There can be only one, and there is…U2 is the far and away best band of all time. Can you name a person who more personifies what it means to be a rock star, err, Rock God than Bono? He is the epitome of a Rock and Roller. He throws kick ass concerts all over the world, has monumentally colossal stages and sets, his music blows your hair back, his lyrics wrench your heart, his words speak to your soul, and he actually gives a shit about the state of affairs of all the countries in the world. And that is just ONE, pun intended, member of this epic band.
The band formed in Ireland in 1976, the year I was born consequently marking that year as the year that conceived great things, by Larry Mullen who was then only 14 years old. His hold on the band was shattered once Bono started as their front man, and as fate and fortune would have it found Bono to be the face of the band. 35 years later, hundreds of millions of albums sold, and billions of adoring fans, I would say they made the right choice. The band consists of Bono (Paul Hewson), lead vocals and guitar, The Edge (David Evans), guitar, keyboards, and vocals, Adam Clayton, bass guitar, and Larry Mullen, Jr., drums and percussion. Like many bands, they have had their share of separations and disagreements. But in the end, they always manage to find their way back to one another to make beautiful emotionally charged music. The name of their band derives from an international incident involving a spy plane of the same name. And just like their name sake, they continue to be on the precipice of controversial, sociopolitical topics including them in both their music and their personal pursuits for change.
I have had the good fortune to see them over 20 times in concert. I have seen them perform in Europe, Canada, Australia, Hawaii, and of course in America. Every time the concerts have been amazing. I have seen them perform with No Doubt, Damien Marley, Pearl Jam, Green Day, Black Eyed Peas, Jay-Z, Garbage, The Killers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cold Play, Slash from GNR, and a host others. Their musical sound is very soulful. They are undoubtedly a rock band, but have R&B, soul, and spiritual undertones that are woven into their music. They also include many personal trials and tribulations that have had great impact on their lives to inspire their music. Over the past 30 years they have had a tremendous amount of influence on many other musical genres. I consider the albums Zooropa and Pop to be directly responsible for the current Electronica music craze. They have been prolific with pushing the envelope of musical experimentation and innovation and have had their finger in influencing music in the last 3 and a half decades. Every album they have released has shown a different side of them with an ever evolving sound while keeping true to the same inspiration that has led to all the fantastic hits they have released.
There is no end to how many great songs this group has created or has yet to create. I have made several top 20 lists of the best U2 songs and best U2 videos, so I think I could just put every single song below as my favorite songs. “Bad”, “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, “Spanish Eyes”, “Pride”, and “Running to Stand Still” are among the songs that are in my top spot. But depending on what mood you find me in, that list could change to contain, “So Cruel”, “With or Without You”, “One”, “The Unforgettable Fire”, or “40.” And that doesn’t even begin to show some of the versatility they have that you can find in “Red Hill Mining Town”, “Beautiful Day”, “Numb”, “The First Time”, or “All I Want is You.” U2 is an amazing band, with amazing songs, and mind blowing music. Every song they have sung, every chord they have played, and every note I have heard from this group stirs all of the emotions I can and will ever experience. No fan of U2 has a favorite album because each album can be a favorite depending on your current disposition, what day of the week it is, or temperature of the sun. U2 is the ultimate group both in studio and on tour. Thank you U2 for making the last 35 years audibly awesome!!
Buy every album, HEAR, don’t just listen, to every song, and enjoy.
The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
The Joshua Tree (1987)
album of the year
Rattle and Hum (1988)
Achtung Baby (1991)
my favorite album
best alternative album that year
All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000)
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004)
No Line on the Horizon (2009)
“Music can change the world because music can change people”