Friday, March 28, 2014

Why U2 once mattered, and why U2 matter still

by Cahir O'Doherty  for @irishcentral
U2's Edge and Bono performing in Washington. Decades of Irish art and history contained in their songs. Photo by: Getty Images

They were solitary Irish upstarts, a fledgling rock band in the post-punk new wave era - which they only lightly reflected – because they were pursuing their own signals from the outset. 
 Because they were Irish they were ignored at first, which gave them enviable space to learn and to grow. In the early 1980’s U2 were in search of something. 
Greatness, obviously, but their appetite was so insatiable it made you look twice. Compare an early 80’s interview with U2 with any other rock band of the time and you’ll see how distinctive they were. 
 Hailing from a Republic on life support they were consciously and unconsciously in search of some grandeur. The saw how the romantic Irish landscape could encourage you to dream, but they also saw how quickly Irish society could throw its nets around you. Their sound grew out of the contrast, I suppose. Edge’s big booming messianic chords, the band’s calling card, were there almost from the beginning, fueled by their hunger and also fueled by their less discussed interest in born again Christianity. 
 Like a lot of young Irish people of that era U2 were looking for a future, they were also looking for parole, and they were looking for a song to guide them to a new plateau. No previous generation had done it. At the time I thought they were the strangest rock band I’d ever seen. 
To me Bono looked like a mix of bug eyed religious maniac and mountain goat. In those days he always seemed to be in search of a flag to raise and a summit to taper on. I was instinctively leery of his mullet and his ready answers. U2 was the band that your older brothers liked. I would watch Bono’s odd physicality (he seemed to either dart about or more often move in slow motion, a trick I think he learned from the other great Celtic band Simple Minds) and contrast it with the other stars of the 80’s. 
 I don’t think I really understood U2 until I heard the wall of sound guitar of Pride (In The Name Of Love) the week it was released. That song drew a line under the past. It became a national event in Ireland at the time. It quickly became a mission statement of the Irish youth of that era, who knew it the moment they heard it. It also became a sort of national anthem even before the album it came from, The Unforgettable Fire, was released. The black and white video that promoted Pride (In The Name Of Love) was a snapshot of the band and of all the young Irish of the era: all hesitation and defiance. Rarely do you see such a confluence of art and life. When the helicopter flies up over Dublin city at the end of the song it looks as if no one really lives there and nothing is going on. That was about right, frankly. 
 Although they have often listed the bands and singers who have inspired them, it’s hard to find a trace of U2’s influences in their early sound. That’s because in the end U2 have always been best at being themselves, their forays into alternatives (avatars and sounds) have rarely paid dividends. There are so many things to criticize. Ireland’s small and you could argue U2’s juggernaut hurt emerging acts. Ireland has a band, you’re not it, go home, was and to some extent still is a common attitude there. The band’s power chords and the big rousing choruses became less and less convincing over time too. 
To this day it’s still their reflex even when the mighty dreams the band once dreamed have long ago been tempered by experience. Formed by the era they erupted in, the shockwaves have carried on for twenty-five years in ways that to tell the truth have sometimes been as imprisoning as they were inspired. Certainly the bands ironic embrace of corporate symbols like the golden arch in the PopMart tour wasn’t all that ironic. 

They’re not who they were, and none of us are, but U2 are even less so. Facebook deals worth millions, speed dials to the world’s top leaders, homes in France and elsewhere. Rock stardom brings you riches if it doesn’t necessarily bring you your dreams. But the reason that U2 still matter now, the reason they will always matter, is that just like an angels trumpet blast they heralded a great change. 
They embodied that change too. Their history is inseparable from the nation they sprang from now. They were trailblazers – artists often are – but they were the shape of things to come too. It worked both ways. For years Bono looked for a messiah but ended up deciding there’d already been one and that one was enough. That was one of his early and most heartfelt quests, but U2 is bigger than Bono, thankfully. The point of every great journey is come to home and finally understand the place.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Heroes: Matt Nathanson on Bono

"I've always been intrigued by and drawn to Bono," says singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson. "He's the guy who seems to drive change in U2."
"I've always been intrigued by and drawn to Bono," says singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson. "He's the guy who seems to drive change in U2."

