❮Reading❯ ➿ U2 by U2 Author U2 – Dolove.info
I was disappointed to learn that Ireland s heroic U2 would publish their auto biography as a coffee table book I believed U2 s story deserved a heavy 500 page sober no photos presentation reflecting an intellectual seriousness And, besides, I didn t own a coffee table But once again U2 demonstrated their genius The over sized format filled with countless images was the perfect setting for this candid story A band this big couldn t fit into a conventional sized book anyway The cumbersome book is not portable And I believe that s part of the point Like so many of their songs, the tales U2 tell are best encountered in the solitude of one s personal domain This is not something you d want to read on a crowded train or at a busy airport Nearly all of the photos are from the band s personal archives and were not previously published Frequently these images are not flattering Documented herein are enough bad hair, bad skin, bad clothes and other bad ideas to destroy the careers of countless lesser bands But it is the text of U2 by U2 that makes this book vital The four members of U2 separately gave Neil McCormack recorded interviews about their lives and the history of the band McCormack then turned the 150 hours of audio into the story in this book The result is brutally honest, intensely personal, shockingly messy and incredibly wonderful Just like a U2 album or concert Often, the individual recollections are not consistent Given the personalities involved that is not surprising What is surprising is that in 1975 these four geniuses found each other And what is even surprising is that for 33 years their passionate idealism and committed loyalty have held them together in the belief that rock and roll really can change the world for the better.After reading about all the challenges, struggles and heartbreaks U2 has overcome and being reminded of all their achievements and contributions, I closed this colossal book and said God bless U2. I ve liked U2 and their music since I was a kid, so it is no surprise that I grabbed a copy actually, the only copy in the bookstore of this delightful book From coming out in the post punk era as ambitious teen agers who can barely play their instruments in Ireland, to the world s stages and stadiums around the world, U2 have outplayed and even outlived some of their contemporaries in the rock and roll industry by a combination of being true to their musical roots and the audacity for experimentation with other styles U2 have also proven that music can be a medium for change, like their involvement in Live Aid to famine stricken, communist ruled Ethiopia in 1984 So whether it s about music or about charity and philanthropy, U2 has both.The band members chronicle in their own words their childhoods, their discovery of music, the formation of the band, the bleak years of artistic and financial struggle, their breakthrough, and the gigantic leaps achieved with albums such as War, The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree, Rattle and Hum, and Achtung Baby.Bono s intelligence can be clearly discerned in his words in the book You can visualize the thought he was expressing, and he also has a quirky sense of humor The part about the initial recording sessions for Achtung Baby in newly unified Berlin in Germany in 1990 was so memorable and amusing Part autobiography and a peek at musicality and even history, U2 by U2 is a rare gain of insight into one of the most influential rock bands of all time We re one, but we re not the same We get to carry each other, carry each other ONE. If I were just a casual fan of U2, I d probably just say wow, I loved this, it was super in depth leave it at that But I m not a casual fan honestly anyone following my reviews knows I menthusiastic about the things I love, let s say , so I ll elaborate this is the book I wanted their mess of an authorized biography to be back in the 80s It s a very rich oral history of the band as individuals and as a unit of artists, friends, and as their storytelling makes clear, as a family If you re most interested in U2 as musicians, you ll gain insight into their process If it s intra band relationships that fascinate you, you ll spend many a happy hour kvelling It s incredibly detailed but never a slog, and I loved every page. It is hard to explain the significance of music for all of the kids in our area There was nothing else nearly as important in terms of establishing your identity I would have huge arguments with my friends about who was the best band in the world, or what was the best record ever made The TV music shows were considered unmissable The EdgeI m a big music fan and I love U2, but I think my opinion of this book waxed and waned with my feelings for their albums as they chronicled the band from their beginnings until How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb I m a fan of everything from Boy to Rattle Hum especially Under a Blood Red Sky and The Joshua Tree , but then things get a little spotty for me With only a few exceptions, Achtung Baby, Zooropa, and Pop weren t really my thing All That You Can t Leave Behind was a welcome return to the older style of U2 music, although with a mature sound So, that s where I m coming fromNo one was singing the refrain from 40 at Red Rocks They were all too cold and there weren t enough of them We had pulled off this concert that no one thought we could, it would have been so nice to hear the crowd chanting Then our tour manager had got the mike and was hiding beneath