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U2 performing on 17 May 2005. From left to right: The Edge, Bono, Larry Mullen Jr., and Adam Clayton.
U2, Vertigo Tour, 2005.

U2 are a rock band from Dublin, Ireland. The band consists of Bono (vocals and guitar), The Edge (guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). U2 have been one of the most popular acts in the world since the mid-1980s. The band has sold upwards of 170 million albums worldwide, and they have won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other rock band.

U2 formed in 1976 when the members were teenagers with limited musical proficiency. By the mid-1980s, however, the band had become a top international act, noted for its anthemic sound, Bono's impassioned vocals, and The Edge's textural guitar playing. Their success as a live act was greater than as a record-selling act until their 1987 album, The Joshua Tree, brought them mega-stardom. Their alternative rock/dance-infused 1991 album Achtung Baby and the accompanying Zoo TV Tour were part of a significant reinvention for the band; it was a response to their own sense of musical stagnation, the dance and alternative music revolutions, and criticism of their image. This experimentation continued for the rest of the 1990s.

In the early years of the 21st century, U2 have pursued a more traditional sound while maintaining influences from their previous musical explorations. They continue to enjoy the highest level of commercial and critical success. The band is active in human rights, international development, and social justice causes, such as Amnesty International, Make Poverty History, the ONE Campaign, Live Aid, Live 8, Bono's DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa) campaign, and Music Rising.


Selected article

During performances of the song, the band encouraged fans to take out their mobile phones for visual effect.
"Moment of Surrender" is a song by rock band U2 and the third track on their 2009 album No Line on the Horizon. During the initial recording sessions for the album in 2007 in Fez, Morocco, the band wrote the song with producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois within a few hours. Together, they recorded the song in a single take; Eno called the song's recording "the most amazing studio experience [he's] ever had". According to him and Lanois, the track is the closest the band came to realising their original concept for the album of writing "future hymns". The seven-minute song features gospel-like vocals in the chorus, along with a predominantly organ- and piano-based musical accompaniment. Lyrically, the song is about a drug addict who is undergoing a crisis of faith.

"Moment of Surrender" was praised by critics, many of whom called it one of the album's stand-out tracks. The song was compared to the group's earlier ballads "With or Without You" and "One". It was performed at all but two of the band's concerts on the U2 360° Tour, most often as the closing song. During performances, the stage lights were dimmed and fans were urged to hold up their mobile phones to create "a stadium full of tiny stars". Although it was not released as a single, Rolling Stone named "Moment of Surrender" the best song of 2009, and in 2010, they ranked it 160th on their list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".


Selected picture

U2 on stage in a public park
Credit: Ardfern
U2 PopMart Tour, Botanic Gardens, Belfast, Northern Ireland, August 1997

Did you know...

  • ... that Bono used to be known as "Steinvic von Huyseman", "Huyseman", "Houseman", "Bon Murray", "Bono Vox of O'Connell Street", and "Bono Vox"?
  • ... that the U2 song "Magnificent" was originally titled "French Disco"?


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WikiProject U2 is a project that helps to assemble writers and editors interested in U2. The aim of this project is to standardise and improve articles related to U2, as well as to create any missing articles. To become a member of this WikiProject (anyone may join), simply click here - and add {{user|username}}.

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Selected biography

The Edge performing with U2 at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA, 21 September 2009
David Howell Evans (born 8 August 1961), more widely known by his stage name The Edge (or just Edge), is a musician best known as the guitarist, backing vocalist, and keyboardist of the Irish rock band U2. A member of the group since its inception, he has recorded 12 studio albums with the band and has released one solo record. As a guitarist, The Edge has crafted a minimalistic and textural style of playing. His use of a rhythmic delay effect yields a distinctive ambient, chiming sound that has become a signature of U2's music.

The Edge was born in England to a Welsh family, and was raised in Ireland after moving there as an infant. In 1976, at Mount Temple Comprehensive School, he formed U2 with his fellow students and his older brother Dik. Inspired by the ethos of punk rock and its basic arrangements, the group began to write its own material. They eventually became one of the most popular acts in popular music, with successful albums such as 1987's The Joshua Tree and 1991's Achtung Baby. Over the years, The Edge has experimented with various guitar effects and introduced influences from several genres of music into his own style, including American roots music, industrial music, and alternative rock. With U2, The Edge has also played keyboards, co-produced their 1993 record Zooropa, and occasionally contributed lyrics. The Edge met his second and current wife, Morleigh Steinberg, through her collaborations with the band.

As a member of U2 and as an individual, The Edge has campaigned for human rights and philanthropic causes. He co-founded Music Rising, a charity to support musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina. He has collaborated with U2 bandmate Bono on several projects, including songs for Roy Orbison and Tina Turner, and the soundtracks to the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and the Royal Shakespeare Company's London stage adaptation of A Clockwork Orange. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine placed him at number 38 on its list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".



  • "I watched the way it was / The way it was when he was with us / And I really don't mind / Sleeping on the floor / But I couldn't sleep after what I saw" —"Stranger in a Strange Land" (Bono), October (1981)
  • "I suppose ultimately I'm interested in music. I'm a musician. I'm not a gunslinger. That's the difference between what I do and what a lot of guitar heroes do." —The Edge (1991)
  • "[...] I sort of took the overview position of saying, “What do you want? You don't want a stage show where everything fits neatly into place and it's all nicely organized and people know exactly where the center of attention is at all moments.” That isn't what the music is about now, and it certainly isn't what this concept of a new Europe is about, so how can we make a stage show that has some of the feeling of defensiveness and chaos and information overload...?" —Brian Eno, on asking U2 about their plans for concerts, in Milk It! Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the '90s by Jim DeRogatis (2003)
  • "High, higher than the sun / You shoot me from a gun / I need you to elevate me here, / At the corner of your lips / As the orbit of your hips / Eclipse, you elevate my soul." —"Elevation" (Bono'), All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000)
  • "We all wanted to get behind Record Store Day. My local record shop introduced me to music I didn't know and I might never have discovered." —Adam Clayton, on the release of Wide Awake in Europe, in "U2 preps live EP on vinyl for “Black Friday” at indie record stores by Randy Lewis for the Los Angeles Times (22 November 2010)


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