono appeared in the Little Steven-organized Artists Against Apartheid single and video Sun City. U2 also released a U.S. EP, Wide Awake in America. In 1986 they resumed their world touring, which included performing on Amnesty Internationals 25th anniversary tour with artists like Peter Gabriel and Sting. Also lending a hand at home, U2 helped to raise funds for the unemployed in Ireland by playing Self Aid with other Irish rock acts.

Although it seemed that U2 were the social crusaders of their generation, Bono assured Times Cocks that he would hate to think everybody was into U2 for deep and meaningful reasons. Were a noisy rock n roll band. If we got on stage, and instead of going Yeow! the audience all went Ummmm or started saying the rosary, it would be awful. Regardless of how Bono saw it, the bands social consciousness is one of the main reasons, according to Christopher Connelly of Rolling Stone, U2 has become one of the handful of artists in rock (and) roll history... that people are eager to identify themselves with.

Finally Won Critical Acclaim

In 1987 U2 embarked on a 110-date world tour. Their new album, The Joshua Tree, entered the U.K. charts at Number One and went platinum in 48 hours, making it, at the time, the fastest-selling album in U.K. history. In mid-April, The Joshua Tree reached the top of the U.S. charts where it remained for nine weeks. Shortly thereafter, the band appeared on the cover of Timewith the headline: U2: Rocks Hottest Ticket and everyone seemed to want a piece of them. The Edge released a soundtrack for the political kidnapping film Captive. Favorably reviewed, the soundtrack will always be remembered for featuring the album debut of yet another Irish act, Sinead OConnor, who sings Heroine (Theme from Captive). In November, Eamon Dunphys book Unforgettable Fire: The Story of U2was released. It became a bestseller in the U.K. although the band retracted their support of the volume after they could not get parts of the text changed that they maintained were inaccurate. They received the MTV viewers choice award for the video of With or Without You, and in December, contributed Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) to noted producer Jimmy lo-vines charity album Special Christmas.

In 1988 U2 received the award for best international group at the British Record Industry Awards, which was followed by their first Grammy awardsfor best rock performance by a group and album of the year for The Joshua Tree. That same year, the lovine-produced double album Rattle and Hum, featuring live recordings from the previous two years as well as studio tracks, was released and topped the charts in both the U.S. and the U.K. U2 also released the live documentary film Rattle and Hum, directed by Philip Joanou. As if these achievements hadnt raised their profile high enough, the band also appeared on the live television show Smile Jamaica for Jamaican Hurricane relief, where they were joined onstage by Keith Richards and Ziggy Marley.

The year 1989 brought the group the British Record Industry Award for best international group for the second year in a row. Grammy awards for best rock performance for Desire, best performance music video for Where The Streets Have No Name, and an MTV Music Video award for their collaboration with B.B. King on When Love Comes to Town, followed. The rest of the year, the band spent working tirelessly, touring Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and then finally returning home to Dublin, where the tour culminated with a New Years Eve show that was broadcast live on the radio. The BBC and RTE, which collaborated to transmit the show throughout Europe and the former U.S.S.R., estimated the listening audience at more than 500 million.

Although they had not released an album since 1988, U2 discovered new diversions in 1990. In February, the Royal Shakespeare Company produced A Clockwork Orange 2004, which featured music by The Edge. In June, drummer Mullen wrote the official Eire World Cup Soccer teams song. But as always, busy as they were, U2 found time for good works. This time they contributed to an anthology of Cole Porter songs that was released as Red Hot + Blue and benefitted AIDS education. They also traveled to Berlin to film a video featured in a TV special airing on International AIDS Day.

In November of 1991, U2s next, long-awaited album finally surfacedbutwithout the media blitz that seemed to accompany all the other year-end major releases. The band had decided that the album would sell itself to their fans just fine without all the fanfare. They were proven right, as initial shipments of Achtung Baby totalled upwards of 1.4 million units. They were also the first major act to request that their CD be distributed in the shrink-wrapped jewel box only, or the non-disposable DigiTrak (longbox size) packaging, which folds into a jewel box-sized case.

