U2: The Greatest Band of all Times
The day has finally arrived when Irish rockers U2 will be playing their first ever concert in the city. The high price ticket is no deterrent to the fans that will see the band in the flesh, for every U2 fan has counted the days, the hours when Bono and his band mates get on stage and rock the night.
U2's sixth album The Joshua Tree' released in March 1987 became the fastest selling album in British chart history, selling almost 250,000 copies in the first week of release and it is no wonder that the tour U2: The Joshua Tree Tour is named after the album.
It was radio, live shows and touring that gave U2 the fillip to make it really big before The Joshua Tree saw the light of day. No one can forget the gospel touch to their mega hit I still haven't found what I've looking for that had haunting guitar riffs and a lingering melody.
The same goes for With or without you where Bono gives off an excellent display of his tenor vocals backed by great instrumentation. But what caused a major furore in Los Angeles was when the band decided to perform the song and film its music video on a rooftop. All the effort paid well when the song won a Grammy award for Best Performance Music video.
The idea for the album name came from Dutch photographer Anton Carijin who saw the tree standing all alone in a desolate spot while he was staying in a hotel room. In the DVD of the making of The Joshua Tree, he stated. "I found out that it was a Joshua tree.
I thought we could use this tree from the front of the inlay cover right until the back. Next morning, I showed Bono and gave him the idea. He referred the name to the Bible and the name was given to the album." Reports reveal that Anton always kept saying the name of the tree as Yoshua instead of Joshua.
The album went on to be the biggest for U2 which TIME magazine labelled as 'Rock's Hottest Ticket' topping the Billboard charts and taking two Grammy Awards for the Album of the Yearand Best Rock Performance in 1988.
U2's humble beginnings however began in the late '70s when band member drummer Larry Muller, who had the original idea of forming a band back in 1976, brought together bassist Adam Clayton, singer Paul David "Bono Vox" Hewson (that meant 'beautiful voice' in Latin) and guitarist Dave "The Edge" Evans, who all met at Dollfin's Mount Temple School. They were originally "The Larry Mullen Band", but by 1978 soon settled for U2 with each adopting their names what was to become their vocation.
The four emerged free of religious sectarianism, something they view in introspect as an unmixed blessing. The early days of the band were strongly affected by punk and the New Wave.
It was a year and half before the band played in London and further six months before their exuberance and perseverance paid off. Aided by manager Paul McGuiness, U2 swiftly began to build a keen local following in native Dublin, playing at small venues.
Soon they went on to rule the world playing in America and Europe and released albums like Boy, October, War, the latter that had the single New Year's Day, which was a significant hit. The band retreated to Ireland to begin recording with Brian Eno and Daniels Lanols.
The fruit of this collaboration being The Unforgettable Fire, an album that achieved No.1 status worldwide with two songs paying lyrical tribute to Martin Luther King Jr - Pride (In the name of love) becoming a favorite worldwide and MLK. At the Live Aid Concert in 1984, Bono stole the show at London's Wembley
Stadium. Thereafter, U2 finally established stellar status, becoming legendary in many people's eyes with Rattle and Hum.
The 90s saw U2 take on a musical reinvention, incorporating alternative rock, techno dance and bits of electronica in their three albums namely Achtung Baby, Zooropa and Pop, the latter that produced the single Discotheque. Pop displayed a whole new production technique from what the band was known for, using loops, drum machines and sequencing.
After the boys became movie stars in their own right viathe film Rattle and Hum, they took their cinematic music when Hollywood came calling. Known for their racy music videos, with dramatic soundscapes that build up before opening up into grand, valley-filling, 360-degree-spinning hooks
(Where the Streets Have No Name, Vertigo) the moody, synth-and-bass textures (Elevation), they surely have the 'reel' thing from songs like Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (Batman Forever), Golden Eye (Golden Eye), Mission Impossible Theme, The Ground Beneath
Her Feet (Million Dollar Hotel) and many more.
Every time the band released an album it was celebrated with a tour, be it their early beginnings in 1979 with the U2 - 3 Tour, down to Zooropa - titled the Zoo TV Tour (1992) and the PopMart Tour (1997). It is only The Joshua Tree Tour (1987) wherein the band has embarked for the second time for the same album.
And why not, after all it is rock's best album ever. U2 is one band that has stuck together for over 40 years and the reason for this is probably that each of the band members come together with no real agenda, ambitions, and preconceptions. Their focus is musical ambitions and nothing else.
Packed with powerful performances by each member, fans of U2 are sure to have an unforgettable night at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai as they join Bono in singing each U2 song and recall the stories behind it. Sunday, Bloody Sunday, is finally here.