The secret history of 'The Joshua Tree'

For many people it is U2's greatest album. Twenty years on, to mark it's re-release, Colm O'Hare talks to Daniel Lanois and reflects on the extraordinary background to a monumental album.

For U2, The Joshua Tree, their fifth studio album, released in the spring of 1987, came at precisely the right time. Though already hugely successful, particularly as a live act, there was a feeling abroad that they had not yet delivered the definitive, classic album. As Hot Press writer Bill Graham put it, U2 had been “surfing a wave” since their triumphant appearance at Live Aid: “Their Irish optimism, curiosity and adaptability gave them a special empathy with America… the chance for their breakthrough arrived just as their recording and songwriting skills reached maturity.”

The result of a new-found musical and personal exploration, these eleven songs made up U2’s strongest and most cohesive collection of songs to date. Epic in scope and unlimited in its ambition, the album and subsequent tour saw the quartet rise to the major league of international rock stardom. The Joshua Tree had it all: songs of love and loss such as ‘With Or Without You’ and ‘One Tree Hill’; politically inspired polemics like ‘Bullet The Blue Sky’ and ‘Mothers Of The Disappeared’; gospel songs of hope and faith like ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’.

The decision to return to The Unforgettable Fire production team of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois on The Joshua Tree was easy. The pair had forged strong relationships with the band during the making of the previous album.

With the production team in place, the next question was where the LP would be made. The first three U2 albums had all been recorded at Windmill Lane, a high-spec facility located in a narrow street by the River Liffey in Dublin’s (then) dilapidated docklands. For The Unforgettable Fire they had taken the unusual decision to work at Slane Castle, the ancestral pile of Lord Henry Mountcharles, located thirty miles north of Dublin. Slane was a once-off, and there seemed to be little enthusiasm for returning to Windmill Lane; the band, and Bono in particular, had often stated their distaste for the ‘sterile’ environment of recording studios.

Instead, they elected to record in Danesmoate, a two-story-over-basement Georgian mansion in Rathfarnham on the southside of the city in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains. The house, a local landmark, was originally known as Glen Southwell after the family who once lived there. According to historical records, it was originally laid out with rustic follies, a viewing tower, and it even had a small stream flowing through the grounds. Curiously, the first recorded evidence of anyone living there is in 1787 – exactly two hundred years before The Joshua Tree was released – when it was occupied by a Capt. William Southwell. Danesmoate was familiar territory to at least one band member – the house was adjacent to St Columba’s College, Adam Clayton’s alma mater. So impressed was he with the house during the recording sessions that he later bought it for use as his own home and has since carried out extensive restoration work to the listed building.

For Lanois, Danesmoate offered the perfect location for getting down to some serious work. “It was a really nice set-up,” he recalls. “It has this large living room/drawing room, whatever you want to call it – a big rectangular room with a tall ceiling and wooden floors. It was loud, but it was really good loud, real dense, very musical. In my opinion it was the most rock and roll room of the lot. The castle [Slane] was a fun idea and everything but it was a massive place. Danesmoate sounded better than the castle. I think it was the best place of all the experiments we tried ‘cause we’ve always tried different sorts of locations [to record].”

What impressed Lanois most about the 200-year-old building was its unique sonic properties, particularly when it came to, what he describes as, “the low mid-range”.

“The low mid-range is where the music lives,” he explains. “In my opinion The Joshua Tree is a great rock and roll record, partly because of the beauty of the low mid-range of that room.”

Sessions began in earnest in early August 1986 with the usual U2 working method of a combination of sifting through tapes, re-visiting soundcheck jams, and trawling through Bono’s overflowing lyric book, as well as live jamming sessions. However, extracting new material from the band wasn’t always easy, as Eno later admitted on the Classic Albums TV special. “There were quite a few things in the bag, and that’s exactly where they were,” he recalled. “I remember everyone used to walk in with these enormous bags of cassette tapes, especially Edge, who somehow or other had managed to connect his to a black hole located somewhere around Dublin. Because once tapes were in that bag they never reappeared.”

Lanois arrived at Danesmoate about two weeks after the initial sessions had begun.

“As I remember it, Eno and I had decided to go in at different times,” he resumes. “Eno did a week or two and I went in and did a week or two. We did that on purpose. We said, ‘You go in and do some work with them and then I’ll go in and work with them and we’ll see what we’ve got’. It’s a nice thing I like to do with Brian, which is to do something impressive for the other man (laughs).”

Despite the serious business in hand, the atmosphere was anything but tense, and the start of The Joshua Tree sessions had something of a vaudeville touch.

“The band were already there, playing in the band-room when I arrived at the house,” Lanois remembers. “I saw that there was a tray of tea about to be brought into the room, so I took the tray and walked in with the tea, just to get straight the fact that I was still in the trenches as the tea boy (laughs). I remember too that there was a bit of curiosity in the air because at the time I had a number one hit in America with Peter Gabriel (with the song ‘Sledgehammer’). Edge looked over at me and said, ‘Danny, you’ve got the number one hit in North America right now. You’re going to be a rich man’. So humour is there right at the foundation of the sessions.”

A makeshift control room to house the tape machines, mixing desk and the usual array of outboard equipment was created by taking down the large doors to an adjacent room and replacing them with a glass screen. But in keeping with the relaxed, “non-studio” ethos of the sessions, rather than call it a control room, it became known simply as the ‘lyric room’.

“It meant we were able to jockey between the band room and what we called the ‘lyric room’,” Lanois explains. “At a certain point you’ve got to sit down and look at things like, ‘How are the lyrics looking?’ and stuff like, ‘That couplet’s great but you need another line here’ etc. Danesmoate was really good for that, you didn’t have to travel too far. As I recall, a lot of Edge’s guitar overdubs would happen in the lyric room too. For example the guitar, the infinite sustained guitar part on ‘With Or Without You’ was done in the lyric room.”

Progress was swift at Danesmoate, and two of the key songs on the album, ‘With Or Without You’ and ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’, were nailed relatively early on in the sessions. “That was a big help,” Lanois says. “Once you’ve got some strong songs under your belt you can relax a little bit and feel free to experiment.”

Also on board was Flood, who occupied the engineer’s chair during The Joshua Tree sessions. Initially recommended by Gavin Friday (he’d previously produced The Virgin Prunes), U2 had also been impressed by his work with Nick Cave.

Unusually, the songs were mixed as soon as they were recorded.

“It was house policy that we would do some really nice rough mixes along the way,” says Lanois. “The way I feel philosophically, is that mixes done along the way are just as much candidates as mixes in the end. Taking snapshots along the way will be your friend in the end, because sometimes you go too far with something and then you think, ‘Oh wait a minute, a couple of steps back, that was it!’.”

Not long after work began on The Joshua Tree, a distinguished visitor arrived at Danesmoate. Robbie Robertson, the former guitarist and chief songwriter with The Band had come to Dublin to work on his first solo album. Since leaving The Band, Robertson had devoted much of his time since to working in films, both as an actor in movies such as Carny, and on soundtracks to the likes of Martin Scorsese’s Colour Of Money. He was now keen to establish a solo career, with fellow Canadian Lanois in the producer’s chair.

Lanois: “I had started a record with Robbie but I had to leave because it was taking so long. I went to work in Europe, first with Peter Gabriel and then with U2. I felt bad for Robbie that his record wasn’t finished. So I said to him one day, ‘Why don’t you get out of Los Angeles, come out here and just visit for a couple of days?’”

Robertson arrived in Dublin in the middle of Hurricane Charlie, which resulted in the worst floods to hit the city in living memory. “There were cars floating down the streets,” he recalled in an interview with Hot Press, “…it was really frightening. Thank God these guys [U2] were up for some spontaneous combustion!”

Each member of U2, as well as Lanois, contributed to two tracks that would eventually appear on Robertson’s album, ‘Testimony’ and ‘Sweet Fire Of Love’. “It was all done in the band room,” as Lanois remembers. “We just put him in the corner and we all played together and it happened. I think we did well to get two songs in that short time – he was here for only about a week on the outside, with drinks at either end. You hope to maybe get one track and we got two. In my opinion, they’re the best sounding ones on Robbie’s record. The guys were so sweet and kind to him, they just opened the door and he was able to step into that world.”

As the sessions at Danesmoate progressed, Lanois began to note that each of the four members of U2 had made considerable advances in terms of their skills as musicians. This, he says, accounted for a more productive environment, with far less time wasted in trying to hone and shape the new material.

“On The Unforgettable Fire they were still kind of junior musicians,” he says. “Now they were better players and they had more knowledge. I was able to speak with Edge on a much more evolved level. You have to understand that when I came in to work with them on The Unforgettable Fire I was pretty much an educated musical mind. I don’t mean this to sound like I’m bragging, but hey, Danny Lanois went to school you know, while those guys had learned from the streets (laughs).

“The things I was talking to Edge about on The Unforgettable Fire, he knew what I was talking about on The Joshua Tree. We were able to fine-tune a record-making system. We could write out arrangements, do bar counts and say things like, ‘Now we’ll do the two-bar intro rather than the four-bar’ – that meant something to them at that point, whereas before it was mysterious. So they were able to fully comprehend anything that I would come up with in terms of lingo.”

As well as having better musical chops, Lanois says that he also detected a change in the personalities of each of the band members, who by now had hit their mid-twenties. “They were just starting to establish their lives,” he says. “It was a transitional time for everyone, a really great time of idealism and optimism. It was all about, ‘What could we do? What are Eno and Lanois going to contribute?’ They were a bunch of kids really and that’s what’s nice, thinking about it now. You can never repeat that as time moves on. There was a great balance; and the dedication was one hundred percent. The decorators had not yet moved in yet and you know, the cars were not as plentiful and the houses in France weren’t there. I’m not being critical of where things have gotten to now or anything – it’s just that when you talk about rock and roll, it’s largely about rolling up your sleeves and being there and wanting the best out of everybody and that’s what we had at the time.”

The sessions progressed through the autumn and winter of ’86, moving between Danesmoate and Melbeach, Edge’s newly-refurbished house by the sea in leafy Monkstown in South Dublin. The large house overlooking Dublin Bay, which was once owned by the Findlaters, a well-known Dublin merchant family, also became a key recording location for The Joshua Tree. “That’s where songs like ‘Mothers Of The Disappeared’ and what ended up as ‘Bullet The Blue Sky’ were born,” Lanois recalls. “That was less of a rock ‘n’ roll room but we made it work. I think there were a lot of headaches, isolating people and having to build baffles around the place. The more that I talk about it, probably the bulk of the record was done at Edge’s house. Even though the Danesmoate sessions were the backbone of the tonality of the record – we got a lot of the drums done in there.”

According to Lanois, most of the mixing of the album was also done at Melbeach.

“If I remember correctly, Eno was not around much for the mixing, and I think Flood had to leave early as well, so Pat McCarthy came in. We were mixing at Melbeach on an AMEK 2500 desk and Steve Lillywhite was mixing back at Windmill on the SSL desk. Yeah, now I remember it – we didn’t have automation at Melbeach so that’s why we needed three guys at the console – it was more like performance mixing.”