"Bono doesn't do anything halfway. He'll drive right into a wall to make his point."

Since releasing his debut album, Please, in 1993, Matt Nathanson has established himself as one of the most creative and popular purveyors of modern folk-rock. But the San Francisco-based singer-songwriter didn't grow up spinning The Anthology Of American Folk Music; surprisingly, he spent most of his youth idolizing bands like Kiss and Def Leppard, and he credits four guys from Ireland with opening his ears to other musical sounds and genres.
"It was in 1983, and I heard New Year's Day from the War record," Nathanson recalls. "I really liked it, but I didn't commit to the band till I bought Under A Blood Red Sky on cassette. I remember MTV was playing Sunday Bloody Sunday from that Red Rocks show. I think that was the first time I actually saw Bono do his thing, where I became fully aware of his passion and power. I remember watching him and going, 'What the hell is this? This is great!'"
A year later, Nathanson bought a copy of U2's The Unforgettable Fire. The band's experimental collaboration with producer Brian Eno sealed the deal for him. "I remember listening to it at Christmas and just losing my mind," he says. "I was tripping on how weird it was, how it resolved itself but satisfied me completely. It seemed like it was beamed down from another planet. And everything Bono was doing – his sound of his voice, his approach to lyrics, the way he just kind of jumped out of the tracks – it really opened me up and got me to start transitioning from metal to other types of music."
It's interesting that U2 – and, in particular, Bono – would make such an impression on you when you were a metal-crazed teen.
"There was something I got about him pretty quickly. Bono doesn't do anything halfway. He'll drive right into a wall to make his point. He'll be sticking his head out the window while he drives into that wall. [Laughs] Nothing gets in his way. There's a fearlessness about him that drives the whole band. I think that's something to be admired and emulated. It's certainly how I've tried to go about the music I make."
"Bono, over the course of U2's history, has been the engine that powers the band. Part of that's the role of being a frontman – you have to go heart to the hoop. It isn't about subtlety. You're not going to command the world stage by fading into the wallpaper. In my view, he's always sort of pushed the evolution of the band.
"The other guys are all brilliant and crucial to the success of U2. They're one of those bands you can't picture with any other members. It's all of them or none of them. But I've always been intrigued by and drawn to Bono. He's the guy who seems to drive change in U2. If they're doing to do something new, he's leading the charge."
Matt Nathanson © Brendan Walter
When was the first time you saw them live?
"I saw them on The Unforgettable Fire tour, and I was floored by how they connected on an immediate level with the audience even when playing some of their newer, more experimental songs. Bono's need to connect in the early days of U2 was pretty remarkable. It really hooked me. I kind of divide the band into three periods: There was sort of the post-punk passion period, then were was a passion theater period, and next was the full-on theater period we're in now. It doesn't mean there's no passion in it anymore; it just means that the spectacle has overtaken a bit from the bombast.
"And I mean 'bombast' in a good way. They grabbed you. But what I think happened somewhere in the '90s was, they realized that they had to pull it together more. They were playing these huge places – one night be incredible and the next was hit-and-miss. There were still incredible moments in their show, but it became more about delivering a consistent experience to people."
Bono has always delivered a specific worldview in his lyrics. Did that affect you early on?
"When they did The Joshua Tree, that's when they really started to embrace America – and a certain idealized view of America. It was there in their music, their appearance and their whole thing. And you know, as a kid, I didn't know who Cowboy Jack Clement was. I didn't know what happened at Sun Studios. That just wasn't my history. I didn't even know Elvis! [Laughs] But Bono would talk about them in interviews, and I got interested in all of that.
"He kind of got raked over the coals for it after a while. I was hanging out with Chris Isaak recently, and we were talking about Sun Studios – he recorded a great record there. Chris is such a fanatic about Scotty Moore and Elvis and all those guys. I told him that what got me to learn about that whole scene was reading interviews with Bono around the Rattle And Hum period. Suddenly, I wanted to learn all about Sun Studios and what went on there.
"So, yeah, Bono got lambasted for it, but I think that he and the band were just discovering their influences. They were excited and they wanted to share it. So it cracked things wide open for me. He and the band were the ones that shined that light on what had gone down in American music – for me, anyway."
U2 in 1985: (from left) Adam Clayton, Bono, The Edge and Larry Mullen © Neal Preston/Corbis

