Portal:U2

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The U2 Portal

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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A street sign reading "U2 Way" was added to 53rd Street in Manhattan during the album's promotion.
No Line on the Horizon is the twelfth studio album by rock band U2. Released on 27 February 2009, it was the band's first record since How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004), marking the longest gap between studio albums of U2's career. The band originally intended to release the songs as two EPs, but later combined the material into a single record. Photographer Anton Corbijn shot a companion film, Linear, which was released alongside the album and included with several special editions.

U2 began work on the album in 2006 with record producer Rick Rubin but shelved most of the material from those sessions. From May 2007 to December 2008, the band collaborated with Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, who produced and co-wrote many of the new songs. Writing and recording took place in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Morocco. The group intended to release No Line on the Horizon in November 2008; after composing 50 to 60 songs, they postponed the release because they wanted to continue writing.

The band compared the shift in style to that seen between The Joshua Tree (1987) and Achtung Baby (1991). Upon its release, No Line on the Horizon received generally favourable reviews, although many critics noted that it was not as experimental as previously suggested. The album debuted at number one in 30 countries but did not sell as well as anticipated; the band expressed disappointment over the relatively low sales, compared to previous albums, of five million copies. By contrast, the supporting U2 360° Tour, spanning 2009 to 2011, was the highest-grossing concert tour in history, with ticket sales over $73 million.

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The U2 360° Tour stage surrounded by the crowd
Credit: Rich Niewiroski Jr.
Panoramic photography from the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, California on 25 October 2009.
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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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Selected biography

Eno, at the Museo MADRE of Naples, in June 2008
Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, RDI (born 15 May 1948 and originally christened Brian Peter George Eno), professionally known as Brian Eno or simply as Eno, is an English musician, composer, record producer, singer, and visual artist, known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music.

Eno was a student of Roy Ascott on his Groundcourse at Ipswich Civic College. Then he studied at Colchester Institute art school in Essex, England, taking inspiration from minimalist painting. During his time on the art course at the Institute, he also gained experience in playing and making music through teaching sessions held in the adjacent music school. He joined the band Roxy Music as synthesiser player in the early 1970s. Roxy Music's success in the glam rock scene came quickly, but Eno soon tired of touring and of conflicts with lead singer Bryan Ferry.

Eno's solo music has explored more experimental musical styles and ambient music. It has also been extremely influential, pioneering ambient and generative music, innovating production techniques, and emphasising "theory over practice". He also introduced the concept of chance music to popular audiences, partially through collaborations with other musicians. Eno has also worked as an influential music and album producer. By the end of the 1970s, Eno had worked with David Bowie on the seminal "Berlin Trilogy" and helped popularise the American band Devo and the punk-influenced "No Wave" genre. He produced and performed on three albums by Talking Heads, including Remain in Light (1980), and produced seven albums for U2, including The Joshua Tree (1987). Eno has also worked on records by James, Laurie Anderson, Coldplay, Depeche Mode, Paul Simon, Grace Jones, James Blake and Slowdive, among others.

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Quotes

  • "See across the field / See the sky ripped open / See the rain comin' through the gapin' wound / Howlin' the women and children / Who run into the arms / Of America." —"Bullet the Blue Sky" (Bono), The Joshua Tree (1987)
  • "The Joshua Tree takes its title from the tree that somehow survives in the desert, and much of its material suggests an attempt, within the aridity, to quench a profoundly spiritual thirst." —"The Pride and Passion of U2" by Don McLeese for the Chicago Sun-Times, on the album title as a metaphor for the songs (12 April 1987)
  • "People say, “Why don't you do interviews? What do you think about this? What do you think about that?” My job in the band is to play drums, to get up on stage and hold the band together. That's what I do. At the end of the day that's all that's important. Everything else is irrelevant." —Larry Mullen, Jr., U2 at the End of the World by Bill Flanagan (1995)
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