While the album was being recorded, both Eno and Lanois pushed the band in the direction of older songs, particularly American roots music, for guidance and sonic inspiration.

Lanois: “We would always be referencing classics. Eno and I were always bringing in American records to listen to, and they weren’t contemporary ones by any means. We would always go back to listening to really good ‘feel’ records, soul records and I think that’s still to this day a great reference point for anybody. We were also referencing Morrissey and Johnny Marr – and their band The Smiths, that was a big reference for us and My Bloody Valentine as I recall were another big influence. We were fans of that textural guitar work.”

After the most intense and most productive period of recording in the history of U2, The Joshua Tree was finally completed early in the New Year 1987. By all accounts the final few weeks were frantic.

“It’s always stuff like, ‘Hey Eno’s leaving in a week, we’ve got to use him up and put him on things that can make a difference’,” says Lanois. “It’s really down to scheduling at a certain point.”

Lanois now says he clearly remembers the feeling of exhaustion among the band and the production team when the album was finally put to bed. “If I remember right, the only person who was left standing at the end is The Edge,” he laughs. “Everyone else is sick, overwhelmed, being carried out on stretchers and people have quit. Edge is the only man left standing because he’s the librarian in the band; he can actually still be level-headed after something like that. So he goes off and sequences the album on his own and sends it off for mastering.”

The eleven songs that eventually made the cut for The Joshua Tree showcase a band at the height of their artistic powers. More than any other U2 album before or since, they capture a feeling and a mood perfectly in tune with the times – and yet completely at odds with the prevailing musical zeitgeist. As Bill Graham wrote in 1996: “It’s the first conclusive evidence that the best young live band of their era had graduated as masterful pop mimics in the studio. With The Joshua Tree, their recorded work finally catches up and even outstrips their live reputation.”

“We approached arranging and producing each song like it was unique,” Edge told Hot Press “We just hoped the album would have a sonic cohesiveness based on the idea that we were playing it. There was definitely a strong direction but equally we were prepared to sacrifice some continuity to get the rewards of following each song to a conclusion. I hate comparisons but like The Beatles at their height, in terms of unusual production techniques, we wanted to do what was right for the song.”

Where The Streets Have No Name

Structurally, the opening song on the album is complex, with tricky chord changes and unconventional time signatures. Not surprisingly, it was the one that caused the most grief in the arranging and recording process. “Oh yeah, I remember that one alright, that was the science project song,” Lanois laughs. “I remember having this massive schoolhouse blackboard, as we call them. I was holding a pointer, like a college professor, walking the band through the chord changes like a fucking nerd. It was ridiculous.”

The song is also the subject of one of the most enduring Joshua Tree myths: that Eno became so frustrated by the song’s tricky gestation, he tried to erase it. Flood confirmed this on Classic Albums: “Pat [McCarthy, tape operator] had gone out of the room while they were working on ‘Streets’ to make a cup of tea, came back with the tea and Brian had all the tape machine ready to go into record. Pat had to drop the tea, run up and grab Brian physically and hold him back from doing this. So he was completely freaked out at the junior member of the team attacking the senior member of the team and saying, ‘Maybe it’s not a good idea Brian to wipe the entire song.’”

For his part, Eno attempted to set the record straight. “That story has been told a lot of times, now I shall tell you the truth about it,” he said. “That song was recorded so there was a version of it on tape. That version had quite a lot of problems. What we kept doing was spending hours and days and weeks, actually probably half the time that the whole album took was spent on that song, trying to fix up this version on tape. It was a nightmare of screwdriver work. My feeling was that it would be much better to start again. I’m sure we would get there quicker if we started again. It’s more frightening to start again… my idea was to stage an accident to erase the tape so that we would have to start again. But I never did.”

Released in September 1987 ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ was the third single to be taken from The Joshua Tree. It reached No 4 in the UK and No 13 in the US. The B-sides included the tracks ‘Silver And Gold’, ‘Sweetest Thing’ and (on the 12” single and CD single) ‘Race Against Time’.

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

Regarded as one of the most fully-realised songs the band have ever written and certainly among the most enduring of all of U2’s hit singles, ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ is rooted in the gospel of the Staples Singers, the Swan Silvertones and The Mighty Clouds Of Joy.

The working title was actually the far more secular-sounding ‘Under The Weather’, due mainly to the fact that the drum rhythms were taken from a previously-abandoned song called ‘The Weather Girls’, which was rescued by Lanois.

“It was a very original beat from Larry,” he explains. “We always look for those beats that would qualify as a signature for the song. And that certainly was one of those. It had this tom-tom thing that he does and nobody ever understands. And we just didn’t want to let go of that beat, it was so unique. Edge wrote a chord sequence and he overdubbed the acoustic on top of the drums with a lot of power in the strumming. And we built on top of that trying a bunch of melodies. It just started sounding more like a soul song all the time.”

The background vocals on the song consist of Edge, Lanois and Eno, their voices multi-tracked several times over. “That was the singing team, as it was for many other records since then, like ‘Beautiful Day’ for example”, says Lanois. “We had a theory about it at the time which I think holds true today. And that is, you do your own background vocals, with the people in the room that are actually making the record. Even though if you compare us to the Pointer Sisters we might not hold up (laughs), we’re actually connected with the project. You’re not going to get that sound of, ‘Oh they brought in some soul singers’ if you know what I mean. Our hearts and souls are already there. If we sing it’ll sound more real.”

The single became U2’s second US No.1, also hitting number 6 on the UK singles chart. It came in third in the 1987 Rolling Stone Readers’ Picks for Best Single and was nominated for two Grammies as Best Single of the Year and Best Record of the Year.

Lanois has a theory about ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ which he says puts it way ahead of its time. “Let’s put it this way,” he explains. “If we were doing that in 2006 we would be doing hip-hop. We didn’t know what hip-hop was then but it’s very much at that tempo. So the song might have been a premonitional moment about hip-hop.”

With or Without You

The first single to be taken from the album, Bill Graham described ‘With Or Without You’ both as a “masterful pop song” and U2’s “first real adult love song.”

But for a song that is now considered a classic of its type, its origins were initially unpromising, as Lanois testifies.

“It started out with this Yamaha beat box we had at the time,” he says. “It was really meant to be a guide and we got the nicest sound out of it that we could. And then Adam put on his bass, which was a kind of short-scale Ibanez bass that Eno always wanted but Adam wouldn’t give him (laughs). It’s an eight-note thing which happened to really connect with that rhythm, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. And then without having a lot of other instruments occupying the mid-range, Edge had just gotten the Infinite sustain and he plugged it in and suddenly it went whoooooo. He was kind of testing the instrument. He was in the control room, and I said, ‘That sounded pretty cool,’ so we listened back and I said, ‘Jesus it’s better than I thought’. It was like, ‘Okay, let’s go’ and it was two takes right away.”

Lending the song that distinctive guitar texture, the now infamous Infinite guitar was built by a Canadian friend of Daniel Lanois. “It’s a normal six-string guitar but he turned the back pickup into a speaker,” he explains. “It’s a genius thing; you create a feed-back loop. Since then, of course, people have started mass-manufacturing them, but back then it was unexplored territory.”

And as Lanois rightly points out, like most songs in the U2 canon, it doesn’t have a chorus – not in the traditional sense. “It has tension and builds like one of those great Roy Orbison songs, where every section is unique and never repeats. I like that kind of sophistication to be operating, out of step with the usual verse-chorus-bridge-verse-chorus. I think the moral of the story here is, you’ve got beautiful bottom-end on that [song] and then very beautiful top end with the Infinite sustain, leaving the mid-range open for Bono. So it’s a little bit of genius in terms of clarity. It’s kind of hymnal.”

And so sonically unusual that the band’s manager Paul McGuinness didn’t think it was suitable single material and initially resisted releasing it. However, Gavin Friday managed to convince both him and the band that that it was a “certain No 1”. He was right. ‘With Or Without You’ became U2’s first ever US No 1 single, also reaching number 4 in the UK, their second highest position at that point (‘Pride In The Name of Love’ had reached No 3 in September ’84).

Bullet The Blue Sky

The hardest, heaviest song on The Joshua Tree and one of the angriest of all U2’s songs, ‘Bullet The Blue Sky’ put paid to any notion that U2 had gone soft. The lyrical idea came from Bono’s Amnesty-sponsored visit to the Central American countries El Salvador and Nicaragua, where he witnessed poverty and struggle. The title was a reference to the government fighter planes screaming overhead on a mission to quell an uprising somewhere in the hills.

According to Steve Lillywhite, who was brought in to mix a number of songs on the album, there was at one point two different versions of ‘Bullet’.

“Edge wanted to fly over from one version to another version,” he says. “Nowadays you have samplers… it’s easy to move things around. Back then it wasn’t so easy. We had to take it off one tape put it on the half-inch tape recorder and manually match the tempos. ‘Bullet The Blue Sky’ was never all played at the same time; it was a real mish-mash of two things.”

Lanois: “That came out of a jam, a long twenty-minute jam and then we found the sweet spot. I remember really being dedicated to that piece of music and spending a long time on edits and building an arrangement for a song that was never a song, that was only ever a jam. It was one of those songs that was born partially by surgery – the editing of the structure was a really big part of it.

“The Edge had these great dive-bombs [descending guitar sounds] on it and there was a great section where Larry was looking really good. As I recall, Flood [the engineer] went to Windmill Lane where they had access to a big warehouse next door and we built a PA in there and we put Larry’s drums through the PA and re-miked it. It was a really elaborate kind of rock and roll chamber. Flood was really dedicated to getting that to sound as good as any rock record.

“Once we had it laid out then Bono was able to come up with his lyrics. Obviously, he was fascinated with the expansion of the American empire and what all empires do is to protect their business interests. I think it was Nicaragua at the time: ‘Let’s keep the peasants in the hills and if there’s any uprising lets roll over them with a steam roller’. The horror of that really touched Bono.”

Running To Stand Still

Possibly prompted by the death earlier in the year of Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott through drug abuse, ‘Running To Stand Still’ was the third U2 song to deal directly with the subject of drugs and their destructive effect (‘Bad’ and ‘Wire’ from The Unforgettable Fire being the others). But it was also undoubtedly inspired by the rapid growth in drug abuse they’d encountered in their hometown. By the mid-1980s parts of Dublin had become ravaged by cheap heroin. Some of U2’s old friends had even fallen victim to the drug. The line, “I can see seven towers and only one way out,” was a direct reference to the 1960s tower-blocks of the Ballymun council estate, near to where Bono had grown up. The area was a notorious heroin blackspot at the time the song was written. Most of the towers have now been demolished in a massive government rejuvenation scheme.

Both sonically and lyrically, ‘Running To Stand Still’ is inspired by Lou Reed’s ‘Walk On The Wild Side’ and like ‘Bad’ it would, in time, prove to be an intensely powerful live song.