U2 ‘recording’ new album in famous Crouch End studios

Bono and The Edge with staff from Spiazzo
Bono and The Edge with staff from Spiazzo
Rumours are rife that world famous rock band U2 has descended on Crouch End to record their new album at the iconic Church Studios. The Dublin-based band is believed to be recording at the venue in Crouch Hill, taken over by British producer Paul Epwoth in October.
 It is thought the foursome are working with Mr Epworth, the co-writer of Adele’s Oscar-winning Bond theme tune, on their 13th studio album, due to be released later this year. Lead singer Bono, guitarist The Edge and drummer Larry Mullen have also been spotted dining at Spiazzo in The Broadway over the last few weeks.
 According to staff, who could not resist asking the stars to pose for a snap, they have been feasting on T-bone steak, pizza, pasta and enjoying “lots of wine”.
 Manager Marcel Ritelli said the band members have been causing quite the stir, adding: “It’s been nice and pleasurable to have them here.”

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Annual Chernobyl Children International Charity lunch

Liz O’Donnell hosts a glamourous lunch in aid of Adi Roche's charity.

Former Irish Minister for Overseas Development Liz O'Donnell hosted the annual  Charity lunch for Chernobyl Children International.

Over two hundred supporters turned out to support the tremendous work of Adi Roche’s charity.Adi who is an unpaid, volunteer CEO warmly thanked the guests for their support.

"Like all charities we are struggling to sustain our work and programmes in challenging times.

"We could not do so without the generous giving of individuals and business organisations and of course without the solidarity and commitment of our volunteers."

Ali Hewson has always been a huge collaborator of the project.

Celebrities such as Dave Fanning, , Lisa Fitzpatrick, Pat Kenny and Morah Ryan were in attendance.  

And, by the way, on 23rd it was Ali's birthday. Happy birthday!!Hope you had a blast!!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Auction 4 Christy

A slew of Irish musicians signed this Jasmine guitar to be auctioned in aid of Christy Dignam, Aslan’s legendary performer, who was diagnosed with cancer in March 2012. Music fans can get their hands on the guitar here.

The World's 50 Greatest Leaders: Bono

According to Fortune magazine's rank, Bono stands number 8.

8.  Bono

In an era that feels starved for leadership, we've found men and women who will inspire you -- some famous, others little known, all of them energizing their followers and making the world better.

leadership 2014 bono

Age: 53
Lead singer, U2

"Real leadership is when everyone else feels in charge," Bono tells Fortune. And he has lived by this maxim. He helped persuade global leaders to write off debt owed by the poorest countries and encouraged the Bush administration and others to vastly increase AIDS relief. Now, through his ONE and (RED) campaigns, he is enlisting major companies and millions of people to combat AIDS, poverty, and preventable diseases.

In the same list, appear , among others: Angela Merkel,Alan Mulally,Warren Buffett,Bill Clinton,Aung San Suu Kyi,Dalai Lama and at number 1, Pope Francis.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Top 10 Irish Musicians of All Time

Top 10 Irish Musicians of All Time

As St. Patrick's Day celebrations bloom all over the land and thoughts turn to all things Irish, now is the perfect time to fete the musicians from the Emerald Isle who have made the biggest impact on the Billboard Hot 100 chart over the decades. This special list of the top 10 Irish artists tallies the biggest Billboard stars who were born, raised and/or formed in Ireland. Erin go Bragh!

