When a 15-year-old drummer named Larry Mullen Jr. posted a note on his school bulletin board looking for fellow musicians, he couldn't have known that he was planning the seeds of what would become one of the biggest bands in the world. Of the four musicians who responded to Mullin's ad, three of them, Paul Hewson (aka Bono), Dave Evans (aka The Edge), and Adam Clayton (aka Adam Clayton) would join with Mullen Jr. to form Feedback. Feedback which became the Hype which became U2, and those four men would soldier on over the new several decades (and counting). Along the way, they would release innumerable classic albums, perform all over the world, and use their unique voice to become involved in world politics and human rights.
Off the strength of their electric concerts, U2 built a solid buzz and fanbase, which helped them land a three-year deal with CBS Ireland. In September of '79, the boys released a three-song EP called U23 (Island, 1979), which paved the way for extensive touring, and an edgy LP called Boy (Island, 1980). While Boy and the introspective, spiritual October (Island, 1981) gained the group critical acclaim, their next three albums would make them stars. War (Island, 1983), The Unforgettable Fire (Island, 1984), The Joshua Tree (Island, 1987) were all unmitigated successes, with The Joshua Tree winning countless awards, including the Grammy for Album of the Year. Achtung Baby (Island, 1991) put a triumphant period on their decade, with Entertainment Weekly naming it the third best album of the last 25 years. From 1991 to 2000, the group slowed down a little, only releasing two LPs, Zooropa (Island, 1993) and Pop (Island, 1997). While both albums were experimental and uneven, they both sold over a million copies in the US, but neither failed up to live up to the band's lofty standards.
However, the group fired back up the charts with 2000's expansive return to form, All That You Can Leave Behind (Island/Interscope) and 2004's sweeping, political How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb (Island/Interscope). The two albums saw the group scale back the dance experimentation, and focus on creating the hooky, heartfelt anthems that made so many fall in love with them. They continue to sell out arenas all over the world, and are currently working on their twelfth release.
Read more about U2 in Crawdaddy!:
Live Interview: "Follow the Bouncing Bono"