U2

Formed 1976.

Irish rock band

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Pavarotti and Friends- Miss Sarejevo

Bono talks about how his collaboration with Lucianio Pavarotti came about and U2 perform 'Miss Sarejevo' with Pavarotti at a live concert in 1995.

Featured in BBC Music Clips
 

Biography

U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono (vocals and guitar), The Edge (guitar, keyboards, and vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums and percussion). U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music. Throughout the group's musical pursuits, they have maintained a sound built on melodic instrumentals, highlighted by The Edge's timbrally varied guitar sounds 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 in 1976 when the members were teenagers with limited musical proficiency. Within four years, they signed with Island Records and released their debut album Boy. By the mid-1980s, U2 became a top international act. They were more successful as a touring act than they were at selling records until their 1987 album The Joshua Tree which, according to Rolling Stone, elevated the band's stature "from heroes to superstars". Reacting to musical stagnation and criticism of their earnest image and musical direction in the late-1980s, U2 reinvented themselves with their 1991 album, Achtung Baby, and the accompanying Zoo TV Tour; they integrated dance, industrial, and alternative rock influences into their sound, and embraced a more ironic and self-deprecating image. Similar experimentation continued for the remainder of the 1990s with varying levels of success. U2 regained critical and commercial favour in the 2000s with the records All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000) and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004), which established a more conventional, mainstream sound for the group. Their U2 360° Tour from 2009–2011 was the highest-attended and highest-grossing concert tour in history.

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Links & Information

Labels

  • Founded Mother Records

Collaborated on

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Achtung Baby – 20th Anniversary Edition

    Achtung Baby – 20th Anniversary Edition 2011

    Reviewed by Martin Aston
    When the Irish band went to Berlin, roped in Brian Eno, and pressed the restart button.
  2. Review of No Line On The Horizon

    No Line On The Horizon 2009

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    No Line On The Horizon proves that U2 really still have faith in themselves.
  3. Review of Boy

    Boy 2008

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    In the day's of grey raincoated new wave, the band's sound was stadium-sized.
  4. Review of The Joshua Tree

    The Joshua Tree 2007

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    It remains their finest moment to this day.
  5. Review of The Joshua Tree

    The Joshua Tree 2007

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    A sparklingly remastered 20th birthday present to the album the group will never be...
  6. Review of The Joshua Tree

    The Joshua Tree 2007

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    It remains their finest moment to this day.
  7. Review of How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

    How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb 2004

    Reviewed by Mike Hales
    Old sounds, new sounds, the bass right up in your face - they've taken all that is U2...
  8. Review of All That You Can't Leave Behind

    All That You Can't Leave Behind 2000

    Reviewed by Dennis O'Dell
    A peerless display of rejuvenation
  9. Review of Pop

    Pop 1997

    Reviewed by Dennis O'Dell
    Straining to keep up with the zeitgeist
  10. Review of Zooropa

    Zooropa 1993

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    Remarkably, once again, U2 had pulled it off.
  11. Review of Achtung Baby

    Achtung Baby 1991

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    An album of incredible depth and texture.
  12. Review of Rattle And Hum

    Rattle And Hum 1988

    Reviewed by Dennis O'Dell
    Songs from The Joshua Tree became even grander in a stadium setting.
  13. Review of The Unforgettable Fire

    The Unforgettable Fire 1984

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    U2 would never be the same again.
  14. Review of War

    War 1983

    Reviewed by Sid Smith
    You can’t knock the sure-footed power-pop of “Two Hearts Beat As One” and “New Years Day”.
  15. Review of October

    October 1981

    Reviewed by Dennis O'Dell
    A fine document of a band finding its legs.
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