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.

It’s not yet 9am on a bright February morning in Galway City, and Bono is putting your Hot Press correspondent through some serious aural torture. “Sorry, man,” he apologises in that familiar cigar-smooth, Mid-Atlantic purr. “I’ve just got to run you through this security machine for a moment.”

“AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHH!”

Relax, readers, the U2 singer hasn’t gone Guantanamo. But the screeched feedback from the two digital recorders placed around my mobile phone’s loudspeaker as he runs his own through a London airport x-ray machine isn’t easy on the ears. He’s en route to Berlin for a midday meeting with Angela Merkel’s office and, never a man to waste a precious moment of his increasingly busy days, he decided to call yours truly to clarify a few points we’d discussed in London some 60 hours earlier.

A moment later, he retrieves his phone from the other end of the scanner. “You still there?” he asks. “You’ve just been x-rayed... and have come up wanting. Your soul, Olaf, is being viewed by British security.”

Bono’s in good form – and not just because Angela Merkel’s government has agreed to budget another €900million in African aid for 2010. As U2 gear up to release their 12 studio album, No Line On The Horizon (which any number of critics have already hailed as being possibly the best of their career), they’re seriously getting their promotional boots on. A few weeks ago U2 played at Barack Obama’s inauguration. Last weekend, they performed the album’s first cut ‘Get On Your Boots’ at the Grammys. In March they’ll be doing a week-long stint as David Letterman’s house band.

Before that, though, they were scheduled to open this year’s televised Brit Awards at Earl’s Court. So let’s rewind a couple of days to the late afternoon of Tuesday, February 17, and the moment a sleek back Mercedes pulls away from the front entrance to Claridge’s Hotel. I’m sitting in the back with The Edge, fervently hoping that we get stuck in rush hour traffic. We’re heading towards Earl’s Court for U2’s tightly-scheduled soundcheck, and my interview time with the skull-capped guitarist is to be measured in miles rather than minutes.

The 47-year-old is polite, softly spoken, thoughtful and articulate. He only occasionally looks across at me, talking mostly to the back of the driver’s headrest.

Olaf Tyaransen: So this is the longest-ever break between albums in U2’s entire career.

The Edge: Yeah (smiles). Unintentional, but yes.

Was that because the original Rick Rubin sessions were abandoned?

Well, we started work on music pretty much immediately after the tour. In that very casual way that we tend to after a tour, because everybody’s so fried that you don’t really rush back into the studio. So I was writing on my own and Bono was scribbling lyrics on his own, and slowly we started to get around to the idea of making some music. I did some work with Rick one-on-one in Los Angeles, and then we finished off a few songs which we demoed in Abbey Road in Studio 2, which was a fantastic experience.

When you say ‘songs’, do you mean finished tracks with lyrics?

Well, one of them was ‘Window In The Sky’ which was the track on the compilation that we put out [2006’s U218 Singles]. That compilation was a little bit of a distraction, but it was something that we wanted to do. It was what we call ‘the truck-stop CD’. We just felt like it was missing out there in the wider world for casual fans – something on CD thatwas a sort of summation of what we’d done over the years. So we put that together with ‘Window’ as the new track, and a couple of other things that we worked on with Rick that we didn’t really finish but were sounding really good. And then we did ‘The Saints Are Coming’ as well, which we did with Green Day for the New Orleans event for the reopening of the Superdome. So we were pretty busy with Rick doing stuff, and it was all progressing well. We did a couple of preliminary demo sessions and there were quite a few tunes that were showing promise.

So what happened?

And then during that time we said to ourselves, ‘why are we rushing here?’ We actually don’t often get a chance to start making music in an atmosphere of no pressure, no expectations, no judgement – just literally for the sake of it. So we said, ‘let’s just take a step back and let’s, out of curiosity, see what we can change about the dynamic of our song-writing. Why don’t we invite Brian and Danny into the process and see what happens?’ Just to see if there was a spark in that extended writing line-up, so to speak. So we did a couple of really quick sessions with them and it became very clear almost immediately that this was gonna be a very fruitful experiment.

Which spelled the end of Rick Rubin’s involvement...

At that moment we just decided to put the work with Rick on hold and concentrate on where the muse seemed to be bringing us. So we laid the Rick project to one side and got into writing material with Brian and Danny. And still we maintained this idea that we don’t wanna think about where it’s gonna go or what’s gonna happen to it – we just wanted to make music for the joy of making music. And we were finding it a very freeing experience. A liberation. And everyone was really into it and in such a great mood. It reminded me in many ways of early on and why we got into a band in the first place. Just that joy of playing.

