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Set List Recommended

In this edition of Set List Recommended, I am featuring the successes of U2 as seemingly guaranteed by their debut album, Boy (1980).

The full history of U2 can be found on Wikipedia.  

- U2 basics -
Formation - Dublin, Ireland ... 1976

Bono (Lead singer) 
The Edge (Lead guitarist, keyboards, backing vocals)
Adam Clayton (Bass guitar)
Larry Mullen, Jr. (Drums and percussion)

Genres considered - Rock, Alternative Rock, Post Punk

Lyrics are known for personal and sociopolitical themes

"Sunday Bloody Sunday" ... "Pride (in the Name of Love)"
Established U2 as a politically and socially conscious band

The Joshua Tree (1987) launched global success

Boy (1980)
October (1981)
War (1983)
The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
The Joshua Tree (1987)
Rattle and Hum (1988)
Achtung Baby (1991)
Zooropa (1993)
Pop (1997)
All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000)
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004)
No Line on the Horizon (2009)
Songs of Innocence (2914)
Songs of Experience (2017)

The Joshua Tree Tour 2019 (Most recent)

150-170 million records sold worldwide
One of the best-selling music artists in history
The Joshua Tree - One of the best-selling albums sold
- U.S. - 10 million copies
- Worldwide - 25 million copies
22nd highest-selling music artist in the U.S.
8 albums at No. 1 in the U.S.
First group with  No. 1 albums in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s in the U.S.
UK - 7 No. 1 singles ... Tied for 14th most of any artist
UK - 10 No. 1 albums ... Tied for 8th most of any artist
Ireland - Record for most No. 1 singles (19)
No. 22 on Rolling Stone's The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time
Bono - 32nd Greatest Singer (Rolling Stone)
The Edge - 38th Greatest Guitarist (Rolling Stone)
Mullen - 96th Greatest Drummer (Rolling Stone)
Bono and The Edge - No. 35 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time
No. 19 on VH1's The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time (2010)
8 songs listed in Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (2010)
5 albums listed in Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (2012)

"U2 wrote songs about things that were important and resonated with their audience" - Jeff Pollack, The Huffington Post


Grammy Awards
- 22 wins ... 47 nominations
- First win - The Joshua Tree (1988)
- Example wins
Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group
Album of the Year
Record of the  Year
Song of the Year
Best Rock Album

Brit Awards
- 7 wins ... 20 nominations
- 5 wins for Best International Group
- First international group to receive Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music

Meteor Awards
Ireland-based music awards
14 wins

American Music Award

MTV Video Music Awards
6 wins

Q Awards
11 wins

Juno Awards
Canada-based music awards
2 wins

NME Awards
UK-based music awards
5 wins

Golden Globe Awards
2 wins

ASCAP Awards (2006)
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005


Their songs are socially and politically driven.  One would think that such themes would limit their fan base.  Quite the contrary, their fan base is global with resonating unification based on the lyrics. Honors and awards are proof of their success and all that they have offered and continue to offer in the music industry and personal causes.

And the story of U2 had to start somewhere - Boy.