1- U2

Highest Charting Hot 100 Hit: "With Or Without You" (No. 1 for three weeks; Peak date: 5/16/1987)

2-Gilbert O'Sullivan

Highest Charting Hot 100 Hit: "Alone Again (Naturally)" (No. 1 for six weeks; Peak date: 7/29/1972)

3-Sinéad O'Connor

Highest Charting Hot 100 Hit: "Nothing Compares 2 U" (No. 1 for four weeks; Peak date: 4/21/1990)

4-Van Morrison

Highest Charting Hot 100 Hit: "Domino" (No. 9; Peak date: 1/2/1971)

5-Snow Patrol

Highest Charting Hot 100 Hit: "Chasing Cars" (No. 5; Peak date: 10/14/2006)


Highest Charting Hot 100 Hit: "I Don't Wanna Know" by Mario Winans featuring Enya & P. Diddy (No. 2; Peak date: 4/24/2004)

7-The Script

Highest Charting Hot 100 Hit: "Breakeven" (No. 12; Peak date: 5/15/2010)

8-The Cranberries

Highest Charting Hot 100 Hit: "Linger" (No. 8; Peak date: 2/12/1994)

9-The Irish Rovers

Highest Charting Hot 100 Hit: "The Unicorn" (No. 7; Peak date: 5/25/1968)

10-Thin Lizzy

Highest Charting Hot 100 Hit: "The Boys Are Back In Town" (No. 12; Peak date: 7/24/1976)

This round is on Bono... U2 star crashes stag in sunny Dingle

Bono joined stag Matthew Kennedy and his friends for an afternoon pint in the seaside town of Dingle, the party-goers hardly able to believe their eyes when the rock star joined them. (Photo: Matthew Kennedy)

Nothing beats having Bono as an impromptu guest at your stag weekend.

The U2 gang might not have picked up an Oscar Stateside recently but that didn’t affect their star status in Kerry on Saturday.

Bono joined stag Matthew Kennedy and his friends for an afternoon pint in the seaside town of Dingle, the party-goers hardly able to believe their eyes when the rock star joined them.

A pint of the black stuff in hand, Bono sat with the party and chatted to them as his wife Ali Hewson socialised with friends.

The 53-year-old singer was at the wedding of a close friend– and then dropped in to local watering hole Dick Mack's for a few pints.Bono was joined by a wedding party of around 130 people, but it was soon crashed by locals as news of his impromptu visit spread.

Manager of the pub Finn McDonnell said Bono sat in a snug at one end of the bar with his wife Ali and a group of four friends, and ordered four rounds of Guinness.

Mr McDonnell said: "They went into the local church at around 2pm, and came back out around an hour-and-a-half later. I didn't cop him coming into the pub at all.

"Bono went into the snug at the end of the bar, leaned over and said: 'How are you getting on?'. That's when I copped it was him."
Caption: Bono with local Mazz O'Flaherty outside her record shop in Dingle.MUST credit Nuala Moore for image.
Bono with local Mazz O'Flaherty outside her record shop in Dingle.Photo: Nuala Moore
Mr McDonnell revealed that a customer at the bar purchased a round of tequila shots for the group during their visit – but that the spirits were left behind when the group departed almost two hours later.

Owner of the Dingle Record Shop Mazz O'Flaherty told the Irish Independent that when she heard Bono was in town, she grabbed a copy of U2's album 'Pop' and went to the pub to ask for an autograph.

Ms O'Flaherty said: "I went into the bar and asked him to sign the CD. He told me he'd come over to the record shop in a few minutes, which he did."

The group later retired to the popular luxury wedding destination Ballintaggart House, where they stayed overnight and yesterday enjoyed a barbecue.

Irish Independent

Friday, March 14, 2014

20 Insanely Great U2 Songs Only Hardcore Fans Know

Lesser-known gems from the band's catalog by Rolling Stone

1. 'Pete the Chop'

If you couldn't tell by the fact they have members named Bono and the Edge, the four members of U2 came from a place where it was very common for people to have weird nicknames. One of them was Pete Chop, a friend of their former management associate Andrew Whiteway. When U2 met Pete the Chop he suggested they write a song about him, and they took him up on the challenge. The result was a very catchy pop number and U2's manager Paul McGuinness heard it as a potential big hit. The band disagreed and refused to put it out, though they did play it live a bunch of times. McGuinness didn't give up and he kept asking the band, "Whatever happened to 'Pete the Chop'?" They got so tired of the question that they eventually wrote "Treasure (Whatever Happened to Pete the Chop?)." It's sort of a backwards, inverted version of "Pete The Chop" and it came out as the b-side to "New Year's Day," but the original "Pete the Chop" remains in the vault. 

