Portal:U2

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U2 performing on 17 May 2005. From left to right: The Edge, Bono, Larry Mullen Jr., and Adam Clayton.
U2, Vertigo Tour, 2005.

U2 are a rock band from Dublin, Ireland. The band consists of Bono (vocals and guitar), The Edge (guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). U2 have been one of the most popular acts in the world since the mid-1980s. The band has sold upwards of 170 million albums worldwide, and they have won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other rock band.

U2 formed in 1976 when the members were teenagers with limited musical proficiency. By the mid-1980s, however, the band had become a top international act, noted for its anthemic sound, Bono's impassioned vocals, and The Edge's textural guitar playing. Their success as a live act was greater than as a record-selling act until their 1987 album, The Joshua Tree, brought them mega-stardom. Their alternative rock/dance-infused 1991 album Achtung Baby and the accompanying Zoo TV Tour were part of a significant reinvention for the band; it was a response to their own sense of musical stagnation, the dance and alternative music revolutions, and criticism of their image. This experimentation continued for the rest of the 1990s.

In the early years of the 21st century, U2 have pursued a more traditional sound while maintaining influences from their previous musical explorations. They continue to enjoy the highest level of commercial and critical success. The band is active in human rights, international development, and social justice causes, such as Amnesty International, Make Poverty History, the ONE Campaign, Live Aid, Live 8, Bono's DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa) campaign, and Music Rising.

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The initial recording sessions took place at Berlin's Hansa Studios in late 1990 in a former SS ballroom.
Achtung Baby is the seventh studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 18 November 1991 on Island Records. Stung by criticism of their 1988 release, Rattle and Hum, U2 shifted their musical direction to incorporate influences from alternative rock, industrial music, and electronic dance music into their sound. Thematically, the album is darker, more introspective, and at times more flippant than their previous work. Achtung Baby and the subsequent multimedia-intensive Zoo TV Tour were central to the group's 1990s reinvention, by which they abandoned their earnest public image for a more lighthearted and self-deprecating one.

Seeking inspiration from German reunification, U2 began recording Achtung Baby at Berlin's Hansa Studios in October 1990. After tensions and slow progress nearly prompted the group to break up, they made a breakthrough with the improvised writing of the song "One". Morale and productivity improved during subsequent recording sessions in Dublin, where the album was completed in 1991. To confound the public's expectations of the band and their music, U2 chose the record's facetious title and colourful multi-image sleeve.

Achtung Baby is one of U2's most successful records; it received favourable reviews and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 Top Albums, while topping the charts in many other countries. Five songs were released as commercial singles, all of which were chart successes. The album has sold 18 million copies worldwide and won a Grammy Award in 1993 for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The record was reissued in October 2011 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its original release.

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Did you know...

  • ... that on the front cover of "All That You Can't Leave Behind" is a very subtle Biblical reference? In the background J 33-3 can be seen. This is a reference to verse 33 of chapter 3 of the book of Jeremiah: "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and hidden things which you have not known."
  • ... that the U2 song "Winter" was written for the war film Brothers after the band viewed a rough cut of the film?
  • ... that the word "baby" is on Achtung Baby twenty-seven times?
Female specimen
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WikiProject U2 is a project that helps to assemble writers and editors interested in U2. The aim of this project is to standardise and improve articles related to U2, as well as to create any missing articles. To become a member of this WikiProject (anyone may join), simply click here - and add {{user|username}}.

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The U2 Portal
Alison "Ali" Hewson (née Stewart; 23 March 1961) is an Irish activist and businesswoman. She is the wife of singer and musician Paul Hewson, known as Bono, from the rock group U2.

Raised in Raheny, she met her future husband at a young age at Mount Temple Comprehensive School and married him in 1982. She has a degree in politics and sociology from University College Dublin in 1989. The couple have four children together and live at residences in Ireland, France, and the United States. She has inspired several U2 songs, most famously "Sweetest Thing".

Hewson began a career as an activist in the 1990s, focusing on the effects of nuclear power. She narrated Black Wind White Land, a 1993 Irish documentary about the lasting effects of the Chernobyl accident, and has worked closely with Irish activist Adi Roche. She has been a patron of Chernobyl Children's Project International since 1994 and has participated in a number of aid missions to the high-radiation exclusion zones of Belarus. She has also campaigned against Sellafield, the northern English nuclear facility. In 2002 she helped lead an effort which sent more than a million postcards, urging the site be closed, to Prime Minister Tony Blair and others. Tabloid newspapers have mentioned Hewson as a possible Labour Party candidate for President of Ireland but no such attempt has been made.

Hewson is the co-founder of two ventures in the ethical business field, the Edun fashion line and Nude Skincare products. The former, intended to promote fair trade with Africa, has struggled to become a viable business. French conglomerate LVMH has made substantial investments into both companies.

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Quotes

  • "There was a lot of money riding on this; everything that was in the bank, basically. We were well organised, camera crews all over the gig. We brought extra lighting, searchlights, all kinds of stuff. And then it started to rain. Those were nail-biting times. Many of the crew were advising us to pull out, but in true U2 style, we carried on regardless." —Larry Mullen, Jr., on U2 Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky, in "Stairway to Devon − OK, Somerset!", Q (July 2010)
  • "It's very difficult to pin this record down. It's not got any identity because it's got so many." —The Edge, on Pop, in "U2 Go Pop!", Propaganda 25 (1997)
  • "I like the sound of my own voice / I didn't give anyone else a choice / An intellectual tortoise / Racing with your bullet train. / Some people get squashed crossing the tracks / Some people got high rises on their backs / I'm not broke, but you can see the cracks / You can make me perfect again. / All because of you / I am." —"All Because of You" (Bono), How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004)
  • "And this wise man said: stop. He said, stop asking God to bless what you're doing. Get involved in what God is doing — because it's already blessed." —Bono, remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast (2 February 2006)
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