U2
Overview
U2 are an Irish
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 rock
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono
Bono
Paul David Hewson , most commonly known by his stage name Bono , is an Irish singer, musician, and humanitarian best known for being the main vocalist of the Dublin-based rock band U2. Bono was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School where he met his...

 (vocals and guitar), The Edge
The Edge
David Howell Evans , more widely known by his stage name The Edge , is a musician best known as the guitarist, backing vocalist, and keyboardist of the Irish rock band U2. A member of the group since its inception, he has recorded 12 studio albums with the band and has released one solo record...

 (guitar, keyboards and vocals), Adam Clayton
Adam Clayton
Adam Charles Clayton is a musician, best known as the bassist of the Irish rock band U2. Clayton has resided in County Dublin since the time his family moved to Malahide when he was five years old in 1965...

 (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums and percussion). U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk
Post-punk
Post-punk is a rock music movement with its roots in the late 1970s, following on the heels of the initial punk rock explosion of the mid-1970s. The genre retains its roots in the punk movement but is more introverted, complex and experimental...

 but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music
Popular music
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local...

. Throughout the group's musical pursuits, they have maintained a sound built on melodic instrumentals, highlighted by The Edge's textural
Texture (music)
In music, texture is the way the melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic materials are combined in a composition , thus determining the overall quality of sound of a piece...

 guitar playing and Bono's expressive vocals.
Quotations

I watched the way it wasThe way it was when he was with usAnd I really don't mindSleeping on the floorBut I couldn't sleep after what I sawI wrote this letter to tell youThe way I feel.

Stranger in a Strange Land

I wish you were hereI wish you were hereTo see what I could seeTo hearAnd I wish you were here

Stranger in a Strange Land

All roads lead to where you are ...

Love Comes Tumbling

I wait for youSleight of hand and twist of fateOn a bed of nails she makes me waitAnd I wait, without youWith or without you, with or without you.

With or Without You|With or Without You

I want to run,I want to hide.I want to tear down the walls, that hold me inside.I want to take shelter, from the poison rain...Where the streets have no name.

Where the Streets Have No Name

It's alright, it's alright, it's alright She moves in mysterious ways.

Mysterious Ways (song)|Mysterious Ways

Johnny, take a dive with your sister in the rain Let her talk about the things you can't explain To touch is to heal, to hurt is to steal If you want to kiss the sky, better learn how to kneel. On your knees, boy.

Mysterious Ways

You gave me nothing Now it's all I’ve got

One (U2 song)|One

We're one but we're not the same We get to carry each other, carry each other

One

One love, one blood One life, you got to do what you should One life, with each other Sisters, brothers One life, but we're not the same We get to carry each other, carry each other

One

Encyclopedia
U2 are an Irish
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 rock
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono
Bono
Paul David Hewson , most commonly known by his stage name Bono , is an Irish singer, musician, and humanitarian best known for being the main vocalist of the Dublin-based rock band U2. Bono was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School where he met his...

 (vocals and guitar), The Edge
The Edge
David Howell Evans , more widely known by his stage name The Edge , is a musician best known as the guitarist, backing vocalist, and keyboardist of the Irish rock band U2. A member of the group since its inception, he has recorded 12 studio albums with the band and has released one solo record...

 (guitar, keyboards and vocals), Adam Clayton
Adam Clayton
Adam Charles Clayton is a musician, best known as the bassist of the Irish rock band U2. Clayton has resided in County Dublin since the time his family moved to Malahide when he was five years old in 1965...

 (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums and percussion). U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk
Post-punk
Post-punk is a rock music movement with its roots in the late 1970s, following on the heels of the initial punk rock explosion of the mid-1970s. The genre retains its roots in the punk movement but is more introverted, complex and experimental...

 but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music
Popular music
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local...

. Throughout the group's musical pursuits, they have maintained a sound built on melodic instrumentals, highlighted by The Edge's textural
Texture (music)
In music, texture is the way the melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic materials are combined in a composition , thus determining the overall quality of sound of a piece...

 guitar playing and Bono's expressive vocals. Their lyrics, often embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal themes and sociopolitical concerns.

U2 formed at Mount Temple Comprehensive School
Mount Temple Comprehensive School
Mount Temple Comprehensive School is a secondary school located in Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland, originally notable as the first multi-denominational public school under Protestant management to open in Dublin....

 when the members were teenagers with limited musical proficiency. Within four years, they signed with Island Records
Island Records
Island Records is a record label that was founded by Chris Blackwell in Jamaica. It was based in the United Kingdom for many years and is now owned by Universal Music Group...

 and released their debut album Boy
Boy (album)
Boy is the debut album from Irish rock band U2, released October 20, 1980. Produced by Steve Lillywhite, the album received generally positive reviews. Common themes among the album's songs are the thoughts and frustrations of adolescence. The album included the band's first United Kingdom hit...

. By the mid-1980s, they became a top international act. They were more successful as live performers than they were at selling records, until their breakthrough 1987 album The Joshua Tree
The Joshua Tree
The Joshua Tree is the fifth studio album by rock band U2. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 9 March 1987 on Island Records. In contrast to the ambient experimentation of their 1984 release The Unforgettable Fire, U2 aimed for a harder-hitting sound on The Joshua...

, which, according to Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

, elevated the band's stature "from heroes to superstars". Reacting to musical stagnation and late-1980s criticism of their earnest image and musical direction, the group reinvented themselves with their 1991 hit album Achtung Baby
Achtung Baby
Achtung Baby is the seventh studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 19 November 1991 on Island Records. Stung by the criticism of their 1988 release Rattle and Hum, U2 shifted their musical direction to incorporate alternative...

 and the accompanying Zoo TV Tour
Zoo TV Tour
The Zoo TV Tour was a worldwide concert tour by rock band U2. Staged in support of their 1991 album Achtung Baby, the tour visited arenas and stadiums from 1992 through 1993...

. U2 integrated dance
Electronic dance music
Electronic dance music is electronic music produced primarily for the purposes of use within a nightclub setting, or in an environment that is centered upon dance-based entertainment...

, industrial
Industrial music
Industrial music is a style of experimental music that draws on transgressive and provocative themes. The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by the band Throbbing Gristle, and the creation of the slogan "industrial music for industrial people". In general, the...

, and alternative rock
Alternative rock
Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

 influences into their sound and performances, and embraced a more ironic and self-deprecating image. Similar experimentation continued for the remainder of the 1990s with mixed levels of success. U2 regained critical and commercial favour after their 2000 record All That You Can't Leave Behind
All That You Can't Leave Behind
All That You Can't Leave Behind is the tenth studio album by rock band U2. It was released on 30 October 2000 by Island Records in the United Kingdom and Interscope Records in the United States...

. On it and the group's subsequent releases, they adopted a more conventional sound while maintaining influences from their earlier musical explorations.

U2 have released 12 studio albums and are among the best-selling groups in popular music, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. They have won 22 Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

s, more than any other band. In 2005, U2 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is dedicated to archiving the history of some of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have, in some major way,...

 in their first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked U2 at number 22 in its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". Throughout their career, as a band and as individuals, they have campaigned for human rights and philanthropic
Philanthropy
Philanthropy etymologically means "the love of humanity"—love in the sense of caring for, nourishing, developing, or enhancing; humanity in the sense of "what it is to be human," or "human potential." In modern practical terms, it is "private initiatives for public good, focusing on quality of...

 causes, including Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

, the ONE
ONE Campaign
The ONE Campaign is an international, nonpartisan, non-profit organization which aims to increase government funding for and effectiveness of international aid programs....

/DATA
DATA
Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa was a multinational non-government organization founded in January 2002 in London by U2's Bono along with Bobby Shriver and activists from the Jubilee 2000 Drop the Debt campaign....

 campaigns, Product Red
Product Red
Product Red, styled as RED, is a brand licensed to partner companies such as Nike, American Express , Apple Inc., Starbucks, Converse, Bugaboo, Penguin Classics , Gap, Emporio Armani, Hallmark and Dell...

, and The Edge's Music Rising
Music Rising
Music Rising is a charity co-founded by Producer Bob Ezrin, U2's The Edge and Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. Launched in November 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the foundation aims to help in the purchasing of new instruments for the musicians of New Orleans affected by the disaster.-...

.

Formation and early years (1976–79)

The band formed in Dublin on 25 September 1976. Larry Mullen, Jr., then a 14-year-old student at Mount Temple Comprehensive School
Mount Temple Comprehensive School
Mount Temple Comprehensive School is a secondary school located in Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland, originally notable as the first multi-denominational public school under Protestant management to open in Dublin....

, posted a note on the school's notice board in search of musicians for a new band—six people responded. Setting up in his kitchen, Mullen was on drums, with Paul Hewson (Bono)
Bono
Paul David Hewson , most commonly known by his stage name Bono , is an Irish singer, musician, and humanitarian best known for being the main vocalist of the Dublin-based rock band U2. Bono was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School where he met his...

 on lead vocals; David Evans (The Edge)
The Edge
David Howell Evans , more widely known by his stage name The Edge , is a musician best known as the guitarist, backing vocalist, and keyboardist of the Irish rock band U2. A member of the group since its inception, he has recorded 12 studio albums with the band and has released one solo record...

 and his older brother Dik Evans
Dik Evans
Richard "Dick" ' Evans is the brother of David "The Edge" Evans, guitarist for rock band U2.The Evans brothers both played guitar in the initial line-up of the band, known as "The Hype," sharing their homemade guitar....

 on guitar; Adam Clayton
Adam Clayton
Adam Charles Clayton is a musician, best known as the bassist of the Irish rock band U2. Clayton has resided in County Dublin since the time his family moved to Malahide when he was five years old in 1965...

, a friend of the Evans brothers on bass guitar; and initially Ivan McCormick and Peter Martin, two other friends of Mullen. Mullen later described it as "'The Larry Mullen Band' for about ten minutes, then Bono walked in and blew any chance I had of being in charge." Soon after, the group settled on the name "Feedback" because it was one of the few technical terms they knew. Martin did not return after the first practice, and McCormick left the group within a few weeks. Most of the group's initial material consisted of cover songs
Cover version
In popular music, a cover version or cover song, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording of a contemporary or previously recorded, commercially released song or popular song...

