U2 (formed 1976)
U2 are an Irish rock band, consisting of Bono (vocals), Larry Mullen Jr. (drums), Adam Clayton (bass) and The Edge (guitar, keyboards and vocals).
The Early Years: The members of U2 formed the band when Larry Mullen Jr., aged 14, posted a note on the notice board at Mount Temple Comprehensive School, looking for people to form a band with.
All four members off the band attended the initial practice, in Mullen's kitchen and chose the name Feedback. There were three other boys at the rehearsal, none of whom made the final grade. Dick Evans lasted the longest, eventually walking offstage at a farewell gig at Howth Presbyterian Church. It was at this moment that the band changed their name to U2.
The band won a talent show in 1978, winning £500 and the chance to record a demo tape. Paul McGuiness agreed to be their manager and their first EP was released in Ireland only. Entitled Three, the EP was their first success in the Irish charts.
The Mainstream: In 1980, U2 were signed to Island Records. '11 O'Clock Tick Tock' was the band's debut internationally released single. Steve Lillywhite was drafted in to produce their debut album, Boy, which was well received by music critics.
October was the band's second album. It did not sell well outside of the UK and Island records put pressure on the band to improve. U2's answer to this pressure was the album, War. The album's artwork featured the photography of Anton Corbijn. War went straight to number one in the UK charts and the debut single was 'New Year's Day' became their first overseas hit single. The live album, Under a Blood Red Sky was recorded on the promotional tour for War, which saw the band playing to sold-out venues across Europe and the States.
In 1984, the band released The Unforgettable Fire. Produced by Brian Eno, the album saw a more experimental change in direction. The debut single from the album, 'Pride (In The Name of Love)', written about Martin Luther King was the band's best-selling single at that point in their career, including an entry in the US charts, which had eluded them until that point. The live tour for the album saw the band playing in indoor arenas and their performance at Wembley Stadium's Live Aid concert is still considered one of their most memorable gigs ever.
Acting on criticism that The Unforgettable Fire was somewhat fuzzy and unfocused, the band's next album featured more conventional song structures. In March 1987,The Joshua Tree was released. The album was number one in the US for nine weeks and was their fastest-selling album in the UK. The band were rewarded with two Grammy Awards and the first two singles 'With or Without You' and 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' both went to number one in the US. The accompanying tour became the subject of the documentary Rattle and Hum. The double album of the same name featured live tracks of the tour and nine studio tracks. The film featured tracks recorded with B.B. King and Bob Dylan.
Achtung Baby was U2's seventh studio album. Released in 1991, the album was influenced by dance, industrial and alternative music. Recorded initially in East Berlin, this album was again produced by Brian Eno and his engineer, Daniel Lanois. In 1992/3, the band embarked on the Zoo TV tour. The tour was an ambitious multimedia event, with hundreds of video screens, flying cars and mock transmissions towers.
The Zooropa album was originally intended as an EP and incorporated techno music influences and electronic music. The final track on the album, 'The Wanderer', was sung by Johnny Cash.
Original Soundtracks 1 was an experimental album released in 1995. Brian Eno was this time not just a producer, but contributed to the writing and performing of the songs. It was released under the name Passengers, to distinguish it from U2's conventional releases. One track, 'Miss Sarajevo' featured Luciano Pavarotti was a hit, though the album performed poorly compared to other U2 albums.
Pop, released in 1997 saw U2 continue with their experimentation, involving tape loops, sampling and sequencing. The album debuted at number one in 35 countries and was a critical success. A month after the PopMart tour - which saw U2 being the first rock band to play in Sarajevo following the Bosnian war - the band appeared on an episode of The Simpsons entitled 'Trash of the Titans'.
In October 2000, the band released All That You Can't Leave Behind. The album was number one in 22 countries and spawned the singles 'Beautiful Day', 'Walk On', 'Stuck in a Moment You can't Get Out Of', and 'Elevation', all of which won Grammy awards.
