U2 came out of the U.K. punk scene -- from Ireland, specifically – with a stripped-down sound that hinted at grandeur beneath the skittering surface. Even on their very first album, 1980’s ‘Boy,’ Bono’s soaring vocals and the Edge’s shimmering guitar were aimed at something bigger than whatever punk and New Wave offered them. By 1983’s ‘War,’ U2 began making ripples with their anthem-sized songs about the same things Bob Dylan sang about 20 years earlier. On 1987’s ‘The Joshua Tree,’ they finally reached the legendary status they were striving for with a sprawling work about broken dreams at the end of the world. After a globe-conquering tour made them one of the era’s biggest bands, U2 shot back with an industrial-noise set called ‘Achtung Baby’ that set the course for their restless, ambitious career. They’re still following that exciting path.
40 Years Ago: U2 Avoid Break Up and Release ‘October’
Their second album almost didn’t happen – for a couple of reasons.
Hear Bono and the Edge Join Martin Garrix on ‘We Are the People’
It's the official song of the UEFA European Football Championship soccer tournament.
U2 Announce 20th-Anniversary 'All That You Can't Leave Behind'
Outtakes, B-sides and live tracks expand the band's classic 2000 album.
Watch Bono and the Edge Perform 'Stairway to Heaven'
U2 members played the Led Zeppelin classic as a tribute to their road crew.
Elton John, U2 and Joan Jett Headline All-Star T. Rex Tribute LP
'AngelHeaded Hipster' features a wide variety of artists covering Marc Bolan's catalog.
Rolling Stones, Elton John, U2 Documentary Makers Sued
U.S. publishers launch legal action against U.K. movie house over 11 titles.
U2 and Rolling Stones Are Decade’s Biggest Touring Bands
Bono’s group topped $1 billion in income from the road over the past 10 years.
40 Years Ago: U2 Chart Difficult Route to Debut Release ‘Three’
Bono said band had “overcome our mistakes” as 1979 EP kick-started rise to success.