One of the biggest rock bands still performing today, U2 is sure to be a hot ticket seller this year with the release of their newest album, No Line on the Horizon. The band long ago surpassed the high water mark that establishes you as a superstar rock band. At this point in their careers, they’re iconic legends who continue to record and put out music that excites their fans and consistently lands their albums at the top of the Billboard charts.
The band formed way back in 1976, when its members were all still in high school. They struggled to get noticed for the first few years of their lives, though their debut EP, U2 Three, did make them stars at home in their native Ireland. But how to break into the British music market? 1980’s Boy, their first full-length, would prove the key to unlocking the door to Europe as a whole. The album had distinct elements of post-punk in it, but clearly aspired to be a great pop-rock album. This mix made them just edgy enough to appeal to the post-punk audience while still having a more mainstream appeal. Later in the year, October would be released. Both albums would contribute powerful singles-“I Will Follow” from Boy and “Gloria” off October-that were turned into music videos and became hits on a nascent television channel known as MTV. The videos made them up and comers in America.
In 1982, the band released War, and their status in the eyes of music listeners everywhere changed completely and irrevocably. They were considered superstars in England and in America alike, with “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” becoming known as their first iconic song. It was a protest song-one of many-and it would also help establish their image as a “cause” band, one that wasn’t afraid to speak out against injustices around the world (though they’d gradually earn more and more flak from critics about this, with jabs at frontman Bono increasing with time).
Five years later, the band would release the album that would catapult them to international superstar status, Joshua Tree. Containing a number of their most unforgettable tunes, including “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “With Or Without You,” the album was one of their most successful ever. If pressed to pick a best album from their long discography, many fans of U2 would point here. There other place would be 1991’s Achtung Baby.
That record saw the band changing its sound, evolving into a more introspective and immensely experimental rock band. This by far remains a must-have for developing U2 fans, and even old fans find themselves returning to the album’s music over and over.
The band has continued to evolve their sound, and each new concert tour brings new opportunities to experience this band live. If you don’t want to be left out, then you should buy U2 tickets now.