Do you ever play guitar just for yourself?

Well, at home when I’m on my own, I’m writing all the time. I get a huge kick out of that. So it’s not a case of playing so much as composing, but I work a lot on my own.

I was thinking more in terms of the guitar as an instrument of romance. Like, do you ever serenade the missus with it?

Occasionally, but probably not as much as I should, in truth (laughs). I guess I’m more engaged by the idea of creating something than I am just playing with no agenda of any kind. But this was creating with no agenda in mind. This was just finding great ideas that we didn’t necessarily have a home for, or an ambition for: we just thought that we probably would get into more unusual territory if we didn’t put a label on it. And in fact that turned out to be the truth.

We made great headway early on and we thought, ‘well, we’ll have the album out sometime in 2008 – maybe even early 2008’. But the minute we started to think about a schedule, everything started to become much more difficult as we started to try and reel the songs in, so to speak, and put manners on them, and test the arrangements, and test the themes or whatever.

Surely that’s an inevitable part of the creative process?

In truth, it is just part of the process. For us, whilst on occasions we’ll put out something in that raw unfinished state, we know what a finished song sounds like. We can’t cod ourselves. If something doesn’t have the legs, we know. And that’s a curse and a blessing because it means that we constantly beat ourselves up, and beat up the work.

I’ve heard that you ultimately wound up with 50 songs. Does that mean that there’s another 39 finished U2 songs in the can?

There’s a ream of material that’s in various states of unfinished-ness. Some ideas that we would have spent half-an-hour on have got real promise, but we haven’t looked at again. Or songs we would’ve spent a lot of time on, that for one reason or another just didn’t fit with this collection. So we’ll get back to them. So in some ways, we’re in a very good position for a follow-up album, with so much stuff there. And a lot of quite experimental stuff as well.

How experimental did you get?

Towards the end of the process of making this record, we were trying to balance out the moods. We didn’t want to make an album that was mono-dimensional in terms of its mood and emotion. We wanted to have a contrast of light and shade, and so having got a lot of more moody pieces, we held some of those back. So [for] the next release, we’re not short of dark, brooding material.

You began recording the album in Fez. What attracted you to Morocco?

Well, it was a combination of just the idea that we should get out of our comfort zone and find somewhere where we wouldn’t so readily repeat patterns of work and patterns of writing and approaches, because when you’re suddenly in a new context, everything is fresh and you see everything in a different way. But there’s something that attracted us about the location of North Africa. There was a religious music festival on, which was the very original reason to be there.

I think Bono had been invited a few years running, and he was going through his schedule and he saw this invitation and said, ‘You know, maybe I should go and maybe I should see if the others would like to come’. And then to our surprise, Adam and Larry showed huge enthusiasm for the idea. So we went for different reasons, but mostly a kind of instinctive sense that going somewhere different was going to be inspiring for us.

After Fez, you recorded in the South of France, and then for periods in New York, Dublin and London. Were you looking for a city vibe to contrast with North Africa?

Well, I think our little place in Hanover Quay is a bit limited sonically. You know, it’s not a designed space, it’s a found space. So we knew that for certain kind of acoustic, sonic reasons there were other studios and other rooms that would be better suited for what we were trying to do. So we looked at Olympic and we looked at Abbey Road again and we looked at various rooms in London. And we ended up choosing Olympic.

You recorded in New York as well.

Yeah. Wyclef Jean has a room there and we moved in for a couple of weeks. I don’t know whether it’s just the gypsy instinct we now have after touring around the world for so many years, but it does seem that if we stay anywhere for too long, everyone loses some of the inspiration and excitement. So moving around did keep the energy up.

Did Bono’s various extracurricular activities impede the recording?

We figured it out. It’s been a feature of the last few records where we know Bono’s gonna not be present for periods of time during the making of the record. So we just plan around that and I use the time to work on the musical side of things. It adds a different sort of rhythm to the process. But being away, I think, also helped everybody really focus on what we were doing. So being in Fez, that was the only thing we were concerned with from one end of the day to the other – making music.

Did you bring your kids over?

No, it was just the band and a couple of crew and Brian and Danny. It was very focused. I remember clearly at least two or three songs being born in that location. And very quick. Like, maybe three or four hours. We’d start with one little idea – it might be a rhythm or a chord progression or a guitar or a keyboard sound – and then very quickly through a series of ideas thrown in... ‘Unknown Caller’ came together in about four hours. It was a live performance and once we had hit that arrangement, we only ever played it once. So that song, there were a couple of iterations that were different leading up to that version, but that definitive version was only ever played once. That is also true of ‘No Line On The Horizon’ and ‘Moment Of Surrender’ and ‘White As Snow’. Although ‘White As Snow’ we had to do a little bit of editing afterwards, but basically there’s four songs that were only ever performed once in their final version. Because it was that kind of a free-flowing song-writing workshop atmosphere. That’s why we thought this album was gonna be easy, gonna write itself.

