From reading your comments down the years, I think it’s true to say that no band divides Blog opinion quite as much as U2 – and that’s in terms of the music, without mentioning Bono’s campaigning, some would say preaching, in the name of various humanitarian causes.
As today marks the 30th anniversary of their very first record, the ‘Three’ EP, I’m curious to know who likes them and who doesn’t.
And, in continuing with the series of ‘cover’ posts, I wonder if you can imagine David performing any of their songs, keeping in mind that no musician has to make his interpretation of any piece of music sound anything like the original.
Did you know that they have more Grammy awards than anyone, with the exception of Stevie Wonder, who has the same number (22)? Or that, based on weeks spent on the UK singles charts, the four members are the 54th, 56th, 58th and 59th most successful songwriters in chart history? See here to see the rest.
Speaking of Grammys, I’m reminded of Bono’s impressive introduction as he invited Frank Sinatra on stage to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994.
In my opinion, U2 gave by far the strongest and most memorable performance at Live Aid, and there can be few front men with anything matching Bono’s charismatic stage presence. (A debate for another time, perhaps?)
Truthfully, I wish they hadn’t felt the need to ‘re-invent’ themselves with Achtung Baby and their albeit visually impressive Zoo TV tour, but that’s just a matter of personal preference, and as much as I may have despised the song, I applaud the decision to donate the proceeds from the release of their ‘Sweetest Thing’ single to the relatively low-profile Chernobyl Children’s Project International.
Anyway, there’s much to talk about and it’s all very welcome: the huge multi-media live extravaganzas (maybe some of you had, or have, tickets for their ongoing tour?), the collaborations, the sunglasses and, I suspect, the charitable crusades.
I’d like to know what you think of their current album, No Line on the Horizon, a group effort involving two names that you’ll know well: Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois (the album is also blessed with Caroline Dale’s cello). Rolling Stone (yes, them again) consider it to be their best, “in its textural exploration and tenacious melodic grip,” since Achtung Baby. From what I’ve heard of it, I’d probably agree.
Lastly, but of great importance to some of us: Leonard Cohen fans, did you care for Bono’s take on ‘Hallelujah’ (which is on the Tower of Song compilation)?