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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Selected article

One Tree Hill in 2008. The tree was removed by authorities in 2000, six years after being chainsawed by a Māori activist.
"One Tree Hill" is a song by rock band U2 and the ninth track on their 1987 album The Joshua Tree. In March 1988, it was released as the fourth single from the album in New Zealand and Australia, while "In God's Country" was released as the fourth single in North America. The release charted at number one on the New Zealand singles chart.

The track was written in memory of Greg Carroll, a Māori the band met during The Unforgettable Fire Tour in 1984. He became very close friends with lead singer Bono and served as a roadie for the group. Carroll was killed in July 1986 in a motorcycle accident in Dublin. Following the funeral in New Zealand, Bono wrote the lyrics to "One Tree Hill", which he dedicated to Carroll. The lyrics reflect Bono's thoughts at the funeral and pay homage to Chilean activist Victor Jara. Musically, the song was developed in a jam session with producer Brian Eno. The vocals were recorded in a single take, as Bono felt incapable of singing them a second time.

"One Tree Hill" was received favourably by critics. U2 delayed performing the song on the Joshua Tree Tour in 1987 due to Bono's fears over his emotional state. After its live debut on the tour's third leg and an enthusiastic reaction from audiences, the song was played occasionally for the rest of the tour and semi-regularly during the Lovetown Tour of 1989–1990. It has appeared only sporadically since then, and most renditions were performed in New Zealand. Performances in November 2010 on the U2 360° Tour were dedicated to the miners who died in the Pike River Mine disaster.

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Selected picture

Adam Clayton playing the bass guitar on stage in a stadium
Credit: Giacomo DV
Adam Clayton performing with U2 at the Olympic Stadium in Turin, 6 August 2010.
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Did you know...

  • ... that in the "New Year's Day" video, the people on horses are not the band, but are Swedish girls dressed like the band due to the cold?
  • ... that Bono used to be known as "Steinvic von Huyseman", "Huyseman", "Houseman", "Bon Murray", "Bono Vox of O'Connell Street", and "Bono Vox"?
  • ... that the word "baby" is on Achtung Baby twenty-seven times?
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WikiProjects

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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

Clayton playing in Charlottesville, VA on 1 October 2009
Adam Charles Clayton (born 13 March 1960) is a musician best known as the bassist of the Irish rock band U2. He has resided in County Dublin since the time his family moved to Malahide when he was five years old in 1965. Clayton is well known for his bass playing on songs such as "New Year's Day", "Bullet the Blue Sky", "With or Without You", "Mysterious Ways", "Get on Your Boots", and "Magnificent". His work on No Line on the Horizon has been cited as his best bass playing. He has worked on several solo projects throughout his career, such as his work with fellow band member Larry Mullen Jr. on the theme of 1996's Mission: Impossible. Clayton, as a part of U2, has won 22 Grammy awards.

Adam Clayton's most recognizable basslines include "New Year's Day", which evolved out of an attempt to play Visage's song "Fade to Grey", and "With or Without You". His style includes Motown and reggae influences, and cites artists such as Paul Simonon of The Clash as influences on his musical style. When Clayton first joined the fledgling U2, he did not have formal training in the bass, and, in the band's early years, he generally played simple parts in 4/4 time. In 1995, after the Zoo TV Tour and Zooropa album, Clayton headed to New York with bandmate Larry Mullen, Jr. to fill the gap and receive formal training in the bass.

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Quotes

  • "I don't feel that attached to my instruments. It's almost like I'm going to dominate them in some sort of way. I don't feel like they're part of me; they stand between me and something new." —The Edge, on being a musician, "The Edge of U2" by Tom Nolan and Jas Obrecht for Guitar Player (1 June 1985)
  • "Don't believe them when they tell me there ain't no cure. / The Rich stay healthy, / the Sick stay poor" —"God Part II" (Bono), Rattle and Hum (1988)
  • "I have no trouble with Christ, but I have trouble with a lot of Christians." —The Edge, on religion, "The View From The Edge" by Bill Flanagan (1992)
  • "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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