, which the band admitted was not their forté. Some of the earliest influences on the band were emerging punk rock
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

 acts, such as The Jam
The Jam
The Jam were an English punk rock/New Wave/mod revival band active during the late 1970s and early 1980s. They were formed in Woking, Surrey. While they shared the "angry young men" outlook and fast tempos of their punk rock contemporaries, The Jam wore smartly tailored suits rather than ripped...

, The Clash
The Clash
The Clash were an English punk rock band that formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk. Along with punk, their music incorporated elements of reggae, ska, dub, funk, rap, dance, and rockabilly...

, The Buzzcocks, and The Sex Pistols. The popularity of punk rock convinced the group that musical proficiency was not a prerequisite to being successful.
In March 1977, the band changed their name to The Hype. 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
Howth
Howth is an area in Fingal County near Dublin city in Ireland. Originally just a small fishing village, Howth with its surrounding rural district is now a busy suburb of Dublin, with a mix of dense residential development and wild hillside, all on the peninsula of Howth Head. The only...

, which featured The Hype playing covers, Dik ceremonially walked offstage. The remaining four band members completed the concert playing original material as "U2". 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.

On Saint Patrick's Day
Saint Patrick's Day
Saint Patrick's Day is a religious holiday celebrated internationally on 17 March. It commemorates Saint Patrick , the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of :Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion , the Eastern...

 in 1978, U2 won a talent show in Limerick, Ireland
Limerick
Limerick is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the principal city of County Limerick and Ireland's Mid-West Region. It is the fifth most populous city in all of Ireland. When taking the extra-municipal suburbs into account, Limerick is the third largest conurbation in the...

. The prize consisted of £500 and studio time to record a demo which would be heard by CBS Ireland, a record label. This win was an important milestone and affirmation for the fledgling band. U2 recorded their first demo tape at Keystone Studios in Dublin in May 1978. Hot Press
Hot Press
Hot Press is a fortnightly music and political magazine based in Dublin, Ireland founded in 1977. The magazine has been edited since its inception by Niall Stokes. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, it had a circulation of 19,215 during 2007...

 magazine was influential in shaping the band's future; in May, Paul McGuinness
Paul McGuinness
Paul McGuinness is the main shareholder and founder of Principle Management Limited: an artist management company based in Dublin, Ireland, which has managed U2 from the start of their successful career...

, who had earlier been introduced to the band by the publication's journalist Bill Graham, agreed to be U2's manager. The group's first release, an Ireland-only EP entitled Three
Three (EP)
Three, also known as U2 3, is the first release by rock band U2. A three-song EP recorded and released in 1979, it was produced by the band with Chas de Whalley and available in Ireland when released.-History:...

, was released in September 1979 and was their first Irish chart success. In December 1979, U2 performed in London for their first shows outside Ireland, although they were unable to gain much attention from audiences or critics. In February 1980, their second single "Another Day
Another Day (U2 song)
"Another Day" was U2's first single release, and was released in 1980 following their EP, Three, and prior to their debut album, Boy. It was released only in Ireland.-Release:...

" was released on the CBS label, but again only for the Irish market.

Boy, October, and War (1980–83)

Island Records
Island Records
Island Records is a record label that was founded by Chris Blackwell in Jamaica. It was based in the United Kingdom for many years and is now owned by Universal Music Group...

 signed U2 in March 1980, and in May the band released "11 O'Clock Tick Tock
11 O'Clock Tick Tock
"11 O'Clock Tick Tock" was U2's second single, released 23 May 1980. It followed their debut EP "Three" and the single "Another Day". It was released prior to their debut album, Boy.-History:...

" as their first international single. The band's debut album, Boy
Boy (album)
Boy is the debut album from Irish rock band U2, released October 20, 1980. Produced by Steve Lillywhite, the album received generally positive reviews. Common themes among the album's songs are the thoughts and frustrations of adolescence. The album included the band's first United Kingdom hit...

, followed in October. Produced by Steve Lillywhite
Steve Lillywhite
Steve Lillywhite is an English Grammy Award winning record producer. Since he began his career in 1977, Lillywhite has been credited for working on over 500 records and has collaborated with a variety of musicians including XTC, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Dave Matthews Band, U2, Peter Gabriel,...

, it received generally positive reviews. Although Bono's unfocused lyrics seemed improvised, they expressed a common theme: the dreams and frustrations of adolescence. The album included the band's first United States hit single, "I Will Follow
I Will Follow
"I Will Follow" is a song by rock band U2. It is the opening track from their debut album, Boy, and it was released as the album's second single, in October 1980. Bono wrote the lyrics to "I Will Follow" in tribute to his mother who died when he was 14 years old."I Will Follow" is the only song...

". Boys release was followed by the Boy Tour
Boy Tour
The Boy Tour was a concert tour by Irish rock band U2 that took place in 1980 and 1981 to support the band's first studio album, Boy, which was released in October 1980.-Itinerary:...

, U2's first tour of continental Europe and the United States. Despite being unpolished, these early live performances demonstrated U2's potential, as critics noted that Bono was a "charismatic" and "passionate" showman.

The band's second album, October
October (album)
October is the second album by Irish rock band U2, released in 1981. The album featured spiritual themes, inspired by Bono, The Edge, and Larry Mullen, Jr.'s memberships in a Christian group called the "Shalom Fellowship", which led them to question the relationship between the Christian faith and...

, was released in 1981 and contained overtly spiritual themes. During the album's recording sessions, Bono and The Edge considered quitting the band due to perceived spiritual conflicts. 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. Bono and The Edge took time off between tours and decided to leave Shalom in favour of continuing with the band. Recording was further complicated with the theft of a briefcase containing lyrics for several working songs from backstage during the band's performance at a nightclub in Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, Oregon. The album received mixed reviews and limited radio play. Low sales outside the UK put pressure on their contract with Island and focused the band on improvement.
Resolving their doubts of the October period, U2 released War in 1983. A record where the band "turned pacifism itself into a crusade", Wars sincerity and "rugged" guitar was intentionally at odds with the "cooler" synthpop
Synthpop
Synthpop is a genre of popular music that first became prominent in the 1980s, in which the synthesizer is the dominant musical instrument. It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, electronic art rock, disco and particularly the "Kraut rock" of...

 of the time. The album included the politically charged "Sunday Bloody Sunday
Sunday Bloody Sunday
"Sunday Bloody Sunday" is a song by U2.It may also refer to:*Sunday Bloody Sunday , a 1971 film*"Sunday, Bloody Sunday"...

", where Bono had lyrically tried to contrast the events of Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday (1972)
Bloody Sunday —sometimes called the Bogside Massacre—was an incident on 30 January 1972 in the Bogside area of Derry, Northern Ireland, in which twenty-six unarmed civil rights protesters and bystanders were shot by soldiers of the British Army...

 with Easter Sunday
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

. 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
Anton Corbijn
Anton Corbijn is a Dutch photographer, music video and film director. He is the creative director behind the visual output of Depeche Mode and U2, having handled the principal promotion and sleeve photography for both for more than a decade...

, who remains U2's principal photographer and has had a major influence on their vision and public image. U2's first commercial success, War debuted at number one in the UK, and its first single, "New Year's Day
New Year's Day (song)
"New Year's Day" is a song by rock band U2. It is on their 1983 album War and it was released as the album's lead single in January 1983. Written about the Polish Solidarity movement, "New Year's Day" is driven by Adam Clayton's distinctive bassline and The Edge's keyboard playing...

", was the band's first hit outside Ireland or the UK.

On the subsequent War Tour
War Tour
The War Tour was a concert tour by the Irish rock band U2, which took place in 1982 and 1983 in support of the group's third album War. It was their first tour as full-time headlining acts....

, the band performed sold-out concerts in mainland Europe and the US. The sight of Bono waving a white flag during performances of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" became the tour's iconic image. U2 recorded the Under a Blood Red Sky
Under a Blood Red Sky
During the performance of "The Electric Co.", Bono included a 27 second snippet of Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns". When Under a Blood Red Sky was released, U2 failed to get permission and pay the appropriate licensing and royalty fees to include that piece of Sondheim's tune on the album...

 live album on this tour, as well as the Live at Red Rocks
Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky
U2 Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky is a concert film by Irish rock band U2. It was recorded on 5 June 1983 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, United States on the group's War Tour...

 concert film, both of which received extensive play on the radio and MTV, expanding the band's audience and showcasing their prowess as a live act. Their record deal with Island Records was coming to an end, and in 1984 the band signed a more lucrative extension. They negotiated the return of their copyrights (so 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.

The Unforgettable Fire and Live Aid (1984–85)

The Unforgettable Fire
The Unforgettable Fire
U2 feared that following the overt rock of their 1983 War album and War Tour, they were in danger of becoming another "shrill", "sloganeering arena-rock band". The success of the 1983 Under a Blood Red Sky live album and the Live at Red Rocks video, however, had given them artistic—and for the...

 was released in 1984. Ambient
Ambient music
Ambient music is a musical genre that focuses largely on the timbral characteristics of sounds, often organized or performed to evoke an "atmospheric", "visual" or "unobtrusive" quality.- History :...

 and abstract, it was at the time the band's most marked change in direction. 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". Thus, experimentation was sought, 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
Brian Eno
Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno , commonly known as Brian Eno or simply as Eno , is an English musician, composer, record producer, singer and visual artist, known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music.Eno studied at Colchester Institute art school in Essex,...

, who, along with his engineer
Audio engineering
An audio engineer, also called audio technician, audio technologist or sound technician, is a specialist in a skilled trade that deals with the use of machinery and equipment for the recording, mixing and reproduction of sounds. The field draws on many artistic and vocational areas, including...

 Daniel Lanois
Daniel Lanois
Daniel Lanois born September 19, 1951 in Hull, Quebec) is a Canadian record producer, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. He has released a number of albums of his own work and has produced albums for a wide variety of artists, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris, Willie...

, eventually agreed to produce the record.