2. 'Silver Lining'

"11 O'Clock Tick Tock" never appeared on a U2 studio album, but it's one of the most important songs from their early history. Joy Division producer Martin Hannett recorded the song and they released it as their second single in May of 1980. It was the highlight of their live set, and some nights they'd even play it twice. Before they settled on the final lyrics, it was called "Silver Lining." They played it a handful of times in late 1979 and early 1980 before Bono scrapped almost all the lyrics and renamed it "11 O'Clock Tick Tock." Thankfully, some early U2 fans had their tape recorders running so we can hear this historical anomaly today. 

3. 'North and South of the River'

U2 wrote many great songs about the conflict in Northern Ireland, and one of their best came out shortly before the Belfast Good Friday Agreement brought peace to the region in 1998. The mournful and pleading "North and South of the River" was cut during the Pop sessions and released as a B-side to "Staring at the Sun." The only time they ever played it live was on a 1998 TV benefit for the victims of the Omagh bombing. They stripped the song completely down, and the result was absolutely beautiful. 

4. 'Salome'

Robert Plant once said that his favorite U2 song was "Salome." Who knew the guy had such deep knowledge of U2 B-sides? This funky song was cut during the Achtung Baby sessions and remixed a bunch of times before it wound up as the B-side of "Even Better Than the Real Thing." It's also the name of a three-disc set of early Achtung Baby songs that somehow leaked out to fans during the making of the album, seriously pissing off the band. 

5. 'Holy Joe'

When U2 announced their ill-fated PopMart tour at the lingerie department of a Kmart in downtown New York, they could have serenaded the press with any song from their vast catalog, but for some reason they opted for "Holy Joe," the B-side of "Discothèque." Pop is nowhere near as bad as the legend suggests, and it would have been even better had they included "Holy Joe" instead of "Miami" or "The Playboy Mansion." They haven't played even a note of "Holy Joe" in concert since that press conference.

6. 'Luminous Times (Hold On to Love)'

U2 hit such a deep songwriting vein during the Joshua Tree sessions that even a song as brilliant and emotional as "Luminous Times (Hold On to Love)" wound up on the cutting room floor. It did come out as a B-side to "With or Without You" and that cassingle flew off shelves in the spring of 1987, but who knows how many people bothered to flip the tape over. Those that did heard a hell of a song. 

7. 'Trash, Trampoline & the Party Girl'

U2 were never a band with much of a reputation for bagging groupies. Any backstage shenanigans that may have gone on were kept on the supreme downlow. That's why it's so odd they wrote "Trash, Trampoline & the Party Girl" back in 1982, though it was created in a mad rush when they needed a B-side for "A Celebration." The song is about a lady named Party Girl who "wants more than a party." She meets a boy named Trash Can that "does all that he can, wham bam." It was clearly meant as a throwaway tune, but it's had an odd afterlife. They began playing it a lot in concert, even releasing it on their 1983 live album Under a Blood Red Sky. Fans loved it and they kept it in the set all through the 1980s, and it even popped up a bunch of times in the 2000s. It's hard a much longer afterlife than "A Celebration," which is one of the weaker U2 songs to ever come out as a single. 

8. 'Big Girls Are Best'

Bono and his wife Ali Hewson had two little boys right around the time of U2's big comeback album All That You Can't Leave Behind. Pregnancy and childbirth were clearly on Bono's mind when he wrote the lyrics to "Big Girls Are Best," which came out as a B-side to "Walk On." "She's got the baby at her breast," Bono sings. "She knows big girls are best."

9. 'Summer Rain'

Like "Big Girls Are Best," U2 recorded "Summer Rain" during the All That You Can't Leave Behind sessions and ultimately discarded it, though it did appear on some deluxe editions of the LP. The euphoric, acoustic tune  has the vibe of a classic U2 song and would certainly have worked great onstage, but they've never gone near it. It's a shame. It really deserves a revival. 

10. 'Return of the Stingray Guitar'

U2 have written an absurd amount of songs over the past five years that virtually nobody has heard. They briefly decided to let the public in on some new tracks when the 360 Tour hit Europe and South America in 2010. Many nights opened with "Return of the Singray Guitar," a monster riff of a song that kicks ass even though it never really sounded finished. It was a sign to the fans that the band was moving forward, even though it's likely nobody will hear hear this one again. Too bad.