Zoo TV and Beyond

In February of the next year, U2 began their Zoo TV tour. They took the radio transmission concept inaugurated on New Years Eve 89 one step further by incorporating a satellite dish into the show. A short European tour followed, during which a contest winner had the show beamed live by satellite to his home in Nottinghamshire from Stockholm, courtesy of MTV. The tour concluded with a Greenpeace concert in Manchester to protest a second nuclear processing plant being opened at Sellafield in Cumbria.

In spite of (but not in breach of) a court injunction preventing a protest at the plant, U2 participated in a by sea on the beach protest with Greenpeace, during which they delivered barrels of contaminated sand from the beaches of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales back to the plant. In August, they went back on the tour circuit, taking Zoo TV to the stadiums of the U.S. with their outside broadcast tour. When the tour ended in mid-November in Mexico City, U2 had played to an estimated 2.5 million people.

During a break in the Zoo TV tour, U2 took the time to record an EP. That EP eventually became the ten-song Zooropa album, winner of the 1993 Grammy Award for alternative album of the year. For the first time in his career, The Edge took on producing duties with Flood and Brian Eno; he also performed a lead vocal on the albums first single, Numb. On May 9th the Zoo TV tour, which had since mutated into the Zooropa 93 tour, started an ambitious schedule of visiting 18 countries in four months. Closing the trip back in Dublin on August 28th, the boys were glad that they were finally home.

When asked what theyre all about, Bassist Adam Clayton explained it best in an interview with Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times when he said, I feel we made a decision then [going into the 90s] that if we are going to be the righteous men of rock n roll, we are going to be very miserable. I think we realized that issues are more complicated than we once thought, and we dont want to be continually earnest about what we do. We are not a religious cult... we are not a political theory. We are a rock n roll band.

Selected discography

U2:3 (EP; includes Out of Control, Stories, and Boy-Girl), CBS Ireland, 1979.
Boy (includes A Day Without Me and I Will Follow), Island, 1980.
October (includes Fire and Gloria), Island, 1981.
War (includes New Years Day and Two Hearts Beat as One), Island, 1983.
Under A Blood Red Sky (live album), Island, 1983.
Unforgettable Fire (includes Pride [In the Name of Love]), Island, 1984.
Wide Awake in America (EP; includes live version of Bad, Three Sunrises, and Love Comes Tumbling), Island, 1985.
Joshua Tree (includes With or Without You, I Still Havent Found What Im Looking For, and Where the Streets Have No Name), Island, 1987.
Rattle and Hum (includes Desire, Angel of Harlem, When Love Comes to Town, and All I Want Is You), Island, 1988.
Achtung Baby (includes The Fly, Mysterious Ways, One, Even Better Than the Real Thing, and Wild Horses), Island, 1991.
Zooropa (includes Numb and Lemon), Island, 1993.

Sources

Books

Dickey, Lorraine, The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Rock, Carlton Books, 1993.

Dolgins, Adam, Rock Names, Citadel Press, 1993.

Rees, Dafydd, and Luke Crampton, Rock Movers & Shakers, Billboard Books, 1991.

Robbins, Ira A., Trouser Press Record Guide, fourth edition, Collier Books, 1991.

Periodicals

Billboard, November 16, 1991.

Hollywood Reporter, March 2, 1994.

Los Angeles Times, March 1,1992; March 22,1992; June 4, 1993; September 12, 1993.

Macleans, November 2, 1987.

Melody Maker, May 30, 1992; December 5, 1992.

Musician, March 1992; September 1992.

Newsweek, December 31, 1984.

People, April 1, 1985.

Rolling Stone, October 11, 1984; March 14, 1985; May 7, 1987; September 8, 1988.

Spin, August 1993.

Time, April 27, 1987.

Village Voice, December 10, 1991; December 22, 1992.

Additional information for this profile was obtained from the Wasserman Group, Island Records, and MTV, all 1994.

