U2 (Irish rock band)

~ Group


U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono (vocals and guitar), The Edge (guitar, keyboards, and vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums and percussion). U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music. Throughout the group's musical pursuits, they have maintained a sound built on melodic instrumentals. Their lyrics, often embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal themes and sociopolitical concerns.

The band formed at Mount Temple Comprehensive School in 1976 when the members were teenagers with limited musical proficiency. Within four years, they signed with Island Records and released their debut album Boy. By the mid-1980s, U2 had become a top international act. They were more successful as a touring act than they were at selling records until their 1987 album The Joshua Tree which, according to Rolling Stone, elevated the band's stature "from heroes to superstars". Reacting to musical stagnation and criticism of their earnest image and musical direction in the late-1980s, U2 reinvented themselves with their 1991 album, Achtung Baby, and the accompanying Zoo TV Tour; they integrated dance, industrial, and alternative rock influences into their sound, and embraced a more ironic and self-deprecating image. They embraced similar experimentation for the remainder of the 1990s with varying levels of success. U2 regained critical and commercial favour in the 2000s with the records All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000) and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004), which established a more conventional, mainstream sound for the group. Their U2 360° Tour from 2009–2011 was the highest-attended and highest-grossing concert tour in history.

U2 have released 13 studio albums, and are among the all-time best-selling music artists, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. They have won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other band; and, in 2005, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked U2 at number 22 in its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", and labelled them the "Biggest Band in the World". Throughout their career, as a band and as individuals, they have campaigned for human rights and philanthropic causes, including Amnesty International, the ONE/DATA campaigns, Product Red, and The Edge's Music Rising.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1980 Boy 4.25 19
1981 October 3.4 23
1983 War 4 19
1984 The Unforgettable Fire 4.1 21
1987 The Joshua Tree 4.2 27
1988 Rattle and Hum 4 13
1991 Achtung Baby 4.25 18
1993 Zooropa 3.9 9
1997 Pop 3.75 12
2000 All That You Can’t Leave Behind 3.55 10
2004 How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb 3.65 18
2009 No Line on the Horizon 3.45 9
2014 Songs of Innocence 5 7

Album + Compilation

Year Title RatingReleases
1994 The Ultimate Collection 1
1998 The Best of 1980–1990 2.85 6
2002 The Best of 1990–2000 3.35 18
2004 Unreleased & Rare 1
2006 U218 Singles 3 9
Especial, Volume 1 1
Greatest Hits 2000 1
History 1
Last Night on Earth 1
Stop the Traffic: Rock & Roll 1
The Everlasting Love (New and Best) 1
The Saints Are Coming: Greatest Hits 1
The Ultra Rare Trax 2 1
U2 Greatest Hits 2001 1

Album + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
1983 Under a Blood Red Sky 3.4 15
1993 Pride - the Classic Hits Recorded Live in Chicago 2
1994 Keeping the Faith [1984-1988] 1
1997 Mexico City - Southern Accents 1
1998 Popmart (Live From Mexico City) 1
2000 Hasta la Vista Baby! 1
2001 Elevation: Live From Boston 1
2001 U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle, Ireland 2
2004 Live From Boston 1981 1
2005 U2.COMmunication 1
2006 Zoo TV Live 1
2008 Live From Paris 4 1
2010 360° at the Rose Bowl 2
2013 From the Ground Up: Edge's Picks From U2360° 5 1
20 Years: The Definitive Covers' Story From 1979 to 1999 1
Earthquake in Rome 1
Elevation: Live From Boston 1
Go Home: Live From Slane Castle Ireland 1
Live From Dublin 1
Live From Dublin 1
Mountains in a Blue Sky Denver 1
The Concert - Red Rocks 1
Tokyo: Last Night at the Zoo 1

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