This week’s survey question is a hard one about U2

U2 has been a going concern since September 1976 when a bunch of schoolboys gathered in Larry Mullen Jr’s parents’ kitchen for a rehearsal. There have been no line-up changes since March 1978 (the same day they changed their name from The Hype to U2 in the middle of a gig in Dublin.) They have sold gazillions of albums and grossed well over US$2 billion in concert ticket sales.

Lately, though–okay, for the past decade–U2 has fallen into the legacy band hole. Like so many other big bands of the pre-internet era, they’ve had trouble making music that captures the public’s attention like in the old days. At one point, they wouldn’t go on tour unless they had five or six songs from a new album that they believed were worth performing live. That all came to an end with the Joshua Tree 30 tour during which the band basically went on a greatest hits jag.

It’s been a long time since a U2 album lit up the charts, but they’re going to give it another shot–apparently a double shot–with two albums in 2023, one allegedly featuring a re-imaging of old tunes and a second of nothing but new material.

I’ve been a fan since 1980, so I’m in. But I’m curious about your thoughts. If you’re an older U2 fan, does that band still hold your interest? If you’re on the younger side, is U2 even on your radar? Does that band have any relevance to you at all?

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 37816 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

3 thoughts on “This week’s survey question is a hard one about U2

  • No Line On the Horizon was the last remotely interesting album, but even that was weak. Atomic Bomb was the real deal, by that was….18 years ago?!

  • Everybody has an opinion but appear unable to differentiate between being a fan and liking something popular at any given point in time.

  • U2’s latest album, Songs of Experience, hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard charts. That makes U2 the only group in music history to have No. 1 albums four decades in a row: The 1980s, ’90s, ’00s and ’10s.


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