the barrier, trying to get the crowd to sing and slowly they started singing The edit made it appear a little less organized BonoAs they talked about those early years, their struggles and the elusive success, it was an unequivocal 5 star book for me I was surprised to learn just how close they came to not making it as well as how often they disagree and fight I was a big new wave fan and didn t even know any of their music until The Joshua Tree, in spite of seeing their records in the stores That early part of the book was gold, but then they drift into their Euro dance phase and it felt like a 3 star book They start to sound very whiny nothing was ever good enough and Bono goes into a lot of long winded political stuff He is rightfully proud of his work for Africa, but I just didn t care for his opinions on American politics, and the constant name dropping got old And while it mostly feels like an honest self appraisal by the band it s written from interviews over a couple of years, of all four members along with their manager, Paul McGuinness it also feels like they re trying to set their version of the history down as they want it to be recorded Really, this is a difficult review to write mostly because I broke my left hand and a hard cast is difficult to type with because this could have been a much better book The coffee table format is fine lots of pictures but the text is very small and often it s black on red or some other dark color with interfering patterns making it worse That makes it very hard to read Overall, the latter half was frequently disappointing, and yet I really did love the first halfI was waiting to find the thing that would become my life s work and it found me I fell into it and eventually, when the band started getting good, I realized this was what I wanted to do It wasn t that I had always harbored a secret ambition to become a rock star If I hadn t stumbled into Bono, Adam and Larry, I would probably have gone to college I really have no idea where I would be without U2 Edge I ve been a fan of U2 since their first album, Boy came out in late 1980, when I was just 18 I ve followed them, mostly avidly, ever since, though they did sort of lose me around the era.When I picked up this book, it was in a bargain bin, so it was cheap I didn t really look at it, but fully expected it to be a quick afternoon read, mostly fluff, with a ton of pictures to fill out the volume.Damn, was I wrong This was an in depth conversation with the four members, with occasional interjections from their manager, covering the time from their early childhood right up to the completion and tour for How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb Though one can obviously never be sure of these things, this does feel very much like a very honest, very much warts and all accounting of their time in the world of rock.Some of things I particularly enjoyed were the fact that they never seem to be completely happy with any of their albums, and frequently describe them as something along the lines of, it was a fantastic idea, but we didn t quite pull it off Bono He s an interesting individual, who frequently has the longest passages throughout the book He s often a touch overblown, sometimes says things that come across as dreadfully conceited, but he s very much aware of this Where he falls with an excess of hyperbole, he makes up with an uncompromising passion for anything he attaches himself to, whether that s being the frontman of a very popular, long lived band, or getting warring politicians together to hammer out a solution for world debt The band s reaction to Bono They don t hide their frustration, but they also have learned to trust the man s instincts They realize that most of the time he s right, and even when he s not, he gets them to a place they didn t expect, but can exploit Their beliefs and personal conduct Unlike the standard rock band, most of the members of U2 are deeply devout Christians, and conducted themselves accordingly No trashing of hotel rooms here, though Adam does seem to be the wild card of the bunch Their self deprecation For an incredibly successful quartet, the only one who they seem to acknowledge with major talent is Edge Bono gets some credit for his voice, but most admit that most of the time, they seemed to succeed on sheer stubbornness than through any talent.Overall, I learned a hell of a lot about the band and it was a very interesting ride all along the way. I love U2 They re one of my top 5 rock pop hip hop bands of all times I enjoyed this book It s told 100% in the band s own words My favorite parts were the beginning, where they tell their tale of rising from a nobody punk band to pop megastars And how they struggled with their faith as Christians and used the rock legend stardom to bring attention to noble humanitarian causes Though the book does go a tad dry for me AFTER they hit it big, and the book just traces their recording projects It s like We went to the south of France, Brian Eno showed up, we recorded a bunch of mostly garbage that Eno edited into a serviceable song by adding a keyboard part that we put into a sequencer for our tour And then we toured But even then, it did have me reappraising the bands later music The song Lemon seemed eye rolley to me when it came out, so I never bought the album it came off of, POP This book introduced me to that music gently And I ll be danged if I haven t listened to the LP POP on YouTube and liked it All told, a decent book that starts stronger than it ends I do have one huge