And then it all went pear shaped!

It’s funny how the other songs just took a very long time. Because the song-writing, as it were, just wouldn’t come. We needed patience. We went down a few blind alleys before we got songs like ‘Get On Your Boots’, ‘Stand Up Comedy’, ‘I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight’.

Moving away from music for a moment, as a prominent Dublin hotelier are you worried about the credit crunch?

It’s very weird what’s going on out there. I don’t think anybody’s gonna be able to escape from it. I am concerned, but at the same time I think it will eventually come back. It’s really a case of when, not if. I suppose we’re in a slightly better position than a lot of people in that we hadn’t started work yet on the next phase of The Clarence. You now, The Clarence is still open and it will remain open in its current guise. We might start slowly sort of enacting the process of getting ready for the build, but in the interim we’re quite happy to just let it run as it is.

How about the proposed U2 tower on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay?

I’m pretty out of touch with that, because we’re sort of the junior partner in that whole project. I think that the issue with that, as it is with a lot of projects, is that finance has just dried up. So it’s a case of waiting it out until financial conditions change and make it possible to go ahead.

Speaking of financial conditions within the music industry, what do you make of bands who’re practically giving their music away? Like the Radiohead experiment?

I think everyone’s scrambling to find a new way that you can earn a living from making music. Certainly for artists like ourselves who have a healthy touring reputation, we’re probably the best placed. But it’s really tough for younger groups and bands that don’t do a lot of shows live to make money. I think Radiohead were very smart and very brave to try that approach of a brand new model – the honour system. It’s like the shareware system. Same concept – you get it free and you give what feels right. And I don’t really know whether it was successful or not, but it’s that sort of out-of-the-box thinking that’s necessary, because the music industry has become a victim of its own lack of imagination with respect to the digital revolution. So if there’s an original idea out there we certainly could use it (smiles).

You’ve come up with a brand new format to release this album on, haven’t you?

We’re looking at a kind of a widget that would offer a much more rewarding visual coefficient to an album on a computer screen. Because there isn’t really anything that takes advantage of this quite decent visual medium of the computer screen – or the TV screen in your living room if you’ve got your computer hooked up to it. We – and you, I’m sure – are of the generation that loved vinyl records not justbecause of the music, but because of the artwork and the opportunity that that sized format offered the bands and the creative team involved to do all kindsof things. The CD is not a fair swap for the beauty and the sacred quality of a great piece of vinyl. So if the computer is the future of music, let’s take advantage of the screen. We haven’t quite figured it out, but that’s what we’re looking at.

Are you looking forward to playing the Brits tomorrow night or is it frustrating to just be playing one song?

It’s a little bit frustrating just doing the one song, but we haven’t really played much in front of a live audience for the last few years so it’s always great, particularly when you’ve got some new songs, to get a chance to play them live. It’s funny how they take on a different personality. Like ‘Get On Your Boots’; really we were trying to give it a more 21st century sound on the record, and it’s sort of almost hip-hop meets early rock ‘n’ roll combo feel. But it’s gone a little bit more to the rock ‘n’ roll side when we play it live. I guess the chemistry of the band is a bit more evident.

What gives you the bigger buzz – creating new music in a sunny Moroccan courtyard or playing live in front of 50,000 people?

There is something incredibly special about the interaction between U2 and the U2 audience. It’s very hard to compete with that in anything else that I will ever do in my life. But in terms of just experiencing a unique thing with your friends, the fact that the creative chemistry between the band themselves is still as strong – we’re actually writing material that I think is as good as anything we’ve written – after so many albums and so many years is great. And it was an amazing thrill to be in the room when some of these songs were coming together. And it’s a real hairs on the back of the neck moment when you’re playing and suddenly something really special starts to happen in the room and everyone kinda knows it and gets it. And those magic moments, there’s a lot of them captured on this record. Which is great.

Has it become easier being in U2?