Lanois played what he called his “scrape guitar” on the track. “It’s one of those sounds you hide in the background and it offers a colour, it doesn’t draw attention to itself as a guitar,” he says. “It’s one of those songs where people were gathered around in a huddle. Bono had the words written; this was a nice opportunity to get something live. I remember that tender moment, me playing that scrape guitar, Larry on the tom-tom. There was just a wonderful communication happening in the room at that time. I think it’s what people feel on that record, there was really a presence of performance.”

Red Hill Mining Town

Written against the backdrop of the hugely divisive miners strike in Britain in the mid 1980s, the song is not considered to be one of the album’s finest, with Bill Graham describing it as “cluttered and literal, the least mysterious and open-ended.” Rather than try to capture the feelings of the protagonists on both sides of the dispute Bono tried to personalise the song, bringing it down to the level of a relationship between a miner and his wife. However his efforts at getting into the hearts and minds of those affected by the strike didn’t always go down well. “People beat me with a stick for that,” he later told Hot Press. “But what I’m interested in is seeing in the newspaper or the television that another thousand people have lost their jobs. Now what you don’t read about is that those people go home and they have families and they’re trying to bring up children.” Curiously, the song was once considered for a single release; a video was shot by acclaimed Irish film director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Breakfast On Pluto) but apparently the band weren’t happy with the results and the video and plans for a single release were shelved. The song also has the unique distinction of being the only track on The Joshua Tree never to have been performed live by U2.

In God’s Country

Seen by many to be a companion piece to ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’, the shortest song on the album (clocking in at just under three minutes – almost half the length of ‘…Streets…’) ‘In God’s Country’ brought the band back to more familiar territory. A sweeping, high-octane, headlong rush of sounds with Edge’s chugging guitar and plucking harmonics predominating, the song’s brevity undoubtedly played in its favour, lending it a sense of urgency. The title was a direct reference to America’s strong religious tradition – though Bono’s reference to “crooked crosses” might be to dodgy TV evangelists in the US.

“‘In God’s Country’ has a great high-speed feeling about it,” says Daniel Lanois. “I forget where we cut the basics for that one. It was probably at Danesmoate but I think it was finished vocally back at Edge's house.”

‘In God’s Country’ was released as a US-only single in December 1987, the last single to be taken from the album, reaching number 44. It did almost as well in the UK given that it was available as an import-only purchase, reaching number 48.

Trip Through Your Wires

The song which made its debut on the RTÉ show TV Gaga early in 1986 was clearly inspired by the then emerging raggle taggle/roots movement made popular by outfits such as The Waterboys and Hothouse Flowers, who themselves were steeped in mid-period Dylan. In its original incarnation, ‘Trip Through Your Wires’ had a loose, busky, almost throwaway feel. But the version that made the cut for The Joshua Tree was more studied and controlled. In his book Into The Heart, Niall Stokes describes it as, “a possible paean to the contradictory charms of America personified as a woman.”

“I really like that one, though it probably has less of a melody than the other songs on the album,” Lanois remembers. “I think most of that was done at Edge’s house.”

One Tree Hill

Inspired by the death of Greg Carroll, Bono’s personal assistant and roadie, ‘One Tree Hill’ is arguably the most poignant, emotionally-charged song U2 have ever recorded.

Sonically, ‘One Tree Hill’ is the least instrumentally adorned song on the album, resplendent in a feeling of space and openness. Encouraged by the supple mid-tempo rhythm from Larry and Adam, the key signature is Edge’s African-tinged, highlife guitar motif which runs through the song like a river.

Edge explained to John Waters how he stumbled across this sound: “We were jamming with Brian [Eno]. He was playing keyboards, I was playing guitar…we just got this groove going, and this part began to come through. It’s almost highlife, although it’s not African at all… the sound was for me at that time a very elaborate one. I would never have dreamt of using a sound like that before then, but it just felt right, and I went with it.”

Exit

Like ‘Bullet The Blue Sky’, ‘Exit’ is angry and discordant, a murder ballad of sorts, written by Bono after he had read Norman Mailer’s The Executioner's Song, an account of the life of convicted killer Gary Gilmore (brother of Rolling Stone writer Mikal Gilmore), who was executed in 1977.

“I don’t even know what the act is, in that song,” Bono told Hot Press. “Some see it as murder, others suicide – and I don’t mind. But the rhythm of the words is nearly as important in conveying the state of mind.”

With a bizarre and astonishing similarity to the Charles Manson ‘Helter Skelter’ saga of two decades earlier, a man named Robert Bardo claimed in a Los Angeles court in 1991 that ‘Exit’ had inspired him to murder a young actress, Rebecca Schaeffer. The twenty-one year old Schaeffer, who had appeared briefly in Woody Allen’s Radio Days, was shot by Bardo, a paranoid schizophrenic, in April 1989 after he arrived at her apartment with a gun. It later transpired that he had become obsessed with the actress and had been writing to her for several years. With even more sinister shades of John Lennon’s murder, she had apparently signed an autograph for him twenty minutes earlier. After he shot her he ran onto a freeway in an apparent suicide attempt, but was caught and arrested. His claim about the effect of ‘Exit’ on his state-of-mind was never pursued, as he pleaded insanity and received a life sentence. One result of Schaeffer’s murder was the classification of stalking as a felony in California.

Mothers of the Disappeared

The closing song on The Joshua Tree grew out of the band’s close association with Amnesty International and their participation in the Conspiracy Of Hope tour during the summer of 1986. Bono wrote it following his visit to Central America later that year. He was particularly moved by the plight of the hundreds of opponents of regimes in several countries throughout the '70s and '80s who had seemingly disappeared without trace. An organisation, Mothers Of The Disappeared, had emerged to highlight this injustice and Bono responded by honouring their cause with a song.

One of the more experimental songs on the album, Eno came up with a sampled drum-loop fashioned by utilising a piano as a percussive instrument. But the key sonic element of the recording is the drone-like texture running through it, evoking an abstract sense of evil and dread.

Though it didn’t make it onto the album, one of the best-known songs to have emerged from The Joshua Tree sessions was ‘Sweetest Thing’ – one of U2’s most pop-oriented songs. The original version appeared on the B-side to ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ and much later became a hit single when it was rescued, re-mixed and embellished for The Best Of 1980-1990 compilation. It’s tempting to speculate that, had it been included on the arguably weaker side of the album in place of say, ‘Trip Through Your Wires’ or ‘Exit’, The Joshua Tree,/i> would have been an even stronger album than it was.

“The fact is we never finished it at that time,” reveals Lanois. “It always had the, 'oh-oh- oh, the sweet-est thing' part and that beat. But it was much later when Bono added the 'oh-la-la' section. There’s always that slightly uncomfortable part of the record-making [process] where something that holds so much promise is not finished and you just have to accept that and move onto something that is more finished. We always cut more than we need for every U2 record – God knows there’s days of jamming and recordings, lovely things actually that are not fully baked cakes, but they always spill into the next album. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb had things that we never finished on All That You Can’t Leave Behind and there were left-overs from The Joshua Tree that made it onto Achtung Baby. We never set out to occupy a certain time-slot. In the end you want to put your best foot forward.”

The Joshua Tree,/i> was released in Britain and Ireland on March 9, 1987. In a clever marketing tactic, that hadn’t been overused at the time, it was made available in some record shops in Britain and Ireland at midnight. The fans responded in droves with hundreds queuing out in the cold to get their hands on the hugely anticipated new album.

The effect was almost instant – within two weeks of its release The Joshua Tree,/i> hit Number One in the US, Britain and twenty-one other countries worldwide. Within months of its release U2 made the cover of Time Magazine with the headline “U2 – ROCK’S HOTTEST TICKET”, confirming their new-found status in the premier league of rock acts. The reviews for The Joshua Tree were universally ecstatic and in U2’s case unprecedented.

In Hot Press, Bill Graham waxed even more lyrical than usual in his extended review: “The Joshua Tree rescues rock from its decay, bravely and unashamedly basing itself in the mainstream before very cleverly lifting off into several higher dimensions,” he wrote. “…with its skill, and the diversity of issues it touches, one thing is absolutely clear: U2 can no longer be patronised with faint and glib praise. They must be taken very seriously indeed after this revaluation of rock.”

Steve Lillywhite is under no illusions as to what made it popular with a mainstream audience. “I think what made The Joshua Tree the big seller that it was, was the fact that they had the radio songs, the hits, and it was all stuff that they could play live.”

Lanois’ reputation also soared into the stratosphere in the wake of his production triumph on Joshua Tree. By now considered one of the most important producers to have emerged in the 1980s, he went on to midwife hugely acclaimed albums for Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, The Neville Brothers and many others. He has maintained his connection with U2, working on their most recent albums All That You Can’t Leave Behind and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.

Asked how he feels about The Joshua Tree over twenty years later, he pauses to gather his thoughts before elaborating.

“Well, I’ve been hurt more on other records than I was on that record,” he says. “You know where you actually take a kicking, as I did when I made Bob Dylan’s Time Out Of Mind. I certainly felt that at every stage of The Joshua Tree there were no major personal disappointments. I like the sound of the early U2 records that we made. It’s the sound of commitment.

“Modern day record production – because people have access to so many sounds – has kind of fallen into the hands of stylists. ‘Let’s have that little beat and this little texture and you come up with them in, like, minutes – that should work with this, that’ll be nice here and let’s hang that over there’. And it makes a very nice first impression, like, ‘Jeez we didn’t have to do any work and we’ve got that big, symphonic U2 sound that they got in the 1980s’. But what you don’t get is that ramp-up of dedication to get to that place.

“It’d be like if you buy a barren piece of property and you push a button and end up with a full orchard. Consequently, you end up with instant gratification, but you may not have a connection with it, it might actually not belong to you, at all. You can employ a stylist for a photo-shoot but I don’t think you should employ one for the making of a record. Those U2 records, they have big ramp-ups, they’re filled with philosophies. And we got to those places because we believed in an idea and not because we liked someone else’s idea.”

 

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LISTEN: Bono on Zane Lowe

The U2 frontman on Ramones and Kraftwerk influences on their new album, working with Danger Mouse and how he fears his band are "on the verge of irrelevance".

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DOWNLOAD: U2's 'Invisible' goes live + Bono talks about the new LP & touring plans

You have up until 5am on Tuesday to get yourself a free iTunes download copy of U2’s ‘Invisible’, which was teaser trailered during this morning’s Superbowl half-time ad break.

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U2 to debut new single during Super Bowl

We'll get our first taste of 'Invisible' during an ad break, after which free iTunes downloads of the single will raise money for charity.

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Dave Fanning 'first time play from U2' turns out not to be them

There was excitement – then much head scratching last night among the U2 community when Dave Fanning announced on his 2fm show “I’m going to give you something now, a brand new, first time play which is from U2. This song here, will it be on the album? Just a blast! Brand new, ‘Invisible.’”

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U2 up for Academy Award

'Ordinary Love' leads the pack in this year's Oscars race...