Charlie Katagiri

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U2

U2

Formed: 1978, Dublin, Ireland

Members: Bono, vocals (Paul Hewson, born Dublin, Ireland, 10 May 1960); David "the Edge" Evans, guitar (born Barking, England, 8 August 1961); Adam Clayton, bass (born Oxford, England, 13 March 1960); Larry Mullen Jr., drums (born Dublin, Ireland, 31 October 1961).

Genre: Rock

Best-selling album since 1990: Achtung Baby (1991)

Hit songs since 1990: "Beautiful Day," "Mysterious Ways," "One"

U2 is one of the most popular rock bands in the world. Since its early roots as an Irish punk band with strong Christian overtones, U2 has evolved into a stadium rock band that consistently advocates social justice and world harmony. Unlike most bands that dissipate after only a few years, U2 has managed to avoid any personnel changes for more than twenty years and has consistently achieved commercial success. The four core memberssinger Bono, guitarist the Edge, bassist Adam Clayton, and drummer Larry Mullen Jr.present a unified front in every new chapter of the band's history. After ending the 1980s with a commercial smash album, The Joshua Tree (1987), the band entered the 1990s on a decidedly different path. Subsequent albums experiment with several styles including electronic dance music and exotic world rhythms. U2 also embarked on high-concept multimedia tours designed to lampoon consumer culture. By the end of the decade the band returned to its rock roots with the successful comeback album All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000). The band went on a stripped-down world tour that unwittingly coincided with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Before long, U2 was transformed into a musical ambassador for world healing as its tour was revamped to empathize with the mourning and confusion.

Beginnings

The band came together when all four members attended the same high school in Dublin. From the start, half the band adopted nicknames. Singer Paul Hewson became "Bono Vox" (Latin for "great voice") which was later shortened to Bono. Guitarist Dave Evans called himself "the Edge." Group members released a few singles on their own and built a large following in Ireland, attracting the attention of local businessman Paul McGuinness, who signed on as U2's manager. He brought the band to Island Records in 1980. U2's first two albums, Boy (1980) and October (1981), are swept with romantic fury and Christian overtones, countering the nihilism of punk rock and the synthesizer pop of the early MTV days. U2 quickly created a reputation as an intensely passionate live band and soon was headlining U.S. clubs. The band's third album, War (1983), opened more doors in the United States. For the first time, the band addressed specific political issues in its music. The album's biggest single, "Sunday Bloody Sunday," mourned the fourteen people killed by British soldiers in the Bloody Sunday massacre in 1972 in Derry, Ireland. Bono wrapped himself in a white flag symbolizing peace each time he sang the song, which became a pinnacle of U2's live shows.

A turning point for U2 came after viewing an exhibit at the Peace Museum in Chicago. Titled "The Unforget-table Fire," it featured folk art by survivors of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945. Bono agreed to sponsor a tour of the exhibitas well as a second one on the life of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.to Dublin. Deciding to move in a more ambient direction for its next venture, the band hired producer Brian Eno, the pioneering composer known for creating minimal and dreamy atmospheric music. He brought along newcomer Daniel Lanois, who had had success creating instrumental experiments with Eno in the studio. Both ended up co-producing The Unforgettable Fire (1984), and they would become the group's most cherished musical collaborators in later years. Inspired by the two exhibits in Chicago, the album is draped in a mournful sound. It marries murky atmospheres with compelling tunes. The song "Pride (In the Name of Love)" is a tribute to King. The album moved U2 into arenas. At Live Aid, an all-day benefit concert for Ethiopian famine relief in 1985, the group's set became the highlight.

The Joshua Tree (1987) followed, and thrust the band into international stardom. Although the production mirrored The Unforgettable Fire (Eno and Lanois again were at the helm), the new album was stocked with many more radio-friendly songs. The Joshua Tree defines U2's signature sound: the Edge's experimental tunings and chopping riffs, Clayton's sensual bass lines, Mullen's pummeling drums, and Bono's emotional singing. Critics consider the lyrics among Bono's best. Using the desert as a metaphor for spiritual salvation and also moral devastation, the album explores questions of faith, redemption, political oppression, and social injustice. It won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year; and U2 embarked on a worldwide tour that was documented on film. The tour's accompanying album, Rattle and Hum (1988), features live songs and originals written in American musical styles like rock-abilly, gospel, and blues, along with cameos by stars like B.B. King and Bob Dylan.


