Are you ardent fans of rock music?
Have you been following many music bands, their discographies, collecting merchandise, gathering memorabilia and every single snippet within your reach?
Are you able to point out the unique features or persona of a band that you are fond of?
If yes, then you must be having a great Band IQ.
You can also list out a handful of bands that have had the longest standing career since formation as a band, without a change in their original line up.
Ok, some mundane history.
Ever since some revolutionary form of music that stood apart from the regulation jazz, blues and choir started gaining popularity among the youth of the west in the ’50s and 60s, and, ever since that artform got christened as POP music, a plethora of bands came to existence. And extinction as well.
Their music conquered the youth and old alike, casting a magic spell on mankind.
Their songs talked about countries, people, emotions, relationships, incidents and everything else under the sun. Music was becoming a means of mass communication. The message it conveyed became more important than the musical composition itself. And through the process, music was evolving. And so was the industry. Pop stars, nevertheless, were creating for themselves a slot in peoples minds as messiahs, as protesters, as rebels, as preachers. And thus time went by.
Even surpassing the flower power era, a decade that signified the “sex-drugs-rocknroll” camaraderie.
Come the 80s, and then there was punk, glam rock and liberation time.
Bands in all genre sang antagonizing governments, president, politicians, social dogma and the systems.
It was around that time, a teen band, rather four friends who took to music for portraying their emotions and imaginations hit the city clubs and local gigs of Dublin, Ireland. They met each other at Temple Mount School in 1976 and decided to play as a band, calling themselves Feedback.
And yes, this is the band that we have picked from the history, to feature in this blog issue of Bandtalk. And why them, you will find the answer in the prologue.
Feedback, formed by drummer Larry Mullen Jr, Bassist Adam Clayton, guitar brothers Edge Evans and Dik Evans and a crazy passionate dynamic flamboyant vocalist Paul Hewson believed in the principle: music is more about energy and trying to say something and not necessarily about great musicianship.
This essentially was what the POP culture was and still is all about. Dik Evans moved on with different plans in life, reducing the band to the quartet that it is today. And guys, have no more doubt, Feedback is that band that soon became The Hype and later on, the legendary rock band that we all know today as U2.
The mighty band that currently holds the record for concert world tour gross collection, a whopping figure of $76421584 (c) Wikipedia, has 14 studio albums, one live album, three compilation albums and 67 singles to their credit.
From their debut album Boy released in 1980 to the last studio product Songs of Experience released in 2017, U2 has maintained an incredible charm of versatility and lyrical wizardry. From the early days, the band has been labeled PUNK and ALTERNATE ROCK. Yet somewhere in the middle of these three decades, they experimented with electropop and dance music and saw them sail through the crest and trough of commercial success. The band literally paved way for the alternate rock band reign at a time when heavy metal and hard rock was the general youth music globally.
Well, reaching out to each and every one of their albums through a single article is too humongous a task and calls for a deep research. However, we shall take a closer look at one of their biggest ever selling albums- the one that literally skyrocketed their popularity and cemented their superstardom- The Joshua Tree.
Released in 1987, The Joshua Tree was an instant hit, a critical and commercial success, reaching number one in over 20 countries. It still is one of the best selling albums in the US.
Remember, that was the year when Pops all-time reigning stars like Michael Jackson and George Michael were enjoying the soaring success of Bad and Faith.
Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, long time U2 associates, the band sort of stuck to the basic and conventional rock music structure throughout this album. The bands signature storytelling lyrical prowess is felt in all the songs, particularly on tracks like Bullet the blue sky, Running to stand still, Where the streets have no name etc. The bands most successful single from the offering, With or without you remained on the number one slots on all charts for long weeks on end. The other singles from this Irish band’s Grammy winner album built around a theme – mythical America are I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, Where the streets have no name, In Gods country and One Tree Hill.
Frequently listed among the greatest albums of all time, this one is a must-have for all rockers.
It won the Grammy for album of the year and also for the best rock performance by a group.
The band commemorated the records 20th anniversary with a remastered re-release and 30th anniversary with a concert tour. In 2014, the US Library of Congress deemed this album “culturally, historically and aesthetically” significant.
After all these things being said, what makes this band one of the most unique and rare? In what context do they stand apart?
No prize for rockers guess.
The group has maintained its neat and decent image unlike many of those megastars, hasn’t run into controversies, hasn’t pretty much promoted the regulation rock star lifestyle and above all, has all those founder members still with it, alive, kicking and touring.
Yes, indeed a remarkable thing to have the same original line up over nearly four decades, in spite of the huge success and scintillating stardom.
The much recommended U2 albums from their discography: Unforgettable Fire, Rattle, and Hum, Achtung Baby, Pop, All That you cant leave behind.
The Band: The Edge Evans- Lead n Rhythm Guitar and Backing vocals, Bono ( Paul Hewson) Vocals, Rhythm guitar, Larry Mullen Jr- Drums, Adam Clayton- Bass.