11. 'Stateless'

Remember that 2000 Win Wenders movie Million Dollar Hotel? It starred Mel Gibson back when he was actually a big movie star and not a national joke. It's about a bunch of disjointed people coming together at a Los Angeles hotel and even Mel Gibson said it was "as boring as a dog's ass." The public agreed and it made a whopping $59,989. Latter-day Ernest movies made about five thousand times more than that. But it's noteworthy here because Bono wrote the screenplay and U2 contributed some songs to the soundtrack, which is infinitely more enjoyable than the movie. The best of the bunch is the haunting "Stateless," though like all things associated with Million Dollar Hotel, it's been completely lost to time. 

12. 'The Ground Beneath Her Feet'

Another victim of the Million Dollar Hotel fiasco was "The Ground Beneath Her Feet," a gorgeous ballad that Bono wrote after reading Salman Rushdie's 1999 novel, also titled The Ground Beneath Her Feet. The lyrics come almost verbatim from a portion of the book, so Rushdie got the songwriting credit, and it appeared as the first song on the film's soundtrack. U2 thought it was a very strong song and wanted it out as a single, even shooting a video for it. But their label knew that All That You Can't Leave Behind was coming and they didn't want to confuse fans on the verge of the group's big comeback. They did play the song a bunch of times on their 2001 
world tour. 

13. 'Wave of Sorrow (Birdland)

This Joshua Tree outtake was so inspired by Patti Smith that they added "Birdland" — the title of a track from her 1975 masterpiece Horses — to the name of the song. Bono wrote the song when he travelled to Ethiopia after Live Aid and realized the money raised by the massive event would barely dent the overwhelming problem. The title comes from a Langston Hughes poem. They never quite felt the song was done, and in 2007 when they released a 20th anniversary edition of The Joshua Tree they fleshed it out. 

14. 'Two of Happy, One Shot of Sad'

Bono got close to Frank Sinatra during the final years of the Chairman of the Board's life. They recorded a duet of the Sinatra classic "I've Got You Under My Skin" in 1993 and the following year Bono presented him with a Legend Award, though the Grammys, in a shameful move, cut Frank off mid-speech to go to commercial. Bono was determined to see Frank Sinatra record one final masterpiece before he died, and he wrote "Two Shots of Happy One Shot of Sad" for him. He read him the lyrics in a limo one night, but Sinatra wasn't in great shape by this point and he never recorded it. Bono recorded it himself in 1995 with an orchestra and sent it to Frank for his 80th birthday. Two years later, it came out as a B-side to "If God Will Send His Angels." In 2004, Frank's daughter Nancy recorded it. 

15. 'Alex Descends Into Hell for a Bottle of Milk'

U2 were pretty much off the grid in 1990, though Bono and the Edge did emerge to write the score for the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of A Clockwork Orange. The Edge was listening to a lot of industrial music at the time, and their song "Alex Descends Into Hell for a Bottle of Milk" was the first glimpse U2 fans got of the new direction U2 were headed in the 1990s. It's also the complete opposite of the American roots sound of Rattle and Hum. The instrumental came out in 1991 as a B-side to "The Fly."

16. 'Glastonbury'

"This is a new song we're trying out," Bono said in Frankfurt, Germany, in August 2010. "It's kind of a rocking 1970s thing. It's called 'Glastonbury.'" U2 were supposed to play England's massive Glastonbury festival that summer, but Bono's back problems delayed the show until the following year. When he got better, they debuted this rocking tune when they played mainland Europe in the late summer. Oddly enough, they didn't bust it out when they were actually at Glastonbury. 

17. 'Xanax and Wine'

The line "how to dismantle an atomic bomb" appears nowhere on U2's 2004 LP How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, but you can hear it on "Xanax and Wine," a song they wrote during the final days of recording the album. The track eventually evolved into "Fast Car," but it lost its raw, frenetic energy in the process. Thankfully, they released "Xanax and Wine" on a rarities collection a few years later.