Reinvention

U2 entered the 1990s at a crossroads. Sitting on top of the world posed a unique challenge: How do you avoid becoming a parody of yourself? The band sought to remake its image through musical experiments and high concept tours that walked the line between alienating its audience and exposing them to new ideas.

Recorded partly in Berlin, Achtung Baby (1991) borrows the heavy electronic sound and apocalyptic attitude of industrial rock; it incorporates hip-hop flavored dance beats and electronic noise in the guitars. The dark textures set the band free. No longer caged in by having to make epic social statements, U2 now sounds sexy and loose. The rhythmic songs explore romance, jealousy, and desire. Critics and fans welcomed the change, especially because it yielded so many intoxicating hit singles.

The next year, U2 began the "Zoo TV" tour, a multimedia extravaganza. Intended to comment on identity, rock star celebrity, and the allure of mass media, the stage design called for onstage television monitors, live broadcast transmissions from around the world, and hand-held video cameras. The band members dressed in outfits borrowed from the gender-bending world of 1970s glam rock. Bono performed as characters "MacPhisto," "The Fly," and "Mirrorball Man" in an attempt to mock stardom's dark side.

The tour lasted two years and during a break, the band recorded Zooropa (1993), which incorporates blaring synthesizers, heavy beats, funky riffs, and lyrics that reflect the ironic detachment of jaded consumerism. It was U2's least successful album. But it opened the way for Pop and its accompanying world tour. Patterned after the work of the British electronic bands the Chemical Brothers, Massive Attack, and Prodigy, Pop is U2's biggest departure in style. "Discotheque," the kick-off single, is pure dance club music. Although it has some conventional songs like "Staring at the Sun," most of the music features electronic jams and lyrics drenched in kitsch.

The "PopMart" tour followed. Designed to lampoon consumerism, the tour's set featured a thirty-five-foot-high mirrorball lemon, a 100-foot-high yellow arch (reportedly patterned after the golden-arched logo of McDonald's), and a 100-foot-long toothpick stuck into a giant olive. Although it was the second highest grossing tour of 1997, the tour did not sell out and it left many fans confused. Critics argued the band had lost its way.

In the late 1990s Bono became a visible world crusader for AIDS relief in Africa and for debt relief for all Third World nations. He made speeches at world summits and met with U.S. president Bill Clinton, British prime minister Tony Blair, and Pope John Paul II. He raised awareness by traveling to Africa with U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill in 2002 and later by touring the U.S. Midwest, meeting with community groups and newspaper editorial boards.

U2 returned to its roots in 2000. All That You Can't Leave Behind is a stripped-down rock record that recalls the band's heyday of more than a decade earlier. It earned a Grammy for Album of the Year.

Despite some sharp stylistic turns, U2 has remained popular throughout its career. Its many blockbuster albums and hit singles have supported its lead singer's social activism. Musically, it has refused to rest on its laurels. U2 has explored new sounds while staying true to its rock roots.

Spot Light: All That You Can't Leave Behind

U2 spent the 1990s trying not to be the U2 of the 1980s. That meant drifting away from guitar rock romanticism and toward the harsh beats and nightclub glamour of electronic music. In three different albums, the band pushed that sound as far it would go. The natural step was to go backward. All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000) won praise for its emphasis on the basics: tuneful melodies, soulful lyrics, and catchy hooks. Brian Eno and Daniel Lanoisthe co-producers responsible for the band's best-loved albumsreturned. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the album unwittingly turned into a soundtrack for the times. "New York" became a tribute to the city, "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of" and "Walk On" pleas for healing, and "Peace on Earth" a hymn for the future. U2 redesigned its tour to pay tribute to the lives lost. Appearing before a global audience during the Super Bowl XXXVI halftime, U2 scrolled the names of the September 11 victims on a screen during the song "Where the Streets Have No Name."




SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Boy (Island, 1980); October (Island, 1981); War (Island, 1983); Under a Blood Red Sky (Island, 1983); The Unforgettable Fire (Island, 1984); Wide Awake in America EP (Island, 1985); The Joshua Tree (Island, 1987); Rattle and Hum (Island, 1988); Achtung Baby (Island, 1991); Zooropa (Island, 1993); Pop (Island, 1997); The Best of 19801990 (Island, 1998); All That You Can't Leave Behind (Island, 2000); The Best of 19902000 and B-Sides (Island, 2002).

WEBSITE:

www.u2.com.

mark guarino

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"U2." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"U2." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved July 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/u2

U2

U2

Irish rock band

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

The message, if there is a message in our music, I is the hope that it communicates, U2s lead singer, Bono, announced to Jim Miller in Newsweek. Something of a rarity among popular rock groups, U2 emphasizes spiritual values and social and political conscience in its songs, which speak equally to the [civil rights protests in Selma, Alabama] of two decades ago and the Nicaragua of tomorrow, according to Jay Cocks of Time. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, the group won some international attention with the release of its 1980 album, Boy, but it was not until 1983s War which featured the protest songs New Years Day and Sunday, Bloody Sunday that U2 began to gain a large following of rock fans.

Though the foursome, consisting of Bono, guitarist Dave The Edge Evans, drummer Larry Mullen, Jr., and bassist Adam Clayton, is credited with bringing ideals back to a genre often primarily concerned with the celebration of worldly pleasures, Bono admitted to Cocks that he would hate to think everybody was into U2 for deep and meaningful reasons. Were a noisy

For the Record

Formed in 1976 in Dublin, Ireland, by drummerLarry Mullen (born October 31, 1961); members includeBono Vox (real name, Paul Hewson; born May 10, 1960) on lead vocals and rhythm guitar,The Edge (real name, Dave Evans; born August 8, 1961) on lead guitar, andAdam Clayton (born March 13, 1960) on bass; played clubs in Dublin, beginning 1976; signed recording contract with Island Records, 1980; toured extensively throughout the world; activists on behalf of various humanitarian causes, including Ethiopian famine relief and Amnesty International.

Addresses: Agent Principle Management Agency, 4 Windmill Lane, Dublin 2, Ireland.

rock-n-roll band. If we all got onstage, and instead of going Yeow! the audience all went Ummmm or started saying the rosary, it would be awful. In Millers opinion, Bono and U2 need not worry: Playing droning clusters of notes and using chiming, bell-like timbres, as well as abrasive, buzz-saw textures, the Edge creates an electronic wall of sound that has an elemental power. For all the nervous jangle of the music, its sheer scale and Celtic overtones create a weird, primordial resonance. Whether it be the words they are singing or the sound of the music they play, in the words of Christopher Connelly in Rolling Stone, U2 has become one of the handful of artists in rock [and] roll history that people are eager to identify themselves with.

The group began in 1976 when Mullen was expelled from a Dublin high school marching band for having long hair. Frustrated at not having an outlet for his drum work, he posted a notice on the schools bulletin board asking for others who wanted to start a rock band. Of the several students who came to his house to audition, Mullen told Cocks: I saw that some people could play. The Edge could play. Adam just looked great. Big bushy hair, long caftan coat, bass guitar and amp. He used all the right words, like gig. I thought, this guy must know how to play. Then Bono arrived, and he meant to play the guitar, but he couldnt play very well, so he started to sing. He couldnt do that either. But he was such a charismatic character that he was in the band anyway, as soon as he arrived.