The Unforgettable Fire has a rich and orchestrated sound. Under Lanois' direction, Mullen's drumming became looser, funkier, and more subtle and Clayton's bass became more subliminal; the rhythm section no longer intruded, but flowed in support of the songs. Complementing the sonic atmospherics, the album's lyrics are open to many interpretations, providing what the band called a "very visual feel". Due to a tight recording schedule, however, Bono felt songs like "Bad
Bad (U2 song)
"Bad" is a song by rock band U2 and the seventh track from their 1984 album, The Unforgettable Fire. A song about heroin addiction, it is considered a fan favourite, and is one of U2's most frequently performed songs in concert....

" and "Pride (In the Name of Love)
Pride (In the Name of Love)
"Pride " is a song by Irish rock band U2. The second track on the band's 1984 album, The Unforgettable Fire, it was released as the album's lead single in September 1984...

" were incomplete "sketches". "Pride (In the Name of Love)", about Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

, was the album's first single and became the band's biggest hit to that point, including being their first to enter the US top 40.
Much of The Unforgettable Fire Tour moved into indoor arenas as U2 began to win their long battle to build their audience. The complex textures of the new studio-recorded tracks, such as "The Unforgettable Fire
The Unforgettable Fire (song)
"The Unforgettable Fire" is a song by rock band U2. The fourth song on their 1984 album The Unforgettable Fire, it was released as the album's second single in April 1985. The band cite an art exhibition by victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that was held at the Peace Museum...

" and "Bad", were problematic to translate to live performances. One solution was programmed sequencers
Music sequencer
The music sequencer is a device or computer software to record, edit, play back the music, by handling note and performance information in several forms, typically :...

, 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.

U2 participated in the Live Aid
Live Aid
Live Aid was a dual-venue concert that was held on 13 July 1985. The event was organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. Billed as the "global jukebox", the event was held simultaneously in Wembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom ...

 concert for Ethiopian famine relief at Wembley Stadium in July 1985. U2's performance in front of 82,000 fans was a pivotal point in the band's career. During a 14-minute performance of 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. 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".

The Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum (1986–89)

Realising that "U2 had no tradition" and that their knowledge of music from before their childhood was limited, the group delved into American
American Roots Music
American Roots Music is a 2001 multi-part documentary film that explores the historical roots of American Roots music through footage and performances by the creators of the movement: Folk, Country, Blues, Gospel, Bluegrass, and many others....

 and Irish
Folk music of Ireland
The folk music of Ireland is the generic term for music that has been created in various genres in Ireland.-History:...

 roots music. Friendships with Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

, Van Morrison
Van Morrison
Van Morrison, OBE is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are regarded as transcendental and inspired; while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, and the live album It's Too Late to Stop Now, are widely...

, and Keith Richards
Keith Richards
Keith Richards is an English musician, songwriter, and founding member of the Rolling Stones. Rolling Stone magazine said Richards had created "rock's greatest single body of riffs", and placed him as the "10th greatest guitarist of all time." Fourteen songs written by Richards and songwriting...

 motivated the band to explore blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

, folk
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

, and gospel music
Gospel music
Gospel music is music that is written to express either personal, spiritual or a communal belief regarding Christian life, as well as to give a Christian alternative to mainstream secular music....

 and focused Bono on his skills as a songwriter and lyricist. For their fifth album, The Joshua Tree
The Joshua Tree
The Joshua Tree is the fifth studio album by rock band U2. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 9 March 1987 on Island Records. In contrast to the ambient experimentation of their 1984 release The Unforgettable Fire, U2 aimed for a harder-hitting sound on The Joshua...

, the band wanted to build on The Unforgettable Fires textures, but instead of out-of-focus experimentation, they sought a harder-hitting sound that used the limitation of strict song structures. U2 interrupted their 1986 album sessions to serve as a headline act on Amnesty International's
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 A Conspiracy of Hope tour. Rather than being a distraction, the tour added extra intensity and focus to their new material. In 1986, Bono travelled to San Salvador
San Salvador
The city of San Salvador the capital and largest city of El Salvador, which has been designated a Gamma World City. Its complete name is La Ciudad de Gran San Salvador...

 and Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

 and saw first-hand the distress of peasants bullied in internal conflicts that were subject to American political intervention. The experience became a central influence on the new music.
The Joshua Tree was released in March 1987. The album juxtaposes antipathy towards America against the group's deep fascination with the country, its open spaces, freedom, and ideals. The band wanted music with a sense of location and a "cinematic" quality, and the record's music and lyrics draw on imagery created by American writers whose works the band had been reading. The Joshua Tree became the fastest-selling album in British chart history, and topped the Billboard 200
Billboard 200
The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums and EPs in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists...

 in the United States for nine consecutive weeks. The first two singles, "With or Without You
With or Without You
"With or Without You" is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the third track from their 1987 album, The Joshua Tree, and was released as the album's first single on 21 March 1987...

" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" is a song by rock band U2. It is the second track from their 1987 album The Joshua Tree and was released as the album's second single in May 1987...

", quickly became the group's first number-one hits in the US. They became the fourth rock band to be featured on the cover of Time magazine, which declared U2 "Rock's Hottest Ticket". The album won U2 their first two Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

s, and it brought the band a new level of success. Many publications, including Rolling Stone, have cited it as one of rock's greatest. The Joshua Tree Tour was the first tour on which the band played shows in stadiums, alongside smaller arena shows.

The documentary Rattle and Hum
Rattle and Hum
Rattle and Hum is the sixth studio album by rock band U2 and companion rockumentary directed by Phil Joanou, both released in 1988. The film and the album feature live recordings, covers, and new songs...

 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 October 1988, the album and film were intended as a tribute to American music, and included recordings at Sun Studios
Sun Records
Sun Records is a record label founded in Memphis, Tennessee, starting operations on March 27, 1952.Founded by Sam Phillips, Sun Records was known for giving notable musicians such as Elvis Presley , Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Johnny Cash...

 in Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

 and performances with Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

 and B. B. King
B. B. King
Riley B. King , known by the stage name B.B. King, is an American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter.Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at No.3 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. According to Edward M...

. Rattle and Hum performed modestly at the box office and received mixed reviews from both film and music critics; one Rolling Stone editor spoke of the album's "excitement", another described it as "bombastic and misguided". The film's director, Phil Joanou
Phil Joanou
Phil Joanou is an American film director. He is also well known for his work with Irish rock band U2, having directed their rockumentary/live tape Rattle and Hum, one of three videos filmed for "One", and the video for "All Because of You"...

, described it as "an overly pretentious look at U2". Most of the album's new material was played on 1989's Lovetown Tour
Lovetown Tour
The Lovetown Tour was a concert tour by the Irish rock band U2, which took place in late 1989 and early 1990.-Itinerary:It was limited in scope, but did try to reach places that their 1987 Joshua Tree Tour had missed, all the while avoiding the United States entirely.The tour's opening night was on...

, which visited Australia, Japan and Europe, because the band wanted to avoid the American backlash. In addition, they had grown dissatisfied with their live performances; Mullen recalled that "We were the biggest, but we weren't the best". With a sense of musical stagnation, Bono said to fans on one of the last dates of the tour that it was "the end of something for U2" and that they had to "go away and [...] just dream it all up again".

Achtung Baby, Zoo TV, and Zooropa (1990–93)

Stung by the criticism of Rattle and Hum, the band sought to transform themselves musically. Seeking inspiration on the eve of German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

, they began work on Achtung Baby
Achtung Baby
Achtung Baby is the seventh studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 19 November 1991 on Island Records. Stung by the criticism of their 1988 release Rattle and Hum, U2 shifted their musical direction to incorporate alternative...

 at Hansa Studios in Berlin in October 1990 with producers Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. The sessions were fraught with conflict, as the band argued over their musical direction and the quality of their material. While Clayton and Mullen preferred a sound similar to U2's previous work, Bono and The Edge were inspired by European industrial music
Industrial music
Industrial music is a style of experimental music that draws on transgressive and provocative themes. The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by the band Throbbing Gristle, and the creation of the slogan "industrial music for industrial people". In general, the...

 and electronic dance music
Electronic dance music
Electronic dance music is electronic music produced primarily for the purposes of use within a nightclub setting, or in an environment that is centered upon dance-based entertainment...

 and advocated a change. Weeks of tension and slow progress nearly took their toll, as the group considered breaking up, but they made a breakthrough with the improvised writing of the song "One
One (U2 song)
"One" is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the third track from their 1991 album Achtung Baby, and it was released as the record's third single in March 1992. It was recorded at three recording studios, Hansa Ton Studios, Elsinore, and Windmill Lane Studios...

". They returned to Dublin in 1991, where morale improved and the majority of the album was completed.
In November 1991, U2 released Achtung Baby. The album represented a calculated change in musical and thematic direction for the group; the shift was one of their most dramatic since The Unforgettable Fire. Sonically, the record incorporated influences from alternative rock
Alternative rock
Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

, dance, and industrial music of the time, and the band referred to its musical departure as "four men chopping down the Joshua Tree". Thematically, it was a more introspective 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. It produced five hit singles, including "The Fly
The Fly (song)
"The Fly" is a song by rock band U2. It is the seventh track from their 1991 album Achtung Baby and it was released as the album's first single on 12 October 1991. "The Fly" introduced a more abrasive sounding U2, as the song featured hip-hop and industrial beats, distorted vocals, and an elaborate...

", "Mysterious Ways
Mysterious Ways (song)
"Mysterious Ways" is a song by the rock band U2. It is the eighth track from their 1991 album Achtung Baby and was released as the album's second single on 25 November 1991. The song reached the top ten of the singles charts in several countries, including Ireland, where it went to number one...

