September 18, 2023
Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Rejecting U2

It may be hard to believe now, but U2 had a very, very hard time getting their first recording contract–and after their show on August 21, 1979, they thought they had blown it for good. 

That night, U2 played a gig at the Baggott Inn in Dublin.  This was viewed as a make-it-or-break-it show because a couple of label representatives from London were going to be in the audience.  They, however, were not impressed and left without offering U2 a thing. 

That might have been it for the band had a journalist from a magazine called Sounds not been in the audience.  He was impressed enough to keep writing about U2 over the next few months.  He helped keep the buzz alive–and the band eventually got that recording contract. 

I wonder how those two reps from EMI feel today, knowing that they were the ones who rejected U2?

Yesterday’s post had to do with format wars.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37058 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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