At first the boys saw the band as a recreational activity, practicing on Wednesday afternoons. Clayton was the most serious about making a success of it, and found a manager, Paul McGuinness, for them in 1978. After that, they struggled to obtain opening gigs for popular Dublin bands. You see, Mullen confessed to Cocks, we couldnt play. We were very, very, very bad. They steadily improved, however, and, after Bono had pushed the bands tapes upon several recording executives, U2 landed a recording contract with Island in 1980. Boy, their first album, gained them an appreciative audience in their native country and Great Britain, and one single from it, I Will Follow, received air play in the United States. U2s second album, October, did not sell as well. The production was rushed, because Bono, who serves as the groups main lyricist, had his book of lyrics stolen from himthe group had to hurry to release the pilfered songs before the thief could. Also, as Bono revealed to Anthony DeCurtis of Rolling Stone: We were, during October, interested in other things, really. We thought about giving up the band We wanted to make a record, and yet we didnt want to make a record, because we were going through a stage where we thought, Rock [and] roll is just full of shit, do we want to spend our lives doing it?

U2 came back big, however, in 1983 with War, which included the hits New Years Day and Sunday, Bloody Sunday. New Years concerns the domination of Poland by the Soviet Union; Sunday, Bloody Sunday takes its theme from the conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, particularly from a massacre of civilians by the British in that troubled country, according to Connelly in Rolling Stone. War not only established U2 as a favorite of U.S. audiences, but as a rock group of social conscience. The band appropriately debuted Sunday, Bloody Sunday at a concert in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Bono took to waving a white flag on stage during performances. He told Connelly it was supposed to be a flag drained of all color ; Connelly interpreted: as if to say that in war, surrender was the bravest course.

The Unforgettable Fire, U2s 1984 effort, continued in the idealistic vein of War, especially in its hit single Pride (In the Name of Love), a celebration of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Taking its name from a series of paintings by survivors of the atombombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, it also included more eclectic selections such as Elvis Presley and America, which Miller labeled an all-too-effective evocation of Presleys catatonic stupor in his last days. Though, as Miller pointed out, some critics have poked fun at the lyrics of the songs on Unforgettable, it became U2s biggest selling album until it was usurped by 1987s The Joshua Tree.

The Joshua Tree, lauded as U2s best album by Cocks, includes the hit singles With or Without You and I Still Havent Found What Im Looking For. Also on the disc is Bullet the Blue Sky, a protest song inspired by Bonos trip to El Salvador. According to Cocks, you can still hear the ache of fear in his voice, the closeness of the memory. In 1988, the group released a film and corresponding soundtrack album, Rattle and Hum, chronicling their 1987 world tour. As Jeffrey Ressner reported in Rolling Stone, the picture is neither a straightforward concert movie nor a traditional rock documentary, containing footage of U2s visit to Presleys mansion, Graceland, and of the band singing with a church choir in Harlem, New York. U2 has also taken an active roll in many rock benefits, including the Live Aid effort for Ethiopian famine relief, and shows to raise money and awareness for Amnesty International, an organization seeking to help political prisoners.

Selected discography

Boy (includes I Will Follow, Twilight, Into the Heart, Out of Control, and Shadows and Tall Trees), Island, 1980.

October (includes Gloria, I Fall Down, Rejoice, Fire, Tomorrow, and Scarlet), Island, 1981.

War (includes New Years Day, Two Hearts Beat as One, Seconds, and Sunday, Bloody Sunday), Island, 1983.

Under a Blood Red Sky (live album), Island, 1983.

The Unforgettable Fire (includes Pride, MLK, Bad, A Sort of Homecoming, and Elvis Presley and America), Island, 1984.

The Joshua Tree (includes With or Without You, In Gods Country, I Still Havent Found What Im Looking For, Where the Streets Have No Name, Bullet the Blue Sky, and One Tree Hill), Island, 1987.

Rattle and Hum, Island, 1988.

Sources

Macleans, November 2, 1987.

Newsweek, December 31, 1984.

People, April 1, 1985.

Rolling Stone, October 11, 1984; March 14, 1985; May 7, 1987; September 8, 1988.

Time, April 27, 1987.

Elizabeth Thomas

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