", and "One", and it was a crucial part of the band's early 1990s reinvention. Like The Joshua Tree, many publications have cited the record as one of rock's greatest.
Like Achtung Baby, the 1992–1993 Zoo TV Tour
Zoo TV Tour
The Zoo TV Tour was a worldwide concert tour by rock band U2. Staged in support of their 1991 album Achtung Baby, the tour visited arenas and stadiums from 1992 through 1993...

 was an unequivocal break with the band's past. In contrast to the austere stage setups of previous U2 tours, Zoo TV was an elaborate multimedia event. It satirised the pervasive nature of television and its blurring of news, entertainment, and home shopping by attempting to instill "sensory overload" in its audience. The stage featured large video screens that showed visual effects, random video clips from pop culture, and flashing text phrases. Whereas U2 were known for their earnest performances in the 1980s, the group's Zoo TV performances were intentionally ironic and self-deprecating; on stage, Bono performed as several over-the-top characters, including "The Fly", "Mirror Ball Man", and "MacPhisto". Prank phone calls were made to President Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

, the United Nations, and others. Live satellite link-ups to war-torn Sarajevo
Siege of Sarajevo
The Siege of Sarajevo is the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. Serb forces of the Republika Srpska and the Yugoslav People's Army besieged Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 5 April 1992 to 29 February 1996 during the Bosnian War.After Bosnia...

 caused controversy.

Quickly recorded during a break in the Zoo TV Tour in mid-1993, the Zooropa
Zooropa
Zooropa Based on the pronunciations of "zoo" and "Europa". is the eighth studio album by rock band U2. Produced by Flood, Brian Eno, and The Edge, it was released on 5 July 1993 on Island Records. Inspired by the band's experiences on the Zoo TV Tour, Zooropa expanded on many of the tour's themes...

 album continued many of the themes from Achtung Baby and the Zoo TV Tour. Initially intended as an EP
Extended play
An EP is a musical recording which contains more music than a single, but is too short to qualify as a full album or LP. The term EP originally referred only to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play records and LP records, but it is now applied to mid-length Compact...

, the band expanded Zooropa into a full-length LP album
LP album
The LP, or long-playing microgroove record, is a format for phonograph records, an analog sound storage medium. Introduced by Columbia Records in 1948, it was soon adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry...

. It was an even greater departure from the style of their earlier recordings, incorporating further dance influences and other electronic effects. Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash
John R. "Johnny" Cash was an American singer-songwriter, actor, and author, who has been called one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century...

 sang the lead vocals on "The Wanderer". Most of the songs were played at least once during the 1993 legs of the tour, which visited Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan; half the album's tracks became fixtures in the setlist.

Passengers, Pop, and PopMart (1994–99)

In 1995, U2 released an experimental
Experimental music
Experimental music refers, in the English-language literature, to a compositional tradition which arose in the mid-20th century, applied particularly in North America to music composed in such a way that its outcome is unforeseeable. Its most famous and influential exponent was John Cage...

 album called Original Soundtracks 1
Original Soundtracks 1
Original Soundtracks 1 is a 1995 album recorded by U2 and Brian Eno, as a side project, under the pseudonym Passengers...

. 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. Mullen said of the album, "There's a thin line between interesting music and self-indulgence. We crossed it on the Passengers record." It was commercially unnoticed by U2 standards and it received generally poor reviews. However, the single "Miss Sarajevo
Miss Sarajevo
"Miss Sarajevo" is the only single from the 1995 album Original Soundtracks 1 by U2 and Brian Eno, under the pseudonym Passengers. Luciano Pavarotti makes a guest vocal appearance, singing the opera solo. It also appears on U2's compilation, The Best of 1990-2000, and was covered by George Michael...

" featuring Luciano Pavarotti
Luciano Pavarotti
right|thumb|Luciano Pavarotti performing at the opening of the Constantine Palace in [[Strelna]], 31 May 2003. The concert was part of the celebrations for the 300th anniversary of [[St...

, which Bono cites as one of his favourite U2 songs, was successful.
On 1997's Pop, U2 continued experimenting; tape loop
Tape loop
In music, tape loops are loops of prerecorded magnetic tape used to create repetitive, rhythmic musical patterns or dense layers of sound. Contemporary composers such as Steve Reich and Karlheinz Stockhausen used tape loops to create phase patterns and rhythms...

s, programming
Programming (music)
Programming is a form of music production and performance using electronic devices, often sequencers or computer programs, to generate music. Programming is used in nearly all forms of electronic music and in most hip hop music since the 1990s. It is also frequently used in modern pop and rock...

, rhythm sequencing, and sampling
Sampling (music)
In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a different sound recording of a song or piece. Sampling was originally developed by experimental musicians working with musique concrète and electroacoustic music, who physically...

 provided much of the album with heavy, funky dance rhythms. Released in March, the album debuted at number one in 35 countries and drew mainly positive reviews. Rolling Stone, for example, stated that U2 had "defied the odds and made some of the greatest music of their lives". Others felt that the album was a major disappointment and sales were poor compared to previous U2 releases. 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".
The subsequent tour, PopMart
Popmart Tour
The PopMart Tour was a worldwide concert tour by rock band U2. Launched in support of the group's 1997 album, Pop, the tour's concerts were performed in stadiums and parks from 1997 through 1998...

, commenced in April 1997. Like Zoo TV, it poked fun at pop culture and was intended to send a sarcastic message to those accusing U2 of commercialism. The stage included a 100 feet (30.5 m) tall golden yellow arch (reminiscent of the McDonald's
McDonald's
McDonald's Corporation is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 64 million customers daily in 119 countries. Headquartered in the United States, the company began in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant operated by the eponymous Richard and Maurice McDonald; in 1948...

 logo), a 150 feet (45.7 m) long video screen, and a 40 feet (12.2 m) 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. The postponement of Pops release date in order to complete the album meant rehearsal time for the tour was severely reduced, and performances in early shows suffered. A highlight of the tour was the concert in Sarajevo
U2 concert in Sarajevo
U2's concert in Sarajevo was held at Koševo Stadium in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 23 September 1997. Visiting the city on their PopMart Tour, U2 became the first major artist to hold a concert in Sarajevo since the end of the Bosnian War....

 where U2 were the first major group to perform there following the Bosnian War
Bosnian War
The Bosnian War or the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between April 1992 and December 1995. The war involved several sides...

. Mullen 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." Bono called the show "one of the toughest and one of the sweetest nights of my life". One month after the conclusion of the PopMart Tour, U2 appeared on the 200th episode of the animated sitcom The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

, "Trash of the Titans
Trash of the Titans
"Trash of the Titans" is the 22nd episode of The Simpsons ninth season and the 200th overall. It originally aired on the Fox network on April 26, 1998...

", in which Homer Simpson
Homer Simpson
Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons and the patriarch of the eponymous family. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

 disrupted the band on stage during a PopMart concert.

"Reapplying for the job of the best band in the world" (2000–06)

Following the comparatively poor reception of Pop, U2 declared they were "reapplying for the job ... [of] the best band in the world", and they have since pursued a more conventional rock sound mixed with the influences of their 1990s musical explorations. All That You Can't Leave Behind
All That You Can't Leave Behind
All That You Can't Leave Behind is the tenth studio album by rock band U2. It was released on 30 October 2000 by Island Records in the United Kingdom and Interscope Records in the United States...

 was released in October 2000 and was produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. For many of those not won over by the band's 1990s music, it was considered a return to grace; Rolling Stone called it U2's "third masterpiece" alongside The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby. The album debuted at number one in 22 countries and its worldwide hit single, "Beautiful Day
Beautiful Day
"Beautiful Day" is a song by the rock band U2. It is the first track from their 2000 album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, and it was released as the album's lead single. It was a commercial success, helping launch the album to multi-platinum status, and is one of U2's biggest hits to date...

" earned three Grammy Awards. The album's other three singles also won Grammy Awards.

For the Elevation Tour
Elevation Tour
The Elevation Tour was a worldwide concert tour by the Irish rock band U2. Launched in support of the group's 2000 album All That You Can't Leave Behind, the tour visited arenas in 2001. After the band's previous two extravagant stadium tours, Zoo TV and PopMart, the Elevation Tour returned the...

, 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 11 September attacks, the new album gained added resonance, and in October, U2 performed at Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG and known colloquially as The Garden, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the New York City borough of Manhattan and located at 8th Avenue, between 31st and 33rd Streets, situated on top of Pennsylvania Station.Opened on February 11, 1968, it is the...

 in New York City. Bono and The Edge later said these New York City shows were among their most memorable and emotional performances. In early 2002, U2 performed during halftime of Super Bowl XXXVI
Super Bowl XXXVI
Super Bowl XXXVI was an American football game played on February 3, 2002 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League champion following the 2001 regular season. The American Football Conference champion New England Patriots won their first Super...

, which SI.com ranked as the best halftime show in Super Bowl history.
The band's next studio album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb is the eleventh studio album by Irish rock band U2, released in November 2004. Much like their previous album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb was commercially successful and critically acclaimed and maintains a more traditional rock...

, was released in November 2004. The band were looking for a harder-hitting rock sound than All That You Can't Leave Behind. Thematically, Bono stated that "a lot of the songs are paeans to naiveté, a rejection of knowingness." The first single, "Vertigo", was featured on an internationally aired television commercial for the Apple iPod
IPod
iPod is a line of portable media players created and marketed by Apple Inc. The product line-up currently consists of the hard drive-based iPod Classic, the touchscreen iPod Touch, the compact iPod Nano, and the ultra-compact iPod Shuffle...

, and a U2 iPod and an iTunes U2 box set
The Complete U2
-Live from Boston 1981:Live from Boston 1981 is a live album recorded during U2's Boy Tour at Boston's Paradise Rock Club on . Some of the tracks on this album have been originally released on other singles previous to the release of this album....

 were released as part of a promotion with Apple. The album debuted at number one in the US, where the first week's sales doubled that of All That You Can't Leave Behind and set a record for the band. 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." The Vertigo Tour
Vertigo Tour
The Vertigo Tour was a worldwide concert tour by the Irish rock band U2. Launched in support of the group's 2004 album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, the band visited arenas and stadiums from 2005 through 2006. The Vertigo Tour consisted of five legs that alternated between indoor arena shows in...

 featured a setlist that varied more across dates than any U2 tour since the Lovetown Tour, and it included songs not played since the early 1980s. Like the Elevation Tour, the Vertigo Tour was a commercial success. The album and its singles won Grammy Awards in all eight categories in which U2 were nominated. In 2005, Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen , nicknamed "The Boss," is an American singer-songwriter who records and tours with the E Street Band...

 inducted U2 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is dedicated to archiving the history of some of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have, in some major way,...