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb hit the stores in 2004 and the single 'Vertigo' was the soundtrack to a widely publicised advert for Apple's iPod. Apple also manufactured a limited edition U2 iPod and an iTunes U2 box set. The tour saw the band playing songs that they had not played since the 1980s. The next year, U2 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Bruce Springsteen.
Kanye West’s speeches never fail to amuse and terrify in equal measure. Here’s our list of his top five most outrageous speeches and public announcements…
In case you missed it, earlier this week, Kanye West announced he plans to run for President of the United States in 2020. This isn’t the first time West has shocked audiences with his outlandish claims so, in celebration of West’s oratory, we’ve compiled a short list of his most wonderfully bizarre speeches to date.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at the VMAs in Los Angeles on 30th August.
Continue reading: Kanye West’s VMA 2015 Speech & Four Other Of His Most Bizarre Speeches
The artwork was unveiled to remember Lennon, who was assassinated in New York in 1980, his struggles to gain citizenship, and the money his music has raised for Amnesty International since 2004.
A tribute to the late John Lennon was unveiled in New York on Wednesday, with a tapestry unveiled in a ceremony attended by a number of stars including Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono and U2 stars Bono and The Edge.
The cheeky artwork, which depicts Manhattan as a yellow submarine in a sea of blue, is on display at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. Lennon himself appears on the tapestry as the captain of the submarine and giving the peace sign. The piece was commissioned by an organisation called Art For Amnesty to thank Ono for diverting more than $5 million in royalties from the singer’s post-Beatles music to Amnesty International since 2004.
Yoko Ono unveiled the tapestry honouring her late husband John Lennon
Continue reading: Ono And Bono Unveil Tapestry In New York Honouring John Lennon
The beloved presenter is on the mend from a serious hand injury last month, but it didn't stop him playing harmonica on 'Desire' with the Irish rock legends.
Having been photographed without his cast on Wednesday, ‘The Tonight Show’ host was invited onstage for a surprise appearance at the rock supergroup’s New York gig that night (July 22nd). He joined in with the rendition of ‘Desire’ on harmonica and cracked a few jokes at his and the group’s expense.
Jimmy Fallon got onstage with U2 in New York
Continue reading: Jimmy Fallon Joins U2 Onstage At New York Gig
The U2 frontman took time out from the band's latest world tour to thank Canada for its foreign aid contributions and discuss future policy.
U2 lead singer Bono is once again trying to use his influence in the political world. The frontman, a keen philanthropist and heavily involved in charitable causes, met with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other non-governmental organisations on Monday (June 15th) to discuss foreign aid.
CTV News reported that the 55 year old rock star came straight from a show in Montreal, where U2 had been playing the latest leg of their Innocence + Experience world tour, to the National Arts Centre near Parliament Hill in Ottawa for a day of meetings to push the agenda for foreign aid from Canada.
Bono reportedly met with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and other political parties, to discuss foreign aid
Continue reading: Bono Meets With Canadian Prime Minister To Discuss Foreign Aid
Sheehan, 69, is thought to have suffered a cardiac arrest, and was discovered in his hotel room in Los Angeles on Wednesday morning.
U2’s latest tour has suffered yet more bad news, with the announcement of the sudden death of the band’s long-serving tour manager. Dennis Sheehan, who has overseen the group’s tours for over three decades, was found unconscious in his room in Los Angeles.
Sheehan, who was 69, was pronounced dead at the scene on Wednesday morning in the Sunset Marquis Hotel, having suffered a suspected cardiac arrest, according to TMZ. His death comes one night in to U2’s five-night residency at The Forum in Los Angeles.
U2 are mourning the death of their tour manager on Wednesday morning
Continue reading: U2's Long Serving Tour Manager Dennis Sheehan Dies
The guitarist fell off the stage in Vancouver during the band's encore earlier this month - they talked about the incident in a new interview with CBS News.
U2 feared that their current world tour might have been over on the first night after The Edge fell off the stage during an encore. In a group interview with CBS News, the four members talked about the moment during the Innocence + Experience tour’s opening night at Rogers Arena, Vancouver on May 14th.
