Achtung Baby was released in November 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. Commercially and critically, it has been one of the band's most successful albums. It produced five hit singles, including " The Fly ", " Mysterious Ways ", and "One", and it was a crucial part of the band's early s reinvention. 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. Live satellite link-ups to war-torn Sarajevo caused controversy. It was an even greater musical departure for the group, delving further into electronic , industrial, and dance music. Most of the songs were played at least once during the legs of the tour, which visited Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan; half the album's tracks became permanent fixtures in the setlist.
Bass guitar technician Stuart Morgan filled in for him, marking the first time any member of U2 had missed a show. After the incident, Clayton gave up drinking alcohol. Due to his participation and the record's highly experimental nature, the band chose to release it under the moniker "Passengers" to distinguish it from U2's conventional albums. We crossed it on the Passengers record. U2 began work on their next studio album, Pop , in mid, holding recording sessions with Nellee Hooper , Flood , and Howie B. The band mixed the contrasting influences of each producer into their music, in particular Howie B's experiences with electronica and dance music.
In February ,  the group released Pop ' s lead single, " Discotheque ", a dance-heavy song with a music video in which the band wore Village People costumes. The PopMart Tour commenced in April and was intended as a satire of consumerism. The European leg of the tour featured two highlights. The group's 20 September show in Reggio Emilia was attended by over , people, setting a world record for the largest paying audience for a one-act show.
Following the mixed success of their musical pursuits in the s, U2 sought to simplify their sound; the Edge said that with Pop , the group had "taken the deconstruction of the rock 'n' roll band format to its absolute 'nth degree". Released in October of that year, All That You Can't Leave Behind was seen by critics as a "back to basics" album,  on which the group returned to a more mainstream, conventional rock sound. Bono and the Edge said these shows were among their most memorable and emotional performances. In a tribute to those who died in the September 11 attacks, the victims' names were displayed on a backdrop, and at the end, Bono opened his jacket to reveal an American flag in the lining.
U2's — Vertigo Tour was preceded by several complications. A sudden illness afflicting the Edge's daughter nearly resulted in the tour's cancellation, before the group decided to adjust the tour schedule to accommodate her treatment. The two bands covered the Skids ' song " The Saints Are Coming " during the performance and for a benefit single ,  which reached number one in Australia and throughout Europe.
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Recording for U2's twelfth album, No Line on the Horizon , began with producer Rick Rubin in , but the sessions were short-lived and the material was shelved. Just that joy of playing. No Line on the Horizon was released in February , more than four years after How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb , marking the longest gap between albums of the band's career to that point. On 25 October , U2 set a new US record for single concert attendance for one headline act, performing to 97, people at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
The band suspended work on the album late in to contribute a new song, " Ordinary Love ", to the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. McGuinness, who had managed the group for over 30 years, was succeeded by Guy Oseary. On 9 September , U2 announced their thirteenth studio album, Songs of Innocence , at an Apple product launch event, and released it digitally the same day to all iTunes Store customers at no cost.
He suffered fractures of his shoulder blade, humerus , orbit , and pinky finger,  leading to uncertainty that he would ever be able to play guitar again. In , U2 worked on their next studio album, Songs of Experience , which was intended to be a companion piece to Songs of Innocence. In , the group staged a tour marking the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree , on which they performed the album in its entirety at each show. Songs of Experience was released on 1 December The personal nature of the lyrics reflects a "brush with mortality" that he had during the album's recording.
Since their inception, U2 have developed and maintained a distinctly recognisable sound, with emphasis on melodic instrumentals and expressive, larger-than-life vocals. Bono has nurtured his falsetto operatic voice  and has exhibited a notable lyrical bent towards social, political, and personal subject matter while maintaining a grandiose scale in his songwriting.
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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 and Joy Division , and has been described as containing a "sense of exhilaration" that resulted from the Edge's "radiant chords" and Bono's "ardent vocals".
With their influence, both albums achieved a "diverse texture". In the s, U2 reinvented themselves as they began using synthesisers, distortion , and electronic beats derived from noise music , dance , and hip-hop on Achtung Baby ,  Zooropa , and Pop. U2's lyrics are known for their social and political commentary, and are often embellished with Christian and spiritual imagery. The first was written about the Troubles in Northern Ireland,  while the last concerns the struggle of a group of women whose children were killed or forcibly disappeared at the hands of the El Salvadoran government during the country's civil war.
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Bono's personal conflicts and turmoil inspired songs like " Mofo ", " Tomorrow " and " Kite ". An emotional yearning or pleading frequently appears as a lyrical theme,  in tracks such as " Yahweh ",  " Peace on Earth ", and " Please ". Much of U2's songwriting and music is also motivated by contemplations of loss and anguish, coupled with hopefulness and resilience, themes that are central to The Joshua Tree.
U2 have used tours such as Zoo TV and PopMart 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.
King , Lou Reed and Luciano Pavarotti. And for me, the most important door he opened was the one with Brian Eno behind it. Since the early s, 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.
Bono and his wife Ali, invited by World Vision , 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. These events greatly influenced The Joshua Tree album, which was being recorded at the time.
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The band dedicated their song " Walk On " to Burma 's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi , who had been under house arrest since Since , Bono's campaigning has included Jubilee with Geldof, Muhammad Ali , and others to promote the cancellation of third-world debt during the Great Jubilee.
In late , following Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita , the Edge helped introduce Music Rising , an initiative to raise funds for musicians who lost their instruments in the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast. At the 3rd iHeartRadio Music Awards in April , U2 were honored with the Innovator Award for "their impact on popular culture and commitment to social causes. Several authors and activists who publish in politically left journals such as CounterPunch have decried Bono for allowing his celebrity to be co-opted by an association with political figures such as Paul Wolfowitz ,  as well as his "essential paternalism".
Bono has received a number of awards for his music and activism, including the Legion of Honour from the French Government in , Time ' s Person of the Year for along with Bill Gates and Melinda Gates , and an honorary British knighthood in The members of U2 have undertaken side projects, sometimes in collaboration with some of their bandmates. Kelly and Mary J. Blige for a successful gospel song called "Lean on Me".
Aside from musical collaborations, U2 have worked with several authors. American author William S. Burroughs had a guest appearance in U2's video for " Last Night on Earth " shortly before he died. In , Bono appeared in the film Across the Universe and performed songs by the Beatles. They were the first group to attain number-one albums in the US in the s, s, s, and s.
The band's 1, weeks spent on the UK music charts ranks 14th all-time. Rolling Stone placed U2 at number 22 on its list of " The Greatest Artists of All Time ",  while ranking Bono the 32nd-greatest singer,  the Edge the 38th-greatest guitarist,  and Mullen the 96th-greatest drummer. U2 received their first Grammy Award in for The Joshua Tree , and they have won 22 in total out of 47 nominations, more than any other group.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Irish rock band. For other uses, see U2 disambiguation. Four-member Irish rock band, from Dublin. See also: Timeline of U2.
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