. A 3-D
3-D film
A 3-D film or S3D film is a motion picture that enhances the illusion of depth perception...

 concert film
Concert film
A concert movie, or concert film, is a type of documentary film, the subject of which is an extended live performance or concert by a musician ....

, U2 3D
U2 3D
U2 3D is a 2008 American-produced 3-D concert film featuring rock band U2 performing during the Vertigo Tour in 2006. The film features performances of 14 songs, including tracks from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb , the album supported by the tour. The concert footage includes political and...

, filmed at nine concerts during the Latin American and Australian legs of the Vertigo Tour was released on 23 January 2008.

In August 2006, the band incorporated its publishing business in The Netherlands following the capping of Irish artists' tax exemption at €250,000. The Edge stated that businesses often seek to minimise their tax burdens. The move was criticised in the Irish parliament
Oireachtas
The Oireachtas , sometimes referred to as Oireachtas Éireann, is the "national parliament" or legislature of Ireland. The Oireachtas consists of:*The President of Ireland*The two Houses of the Oireachtas :**Dáil Éireann...

. The band said the criticism was unfair, stating that approximately 95% of their business took place outside of Ireland, that they were taxed globally because of this, and that they were all "personal investors and employers in the country". In March 2008, U2 signed a 12-year deal with Live Nation
Live Nation
Live Nation is a live-events company based in Beverly Hills, California, focused on concert promotions. Live Nation formed in 2005 as a spin-off from Clear Channel Communications, which then merged with Ticketmaster in 2010 to become Live Nation Entertainment....

 worth an estimated $100 million (£50 million), which includes Live Nation controlling the band's merchandise, sponsoring, and their official website.

No Line on the Horizon and U2 360° Tour (2007–present)

Recording for U2's twelfth album, No Line on the Horizon, began with producer Rick Rubin
Rick Rubin
Frederick Jay "Rick" Rubin is an American record producer and the co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, Rubin was the co-founder of Def Jam Records and also established American Recordings...

 in 2006, but the sessions were shortlived and the material was shelved. In June 2007, the band began new sessions with Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, who contributed not only as producers, but for the first time with U2, as songwriters as well. Recording continued through December 2008 in the US, the UK, Ireland, and Fez, Morocco, where the band explored North African music. Intended as a more experimental work than their previous two albums, No Line on the Horizon was released in February 2009 and received generally positive reviews, including their first five-star Rolling Stone review. Critics, however, noted it was not as experimental as expected. The album debuted at number one in over 30 countries, but the album's sales have been comparatively low by U2 standards and it did not contain a hit single.

The group commenced the U2 360° Tour
U2 360° Tour
The U2 360° Tour was a worldwide concert tour by rock band U2. Launched in support of the group's 2009 album No Line on the Horizon, the tour visited stadiums from 2009 through 2011. It was named for a stage configuration that allowed the audience to almost completely surround the stage...

 in 2009. The shows featured the largest concert stage structure ever, nicknamed "the Claw", and a 360-degree staging/audience configuration that allowed fans to surround the stage from all sides. The tour visited European and North American stadiums in 2009. At year's end, Rolling Stone named U2 one of eight "Artists of the Decade". The group's tours ranked them second in total concert grosses for the decade after The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones , Ian Stewart , Mick Jagger , and Keith Richards . Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up...

, although U2 had a significantly higher attendance figure than the Stones. They were the only band in the top 25 touring acts of the 2000s to sell out every show they played. U2 resumed the 360° Tour in 2010 with legs in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. However, their scheduled headline appearance at the Glastonbury Festival 2010
Glastonbury Festival 2010
The 2010 Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts took place in Pilton, Somerset, England in June 2010.The festival was headlined by Gorillaz, Muse, and Stevie Wonder. U2 were initially announced as headliners, but withdrew on 25 May 2010 citing Bono's recent back surgery...

 and their North American leg that year were postponed following a serious injury to Bono's back. These appearances were rescheduled for 2011 after the South African and South American legs. The tour concluded in July 2011 with a final gross of $736,137,344, and a total attendance of 7,268,430, both record-setting figures for a single concert tour.

Instrumentation

Since their inception, U2 have developed and maintained a distinctly recognisable sound, with emphasis on melodic instrumentals and expressive, larger-than-life vocals. This approach is rooted partly in the early influence of record producer Steve Lillywhite
Steve Lillywhite
Steve Lillywhite is an English Grammy Award winning record producer. Since he began his career in 1977, Lillywhite has been credited for working on over 500 records and has collaborated with a variety of musicians including XTC, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Dave Matthews Band, U2, Peter Gabriel,...

 at a time when the band was not known for musical proficiency. The Edge has consistently used a rhythmic echo and a signature delay
Delay (audio effect)
Delay is an audio effect which records an input signal to an audio storage medium, and then plays it back after a period of time. The delayed signal may either be played back multiple times, or played back into the recording again, to create the sound of a repeating, decaying echo.-Early delay...

 to craft his guitar work, coupled with an Irish-influenced drone
Drone (music)
In music, a drone is a harmonic or monophonic effect or accompaniment where a note or chord is continuously sounded throughout most or all of a piece. The word drone is also used to refer to any part of a musical instrument that is just used to produce such an effect.-A musical effect:A drone...

 played against his syncopated melodies that ultimately yields a well-defined ambient, chiming sound. Bono has nurtured his falsetto
Falsetto
Falsetto is the vocal register occupying the frequency range just above the modal voice register and overlapping with it by approximately one octave. It is produced by the vibration of the ligamentous edges of the vocal folds, in whole or in part...

 operatic voice 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 brand new elements into their musical repertoire with each new album. U2's early sound was influenced by bands such as Television
Television (band)
Television was an American rock band, formed in New York City in 1973. They are best known for the album Marquee Moon and widely regarded as one of the founders of "punk" and New Wave music. Television was part of the early 1970s New York underground rock scene, along with bands like the Patti...

 and Joy Division
Joy Division
Joy Division were an English rock band formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band primarily consisted of Ian Curtis , Bernard Sumner , Peter Hook and Stephen Morris .Joy Division rapidly evolved from their initial punk rock influences...

, and has been described as containing a "sense of exhilaration" that resulted from The Edge's "radiant chords" and Bono's "ardent vocals". U2's sound began with post-punk
Post-punk
Post-punk is a rock music movement with its roots in the late 1970s, following on the heels of the initial punk rock explosion of the mid-1970s. The genre retains its roots in the punk movement but is more introverted, complex and experimental...

 roots and minimalistic and uncomplicated instrumentals heard on Boy and October, but evolved through War to include aspects of rock anthem, funk
Funk
Funk is a music genre that originated in the mid-late 1960s when African American musicians blended soul music, jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground...

, and dance rhythms to become more versatile and aggressive. Boy and War were labelled "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
Brian Eno
Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno , commonly known as Brian Eno or simply as Eno , is an English musician, composer, record producer, singer and visual artist, known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music.Eno studied at Colchester Institute art school in Essex,...

 and Daniel Lanois
Daniel Lanois
Daniel Lanois born September 19, 1951 in Hull, Quebec) is a Canadian record producer, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. He has released a number of albums of his own work and has produced albums for a wide variety of artists, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris, Willie...

 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 synthesisers, distortion
Distortion (guitar)
Distortion effects create "warm", "dirty" and "fuzzy" sounds by compressing the peaks of a musical instrument's sound wave and adding overtones. The three principal types of distortion effects are overdrive, distortion and fuzz. Distortion effects are sometimes called “gain” effects, as distorted...

, and electronic
Electronica
Electronica includes a wide range of contemporary electronic music designed for a wide range of uses, including foreground listening, some forms of dancing, and background music for other activities; however, unlike electronic dance music, it is not specifically made for dancing...

 beats derived from alternative rock
Alternative rock
Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

, industrial music
Industrial music
Industrial music is a style of experimental music that draws on transgressive and provocative themes. The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by the band Throbbing Gristle, and the creation of the slogan "industrial music for industrial people". In general, the...

, dance
Electronic dance music
Electronic dance music is electronic music produced primarily for the purposes of use within a nightclub setting, or in an environment that is centered upon dance-based entertainment...

, and hip-hop
Hip hop
Hip hop is a form of musical expression and artistic culture that originated in African-American and Latino communities during the 1970s in New York City, specifically the Bronx. DJ Afrika Bambaataa outlined the four pillars of hip hop culture: MCing, DJing, breaking and graffiti writing...

 on Achtung Baby, Zooropa, and Pop. The 2000s had U2 returning to a stripped-down sound, with a more traditional rhythm and less obvious use of synthesisers and effects.

Lyrics and themes

Social and political commentary, often embellished with Christian and spiritual imagery, are a major aspect of U2's lyrical content. Songs such as "Sunday Bloody Sunday
Sunday Bloody Sunday
"Sunday Bloody Sunday" is a song by U2.It may also refer to:*Sunday Bloody Sunday , a 1971 film*"Sunday, Bloody Sunday"...

", "Silver and Gold", and "Mothers of the Disappeared
Mothers of the Disappeared
"Mothers of the Disappeared" is a song by rock band U2. It is the eleventh and final track on their 1987 album The Joshua Tree. The song was inspired by lead singer Bono's experiences in Nicaragua and El Salvador in July 1986, following U2's involvement on Amnesty International's A Conspiracy of...

" were motivated by current events of the time. The former was written about the troubles
The Troubles
The Troubles was a period of ethno-political conflict in Northern Ireland which spilled over at various times into England, the Republic of Ireland, and mainland Europe. The duration of the Troubles is conventionally dated from the late 1960s and considered by many to have ended with the Belfast...

 in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, while the latter concerns the struggle of a group of women whose children were killed or "disappeared" by the government during the Salvadoran Civil War. The song "Running to Stand Still
Running to Stand Still
"Running to Stand Still" is a song by rock band U2, and it is the fifth track from their 1987 album, The Joshua Tree. A slow ballad based on piano and guitar, it describes a heroin-addicted couple living in Dublin's Ballymun flats; the towers have since become associated with the song...