complaint, though the layout It s a coffee table book size, and a botch to read And while I love the graphics, there are times that the graphics included under the text made it hard to read the band s actual words Gripes aside, it s a keeper A great rock autobiography Four stars The layout issues above made it hard for me to go five sorry I m picky that way. In , Four Teenagers From Mount Temple School In Dublin Gathered In A Crowded Kitchen To Discuss Forming A Band The Drum Kit Just About Fit Into The Room, The Lead Guitarist Was Playing A Homemade Guitar, The Bassist Could Barely Play At All And Nobody Wanted To Sing Over Thirty Years Later, Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton And Larry Mullen Jr Are Still Together, Bound By Intense Loyalty, Passionate Idealism And A Relentless Belief In The Power Of Rock And Roll To Change The WorldIn A Epic Journey That Has Taken Them From The Clubs Of Dublin To The Stadiums Of The World, U Have Sold Over Million Albums, Been Number One All Over The World, Revolutionized Live Performance, Spearheaded Political Campaigns And Made Music That Defines The Age We Live InFrom The Anarchic Days Of Their Seventies Punk Origins Through Their Eighties Ascent To Superstardom With The Epic Rock Of The Joshua Tree , The Dark Post Modern Ironies Of Achtung Baby In The Nineties And Their st Century Resurgence As Rock S Biggest And Boldest Band, This Is A Tale Of Faith, Love, Drama, Family, Birth, Death, Survival, Conflict, Crises, Creativity And A Lot Of LaughterTold With Wit, Insight And Astonishing Candour By The Band Themselves And Manager Paul McGuinness, With Pictures From Their Own Archives, U By U Allows Unprecedented Access Into The Inner Life Of The Greatest Rock Band Of Our Times I ve been a U2 fan since the year Achtung Baby came out, and was a superfan by the time they got around to releasing Zooropa I had a huge collection magazine articles, web articles, newspaper articles, and even books I studied my archive and was always in search of info and stories about the band I d read BP Fallon s hatchet job or rather, as much of it as I could stand and Bill Flanagan s superb U2 At the End of the World, but I d always been eager to hear about the band from the band All you d have to do is listen to an interview to hear that they all have a way with telling a story, whether its Larry s sharp, fact based assault or Bono s poetic romanticism I d bought the original edition of this book when it came out, but the huge coffee table size made it hard to read That s why I was so delighted by the compact, tote able version, so I could finally read these stories.And they are great stories There are few, if any, jaw dropping admissions In fact, many superfans might know a lot of the particulars here But it s not about the facts, it s about the band looking back on their many peaks and valleys, talking about what went right, what went wrong, and what astonished them by working out It s a terrific read, and worth it for any fan of the band. The most honest look at the inner workings, problems and daily life of a band What s even incredible is that it s coming from the band itself It s refreshing to hear Larry or The Edge talk about how crap they think they are at their instruments, even now I don t want to focus on the negative things, but I was just blown away by their honest opinions and humility I don t know another band that would point out the problems in their performances and desicions, knowing they were being recorded for a book And honesty about their internal arguments, which you usually hear only after a group has split up Again, just a refreshing music biography.You can also watch the importance of the business start to take hold, early on in the words of manager Paul McGuinness, and later Bono, as they become concerned with branding and corporate tie ins, as well as the looming spectre of shiver Internet Piracy Everyone, I suppose, grows into a cranky paranoid old man some time.From their early childhoods to their first taste of fame as a punk band, all the way to the Atomic Bomb album and tour, this book covers the entire history of U2, as told by the primary sources. U2 is arguably the biggest band in the world, and have been for quite some time It is inspiring, then, for anyone with creative ambitions to read about not only their humble beginnings and gradual rise to fame, but also an occasional dissatisfaction with their own work and a periodic need for reinvention They do not have a Yes we re the greatest and we always will be attitude It s like, How did we get here And how is it that we re still here Don t expect stories about drugs and groupies if that s what you re looking for, read Motley Crue s autobiography, The Dirt And though the book drags a bit when it focuses on Bono s political and social activism, these sections are counterbalanced by his fascinating descriptions of meeting and getting to know people like Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Hutchence What made me love this book, however, was the band s honesty and humility their frank admissions that they originally had no idea how to play their instruments Adam and Larry still have difficulty playing in time , and that The Edge s distinctive and complex guitar sound is often just a very simple riff layered with effects Which, in a way, is a kind of metaphor for the band itself Seemingly confident and complicated, they are simply four guys chasing the elusive song they hear in their heads I have an even greater respect for them after reading this autobiography.