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U2 bag Golden Globe Award + confirm new tune

Last night turned out to be an extremely good one for U2 with the chaps picking up a Best Original Song Golden Globe with ‘Ordinary Love’.

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Hot Press Annual – out now

The Hot Press Yearbook has also landed...

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LISTEN: U2 release Paul Epworth mix of single

Here the Grammy-winning producer's take on 'Ordinary Love'.

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U2 earn Golden Globes nom for Mandela song

'Original Love', penned for Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, is up for Best Original Song.

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U2 Issue Statement About Paul McGuinness' Departure

The four members of U2 have signed a statement which formalises the beginning of their new deal with Live Nation

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WATCH: Bono & The Edge jam with Chic in NYC

With the country understandably gripped by sick rugby-related parotdom, we thought we’d try and cheer you up with the world’s finest karaoke ensemble – Chic plus Bono

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U2 reveal new song ‘Ordinary Love’

The song is taken from the band’s recent sessions with Danger Mouse and will feature in the upcoming film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

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Hot Press produce exclusive U2 book

Team Hot Press is proud to announce North Side Story, a limited-edition book we’ve produced for the good folk at U2.com...

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DOWNLOAD: Nashville duo cover classic U2 song

We are loving Jenny & Tyler’s gorgeous cover of U2’s ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’, which also features Sara Gloves.

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U2 plot vinyl release of Mandela track

'Ordinary Love' has been penned for a new biopic on the inspiring South African statesman.

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New U2 track features on Mandela trailer

Check out a hint of 'Ordinary Love'...

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U2 and Sinead feature on monster Amnesty box-set

Amnesty International has announced the early November release of a 2-CD, 6-DVD box-set celebrating 25-years of their Human Rights Now benefit gigs.

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Adam Clayton weds in Dublin

U2 bassist marries in low-key fashion...

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U2, Bob Geldof and Niall Horan support Pussy Riot

The Irish stars join Amnesty International in calling for the two jailed members to be released...

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U2 join the bill in 'a Night for Christy'

Bono and Co. will perform Aslan's 'This Is' for audiences worldwide on Friday June 21

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UPDATE: U2 Re-Work ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ For Agit8

It’s in aid of the agit8 campaign, which is calling on western leaders to help end extreme poverty by 2030.

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Bono Plays New Album To Lanois

Toronto Globe & Mail music journalist Brad Wheeler has been tweeting about the interview he’s just conducted with Daniel Lanois.

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Win Bono's shades at London charity gig!

You can also catch David Gray, Gabriella Cilmi and The Magic Numbers going acoustic for Africa.

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Department of Education join U2 and The Ireland Funds Project

The Department of Education are to start helping fund the Music Generation project, which U2 and The Ireland Funds have bankrolled to the tune of €7 million since 2007.

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New U2 Book

It will feature extensive snaps of the Dublin band.

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Former Adam Clayton Assistant Found Guilty

Carol Hawkins, the former personal assistant to Adam Clayton of U2, has been found guilty of stealing almost €3 million from him.

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U2 photo exhibition opens

Running until the autumn...

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Bono and The Edge go acoustic for charity

A stripped down 'Original Of The Species' appears on thew new Every Mother Counts 2012 compilation.

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New U2 book

The Dublin band is the focus of I'm A Fan.

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U2 live album details

The tracklisting for the U2360° CD was picked by the fans.

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U2 Launch Collage Competition

They’ll be recreating the infamous Achtung Baby cover design with sixteen winning entries…

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Achtung Baby 20th Anniversary Editions

The sound of four men chopping down the joshua tree - over then discs!

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LISTEN: Jack White covers U2

It's part of a 20th Anniversary Achtung Baby tribute compilation.

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U2 documentary airs on BBC

From The Sky Down will be shown on BBC One this Sunday, October 9.

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U2, Usher and Lady Gaga for Bill Clinton tribute

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Trailer for U2 film unveiled

Check out a sneak peak of From The Sky documentary which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last week.

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Bono's heart 'absolutely fine'

According to a statement made to The Mirror Bono is in good health, despite recent press stories to the contrary.

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No health scare confirms Bono

Contrary to reports in the Irish Independent this morning Bono says he did not suffer a heart scare while in the South of France.

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Elevation Partners investment in Facebook looks to have reaped rewards

The investment vehicle involving Bono has seen the value of their Facebook stake increase dramatically.

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Achtung Baby gets "Uber Deluxe" edition!

Plus your chance to finally see the world through Bono's eyes.

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U2 documentary to open Toronto Film Festival

A further big screen outing for Bono and the boys is in store.

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U2 to sell their Claw stages as permanent venues

The alien-like works of art are set to live on!

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Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark is box office smash!

Broadway musical triumphs over adversity

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U2 plan Achtung Baby & Zooropa re-releases

Meanwhile, there's the small matter of tonight's Glasto headliner!

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Music Generation to educate the musical youth of Ireland

Louth, Mayo and Sligo set to receive up to €1.6 million in funding over three years from U2 and Ireland Funds supported venture

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U2's 360 becomes the highest-grossing tour of all-time

The record was beaten last night in Brazil.

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U2 Versus The U.S.A.

As they hit the road on a major stateside tour, U2 had left the memories of those first rehearsals in Larry Mullen’s kitchen far behind. Here we present an intoxicating trip down memory lane. By Bill Graham, April 5, 1981

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U2 confirm Glasto headliner

They're playing the Pyramid Stage on the Friday night.

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U2 make history in Jo'burg

Over 98,000 people watched their gig last night in the FNB Stadium.

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U2 win concert awards

The U2360° Tour has cleaned up in Vegas.

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U2, Stade Roi Boudoin, Belgium

U2 brought their high octane show to Brussels for two nights to make amends for skipping them the last time around

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UPDATE: U2 recording new album with Danger Mouse

According to Paul McGuinness, it's likely to land in early 2011.

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U2 enlist Danger Mouse

The Gnarls Barkley man has produced the new U2 album

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U2 LIVE AT THE STADIO OLIMPICO, ROME

Bono and the boys rocked the foundations of the famous city and our man was there to catch the best bits

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Amnesty activists arrested at U2 show in Moscow

The band went on to play a blinder in the Luzhniki stadium.

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U2 album for later this year?

Paul McGuinness talks to Hot Press after U2’s triumphant Turin show.

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U2 debut three new songs in Turin

That new album mightn't be too far away!

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WORLD EXCLUSIVE: U2 album before the end of the year?

Hot Press talks to Paul McGuinness minutes after their Turin show.

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Michael Eavis wants U2 for Glasto 2011

Hopefully it'll be second time lucky for the band.

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U2 top touring rich list

Injured backs aside, it's been a pretty good year for the boys!

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Bono fit to resume touring

The Claw comes out of mothballs on August 6 in Turin.

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U2360° At The Rose Bowl live on Sky 1 tonight

The penultimate gig from the groundbreaking tour last year saw U2 making history on a number of fronts

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Bono discharged from hospital & expected to make full recovery

U2 have however been forced to cancel their Glastonbury headliner & postpone 16 US dates.

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Bono to be portrayed in new play + McGuinness gives album update

Only one of them will be happening before June!

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U2 to release 360° Tour concert DVD

U2360°At The Rose Bowl is due in June and features a host of extras.

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New U2 remix album

Bono has also contributed to an Afrobeat version of 'Move On Up'.

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Older, Smarter, Wiser

Through ten years of extraordinary turbulence, other contenders have squared up to U2 – but the Irish four-piece have seen them all off to retain their crown as the biggest, and millions would agree the best, band in the world.

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U2 top American earners list

The band's trans-Atlantic exploits earned them $108 million in 2009.

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U2 scotch Irish gig rumours

The band have issued not one, but two denials.

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U2 win 360 Tour Award

There are also gongs for their crew.

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U2, Jay-Z & Rihanna debut Haiti song

‘Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)’ will be available soon for iTunes download.

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Haiti charity concert to be screened in Ireland [updated!]

U2, Jay-Z & Rihanna are collaborating on a tie-in single.

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It Might Get Loud Opens In Dublin

It Might Get Loud, the movie featuring Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White, got its first Irish airing last night at the IFC in Dublin – to a hugely positive reaction.

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U2's 'One' Tops Fanning's Fab 50

U2 have yet again claimed first place in Fanning’s Fab 50 on RTÉ 2fm, with the extraordinary 'One' – which first appeared on the Achtung Baby album, and has since gone on to become U2's most popular and enduring song.

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The Unforgettable Fire

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Boy

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Achtung Baby

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Joshua Tree

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U2 receive three Grammy nominations

No Line On The Horizon and ‘I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight’ are both up for awards!

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U2

With the crowd having waited patiently through snow, rain and wind on a bitterly cold Berlin night, U2’s arrival on stage was greeted with joy and jubilation.

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It's official! U2 to headline Glasto.

U2 will headline the Pyramid Stage on Friday night (June 25) at Glastonbury 2010.

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U2

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U2 UNITE BERLIN

U2 played an electrifying mini-set to an audience of 10,000 at Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) this evening, to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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U2 free Berlin Wall gig

U2 will perform a free show at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to mark the 20th anniversary of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

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U2 to stream 360 Tour gig on YouTube

It's taking place in the early hours of Monday morning.

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U2 set new Giants Stadium attendance record

They've also announced more European tour dates.

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Reasons to be Optimistic...

The economy may be swirling down the plughole, but Ireland has a rich history of entrepreneurship. We need to build on this.

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Academic conference on U2

US university to host a conference on 'U2:The Hype and The Feedback'

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U2 break Wembley record

They're also hoping to find post-360 Tour homes for The Claw.

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The Edge stars in new documentary

It Might Get Loud also stars Jack White and Jimmy Page.

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U2 top box-office chart

They've grossed over $40 million from five shows.

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The heavyweight champions of the world

In rock terms, that's what U2 are, having successfully defended their crown against all-comers since The Joshua Tree crashed to No.1 in the US in 1987.

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U2 @ Croke Park - They came, they claw, they conquered

They came from the four corners to see U2 at Croke Park. Our reviewer caught the opening night of the 360º tour’s Irish leg.

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U2 @ Croke Park on Monday, July 27

U2 pitch up to Croke Park for the final night of their Dublin jaunt with a little help from fellow locals The Script and Bell X1

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U2 @ Croke Park, Saturday July 25

Bono and the lads are back in Croke Park for the second night of their 360 Tour visit to Dublin

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U2 Live @ Croke Park

Bono and co play the first of three nights on the banks of the Royal Canal...

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Crowd @ U2

Some of the many faces that travelled from all corners of the globe to see U2 play a triumphant hometown gig

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U2 triumph at Croke Park

They came, they saw, they comprehensively rocked the gaff!

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U2 stage times

The chaps are on at 8.45pm.

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U2 join Rock And Roll Hall of Fame birthday bill

The party's taking place in New York in October.

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The Tweetest Thing

Online postcards from The Edge!

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U2 support music teacher initiative

Millions are to be spent on nurturing young talent.

