In Profile: U2 (1976-79)

u2

For two decades U2 pretty much defined and heralded the integration of post punk and alternative rock into the main stream. Their worldwide appeal was a gradual progression, almost a decade before they conquered the American market, and built on a foundation of indefatigable passion and drive, a distinguishing sound, and savvy management and marketing. In front man Bono, they have a charismatic leader, an outspoken tenacious voice for good (maybe too good sometimes), purposeful and fearlessly expectant that everyone takes notice of his views. He and his band have uncoiled from taut post punk to widening influences and horizons, from continent to continent, rock styled from R&B, Krautrock, and dance were all part of their repertoire, and audiences around the world now respect achievements both in terms of quality recordings, accolades and stability in an industry filled with has beens and long gones.

When Larry Mullen Jr. advertised for musicians to form a band on the school notice board at Dublin’s Temple Mount School in 1976, Paul Hewson (Bono), David Evans (The Edge), brother Dik Evans, and Adam Clayton gathered for practice sessions in the kitchen of his parents home in Artane. Live performances and a following that spread through their homeland would follow, although significantly the rest of the UK was slow to respond. Their first appearance on Irish TV would be in March 1978 on a show called “Youngline”. Weeks later they would change their name from The Hype to U2.

1978 was also significant in that U2 won a Harp Lager/Evening Press talent show and a first prize of £500 in studio time to record a demo that would be heard by CBS Ireland. In addition, Paul McGuiness would become manager of the band, booking demo sessions, live venues whilst consistently raising the band’s profile. By September 1979 a limited edition EP (“Three”) would be released to Irish audiences. Two of the songs would appear on the band’s eponymous debut album “Boy”, the following year.

U2 – Three
Produced by U2 and Chas de Whalley
Label – CBS
Side 1 – Out Of Control (8)
Side 2 – Stories For Boys (8) /Boy-Girl (7)

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