" from The Joshua Tree was inspired by the heroin addiction that was sweeping through Dublin—the lyric "I see seven towers, but I only see one way out" references the Ballymun Towers
Ballymun Flats
The Ballymun Flats refers to a number of flats - and often the tower block complex - in Ballymun, Dublin which is currently undergoing demolition.-History:...

 of Northern Dublin and the imagery throughout the song personifies the struggles of addiction.

Bono's personal conflicts and turmoil inspired songs like "Mofo
MOFO (song)
"Mofo" is a song by U2. It is the third track on the band's 1997 album Pop and it was released as the album's final single on 8 December 1997. The song was partially written about Bono's mother, whom he lost at the age of fourteen...

", "Tomorrow" and "Kite
Kite (song)
"Kite" is the fifth track from U2's 2000 album, All That You Can't Leave Behind.-Composition:The idea for the song came from a kite-flying outing on Killiney Hill overlooking Dublin Bay that Bono attempted with his daughters. The outing went quickly awry when the kite crashed and one of the girls...

". An emotional yearning or pleading frequently appears as a lyrical theme, in tracks such as "Yahweh
Yahweh (song)
"Yahweh" is a song by rock band U2 and the eleventh track on their 2004 album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. It was mainly recorded in one take, and was performed live by the band during the Vertigo Tour. The song received mixed reviews from critics....

", "Peace on Earth
Peace on Earth (U2 song)
"Peace on Earth" is a song by rock band U2 and the eighth track on their 2000 album All That You Can't Leave Behind. Its lyrics were inspired by the Real IRA Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland on 15 August 1998....

", and "Please
Please (U2 song)
"Please" is the eleventh song from U2's 1997 album, Pop. It was released as the album's fourth single on 20 October 1997.As with "Sunday Bloody Sunday", the song is about The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The single cover for this song features the pictures of four Northern Irish politicians —...

". Much of U2's songwriting and music is also motivated by contemplations of loss and anguish, coupled with hopefulness and resiliency, themes that are central to The Joshua Tree. Some of these lyrical ideas have 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
Zoo TV Tour
The Zoo TV Tour was a worldwide concert tour by rock band U2. Staged in support of their 1991 album Achtung Baby, the tour visited arenas and stadiums from 1992 through 1993...

 and PopMart
Popmart Tour
The PopMart Tour was a worldwide concert tour by rock band U2. Launched in support of the group's 1997 album, Pop, the tour's concerts were performed in stadiums and parks from 1997 through 1998...

 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 criticised as apolitical because of their vagueness and "fuzzy imagery", and a lack of any specific references to actual people or characters.

Influences

The band cites The Who
The Who
The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey , Pete Townshend , John Entwistle and Keith Moon . They became known for energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction...

, The Clash
The Clash
The Clash were an English punk rock band that formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk. Along with punk, their music incorporated elements of reggae, ska, dub, funk, rap, dance, and rockabilly...

, Television
Television (band)
Television was an American rock band, formed in New York City in 1973. They are best known for the album Marquee Moon and widely regarded as one of the founders of "punk" and New Wave music. Television was part of the early 1970s New York underground rock scene, along with bands like the Patti...

, Ramones
Ramones
The Ramones were an American rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are often cited as the first punk rock group...

, The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

, Joy Division
Joy Division
Joy Division were an English rock band formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band primarily consisted of Ian Curtis , Bernard Sumner , Peter Hook and Stephen Morris .Joy Division rapidly evolved from their initial punk rock influences...

, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

, and Patti Smith
Patti Smith
Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith is an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist, who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses....

 as influences. Van Morrison
Van Morrison
Van Morrison, OBE is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are regarded as transcendental and inspired; while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, and the live album It's Too Late to Stop Now, are widely...

 has been cited by Bono as an influence and his influence on U2 is pointed out by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is dedicated to archiving the history of some of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have, in some major way,...

. U2 have also worked and/or had influential relationships with artists including Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash
John R. "Johnny" Cash was an American singer-songwriter, actor, and author, who has been called one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century...

, Green Day
Green Day
Green Day is an American punk rock band formed in 1987. The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist and backing vocalist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tre Cool...

, Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen
Leonard Norman Cohen, is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963. His work often explores religion, isolation, sexuality and interpersonal relationships...

, Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen , nicknamed "The Boss," is an American singer-songwriter who records and tours with the E Street Band...

, B.B. King, Lou Reed
Lou Reed
Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed is an American rock musician, songwriter, and photographer. He is best known as guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of The Velvet Underground, and for his successful solo career, which has spanned several decades...

, Luciano Pavarotti
Luciano Pavarotti
right|thumb|Luciano Pavarotti performing at the opening of the Constantine Palace in [[Strelna]], 31 May 2003. The concert was part of the celebrations for the 300th anniversary of [[St...

, Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

, Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello , born Declan Patrick MacManus, is an English singer-songwriter. He came to prominence as an early participant in London's pub rock scene in the mid-1970s and later became associated with the punk/New Wave genre. Steeped in word play, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broader...

, Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders
Ernst Wilhelm "Wim" Wenders is a German film director, playwright, author, photographer and producer.-Early life:Wenders was born in Düsseldorf. He graduated from high school in Oberhausen in the Ruhr area. He then studied medicine and philosophy in Freiburg and Düsseldorf...

, R.E.M.
R.E.M.
R.E.M. was an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry. One of the first popular alternative rock bands, R.E.M. gained early attention due to Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's...

, Salman Rushdie, and Anton Corbijn
Anton Corbijn
Anton Corbijn is a Dutch photographer, music video and film director. He is the creative director behind the visual output of Depeche Mode and U2, having handled the principal promotion and sleeve photography for both for more than a decade...

.

Campaigning and activism

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
Band Aid (band)
Band Aid was a charity supergroup featuring British and Irish musicians and recording artists. It was founded in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia by releasing the song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" for the Christmas market that year. The single...

 to raise money for the 1984–1985 famine in Ethiopia. This initiative produced the hit charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?
Do They Know It's Christmas?
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" is a song written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in 1984 to raise money for relief of the 1984–1985 famine in Ethiopia. The original version was produced by Midge Ure and released by Band Aid on 29 November 1984....

", which would be the first among several collaborations between U2 and Bob Geldof
Bob Geldof
Robert Frederick Zenon "Bob" Geldof, KBE is an Irish singer, songwriter, author, occasional actor and political activist. He rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats in the late 1970s and early 1980s alongside the punk rock movement. The band had hits with his...

. In July 1985, U2 played Live Aid
Live Aid
Live Aid was a dual-venue concert that was held on 13 July 1985. The event was organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. Billed as the "global jukebox", the event was held simultaneously in Wembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom ...

, a follow-up to Band Aid's efforts. Bono and his wife Ali, invited by World Vision
World Vision
World Vision, founded in the USA in 1950, is an evangelical relief and development organization whose stated goal is "to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of...

, 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.

In 1986, U2 participated in the A Conspiracy of Hope tour in support of Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 and in Self Aid
Self Aid
Self Aid was a benefit concert held in Dublin, Ireland on 17 May 1986. The concert performances were primarily by Irish musicians, although Elvis Costello and Chris Rea were designated "honorary Irishmen" for the day; the event was promoted by Jim Aiken...

 for unemployment in Ireland. The same year, Bono and Ali Hewson also visited Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

 and El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

 at the invitation of the Sanctuary movement
Sanctuary movement
The Sanctuary Movement was a religious and political campaign that began in the early 1980s to provide safe-haven for Central American refugees fleeing civil conflict...

, 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
Sellafield
Sellafield is a nuclear reprocessing site, close to the village of Seascale on the coast of the Irish Sea in Cumbria, England. The site is served by Sellafield railway station. Sellafield is an off-shoot from the original nuclear reactor site at Windscale which is currently undergoing...

" concert with Greenpeace
Greenpeace
Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, The Netherlands...

 during their Zoo TV tour. Events in Sarajevo during the Bosnian war inspired the song "Miss Sarajevo
Miss Sarajevo
"Miss Sarajevo" is the only single from the 1995 album Original Soundtracks 1 by U2 and Brian Eno, under the pseudonym Passengers. Luciano Pavarotti makes a guest vocal appearance, singing the opera solo. It also appears on U2's compilation, The Best of 1990-2000, and was covered by George Michael...

", which premiered at a September 1995 Pavarotti
Luciano Pavarotti
right|thumb|Luciano Pavarotti performing at the opening of the Constantine Palace in [[Strelna]], 31 May 2003. The concert was part of the celebrations for the 300th anniversary of [[St...

 and Friends show, and which Bono and the Edge performed at War Child
War Child (charity)
War Child is a non-governmental organisation founded in the UK 1993, which focuses on providing assistance to children in areas of conflict and post-conflict. They use their film and entertainment background to raise money for aid agencies operating in former Yugoslavia...

. A promise made in 1993 was kept when the band played in Sarajevo as part of 1997's PopMart Tour. In 1998, they performed in Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

 days prior to the vote on the Good Friday Agreement
Belfast Agreement
The Good Friday Agreement or Belfast Agreement , sometimes called the Stormont Agreement, was a major political development in the Northern Ireland peace process...

, bringing Northern Irish
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 political leaders David Trimble and John Hume
John Hume
John Hume is a former Irish politician from Derry, Northern Ireland. He was a founding member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, and was co-recipient of the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize, with David Trimble....

 on stage to promote the agreement. Later that year, all proceeds from the release of the "Sweetest Thing" single went towards supporting the Chernobyl Children's Project
Chernobyl Children's Project International
Chernobyl Children's Project International is a United Nations-accredited international development, medical, and humanitarian organization that works with children, families and communities that continue to be affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986.- Purpose :The organization was...

.

In 2001, the band dedicated "Walk On" to Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi, AC is a Burmese opposition politician and the General Secretary of the National League for Democracy. In the 1990 general election, her National League for Democracy party won 59% of the national votes and 81% of the seats in Parliament. She had, however, already been detained...