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The Edge remembers Michael Jackson

The current issue of Hot Press includes an exclusive interview with The Edge in which he talks about meeting Michael Jackson, the singer's death, criticism of U2 in Ireland, blogging and the controversy over U2’s carbon footprint. He also gives a unique insider’s view of how U2’s 360º Tour works.

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U2 Live In Barcelona: It's A Result!

The opening night of a U2 tour can be fraught with peril. But in the Camp Nou in Barcelona tonight they exorcised the demons of previous tours and started on a winning note. Report: Olaf Tyaransen

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U2 make surprise Island birthday bash appearance

The band turned up last night in London.

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Update: U2 appearing on late late tonight

They have just been confirmed to play on Kenny's last show

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U2 release new rarities album

It's available exclusively to U2.com members.

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U2 ready new single

Already all over the Irish airwaves, U2's 'Magnificent' track will be the second single from their recent No.1 album.

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U2 add more support groups

Bell X1 and The Script have both got the Croker call.

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U2 Confirm 3rd Dublin Date

As predicted by Hot Press, U2 have confirmed a third date in Croke Park this July.

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U2 set new ticket sales record

The band sold 650,000 tickets in under seven hours.

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U2 score their seventh American number one album

They're also going back to Fez.

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Reading between the line (part 1)

As U2 gear up for the release of No Line On The Horizon, they meet HP to talk about the creation of their latest masterwork, meeting world leaders, the way they’re perceived in Ireland, the current state of the music business and their future plans.

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Reading between the line (part 2)

Part two of our U2 interview...

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U2 make 'crazy honky-tonk' demo

...so says School of Seven Bells frontman Benjamin Curtis, as he recounts how he was given a sneak listen to the No Line On The Horizon by his mates Edge and Bono.

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UPDATED: U2 announce tour details

As their album reaches the No.1 spot in the UK and Ireland, U2 have announced details of their 360° Tour, which is being sponsored by Blackberry.

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U2 name their tour

Kiss The Future is on its way!

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U2 set for another Irish number one

They're outselling the rest of the top 20 combined.

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Exclusive: Paul McGuinness on U2's World Tour

Paul McGuinness has been talking to Hot Press about the imminent announcement of U2’s world tour, which is likely to include three Croke Park stop-offs in July.

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2FM to broadcast Larry Mullen interview

RTÉ 2FM's Larry Gogan will play his recent interview with U2 drummer Larry Mullen this Sunday.

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More U2 tour details emerge

The first batch of dates will be announced on March 9

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U2 talk tax

It's a taxing life being a rock star – as The Edge talks to Hot Press about the controversy over U2's tax situation.

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No Line On The Horizon

Keep on Moroccan in the free world

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Vote for the greatest ever U2 song

HMV's social networking site getcloser.com are asking U2 fans to vote online for what they think is the band's best song.

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U2 talk to Hot Press about their new album, the recession, politics and more

Hot Press was granted unique access to U2, interviewing all four members as they rehearsed for their recent Brit Awards appearance. They talk about No Line On The Horizon, how they're viewed in Ireland, the current state of the music business and more...

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HMV stage midnight U2 opening

Fans will be able to get hold of No Line On The Horizon within minutes of its Irish release.

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U2 make American TV history

The boys are playing a five-night residency on the Letterman show.

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2XM's U2 exclusive

The No Line On The Horizon title-track gets its world premiere on the rock station on Thursday.

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U2 premiere new video

The video for U2’s new single, 'Get On Your Boots', will be premiered today on U2.com, with a television premiere on RTÉ’s Six One News.

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Ireland leads the way with new U2 album

U2's new single 'Get On Your Boots' has shot straight to No.1 in the Irish airplay charts.

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U2 release lead single PLUS album artwork revealed

U2 have confirmed the cover artwork & track-listing of their No Line On The Horizon album.

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U2 fans warned about bogus Slane show

The Garda Fraud Squad investigate online ticket scam

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U2 lead charge of new Irish releases

There's plenty of exciting Irish releases to look forward to in the coming months, including new records from U2, The Answer, Laura Izibor and more...

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U2 announce new album details

The new U2 album is to be called No Line On The Horizon, and is due for release next March.

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U2 join War Child's Heroes project

U2, The Clash and Elbow have joined War Child's Heroes project to raise money for children living in the world's most dangerous war zones.

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Inside The U2 Studio

Hot Press is delighted to bring you this peek at U2 applying the finishing touches to their new album in London.

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U2 help raise money for the arts

The group took part in the effort to raise £500,000 on Monday at a fundraiser in London for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and the BRIT School.

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U2 Get Shares In Live Nation

U2 are to receive 1.56 million shares worth around $18.5 million in American concert promoters Live Nation Inc.

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U2 tour manager wins Lifetime Achievement Award

U2’s tour manager Dennis Sheehan has been selected for this year's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the Parnelli Awards Board of Directors.

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New U2 album provisionally slated for February 2009

Following on from Bono's comments that 2009 will be their year, it's confirmed: there will definitely be no new U2 album this year.

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Bono: new album "our chance to defy gravity once again"

Bono has been talking up the new U2 album, which appears to have been pushed back to early 2009.

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U2 unconcerned about YouTube furore

Hot Press understands that there’s absolutely no concern in the U2 camp over four tracks from the band’s new album which leaked onto YouTube over the weekend.

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U2 Red Rocks and Under A Blood Red Sky details emerge

U2's Live At Red Rocks DVD and the Under A Blood Red Sky album will now get the re-release treatment on September 26.

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U2 Red Rocks re-release plus album rumours

The U2 reissue onslaught continues with a digitally overhauled version of their 1983 live album, Under A Blood Red Sky, out here on September 20.

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U2 re-masters expected to top charts

Coldplay's Viva La Vida is likely to see the end of its current reign at the top of the Irish charts as U2 release re-mastered versions of their classic albums Boy, October and War.

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U2 expand re-issue package

U2 fans are going to have to do some serious shelling out over the next few weeks if they want to keep their collections up to date.

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Paul McGuinness reveals U2 release date

U2 manager Paul McGuinness has been dropping hints about the release of the new U2 album, which is provisionally planned for October.

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UPDATED: U2 reveal bonus tracks for deluxe re-releases

U2 have announced details of the bonus tracks gracing the Deluxe format version of their Boy, October and War album, which is out in July.

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U2 move album sessions to France

U2 soundman Joe O’Herlihy has revealed that following a stint in Dublin’s Windmill Lane Studios, the band are set to do some warm weather recording overseas.

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U2 to reissue three albums

U2 will re-release three albums in deluxe sets this summer.

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U2 sign up with Live Nation

U2 sign long term deal with American company.

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Daniel Lanois talks about new U2 album

U2 producer Daniel Lanois has been talking about the recording of the band's new album, which resumes this week in Dublin’s Windmill Lane studio.

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Big is beautiful

Well, some of the time! U2 3D has just hit the screens and it takes our appreciation of Bono and the boys into another dimension.

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U2 considering O2 Arena residency

U2 manager Paul McGuinness has expressed interest in the band playing in London's O2 Arena this autumn.

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'U23D' gets world premiere

1,200 people packed into Park City, Utah’s Eccles Theater last night for the world premiere of 'U23D'.

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Big year ahead for Irish acts: We preview the key albums

Get out your calendars and mark these dates, as we give you the run-down of the key albums due to hit shelves in 2008.

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U2 3D concert film to get cinema screenings

3D-equipped cinemas are to show the new U2 concert film 'U2 3D' beginning on February 22.

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U2 3D concert film set for January release

U2 have set a date for the release of their 3D concert film 'U2 3D'.

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'Joshua Tree' remaster will be the first of many

Paul McGuinness has revealed that there are more U2 remasters in the pipeline.

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Paul McGuinness to appear on Phantom FM

U2's manager Paul McGuinness is to be interviewed on Dublin's Phantom 105.2 this Sunday as part of a special programme looking back at the band's Joshua Tree album.

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U2 deny London residency rumours

U2 have quashed rumours of a residency in London's O2 Arena next year.

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Joshua Tree re-release track available online

Previously unreleased U2 track 'Wave Of Sorrow,' which will be included in the new re-issue of The Joshua Tree, is now available online through iLike.com

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'The Joshua Tree' re-release: details of new tracks revealed

U2 have discussed the details of never-before heard tracks to be included on the forthcoming deluxe edition re-release of their 'Joshua Tree' album.

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U2 to re-release 'The Joshua Tree'

U2's classic album 'The Joshua Tree' is set for a re-release to mark its 20th anniversary.

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U2 album recording 'going great'

Legendary producer and musician Daniel Lanois has revealed that big strides are being taken in the recording of U2's new album.

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U2 to feature in documentary

U2 are set to feature prominently in Here Is What Is, a new fly-on-the-studio-wall documentary that’s been put together by their long-time confidante Daniel Lanois.

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Gisele Bundchen to star in next U2 vid

According to well-placed sources the world’s highest-paid supermodel, Gisele Bundchen, has agreed to star in the video for the next U2 single – whenever and whatever that is.

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Classic U2 gig for DVD release

There are plans to release U2’s Mexico PopMart concert from 1997 on DVD later this year.

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Clinton supporters snub U2

When fans were asked to choose a theme song for Hilary Clinton's Presidential campaign, it seems U2 didn't quite cut it.

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The Edge discusses U2's new approach (free content)

In time for our birthday issue, The Edge talks exclusively to Peter Murphy about 30 years of Ireland's premier music mag, and reveals that they're working on a "project" rather than a new album.

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U2 begin work on new songs

U2 are back in Dublin following a songwriting sojourn in the medieval Moroccan city of Fez.

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U2 wow Cannes audience

Fans and festival folk heading to see the world premiere of U2 3D at Cannes Film Fest got more than expected when the world's most famous Irishmen played an impromptu set on the red carpet.

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U2 raise millions for Katrina victims

Iconic memorabilia belonging to Bono and The Edge helped to raise €1.8 million in an auction to benefit musicians left with nothing after Hurricane Katrina.

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Bono + The Edge cited for Spiderman musical

U2 stars Bono and The Edge are in negotiations to write the score for a new musical on Spiderman.

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U2 to cover Sgt Pepper's?

Turning 30 has made Hot Press feel a bit geriatric, but we’re mere kids compared to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which celebrates its 40th birthday this year.

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The Edge to auction vintage guitar

Fans can get a close-up look at The Edge’s 1975 Gibson Les Paul from April 3 to 6 when it goes on display in Dublin’s Clarence Hotel.

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Hot Press Readers’ Poll results announced (free content)

The much-anticipated results of the HOTPRESS Readers’ Poll are announced in the new issue published Thursday, January 25.

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Bono speech on poverty & AIDS published

A speech by Bono at a 2005 White House conference on extreme poverty and AIDS in Africa is to be published in book form.

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U2 round off world tour with Green Day + Pearl Jam

The world's biggest band finished their tour with a little help from their friends.

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U2 and others call for copyright extension

U2, Paul McCartney and Robbie Williams and other notables have called for a change to extend the length that copyright laws apply.

