Thursday, 18 February 2010

The Joshua Tree

U2's fifth album was released on March 9, 1987. Influenced by Irish folk and American roots music, The Joshua Tree wont U2 the band's first two Grammy Awards, and went on to sell over 25 million copies, making it one of the biggest selling albums of all time.

If you consider yourself even just a casual listener to U2, you probably own this album.

I don't think much more needs to be said, so here come the videos.

"With Or Without You"
March, 1987

"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
May, 1987

"Where The Streets Have No Name"
August, 1987

"In God's Country"
November, 1987

I also have to throw this in.
Accepting the Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal:

The Edge is The Funny.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The Unforgettable Fire

When U2 went into the studio to record their fourth album, they decided to experiment with new sounds and textures. The band employed Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois to help lead them in this new direction. Edge played around with new guitar effects, which had been all but absent on the War album. The end result of the new direction was The Unforgettable Fire, which was released on October of 1984.

The first singe from the new album, released September, 1984, was a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" was U2's first single to crack the US Top 40 and the UK Top 5.

The second single was the album's title track. Released April 1985, it reached #6 in the UK.

On July 13, 1982, U2 participated in Live Aid, a concert to benefit famine relief in Ethiopia, at Wembley Stadium, London. During their set, they played a 12 minute long version of the song "Bad" from The Unforgettable Fire. During this performance, Bono jumped from the stage, helped a young girl over the barricade, hugged and slow danced with her. This began a still-standing tradition of Bono pulling girls from the crowd and dancing with them on stage during their concerts.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Life changes and War

On August 21, 1982, Bono married his long time girlfriend Alison Stewart. To heal the rift that formed between them during the Shalom Fellowship period, Bono asked Adam to act as his best man.

Soon after the wedding, U2 went back into the studio to record their third album. War was released February 28, 1983. While October was heavily influenced by faith and God, War was very politically driven.

The album's first single, "New Years Day" was originally written by Bono as a love song to his wife Ali. However, it was eventually re-written and reshaped, inspired by the Polish Solidarity movement.

"Sunday Bloody Sunday" was released as a single on March 11, 1983 in Germany and The Netherlands. The song was written about the troubles in Northern Ireland, specifically the Bloody Sunday massacre in Derry in 1972.

The single gained popularity worldwide when the video, a live performance at their now legendary concert at Red Rocks in Colorado, was played in heavy rotation on MTV.

On July 12th, The Edge married his secondary school girlfriend Aislinn O'Sullivan. Edge was also the first member of U2 to become a father, with the birth of daughter Hollie the following year.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


In 1981 while recording U2's second album in Dublin, Bono, Edge and Larry became involved a charismatic Christian organization called the Shalom Fellowship. During that time Bono and Edge particularly had a difficult time reconciling their Christianity with the rock and roll lifestyle, and left the band.

U2 ceased to exist.

Bono was the first to come back. Edge resisted. Bono eventually convinced his friend that they could make their dreams of U2 come true while still being good Christians.

The result of this period was the spiritually influenced album October, which was released that October 12th. The album produced two singels, the title track and "Gloria."

October was not as well received as Boy had been, and is U2's least selling album to date.



Friday, 5 February 2010

"I Will Follow"

"I Will Follow," the second single from U2's debut album Boy was released in Oxctober, 1980.

The song was written about threee weeks before they band started recording the album. The lyrics are about Bono's mother, and the unconditional love she had for him before her death.

My personal opinion: I really, really love this song.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Island Records and Boy

In November of 1978, Larry Mullen Jr's mother died in a car accident. Overwhelmed with grief, Larry considered leaving the band. Having lost his own mother, Bono went to Larry, knowing what he was going through. Ultimately, Larry decided to stay with U2.

Over the next couple of years, the boys played gigs throughout Ireland, gaining local popularity. Finally, in March of 1980, U2 signed with Island Records. "11 O'Clock Tick Tock", their first internationally released single, was released that May.

U2's first full-length album, entitled Boy, came out the following October.

"11 O'Clock Tick Tock"

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


After winning the talent contest in Limerick, the U2 boys went into Keystone Studios in Dublin to record their first demos. The band acquired their manager Paul McGuinness that May in 1978.

In September, 1979, U2 released their first EP, entitled Three. It was only released in Ireland. The EP included the songs "Out of Control," "Stories For Boys" and "Boy-Girl."

U2 also began appearing and performing on Irish television.

"Street Mission" March 1978

"Stories For Boys" on the Late Late Show in January of 1980.

The Edge still has that Gibson Explorer and still plays it live.