. In late 2003, Bono and the Edge participated in the South Africa HIV/AIDS awareness 46664 series of concerts hosted by Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

. The band played 2005's Live 8
Live 8
Live 8 was a string of benefit concerts that took place on 2 July 2005, in the G8 states and in South Africa. They were timed to precede the G8 Conference and summit held at the Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder, Scotland from 6–8 July 2005; they also coincided with the 20th anniversary of Live Aid...

 concert in London. The band and manager Paul McGuinness were awarded Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

's Ambassador of Conscience Award
Ambassador of Conscience Award
The Ambassador of Conscience Award is Amnesty International's most prestigious human rights award. It is given annually to individuals who show exceptional leadership in the fight to protect and promote human rights and human conscience...

 for their work in promoting human rights.

Since 2000, Bono's campaigning has included Jubilee 2000
Jubilee 2000
Jubilee 2000 was an international coalition movement in over 40 countries that called for cancellation of third world debt by the year 2000. This movement coincided with the Great Jubilee, the celebration of the year 2000 in the Catholic Church...

 with Bob Geldof, Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist...

, and others to promote the cancellation of third world debt during the Great Jubilee
Great Jubilee
The Great Jubilee in 2000 was a major event in the Roman Catholic Church, held from December 24, 1999 to January 6, 2001. Like other previous Jubilee years, it was a celebration of the mercy of God and forgiveness of sins...

. 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.

Product Red
Product Red
Product Red, styled as RED, is a brand licensed to partner companies such as Nike, American Express , Apple Inc., Starbucks, Converse, Bugaboo, Penguin Classics , Gap, Emporio Armani, Hallmark and Dell...

, a 2006 for-profit brand seeking to raise money for the Global Fund
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is an international financing organization that aims to "[a]ttract and disburse additional resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria." A public–private partnership, the organization has its secretariat in Geneva,...

, was founded, in part, by Bono. The ONE Campaign
ONE Campaign
The ONE Campaign is an international, nonpartisan, non-profit organization which aims to increase government funding for and effectiveness of international aid programs....

, originally the US counterpart of Make Poverty History
Make Poverty History
Make Poverty History is the name of a campaign that exists in a number of countries, including Australia, Canada, Denmark , Finland, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Romania, the United Arab Emirates, Great Britain and Ireland...

, was shaped by his efforts and vision.

In late 2005, following Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 and Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita was the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico. Rita caused $11.3 billion in damage on the U.S. Gulf Coast in September 2005...

, The Edge helped introduce Music Rising
Music Rising
Music Rising is a charity co-founded by Producer Bob Ezrin, U2's The Edge and Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. Launched in November 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the foundation aims to help in the purchasing of new instruments for the musicians of New Orleans affected by the disaster.-...

, an initiative to raise funds for musicians who lost their instruments in the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast
Gulf Coast of the United States
The Gulf Coast of the United States, sometimes referred to as the Gulf South, South Coast, or 3rd Coast, comprises the coasts of American states that are on the Gulf of Mexico, which includes Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida and are known as the Gulf States...

. In 2006, U2 collaborated with punk rock band Green Day
Green Day
Green Day is an American punk rock band formed in 1987. The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist and backing vocalist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tre Cool...

 to record a remake of the song "The Saints Are Coming
The Saints Are Coming
"The Saints Are Coming" was the third single by the Scottish punk rock band Skids, featured on their 1979 debut album, Scared to Dance. The song became an international #1 hit when it was covered in 2006 by Green Day and U2...

" by The Skids
The Skids
Skids were an art-punk/punk rock and new wave band from Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, founded in 1977 by Stuart Adamson , William Simpson , Thomas Kellichan and Richard Jobson...

 to benefit Music Rising.

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
Counterpunch
Counterpunch can refer to:* Counterpunch , a punch in boxing* CounterPunch, a bi-weekly political newsletter* Counterpunch , a type of punch used in traditional typography* Punch-Counterpunch, a Transformers character...

 have decried Bono's support of political figures such as Paul Wolfowitz
Paul Wolfowitz
Paul Dundes Wolfowitz is a former United States Ambassador to Indonesia, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, President of the World Bank, and former dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University...

, as well as his "essential paternalism". Other news sources have more generally questioned the efficacy of Bono's campaign to relieve debt
Debt relief
Debt relief is the partial or total forgiveness of debt, or the slowing or stopping of debt growth, owed by individuals, corporations, or nations. From antiquity through the 19th century, it refers to domestic debts, in particular agricultural debts and freeing of debt slaves...

 and provide assistance to Africa. Tax and development campaigners have also criticised the band's move from Ireland to the Netherlands to reduce its tax bill.

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
In a Lifetime
In 1989, to promote Clannad's 'best-of' compilation, "Pastpresent", "In A lifetime" was re-released. The song was the first single from the compilation...

" with the Irish band Clannad. The Edge recorded a solo soundtrack album for the film Captive in 1986, which included a vocal performance by Sinéad O'Connor
Sinéad O'Connor
Sinéad Marie Bernadette O'Connor is an Irish singer-songwriter. She rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion and the Cobra and achieved worldwide success in 1990 with a cover of the song "Nothing Compares 2 U"....

 that predates her own debut album by a year. Bono and The Edge wrote the song "She's a Mystery to Me
She's a Mystery to Me
"She's a Mystery to Me" is the sixth track and the lead single from Roy Orbison's 1989 album, Mystery Girl. The track was written for Orbison by Bono and The Edge of U2. The album Mystery Girl received its name from the song...

" for Roy Orbison
Roy Orbison
Roy Kelton Orbison was an American singer-songwriter, well known for his distinctive, powerful voice, complex compositions, and dark emotional ballads. Orbison grew up in Texas and began singing in a rockabilly/country & western band in high school until he was signed by Sun Records in Memphis...

, which was featured on his 1989 album Mystery Girl
Mystery Girl
-Core:*Roy Orbison – vocals, backing vocals, acoustic guitar, guitar*Jeff Lynne – guitars on 1 5, acoustic guitar on 4, keyboards on 1 4 5, piano on 1, bass on 1 4 5, backing vocals on 1 4 5 9*Tom Petty – acoustic guitar on 1 5, backing vocals on 1 2 5...

. In 1990, Bono and The Edge provided the soundtrack to Royal Shakespeare Company London stage version of A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange is a 1962 dystopian novella by Anthony Burgess. The novel contains an experiment in language: the characters often use an argot called "Nadsat", derived from Russian....

 (only one track was ever released, on the b-side to "The Fly
The Fly (song)
"The Fly" is a song by rock band U2. It is the seventh track from their 1991 album Achtung Baby and it was released as the album's first single on 12 October 1991. "The Fly" introduced a more abrasive sounding U2, as the song featured hip-hop and industrial beats, distorted vocals, and an elaborate...

" single). That same year, Mullen co-wrote and produced a song for the Irish International soccer team in Italia '90, called "Put 'Em Under Pressure
Put 'Em Under Pressure
"Put 'Em Under Pressure" was the official song to the Ireland national football team's 1990 FIFA World Cup campaign in Italy . It is regarded as "an all-time classic that the entire country knows every single word to, even the spoken words of wisdom from Jack Charlton, it's place in the hearts of...

", which topped the Irish charts. Together with The Edge, Bono wrote the song "GoldenEye
GoldenEye (song)
"GoldenEye" is a hit James Bond theme performed by Tina Turner used for the 1995 film, GoldenEye. The song was written especially for Turner by Bono and The Edge of U2 when they learned that she had been offered to sing the theme to the upcoming Bond movie, and the track was produced and mixed by...

" for the 1995 James Bond
James Bond
James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

 film GoldenEye
GoldenEye
GoldenEye is the seventeenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the first to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film was directed by Martin Campbell and is the first film in the series not to take story elements from the works of novelist Ian Fleming...

, which was performed by Tina Turner
Tina Turner
Tina Turner is an American singer and actress whose career has spanned more than 50 years. She has won numerous awards and her achievements in the rock music genre have led many to call her the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll".Turner started out her music career with husband Ike Turner as a member of the...

. Clayton and Mullen reworked the title track of the movie Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible (film)
Mission: Impossible is a 1996 action thriller directed by Brian De Palma and starring Tom Cruise. Following on from the television series of the same name, the plot follows a new agent, Ethan Hunt and his mission to uncover the mole within the CIA who has framed him for the murders of his entire...

 in 1996. Bono loaned his voice to "Joy" on Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger
Sir Michael Philip "Mick" Jagger is an English musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist and a founding member of The Rolling Stones....

's 2001 album Goddess in the Doorway
Goddess in the Doorway
Goddess in the Doorway is the fourth solo album by Mick Jagger, released in 2001. The most recent offering from Jagger as a solo artist, it marked his first release with Virgin Records, whom he has been contracted with as a member of The Rolling Stones since 1991.Following 1993's Wandering Spirit...

. Bono also recorded a spare, nearly spoken-word version of Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen
Leonard Norman Cohen, is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963. His work often explores religion, isolation, sexuality and interpersonal relationships...

's "Hallelujah" for the Tower of Song
Tower of Song
Tower of Song: The Songs of Leonard Cohen is a tribute album to Leonard Cohen, released in 1995 on A&M Records. It takes its name of a song by Cohen, that has been covered by Marianne Faithfull, Robert Forster, Peter Gabriel, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Martha Wainwright...

 compilation in 1995. Additionally, in 1998, Bono collaborated with Kirk Franklin
Kirk Franklin
Kirk Dwayne Franklin is an American Gospel music musician, choir director, and author, and is most notably known for leading urban contemporary gospel choirs such as The Family, God's Property and One Nation Crew .- Early years :...

 and Crystal Lewis
Crystal Lewis
Crystal Lewis is an American contemporary Christian/Gospel vocalist, songwriter and author.-Early years:Lewis grew up singing in her father's church...

 (along with controversial mainstream artists R. Kelly
R. Kelly
Robert Sylvester Kelly , better known by his stage name R. Kelly, is an American singer-songwriter and record producer. A native of Chicago, Kelly began performing during the late 1980s and debuted in 1992 with the group Public Announcement. In 1993, Kelly went solo with the album 12 Play...

 and Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige
Mary Jane Blige is an American singer-songwriter, record producer and occasional actress. She is a recipient of nine Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards, and has recorded eight multi-platinum albums. She is the only artist with Grammy Award wins in Pop, Rap, Gospel, and R&B. Blige has...

) for a successful gospel song called "Lean on Me".