18. 'Native Son' 

U2 have proved that it's possible to over-think a song and screw it up. Their 2004 song "Vertigo" was a big hit, but many fans prefers the tune in its original incarnation as "Native Son." It's not glossy, still has some rough corners and probably wouldn't have worked in an iPod commercial. The good news is they put it out so fans can compare the two. 

19. 'Mercy'

"Mercy" was originally slated for How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, but for some reason it was yanked at the last minute. One fan wound up with a bootlegged copy and it was uploaded to the Internet in late 2004. U2 fans fell in love with the anthemic song, many of them arguing it was one of the most U2-ish songs every written. The band finally got on board in 2010 when they began playing a revised version of the song in concert. One of those versions came out on the band's 2010 EP Wide Awake in Europe. 

20. 'Lady With the Spinning Head'

Achtung Baby is undoubtably one of U2's greatest albums, but it had a very difficult birth. When they began cutting the album in Berlin, Germany, they were simply unable to finish any songs they were happy with. One of their early attempts is "Lady With the Spinning Head." They eventually gave it up and scrapped it for parts, using elements of it on "Zoo Station," "The Fly" and "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)." It's trippy to listen to it today since it sounds like all those songs combined.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


A funny account of the Oscar's event by

HOLLYWOOD - Popular rock music group U2 have announced they are to sue Benedict Cumberbatch for photobombing them at the Oscars. 

Humorless lead singer Bono spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the Studio Exec this morning:
We'd got dressed up for the Oscars, and Adam and Edge were really, really excited. We all put on our serious faces, because we like to look quite serious and when I smile I look like a bit of a turnip. The photographers snapped away and we were really happy. I turned to Edge and said, 'That'll be a good one'. But when I got up the next morning I was horrified to see Sherlock Holmes jumping behind us like a pillock.
Edge added with a dour tone to his voice like a child trying not to cry:
As you may or may not know, myself and Bono and the rest of U2 are actually Irish. So bombing of any kind, even photobombing is in very poor taste. I'd worn my special hat so as you can imagine the whole evening was ruined.
Noted Jolly Bastard Mr. Cumberbatch laughed when told of the impending law suit, and issued a statement through his lawyers that stated simply:
I don't give a toss.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"Invisible" Reaches Nº 1

Adult Alternative Songs

*** No. 1 (1 week)*** "Invisible" U2

U2 passes Coldplay for the most No. 1s in the 18-year history of the Adult Alternative Songs chart, as "Invisible" jumps 3-1. Now with 11 leaders, the band breaks a tie with Coldplay (10). (Dave Matthews band and Jack Johnson follow with nine No. 1s each.)

Monday, March 10, 2014

U2 album still 'planned for this year'

Amid rumours that the band have halted work on the new album, a spokesperson has confirmed that U2 are on schedule for the 2014 follow up to No Line on the Horizon.

U2 in New York

‘Larry Mullen Jr, Bono, The Edge and Adam Clayton: get off that skyscraper and do some work.’ Photograph: Vera Anderson/WireImage

Despite fresh claims that U2 have pushed their new record and world tour back to 2015, a spokesperson for the band has confirmed that their 13th album is still on course for this year. The band, who are nearing completion of a record that was expected this summer, had been rumoured to halt plans on the new release and instead book studio sessions with Adele writer/producers Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder. While the switch in producer from long-term collaborator Steve Lillywhite is yet to be addressed, a spokesperson for the band has dispelled claims that the album will be delayed until 2015: “U2’s album is planned for this year, is still on track and touring plans haven’t been confirmed yet,” they told the Guardian. According to recent interviews with the band, Danger Mouse remains the album’s central producer, however Billboard reported that Bono and company have scheduled additional recording sessions with hit-makers Tedder and Epworth. Epworth, an architect of Adele’s sound and co-producer of records like Paul McCartney’s New and Plan B’s The Defamation Of Strickland Banks, has previously worked on a couple of U2 remixes. Tedder, however, is new to the U2 camp: the OneRepublic frontman is best known for pop and pop-rock smashes like Beyoncé’s Halo and Leona Lewis’s Bleeding Love. In a recent interview with the frontman, Bono suggested that the band were questioning their relevancy before recording the follow up to No Line on the Horizon. “We were trying to figure out, ‘Why would anyone want another U2 album?’” he told BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe last month. Releasing Invisible seems to have been a way to test the waters. “I think Invisible is a great song, but I don’t know how accessible it is,” Bono said. “We’ll find out if we’re irrelevant.” Though it was downloaded by three million people in a charity deal with Bank of America, the single peaked at No 65 on the UK singles list and didn’t even crack America’s Billboard Hot 100. “The album won’t be ready till it’s ready,” Bono told the Hollywood Reporter in mid-February. Ironically, U2’s long-delayed 13th studio album initially seemed like it would be the group’s swiftest to complete: the same week that No Line On The Horizon came out, Bono promised a “meditative” and “processional” companion LP before the end of 2009.

