Ok, so I know that some of you rate Bono as the most annoying man on the planet, that you thought that U2’s Glasto performance sucked and that their last few albums have been a little on the dull side. Here though are 10 reasons why you should stop being so cynical about U2.
1 The debut album Boy is brilliant
It is like Joy Division, but with stronger melodies. Peter Hook has even suggested that New Order would have sounded like U2 had the Irishmen not got there first.
2 They have worked with some interesting and influential people
Brian Eno, BB King, Daniel Lanois, even Frank Sinatra have worked with the band.
3 They re-invented the stadium rock gig
Their set designer Willie Williams is a genius. The set for the Zoo TV tour from 1992 was bonkers
4 That Live Aid gig
Admit it, they were among the best, if not the best band to pay in London that day. Yet even though they had a worldwide audience in the palm of their hand Bono still chose to spend much of their allotted slot pulling a girl from the audience. Their record company were probably having kittens
5 They are massive influence on a lot of your favourite bands
Hate U2, but love the atmospheric guitar and subtle melodies of Coldplay, The Arcade Fire and even The National. Well that lot all cribbed it from the band’s Unforgettable Fire album.
6 The Edge’s guitar sound
You hear it and you instantly know it is him. You can’t say that for many other guitarists.
7 They embraced American culture at a time when it was very uncool to do so
Calling an album the Joshua Tree and championing country music, was such a no no for European guitar bands in the 80s – U2 broke the mould.
8 Being a positive force in Ireland in the 80s
Let’s not forget that this was a band who had death threats from Republicans and abuse from Loyalists yet promoted messages of peace and reconciliation in a very difficult time
9 Bono did save the world – sort of
There have been a few good songs about Heroin, but this is one of the very best.