Aside from musical collaborations, U2 have worked with several authors. American author William S. Burroughs
William S. Burroughs
William Seward Burroughs II was an American novelist, poet, essayist and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th...

 had a guest appearance in U2's video for "Last Night on Earth" shortly before he died. His poem "A Thanksgiving Prayer" was used as video footage during the band's Zoo TV Tour. Other collaborators include William Gibson
William Gibson
William Gibson is an American-Canadian science fiction author.William Gibson may also refer to:-Association football:*Will Gibson , Scottish footballer...

 and Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg
Irwin Allen Ginsberg was an American poet and one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation in the 1950s. He vigorously opposed militarism, materialism and sexual repression...

. In early 2000, the band recorded three songs for The Million Dollar Hotel
The Million Dollar Hotel
The Million Dollar Hotel is a 2000 American drama film based on a concept story by Bono and Nicholas Klein; directed by Wim Wenders; and starring Jeremy Davies, Milla Jovovich, and Mel Gibson...

 movie soundtrack
The Million Dollar Hotel: Music from the Motion Picture
-Personnel:U2*Bono – lead vocals, guitar, production on 4*Adam Clayton – bass guitar*The Edge – guitar, keyboards, backing vocals, production on 7*Larry Mullen, Jr. – drums, percussionThe Million Dollar Hotel Band...

, including "The Ground Beneath Her Feet
The Ground Beneath Her Feet (song)
"The Ground Beneath Her Feet" is a song by U2 from the film, The Million Dollar Hotel, and featured on the film's soundtrack, The Million Dollar Hotel: Music from the Motion Picture. The song was recorded with Daniel Lanois on the pedal steel guitar for the film. However, a different mix than the...

", which was co-written by Salman Rushdie and motivated by his book of the same name
The Ground Beneath Her Feet
The Ground Beneath Her Feet is the sixth novel written by Salman Rushdie. Published in 2000, it is a variation on the Orpheus/Eurydice myth with rock music replacing Orpheus' lyre...

.

In 2007 Bono appeared in the movie Across the Universe
Across the Universe (film)
Across the Universe is a musical romantic drama film directed by Julie Taymor, produced by Revolution Studios, and distributed by Columbia Pictures. The film's plot is centered around songs by The Beatles. It was released in the United States on October 12, 2007. The script is based on an original...

 and performed The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 songs. Bono and The Edge also wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is a rock musical with music and lyrics by U2's Bono and The Edge and a book by Julie Taymor, Glen Berger, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. The musical is based on the Spider-Man comics created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, published by Marvel Comics, as well as the 2002...

. Additionally, The Edge created the theme song for Season 1 and 2 of the animated television series The Batman
The Batman (TV series)
The Batman is an American animated television series produced by Warner Bros. Animation based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. It ran from 2004 to 2008, on the Saturday morning television block Kids' WB...

.

Legacy

U2 have sold more than 150 million records, placing them amongst the best-selling music artists of all-time. The Joshua Tree
The Joshua Tree
The Joshua Tree is the fifth studio album by rock band U2. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 9 March 1987 on Island Records. In contrast to the ambient experimentation of their 1984 release The Unforgettable Fire, U2 aimed for a harder-hitting sound on The Joshua...

 ranks as one of the best-selling albums in the US, having shipped 10 million units, and it is also among the best-selling albums worldwide with sales of 25 million copies. Rolling Stone ranked U2 at number 22 in its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", while ranking Bono the 32nd greatest singer and The Edge the 24th greatest guitarist. In 2010, eight of U2's songs appeared on Rolling Stones updated list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
"The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" was the cover story of a special issue of Rolling Stone, issue number 963, published December 9, 2004, a year after the magazine published its list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time"....

", with "One" ranking the highest at number 36. Five of the group's twelve studio albums were ranked on Rolling Stones 2003 list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
"The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" is the title of a 2003 special issue of American magazine Rolling Stone, and a related book published in 2005.Related news articles:...

"—The Joshua Tree placed the highest at number 26. A Q Magazine readers' poll named U2 the Greatest Act of the Last 25 Years in 2011. Reflecting on the band's popularity and worldwide impact, Jeff Pollack for the The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post is an American news website and content-aggregating blog founded by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer, and Jonah Peretti, featuring liberal minded columnists and various news sources. The site offers coverage of politics, theology, media, business, entertainment, living, style,...

 said, "like The Who
The Who
The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey , Pete Townshend , John Entwistle and Keith Moon . They became known for energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction...

 before them, U2 wrote songs about things that were important and resonated with their audience".

U2 first received Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

s for The Joshua Tree in 1988, and have won 22 in total, from 34 nominations, more than any other band. These include Best Rock Duo or Group
Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
The Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal was awarded between 1980 and 2011.The award was discontinued after the 2011 award season in a major overhaul of Grammy categories...

, Album of the Year
Grammy Award for Album of the Year
The Grammy Award for Album of the Year is the most prestigious award category at the Grammys. It has been awarded since 1959 and though it was originally presented to the artist alone, the award is now presented to the artist, the producer, the engineer and/or mixer and the mastering engineer...

, Record of the Year
Grammy Award for Record of the Year
The Record of the Year is one of the four most prestigious Grammy Awards presented annually. It has been awarded since 1959.-History:The honorees through its history have been:*1959-1965: Artist only.*1966-1998: Artist and producer....

, Song of the Year
Grammy Award for Song of the Year
The Song of the Year is one of the four most prestigious awards in the Grammy Awards ceremony, if not in all of the American music industry. It has been awarded since 1959 and unlike the Record of the Year award, which goes to the performer and production team of a single song, Song of the Year...

 and Best Rock Album
Grammy Award for Best Rock Album
The Grammy Award for Best Rock Album is an award presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards, to recording artists for quality albums in the rock music genre...

. The British Phonographic Industry
British Phonographic Industry
The British Phonographic Industry is the British record industry's trade association.-Structure:Its membership comprises hundreds of music companies including all four "major" record companies , associate members such as manufacturers and distributors, and hundreds of independent music companies...

 has awarded U2 seven BRIT Awards
Brit Awards
The Brit Awards are the British Phonographic Industry's annual pop music awards. The name was originally a shortened form of "British", "Britain" or "Britannia", but subsequently became a backronym for British Record Industry Trust...

, five of these being for Best International Group. In Ireland, U2 have won 14 Meteor Awards
Meteor Music Awards
The Meteor Ireland Music Awards are a group of music awards in Ireland...

 since the awards began in 2001. Other awards include one AMA, four VMAs
MTV Video Music Awards
An MTV Video Music Award , is an award presented by the cable channel MTV to honor the best in music videos...

, eleven Q Awards
Q Awards
The Q Awards are the UK's annual music awards run by the music magazine Q. Since they began in 1990, the Q Awards have become one of Britain's biggest and best publicised music awards, helped in no small part by the often boisterous behavior of the celebrities who attend the event...

, two Juno Award
Juno Award
The Juno Awards are presented annually to Canadian musical artists and bands to acknowledge their artistic and technical achievements in all aspects of music...

s, three NME Awards
NME Awards
The NME Awards is an annual music awards show in the United Kingdom, founded by the music magazine, NME .The first awards show was held in 1953 as the NME Poll Winners Concerts, shortly after the founding of the magazine....

, and a Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
The Golden Globe Award is an accolade bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign...

. The band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is dedicated to archiving the history of some of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have, in some major way,...

 in early 2005. In 2006, all four members of the band received ASCAP awards for writing the songs, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" is a song by rock band U2. It is the second track from their 1987 album The Joshua Tree and was released as the album's second single in May 1987...

", and "Vertigo".

Discography

  • Boy
    Boy (album)
    Boy is the debut album from Irish rock band U2, released October 20, 1980. Produced by Steve Lillywhite, the album received generally positive reviews. Common themes among the album's songs are the thoughts and frustrations of adolescence. The album included the band's first United Kingdom hit...

     (1980)
  • October
    October (album)
    October is the second album by Irish rock band U2, released in 1981. The album featured spiritual themes, inspired by Bono, The Edge, and Larry Mullen, Jr.'s memberships in a Christian group called the "Shalom Fellowship", which led them to question the relationship between the Christian faith and...

     (1981)
  • War (1983)
  • The Unforgettable Fire
    The Unforgettable Fire
    U2 feared that following the overt rock of their 1983 War album and War Tour, they were in danger of becoming another "shrill", "sloganeering arena-rock band". The success of the 1983 Under a Blood Red Sky live album and the Live at Red Rocks video, however, had given them artistic—and for the...

     (1984)
  • The Joshua Tree
    The Joshua Tree
    The Joshua Tree is the fifth studio album by rock band U2. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 9 March 1987 on Island Records. In contrast to the ambient experimentation of their 1984 release The Unforgettable Fire, U2 aimed for a harder-hitting sound on The Joshua...

     (1987)
  • Rattle and Hum
    Rattle and Hum
    Rattle and Hum is the sixth studio album by rock band U2 and companion rockumentary directed by Phil Joanou, both released in 1988. The film and the album feature live recordings, covers, and new songs...

     (1988)
  • Achtung Baby
    Achtung Baby
    Achtung Baby is the seventh studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 19 November 1991 on Island Records. Stung by the criticism of their 1988 release Rattle and Hum, U2 shifted their musical direction to incorporate alternative...

     (1991)
  • Zooropa
    Zooropa
    Zooropa Based on the pronunciations of "zoo" and "Europa". is the eighth studio album by rock band U2. Produced by Flood, Brian Eno, and The Edge, it was released on 5 July 1993 on Island Records. Inspired by the band's experiences on the Zoo TV Tour, Zooropa expanded on many of the tour's themes...

     (1993)
  • Pop (1997)
  • All That You Can't Leave Behind
    All That You Can't Leave Behind
    All That You Can't Leave Behind is the tenth studio album by rock band U2. It was released on 30 October 2000 by Island Records in the United Kingdom and Interscope Records in the United States...

     (2000)
  • How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
    How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
    How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb is the eleventh studio album by Irish rock band U2, released in November 2004. Much like their previous album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb was commercially successful and critically acclaimed and maintains a more traditional rock...

     (2004)
  • No Line on the Horizon (2009)


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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