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Edge, this song doesn't have a chorus...

Niall Stokes draws on his best-selling book Into The Heart: The Stories Behind The Songs Of U2 to offer a unique insight into the way in which some of the greatest songs in the history of popular music came into being.

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U2 fan pictures

Have a look at all the pictures sent in by U2 fans worldwide!

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U2 win court battle against stylist

U2 have won their legal battle against their former stylist, Lola Cashman.

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U2 hit the no1 spot in Ireland

'The Saints Are Coming', the new single by U2 and Green Day, has debuted at No.1 in Ireland.

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All That U2 Can’t Leave Behind: win a U2-signed book!

The next issue of Hot Press, out on Thursday November 16, finds Ireland’s most fortnightly magazine celebrating the release of U2 18 Singles.

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U2 announce 3D concert film

Demons for new technology that they are, U2 are planning to release a 3-D Vertigo concert film, which will premiere next year.

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We did it our way

With the publication of U2 By U2, the band have finally got to tell the story of their success from their own perspective. It’s got some great pictures too.

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U2 split from long-standing label

U2 have announced that after 26 years they're to part with Island Records, though they're now moving to another subsidiary of Universal.

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U2 book signing causes mayhem on O'Connell St

A lucky 250 U2 fans got the chance to meet their idols at a book signing in Eason's on O'Connell Street yesterday (September 24). View our photo gallery direct from Dublin 1.

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McGuinness opens up on Zoo TV, The Netherlands move and much more

U2 manager Paul McGuinness has broken the band's silence about the decision to move their financial operations to the Netherlands. The decision inspired considerable criticism in Ireland, notably from the Labour spokesman on Finance, Joan Burton TD. In an interview that will appear in the new edition of Hot Press, McGuinness defends the band's position in a strongly worded statement of the underlying logic.

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U2 to move royalties to the Netherlands

U2 are set to follow in the Rolling Stones’ steps by transferring the music publishing wing of their operation to the Netherlands.

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U2 reveal new album plans

Bono has revealed that U2 are planning to start work on a new album.

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U2 promote World Cup in the States

America’s ESPN cable sports network has enlisted U2’s help to promote its live World Cup coverage.

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U2 provide film title track

They've accomplished more than many other bands but until now there was still one field not yet tackled by U2- the western theme song.

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U2 to reschedule Vertigo dates

Those left disappointed with the postponment of the band's last dates for the Vertigo tour will be glad to know that they're busy rescheduling the concerts.

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U2 postpone final 10 tour dates

U2 have been forced to pull out of the last shows of their Veritgo world tour.

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U2's five-award Grammy win

Irish rockers U2 cleaned up at the Grammys in Los Angeles last night, winning gongs in all five of the categories for which they were nominated.

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U2 scoop up at the Meteors

The Meteor Awards took place in Dublin last night and U2 were the clear winners, winning in all three categories they were nominated in.

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Bono launches AIDS initiative

Bono was on hand today as a new initiative to fight HIV and AIDS was announced at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

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U2 ticket chaos in Brazil

The Brazilian contingent of U2's global following were left disgruntled after the allocation of tickets for their Sao Paolo show descended into chaos.

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U2 lead the way for Ireland in Brit Awards

The nominations for the 2006 Brit Awards have been announced, and it's no surprise that U2 are waving the Irish flag.

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U2's Vertigo named the top-grossing tour

The US's Billboard magazine have charted U2's as the highest grossing tour of 2005.

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U2 given Amnesty International award

U2 have been honoured with an accolade from campaign group Amnesty International.

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Bono pays tribute to Mo Mowlam

Monday night saw Bono paying tribute to Mo Mowlam at a remembrance event for the former Northern Ireland Secretary in London’s Drury Lane Theatre.

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U2 confirm first dates of 2006

Irish rock gods U2 have confirmed their first dates for next year's Vertigo 2006, now that Vertigo 2005 has nearly run its course.

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The Edge helps New Orleans musicians

The Edge is spearheading an initiative to supply instruments to Gulf Coast musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

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U2 scoop up at Billboard Touring Awards

It's official: their Vertigo tour was the best.

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Bono gives blessing to Mary J Blige's cover

Bono has given his blessing to a Mary J. Blige cover of ‘One’.

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U2 release live DVD - see the artwork here!

Hot Press is delighted to bring you this sneak preview of the Vertigo 2005 – U2 Live From Chicago cover artwork.

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U2 slam Hilary Clinton

U2 have hit out at former first lady Hilary Clinton after it was revealed that she is using their Washington concert as an opportunity to fundraise for the Democrat Party.

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Another first: U2 take over the Conan O'Brien show

As if they didn't have enough achievements under their belt already, U2 are to be the first muscial guests to 'take over' the prestigious Late Show With Conan O'Brien in the US.

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U2 confirm next single and DVD release

U2 have confirmed ‘All Because Of You’ as the fourth single to be lifted from their Vertigo album.

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U2 head all-star New Orleans telethon

In one of the starriest line-ups we've seen since Live 8, celebs and artists led by U2 are rallying together to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. A special telethon will be aired on all six US networks as well as Sky One tonight.

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U2 honoured for humanitarian work

U2 are to be honoured by the Portugeuse government this weekend when the Vertigo tour stops off in Lisbon.

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Michael Eavis: Not a U2 fan, then

Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis has described U2 as “blighters” after the band rejected an offer to play at the 2005 festival.

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U2's former stylist hit for more cash

Costs have been awarded against U2’s former stylist Lola Cashman in a hearing at the Dublin Circuit Civil Court today.

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U2 set Album Chart record

In what is almost certainly an all-time record, U2 currently have no less than eleven albums in the Irish Top 75, as compiled by IRMA.

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U2 win court battle with former stylist

U2 have won their court battle with former stylist Lola Cashman over tour memorbilia and clothing they claim she stole while employed by the band during their Joshua Tree world tour in 1987. The verdict was announced this morning (Tuesday July 5) to a packed Dublin Circuit Civil Court by Mr Justice Matthew Deery. Neither Ms Cashman nor members of U2 were present to hear the verdict.

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U2 Live at Croke Park

"Tonight it’s impossible to resist the tune’s Spielbergian scale.House lights full on, Mr Hewson looks like he’s being borne up by 80,000 voices."

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U2: The Countdown to Croke Park

The stage times for the three Dublin shows have been announced

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"We Went Out For A Drink And They Were Drinking Lemonade Shandy!"

Steve Lillywhite, who produced U2's first three albums – and has featured on the production team of almost all of their records – looks back over the band's career and recalls the highs... and the lows

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Live At The King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels

There could be no better illustration of how U2 have become global icons. Kick-starting the European leg of their Vertigo tour in Brussels’ King Baudouin Stadium on June 10, the old anti-sectarian favourite ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ electrified the crowd like no other. Here, however, it had been transformed from its original intent as a plea to end bloodshed in Northern Ireland into a hymn for religious harmony among the ‘sons of Abraham’ – Christians, Jews and Muslims.

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U2 release more tickets for UK dates

Tickets for U2's concerts in London and Manchester are now available online

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Bono reveals talk of re-recording Pop

U2 have been talking about revisiting their album Pop, which Bono says is "not what it was intended to be"

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U2 deny plans for extra Dublin date

U2 have confirmed that they will not be playing a fourth date in Dublin

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U2 struck by Vertigo

Chicago fans took a double-take recently when U2 played 'Vertigo' twice during their set

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U2 set to release new single

‘City Of Blinding Lights’ is the next cab off the Vertigo rank

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U2 announce extra Croke Park date

U2 have added a third Dublin date to their Vertigo world tour

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U2 Me Are Everything

Backcombed bouffants, mullets and white boy Afros. No, we’re not talking about The A – Z Of Really Bad Haircuts, but the new Anton Corbijn photo-book, U2 & I, which serves up a pictorial history of the band from February 1982 (New Orleans) to April 2004 (Portugal). Pictures supplied courtesy of Anton Corblin/ U2 & I published by Schirmmer/Mosel

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Blinded By The Light

Dateline San Diego, March 28th: with seven songs from their world-beating Vertigo album in the set, on the opening night of their world tour, it quickly became clear that – the occasional glitch notwithstanding – U2 have re-imagined their live set with remarkable success. Tara McCarthy asks: how do they do it?

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U2 prepare for Vertigo tour launch

With band currently involved in rehearsals in Canada, U2 manager Paul McGuinness (and an eavesdropping fan with super hearing) has revealed some details of what's in store...

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New in-their-own-words U2 book for release

HarperCollins have unveiled a microsite to prime U2 fans for their new book, U2 By U2

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U2 honoured in Rock 'n' Roll's 50th anniversary year

U2 was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in a memorable ceremony held in New York

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U2 Even Better Than THe Real Thing

As U2 get ready to launch their Vertigo World Tour in San Diego, a whole gaggle – or should that be whoop? – of Irish artists have covered their songs on the Today FM supported Even Better Than The Real Thing.

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Bono NOT to be President of World Bank

A Bono aid says that the singer has no intention of taking over from James Wolfensohn as the leader of the World Bank.

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U2 enter The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame

Next month sees U2 inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in New York

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U2 scoop three Grammy Awards

U2 got their fair share of limelight at last night's Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles

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U2's 'One' voted Best Irish Song

Today FM listeners have voted U2's 'One' as the Best Irish Song From The Past 25 Years

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Anton Corbijn's U2 photo-book released this week

Anton Corbijn's long-awaited photography book U2&I is now available for fans to purchase

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Larry Mullen Issues Statement About Presale Fiasco

U2.com has posted "An Open Letter From Larry Mullen" in which the drummer addresses both "long-time U2 fans" and "so-called U2 fans"...

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U2 Issue Apology Over Ticket Controversy

When presale tickets for the U2 tour went on sale, the demand far exceeded the supply – and the technology wasn’t up to it!

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U2 confirm second Irish date

hotpress.com looks at how U2's Vertigo tour has been selling so far, and confirms details of their two Irish dates, which go on sale Friday

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U2 add extra London date

Tickets for U2's dates in the UK went on sale this morning and was, predictably, met with huge demand

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U2 World Tour Dates Announced

Having been forced to postpone the first batch of dates due to a family illness, U2 have confirmed that their 2005 Vertigo World Tour will kick off in San Diego on March 28.

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U2 reveal world tour kick off + support

U2 have confirmed some details of their Vertigo world tour, including the much coveted support slot

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Illness Confirmed as Reason for U2 Tour Delay

Uncertainty still surrounds U2's plans for their world tour, which had been due to kick off in March 2005.

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U2 Tour Update

U2 manager Paul McGuinness has confirmed that details of their 2005 world tour have yet to be finalised.

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U2's Clarence Set For Expansion?

With How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb dominating the Christmas sales rush, U2 have firmly re-established their place at the top of the rock tree. Now comes further evidence of the expanding ambitions of Ireland's biggest ever showbiz export.

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How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb: million UK sales

There was much celebrating in the U2 camp this week as How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb sold its millionth copy in the UK.