“Sick in the pit of my stomach,” said Adam Clayton about how he felt at the time. “It was a weird moment, 'cause I knew what was down there.” Larry Mullen Jr. quipped “start and end all in the same evening,” in addition.
The Edge fell off the stage in Vancouver a fortnight ago
The U2 guitarist has never had a more appropriate name...
Things were going just fine as U2 took advantage of the Rogers Arena stage's runway during their Vancouver show on their Innocence and Experience tour. It was the first show of this new run of concerts, and it seems lead guitarist The Edge struggled to find his bearings as he tumbled off the edge.
The Edge takes a tumble on debut 'Innocence and Experience' show
Whilst 'The Edge' sounds like a cool and err... edgy nickname (sorry), it will forever be the cause of amusement for the rest of his bandmates, and indeed anyone who's seen the following footage. Thankfully, the musician did not sustain any injuries after his fall - which is just as well because he's got another 69 shows to do over the next few months.
Continue reading: The Edge Was On The Edge... Until He Went Over The Edge [Video]
The band performed on the subway as part of a scheduled appearance on Jimmy Fallon's The Tonight Show
Internationally renowned rock band U2 are not known for their low-key gigs and, despite attempts to go under the radar, a quick bit of busking in a New York subway soon gathered quite a crowd.
U2 performed quite a different gig in a New York subway station
Doing a bit for chat show host Jimmy Fallon and an appearance on The Tonight Show, the famous quartet gave an acoustic rendition of Angels of Harlem in Grand Central Station.
Continue reading: U2 Try A Little Busking In NYC
The band filmed the surprise acoustic set ahead of their Jimmy Fallon appearance later this week.
U2 caused a bit of a stir in New York this week by performing a secret gig in a subway station.
The Irish rock legends, much more accustomed to playing cavernous stadiums and arenas, dressed up as street musicians and made an impromptu busking performance at Grand Central station on Monday night. The set was filmed ahead of the group’s appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ this Friday (May 8th).
U2 played a surprise gig dressed as buskers in New York on Monday
Continue reading: U2 Surprise New Yorkers By Busking In Grand Central Station
A Russian Duma deputy says that the artwork for U2's 'Songs Of Innocence' is tantamount to "gay propaganda".
Alexander Starovoitov, a deputy representing the right-wing LDPR party in the Russian Duma (parliament), believes that Apple is guilty of spamming youths with illegal content when it gave away U2’s recent album Songs of Innocence for free back in September 2014 to all of iTunes’ 500 million worldwide users.
In a report by The Guardian, Starovoitov believes that the album’s artwork, which features the group’s drummer Larry Mullen Jr embracing his son Elvis while shirtless, promotes sexual relations between men.
Continue reading: Russian Politician Accuses U2 Of Spreading "Gay Propaganda"
As a result of the crash, the 54-year-old singer broke several bones including a facial fracture in his left eye socket, three different fractures in his left shoulder blade and a fracture in the left upper arm, which shattered in six different places.
Bono has finally broken his silence after sustaining several severe injuries whilst cycling in New York's Central Park, which required five hours of surgery and caused the band cancel their weeklong residency on Jimmy Fallon's 'Tonight Show.'
Bono suffered several severe injuries when crashing his Bike in Central Park in November
"Recovery has been more difficult than I thought," he wrote in a New Year's note on U2's website. "As I write this, it is not clear that I will ever play guitar again."
Continue reading: Bono May Never Be Able To Play Guitar Again After Bike Crash
Bono admits it isn't clear if he will ever play guitar again.
Bono has revealed that his bike accident from last year may have lasting effects on his guitar playing ability, as he admits his disappointment in his frequently flippant New Year update on U2's website.
Bono reveals guitar playing worries
In what he insisted was a 'freak accident', Bono was left badly injured following a bicycle ride in November 2014 where he fractured his shoulder, elbow and hand among various other parts of his arm. In a post subtitled 'I for Irish Pride' on the band's website, he revealed the extent of his injuries, which included having a titanium elbow fitted.
Continue reading: Bono Frets Over Future Guitar Playing Ability