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The fifties club! Bono, Sean Penn and Julian Lennon enjoy a boys' night out in Dublin

It's a beautiful Day! Bono leaves Cleaver East in Clarence Hotel, Dublin, where he dined with pals Sean Penn and Julian Lennon wearing his trademark tinted glasses
Bono leaves Cleaver East in Clarence Hotel, Dublin, where he dined with pals Sean Penn and Julian Lennon wearing his trademark tinted glasses

They're in Ireland for some high-powered political talks.
But U2 frontman Bono and Hollywood star Sean Penn, 53, made sure there was space in the diary for a boys' night out and were joined by musician Julian Lennon, 50, for supper and drinks in Dublin on Friday night.
The trio headed to the smart Cleaver East eaterie in the Clarence Hotel in Temple Bar, formerly owned by the Bono and his musician mate The Edge, until they both stepped down as directors last year.

Sated and content, they then sauntered off to Bagots Hutton Wine Bar for drinks and to chat some more into the early hours.In his signature tinted shades, Bono, 53, looked smart in a black velour jacket with long sleeves, black trousers and shiny shoes.
He wore a V-neck jumper and chain and sported a sprinkling of fresh facial hair around his chin.

It's a boys' night: Sean Penn (left) left girlfriend Charlize Theron back home in LA and joined U2's Bono and musician pal Julian Lennon (right) at Cleaver East in the Clarence Hotel where they had supper before hitting a wine barIt's a boys' night: Sean Penn (left) left girlfriend Charlize Theron back home in LA and joined U2's Bono and musician pal Julian Lennon (right) at Cleaver East in the Clarence Hotel where they had supper before hitting a wine bar

It's a boys' night: Sean Penn (left) left girlfriend Charlize Theron back home in LA and joined U2's Bono and musician pal Julian Lennon (right) at Cleaver East in the Clarence Hotel where they had supper

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty star Sean Penn, who was in town as the guest of honour at the Front Line Defenders Awards, looked every inch the scruffy Hollywood star in a leather jacket, baggy jeans and scuffed walking boots.
He made a low-key appearance in the Irish capital without his A-lister girlfriend, Academy award winner Charlize Theron, who stayed at their LA home.
Musician Julian, the only child of Beatles' John Lennon and Cynthia Powell, joined the pair looking equally sombre in black woollen coat and boots.

Let's shake on a great night! Bono thanks the doorman at Clarence Hotel before heading off to Bagots Hutton wine bar
Let's shake on a great night! Bono thanks the doorman at Clarence Hotel before heading off to Bagots Hutton wine bar

Meanwhile, Bono was back on home turf to address the European People’s Party in Dublin.
Bono addressed the centre-right leaders - including German chancellor Angela Merkel - at the summit of Fine Gael’s European affiliate.
He told the summit: 'I want to give an enormous, enormous shout out. The biggest shout out I have in my heart, to the Irish people for coming through. I’d love to say it was the Troika but I think it was despite the Troika. The Irish people bailed the Irish people out,' he said.

Bono attended the event on foot with EPP leaders as part of his ongoing dialogue with global leaders.
He was a representative of the One campaign against extreme poverty, a group which argues that it is crucial for European leaders to introduce measures to make it more difficult to move money secretly around the world.

The One campaign believes money secretly moved from sub-Saharan Africa through the financial system amounts to some €38.6bn per year, greater than the €29.8 billion the region receives in developmental aid from wealthy western countries.