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Bono to host Christmas special on BBC 4

Not content with picking up two Grammy nominations for 'Vertigo', Bono will be a geust presenter in the forthcoming Christmas Today series on BBC Radio

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U2 album goes number one across the world

How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb has finished up a week of global sales with results that are nothing short of phenomenal

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U2: On Your Marks, Get Set VertiGo!

U2 are about to unleash their new album How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. The world’s media are descending on Dublin. And Bono is back at the punch-bag, getting into fighting shape before the shit storm really explodes. The gloves are off. He’s got work to do. And he’s going to do it. Words Stuart Clark, additional reporting by Niall Stokes.

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U2 downloads clean up on iTunes

hotpress.com reveals the tracklisting of the complete U2 digital download which, since going on sale last week, has been exceeding predicted sales figures

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Inside How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb: The Special Edition

Look what's just come through OUR door - the special edition of U2's new album...

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U2: Apple iPod + album frenzy

hotpress.com brings you images of the packaging of U2's black Apple iPod and the wait is nearly over to get the new album. [Pics from ipodlounge.com]

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Welcome to the epicentre

Last night began a momentous chapter for the world’s biggest band. For U2, it was the first live airing and radio/internet broadcast of material from their eleventh studio album, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. For those in attendance, it was an opportunity as rare as they come. The location: Dublin, Ireland. More specifically, at the album’s birthplace, in their Hanover Quay studios. Hot Press editor Niall Stokes was in attendance to feel the impact and capture the aftershock. [photos by John Dardis, courtesy of U2]

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U2 reveal details of 2005 world tour

With their album release only days away, U2 have been speaking to Hot Press about their upcoming world tour and the likely candidates for the prestigious support slot

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The Missing Words Game

Exclusive! Our crime correspondent gets to the bottom of Bono’s briefcase.

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How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

Atomic Bomb is positively Spector-esque in its ambition, although curiously enough, it’s not a showy record, the playing being mostly subservient to the songs.

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U2 to break new ground with customised iPod [updated]

In what could prove to be one of the year's biggest marketing coups, Apple Computer Inc. have inked a deal with U2 which sees the band putting their name to a customised iPod. [pics courtesy of Apple]

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U2 decline Glanstonbury invitation

Glastonbury organisers have confirmed that U2 will not be headlining next year's festival

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Vertigo

For many it’s the most eagerly awaited song of the year, and ‘Vertigo’ doesn’t disappoint.

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At home with ... Joe O'Herlihy

Inside the Terenure lair of the resident grand wizard of live sound engineering on Planet Earth.

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U2 issue warning about online ticket fraud

Paul McGuinness has spoken out against websites selling tickets for unconfirmed U2 dates in the UK and Ireland

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U2 confirm Croke Park shows [updated]

With first single 'Vertigo' now spinning high on radio playlists, U2 have announced details of their Dublin tour dates

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U2 world exclusive: 'Vertigo' hits the airwaves tomorrow

Irish audiences will hear U2's first single ahead of its worldwide release

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U2 announce official album details

U2 fans can finally revel in some official news: the title and release date of the new album

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U2: Single Details Confirmed.

As first revealed by hotpress.com "Vertigo" has been confirmed as the first single to be taken from the band's as yet untitled 11th studio album. Due to hit the racks on November 5th, 'Vertigo' is an epic U2 track laced with big guitars and soaring vocals.

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Top Irish musicans to appear in Oscar Wilde tribute film

Top musicians Bono and Larry Mullen appear in film to celebrate Oscar Wildes 150th birthday.

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U2 photography book set for release

Anton Corbijn's collection of photographs has been given the U2 seal of approval

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World exclusive: U2 insider talks about the new album

... And it's not called Vertigo! The man otherwise known as "Bono's doppelganger", Neil McCormick, talks sounds, songwriting and stadium-sized pressure in the most revealing U2 album preview yet.

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U2 photobook set for October release

The new U2 photobook, U2 Show: The Art Of Touring, is being published by Riverhead on October 21.

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U2 news: Bono in Boston + Vertigo artwork hoax

Bono was among the stars and prominent politicians paying tribute to Senator Ted Kennedy on Wednesday in Boston's Symphony Hall.

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U2 CD AWOL in France

French police have been alerted after a CD of new U2 songs went missing during a band photo shoot in Nice.

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U2 look set for Glastonbury '05

Unless 2 Unlimited are thinking of reuniting, it would seem that Bono and co. are Glastonbury-bound next year...

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U2 news: Silicon Valley + Glastonbury '05

This year it's Silicon Valley, next year it's quite possibly Glastonbury and apparently we can expect a new single soon enough

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U2 snapped in Portugual

U2 took everyone – including their Portuguese record company – unawares this week when they arrived in Lisbon to do a photo-shoot with official band snapper Anton Corbijn

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Incoming...

While 2004 has not been an especially spectacular year to date, there is good reason to believe that rocks big guns are likely to deliver the kind of records that will revive spirits in the industry. Chris Donovan previews some of the albums that are likely to top the sales – and the critical – charts before 2004 is out...

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Incoming...

While 2004 has not been an especially spectacular year to date, there is good reason to believe that rocks big guns are likely to deliver the kind of records that will revive spirits in the industry. Chris Donovan previews some of the albums that are likely to top the sales – and the critical – charts before 2004 is out...

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Garrett "Jacknife" Lee on board with U2

Garrett "Jacknife" Lee is the latest person to assist U2 with the recording of their somewhat overdue new album

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U2 not leaving it all behind

Steve Lilywhite is “an additional producer not a replacement” on U2's new album

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U2 news: Bono-heavy '46664: The Event' releases + photo retrospective

The CDs and DVD from the Nelson Mandela AIDS awareness show will be heavily Irish in their content; Plus more news from the U2 camp with a photo retrospective tipped for publication

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U2 still on course for 2004 release

Paul McGuinness has confirmed that it's full steam ahead, not back to the drawing board, for the next U2 record

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U2 reunited with Lillywhite but release date unclear

Former producer Steve Lillywhite is in the studio with U2 but cannot reveal the expected finish date for the album

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Superbowl Setback

Bono’s plan to highlight the AIDs epidemic in Africa at this year’s Superbowl has sadly been scuppered.

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Lights, Camera, Rock action

Russian cosmonauts, mexican desperadoes and cranky italian elephants – it’s all in a day’s work for solo too supremo Ned O’Hanlon, the man entrusted with documenting the multi-media extravaganza that is the U2 live experience.

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Major Changes At Principle Management

After 18 years with Principle, Managing Director Sheila Roche has decided to leave the U2 camp

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2 into 4 does go

Colm O’Gorman explains how U2 helped the abuse victims’ organisation one in four to survive

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Newsflash: U2 save One In Four

U2 have put out big money to secure the future of the Dublin-based sexual abuse support centre

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U2: Nancy Sinatra cover is legit

Reports that U2 are suing Nancy Sinatra are completely unfounded

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Bono: Nashville or bust

U2 will take on the world for the release of their upcoming album, but not before a stop-over in Nashville...

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U2 Live From Slane Castle track-listing revealed

Get excited people - we bring you the track-listing of the U2 Go Home: Live From Slane Castle DVD

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U2 Live From Slane DVD to be released November

Fans can relive U2's 2001 Slane spectacular with the release of the DVD in November

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Hearts and lemons

Extra, extra special: we're delighted to bring you a sneak peek at seminal new U2 graphic-design-retrospective collectors' book, Stealing Hearts At A Traveling Show: The Graphic Design Of U2

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U2 artwork a hoax

U2 designers Four5One and label boss deny that leaked posters for the band's new album are official

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"It sounds very rock and roll"

Paul McGuinness spills the beans on U2's new album

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"We're writing some of the best songs we've ever written"

Edge reports that the new U2 album is coming along swimmingly - and that it will be accompanied by a tour in 2004

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With or without them

U2 have denied reports that they are to play a BBC Music Live gig

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Celebration time, come on

U2 to be given a special tribute by a stellar cast of musicians at the 45th Annual Grammy Awards later this month

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The 'Hands' that conquered the Globe

U2 scoop Golden Globe for Best Song From A Motion Picture with 'The Hands That Built America'. Next stop: the Oscars

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Matters of Life & Death

At the end of an exciting, painful and earthshaking year, Bono reflects on the political and the personal – from drop the debt, September 11, Afghanistan and Genoa to the death of his father Bob, the birth of his son John and the enduring friendship which underpins U2’s music and career. Interview: Niall Stokes [this interview originally appeared in the spectacular Hot Press Annual 2002 - used in the pictures below - a very limited number of this unique collectors item will shortly be on sale - email u2@hotpress.ie to reserve a copy]

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Bono speaks on CNN's Larry King Show about the African AIDS crisis

U2 frontman speaks about "the biggest pandemic since the bubonic plague" and urges middle America to use their nation's huge financial power and get involved. "Our age will be remembered," he says, "for three things: the war against terror, the Internet, and how we let an entire continent burst into flames and stood around with water in cans"

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Closer to the Edge

With a new 'best of' bringing the band's story up to date U2's guitar man steps forward to riff on good times and bad, the private life of a public figure, discovering the secrets of the universe on mushrooms and why, after all these years, few things match the high of being a member of U2. Special hotpress.com members edition: "director's cut" featuring interview sections unavailable anywhere else.

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Close to The Edge

With a new ‘Best Of’ bringing the band’s story up to date, U2’s guitar man steps forward to riff on good times and bad, the private life of a public figure, discovering the secrets of the universe on mushrooms, and why, after all these years, few things match the high of being a member of U2

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Zooropa

At its best, Zooropa is sky-funk, music from a band who, permanently or temporarily, have renounced the old folkways for the new airways

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U2: Wide Awake In America

Bill Graham reviews a new book by Boston D.J. Carter Alan, which sheds considerable light on U2's American breakthrough

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New U2 studio for Dublin city centre

U2 announce details of the construction of a penthouse studio to be built at Britain Quay

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Original Soundtracks 1

U2 are still determined to be better than the best in his class, and to produce music that is genuinely transcendent

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Exclusive: U2 talk about the new album

Edge waxes lyrical on the power of a "raw band sound"

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Pushing the envelope

With the launch of a commemorative series of Irish postage stamps celebrating four of the nation's most important rock legends, we revisit some of the seminal moments in the careers of Phil Lynott, Rory Gallagher, Van Morrison and - first - U2

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WIN! hotpress.com giveaway

hotpress.com is offering YOU the chance to snare a copy of the now-out-of-print The U2 File signed by each member of the band

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Live, under a night-blue sky...

