Formed in Dublin on 1976, U2 are now one of the biggest rock bands in the world and have sold tens of millions of records. U2 consists of Bono as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitar player, the Edge on lead guitar, keyboards and backing voals, Adam Clayton on bass guitar and Larry Mullen Jr. On drums and percussion. Like most bands, U2’s sound has evolved over the years they have been active, but one thing has remained constant: Bono’s expressive vocals and the Edge’s effects-based guitar textures. U2’s lyrics are often full of spiritual imagery and focus on political and personal themes.
U2 first formed at the Mount Temple Comprehensive School in 1976 when all of the members were merely teenagers. Despite being complete amateurs when it came to music, the band had signed its first record deal only four years after forming, signing with Island Records and releasing their debut album entitled Boy. The group has a total of 14 studio albums and have sold more than 170 million records around the world. The band was originally called “Feedback” and they drew musical influence from massive bands such as the Jam, Buzzcocks and Sex Pistols. In March 1978, the band changed its name to “U2,” stating they liked the name due to its open-ended interpretations and simply because it was the name the members disliked the least.
“11 O’Clock Tick Tock” was U2s first international single and came from the album “Boy,” but it failed to chart. The album’s lead single was “A Day Without Me” and this also failed to chart. The album “Boy” reached 52 in the UK chart and 63 in the United States.
The third U2 album was called “War” and the lead single, “New Year’s Day” was released on January 1, 1983 and reached number 10 in the UK and became the band’s first hit outside of Europe. The album went on to reach number 12 in the U.S.A and debuted at number one in the UK. In 1985, U2 participated in the Live Aid concert to raise money and awareness for the Ethiopian famine relief at Wembley Stadium. 72,000 people watched the live performance and more than two billion tuned in on televisions around the world. It would prove to be a pivotal moment in the band’s history and led to Rolling Stones magazine calling U2 the Band of the ‘80s.”
Perhaps U2’s most famous album was the fifth they released. “Joshua Tree” was critically acclaimed around the planet and led to many refering to U2 as the greatest rock and roll band in the world. The album reached number one in more than 20 countries, and became platinum in the United Kingdom after only 48 hours of being released.
Some of the singles from the album are synonymous with U2 with songs such as “With or Without You,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “Where the Streets Have No Name” now considered U2’s signature tunes. Despite being active for 32 years, U2 continue to release music and tour the world. The band’s latest album came out on December 1, 2017 and is called “Songs of Experience.”