The insomniacs at HMV Grafton St do another midnight-opener - on Sunday, November 3rd - for the release of U2's Best Of 1990-2000

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U2 can be on the telly

U2's Slane concert film receives its Irish premiere

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The Best & The B-Sides Of 1990-2000

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U2 album due out next summer

Edge talks about the new album, Bono scoops 'MusiCares' award and guests on Elvis tribute TV show

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On the batter

Get a headful of this: a sneak preview of U2's Best Of 1990-2000 album artwork, featuring extra ram (guffaw)

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U2 up for 4 MTV awards

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Bono: leading from the front

The planet's most famous lead singer continues his humanitarian campaign, contributes to fundraising book project and appears on Oprah. Oh, and a Frank Sinatra cover and landmark U2 memorabilia exhibition are also en route

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All that you can't leave behind

U2 Live: A Concert Documentary - possibly the definitive book on U2's history as a live band - to be given an update and re-release following the tragic death of its compiler

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Electrical storm

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Cover magazine

Well, look what we've got here: exclusive peeks at both the U2 single's sleeve artwork and the piccie from the new Samantha Mumba 45 as well. Don't thank us, we're just doing our job

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Striking it lucky

Imminent new single 'Electrical Storm' can only mean one thing: the U2 Best Of 1990-2000 CD/DVD is here - and boy is it ever chocca with cool extras. Read on for details

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Lightning strikes

U2 to release new single 'Electrical Storm' in October - the leader track from this autumn's Greatest Hits 1990-2000

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The odd couple?

U2 deny reports of an outdoor New York show with, eh, Bon Jovi

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U2 got a lot to answer for

Hot Press readers worldwide want to know about Bono for president, Larry for lead singer, that mysterious tattoo, the greatest book, and more. Bono and Larry smoulder on the coals of the hp mixed grill

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"Politicians don't turn me on the way music does"

In answer to a fan's question in the Hot Press Mixed Grill (see current edition of HP), Bono dismisses rumours that he will run for the Irish presidency

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All that you can't leave unasked

Put your questions to U2 in the Hot Press Mixed Grill

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Record time

Workaholics to a man and clearly unable to grasp the concept of time off, U2 already have much of their next album (due out in '03) in the bag - and apparently it's poppier and "more immediate" than All That You Can't Leave Behind

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Not just another U2 cover story...

What's Bono doing on the cover of international news magazine Time? Talking politics ("the art of the possible"), that's what

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"He's like Christ, I'm telling you"

...quoth Drew Carey, master of ceremonies, when the glitterati gathered in Los Angeles last week to pay tribute to the many humanitarian endeavours of Bono, lead singer of popular Irish beat combo U2

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Standing on the stages with giants

U2 and Oasis: together at last... The ultimate double-header stadium tour confirmed (but with no UK or Irish dates, mind)

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U2 Phoenix Park Plans Denied

Hotpress.com investigate the rumours of U2 & The Phoenix Park ... (they just don't go away you know)...

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A sort of homewrecking

Will U2's studio homebase be demolished to make way for the neighbourhood's redevelopment (or more specifically, for a "two-million-Euro leisure complex")? The public hearing began this week...

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In the name of love

Via a petition that has gained signatures from round the world, U2 fans rally to save band headquarters Hanover Studios from mandatory demolition by the Dublin Docklands Authority: "What if Memphis tore down Sun Studios?"

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Poll position!

U2 - without even releasing an album last year - have walked away with the 2001 Hot Press Readers' Poll. Here's the scoop...

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All that you can't get enough of

U2 release new US-only rarities and B-sides collection. Yank one if you can

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A sort of home?

U2 in talks with DDDA about possible alternative locations for studio headquarters

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All that they must leave behind?

U2’s studio headquarters may face demolition by compulsory public order from the Docklands authority

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Eight is the magic number!

With eight nominations in the bag, U2 are set to steal the show at this year's Grammys... again

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Bono backs Bush

Bono has talked exclusively to Hot Press about September 11th, Fatherhood, and the US's actions in Afghanistan.

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U2 to take over the globe!

(Well, the Golden ones anyway)

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The show must go on

Although under constant review, the word from the U2 camp is that they are still planning to go ahead with the return visit of the Elevation tour to North America.

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Sing when we’re winning

The second Slane show was such a spirited and spiritual affair you couldn’t fail to be as uplifted (or should that be elevated?) by it

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One From The Heart

U2, Slane August 24th 2001

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One from the heart

One from the heart

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U2: causes and crusades

STUART BAILIE recalls some of the social and political movements that have occupied U2's hearts and minds down through the years... not least, the Springfield Garbage Dump campaign

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Wide awake on the web

It's plastic Adam dolls, Zooropa wallpaper and bootleg CDs a-go-go: STUART CLARK knows there's a little U2 cyber-nerd inside all of us

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The big picture

On 25 August 2001 - twenty years after first appearing there in support to Thin Lizzy - U2 play Slane Castle. NIALL STOKES reflects on the extraordinary journey that has led up to this historic, and beautiful, day

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Ace of bass

Opening our U2 special, DERMOD MOORE catches up with ADAM CLAYTON during the UK leg of the Elevation tour, and delves deep into the physics of music celebrity, politics and, er, penises

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The crowd beneath their feet

They may sport one of the most original sounds in rock’n’roll – but along the way they’ve been influenced by some of the greats. STUART BAILIE identifies the ten (plus!) key influences on the music of U2

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Full circle

With their biggest dates ever in Ireland looming, LIAM MACKEY dips into voluminous hotpress archives and selects a small sample of what the paper said about U2 over the years

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Easter Rising

A Peter Frampton cover version, a flautist and female backing vocalists were all elements of FEEDBACK’s first ever live concert performance, yet this was th eoutfit that would eventually become U2. COLM O'HARE recalls the event

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U2

You get a continual sense from the entire band that they have rediscovered their love affair with live music

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U2

‘Beautiful Day’ is second out of the bag and the band’s, or specifically Bono’s, energy is palpable.

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Heart Stopping

The heart is a bloom, but you knew that already. Bono's lead line on 'Beautiful Day' effectively sets the tone for this new scheme. Great things can be nurtured, he tells us. Scepticism is out and old-fashioned hope is the greatest buzz around. So it's entirely fitting that the stage for the band's Elevation Tour should be framed by a massive, pulsating heart.

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All That You Can't Leave Behind

When we last left U2, at the conclusion of 1997’s Pop, they were marooned on a spaghetti Golgotha, shouting, “Wake up dead man!” at a god who had apparently reneged on his promise to live forever. Well pilgrims, here’s the resurrection shuffle.

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Melon, Remixes for Propaganda

U2 : “Melon, Remixes for Propaganda” (Island)

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U2: The Book of Genesis

Are Bono and the boys just a really good rock band or have they succeeded where the priests and politicians have failed and unlocked the neuroses of our colonial past? Joe Jackson indulges in a spot of cultural sparring with John Waters and finds the author of Race of Angels: Ireland and the Genesis of U2 well able to maintain his guard.

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Stay (Faraway, So Close)

U2: “Stay (Faraway, So Close)” (Island)

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Lemon

U2: "Lemon" (Island)

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EVEN BETTER THAN THE SURREAL THING

IN THE FIRST PART OF A WORLD EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW IN THE LAST ISSUE OF HOT PRESS, BONO UNVEILED THE NEW U2 ALBUM, SPOKE ABOUT ITS GENESIS IN CYBERPUNK LITERATURE AND THE BAND'S HUNGER TO PUSH ROCK'N'ROLL TO ITS LIMITS. HERE HE ELABORATES ON HOW U2 GO ABOUT WRITING THEIR SONGS AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF GLOBAL CHAOS, HIS ARTISTIC REFERENCE POINTS OUTSIDE MUSIC, THE SUBVERSIVE POWER OF HUMOUR, AND HOW HE ADMIRES THOSE WHO 'PARTICULARLY AGGRESSIVELY' DON'T BELIEVE IN GOD. AND THEN THERE'S THE STORY ABOUT JOHNNY CASH AND THE EMU. CAN THIS MAN BE FOR SURREAL? INTERVIEW:JOE JACKSON.

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THE MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR

...IS COMING TO TAKE YOU AWAY! WHEN JOE JACKSON WENT TO INTERVIEW BONO AT U2'S SECRET DUBLIN RECORDING BASE, HE HAD NO IDEA WHAT TO EXPECT. WHAT HE GOT WAS A CRAZY ROLLERCOASTER RIDE THROUGH THE EXTRAORDINARY WORK-IN-PROGRESS WHICH WILL BECOME U2'S FOLLOW-UP TO THE ACCLAIMED "ACHTUNG BABY!", WITH BONO AT THE WHEEL AND AN UNSEEN PRESENCE WORKING THE ACCELERATOR LIKE A DEMON. "RECORDS SHOULD BE MORE OF A TRIP," SAYS THE MAN IN THE WRAPAROUND SHADES. FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS THEN. THIS WILL BE NO ORDINARY RECORD. AND THIS IS NO ORDINARY INTERVIEW.

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Achtung Baby

There is no question about it. He may look as if he's been dipped in a bottle of red ink but it is Adam who stands there bollock naked before the camera and the world on the back sleeve of the latest, long playing opus from the band whose name begins with U and ends with 2. And is that Eve who hovers topless behind Bono on the front?

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THE VERDICT

When Adam Clayton was arrested in Dublin in August of 1989 and charged with possession of 19 grammes of cannabis with intent to supply, it placed U2's immediate future as a live band in jeopardy. Trial report: Liam Fay.

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Rattle And Hum

Sprawling across four restless, angry and sometimes contradictory sides, "Rattle And Hum" is nothing less than U2's most ambitious album yet. Review by Bill Graham

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ROCKIN' ALL OVER THE STATES

As "With Or Without You" hits No. 1 in the US singles charts, Liam Mackey joins U2 on their biggest - and most successful - American tour to date.

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The Joshua Tree

"The Joshua Tree" clarifies how U2's vocation has become the revival and renewal of rock and the recovery of its most romantic values. It also highlights the group's new commitment to the song. Review by Bill Graham

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THE DRUMMER'S DISABILITY

Amid rumours and press reports that his career could be at an end, Larry Mullen reveals the truth about the extent of an injury to his hand that is becoming a common problem for rock drummers. Interview: Niall Stokes

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ALL IRELAND CHAMPIONS

Carnival time at Croke Park with U2

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STORIES OF BOYS

The inside story on the early years by Jackie Hayden.

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THE UNFORGETTABLE FIRE

Niall Stokes sees U2 light up Madison Square Garden in New York.

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The Unforgettable Fire

U2's decision to choose Brian Eno as producer for their new album was a bold move.

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The Unforgettable Fire

Light a Big Fire Liam Mackey reviews "The Unforgettable Fire"

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Under A Blood Red Sky

Bill Graham reviews "Under A Blood Red Sky"

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War

Blood on the Tracks Liam Mackey reviews "War"

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THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

This was more than a gig, but it wasn't a party. It was the mutual celebration of an audience and a group.

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U2 VERSUS THE U.S.

Bill Graham joins the band on their 1981 American tour. [pics Adrian Boot]

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Boy

"U2 make me think", it's been said. That criterion is used a lot these days, because as rock'n'roll gets older, its priorities and values change. It spreads itself out and becomes more adjustable, like a toy.

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REELING IN THE YEARS

A U2 miscellany from the pages of Hot Press 1978-85.

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