No. I think it’s very similar to the very beginning so nothing’s really changed. The spirit of the band as a creative unit is the same – it’s quite intense and we put ourselves under a lot of pressure. And we never succumbed to the temptation of resting on previous achievements and thinking that we now know how to do this and therefore ergo everything we do must be great. We’ve held onto this idea that it doesn’t come easy and it demands everything you have to give. Also, there’s no formula you can use. Because all our best moments seem to come at the moments when they’re least expected, and they come in ways that no-one can predict. And it’s just about being alert to the possibility that something could just happen in the room, and even if your head is somewhere totally different, you’ve got to be aware that Bono’s gonna do something and we’ll be off. Or Adam or Larry or myself – or Brian and Danny, in this case. The most important thing is to recognise when there’s something happening and be sensitive to it, and not think in any sort of formulaic way. Because we’ve never survived on craft. Craft is the least important part of what we’ve learnt over the years.

What’s been the biggest mistake U2 have made in their career?

Well, there’s a consistent mistake we make which is that we think things are gonna take less time than they do, but I imagine if we thought pessimistically with our schedules, we’d probably work half as hard (laughs).

Well, work always expands to fill the time you’ve got to do it in.

Yeah. We get ourselves into this situation a lot where we’re like, ‘Oh wow! We’ve really gotta step up to the plate and we’ve gotta do this because there’s so much happening. It’s embarrassing not to have this album finished, we’ve gotta get this thing done!’ So that’s a natural and I think a necessary thing. It’s like you guys writing. I mean, if you didn’t have a deadline...

I’d rewrite forever!

You would! But our schedules are self-created. And we always seem to get that wrong. But you know in the end I don’t think that’s a mistake. I’ll have to think about that one actually... (pauses). I think maybe for a while our mistake might’ve been allowing a certain kind of judgement or a tone that was prevalent about our band and our work to sort of become internalised by ourselves. And not having the confidence to judge what we had done accurately and go, ‘You know what, we’ve done some pretty good stuff over the years!’ I think we spent too much time thinking about what other people thought of our work and not enough time probably realising that our fans were right (chuckles). And in my experience now, music fans are pretty much always right. The judgements of the cognoscenti are not necessarily that accurate. It was very sobering for me to realise that far from disco sucking, disco actually was far more interesting than a lot of rock ‘n’ roll of the disco era. And the genius of the Bee Gees. I’m wondering how I could have missed that at the time – but I did.

Because they weren’t deemed cool.

Because they weren’t cool. But it’s absolutely brilliant. And the many millions of people that knew that were actually right. So that we probably didn’t figure out early on.

U2 have always had their media detractors, but recently it’s been even more intense than usual – in Ireland, at least. I’m thinking about things like the Lola Cashman court case. Given the ridicule the band were subjected to at the time, do younow think it was a mistake to take your former stylist to court over a cowboy hat?

It’s a hard call, because that was a point of principle for us. Had we known the way the whole case was going to go, we might have tried to short circuit that whole thing earlier on and gone about it a slightly different way. But it’s very hard if you firmly believe that somebody has stolen your property and is selling it at Sotheby’s, it’s very hard to swallow that and leave it alone. It stuck in the throat. But that’s water under the bridge at this point.

You’ve also been getting a kicking over your tax situation. Do you think you’ve been unfairly singled out?

I think there’s a problem of scale for us in Ireland. And I think Bono’s work has also cast us, and particularly him, in a certain light as far as the general public are concerned. And at times it’s sort of a quite silly situation where every time there’s any kind of a problem, you get the (Dublin Northside accent), ‘Well, where’s Bono now?’ Ha, ha! When the East Wall was flooded – “Where’s Bono now?” When Waterford Crystal are in trouble. It’s just slightly out of kilter.

Do you ever get any personal grief walking around Dublin?

No. Most people know the score. They know who we are. They know that we are going to act appropriately in every aspect of what we’re doing. We don’t go into explanations. We don’t go there. But in the end, I don’t think most people think that we’re squirreling money in tax havens. We’re not! We’re not living in Monte Carlo or Lichtenstein. We’re living in Ireland, we’re paying tax in Ireland. We’re totally tax compliant and we always have been. Our business structures and arrangements are there because we operate in every country around the world. We play concerts all over the world, we work all over the world and we pay tax all over the world. It’s just people speculating about what’s what, and coming to conclusions and... (shrugs). We’re not willing to go there, and why should we? In the end, my feeling is that’s between us and the taxman. As it should be for every single person in the country. Why should that be the subject of public debate? It shouldn’t be!

What are your feelings on all of the corruption that’s been uncovered by the tribunals over the last few years?

I think there’s a culture of getting the job done by cutting corners in some cases, and I think we’ve come unstuck in a serious way because of a certain sort of looseness. Which is probably ok in certain areas, but you don’t want looseness in areas like the banking sector. You just don’t want that. Or in government. You don’t want fuzziness, you want very clear strict straight lines. But it’s very much part and parcel of the way things get done in Ireland, and you could argue that that way of doing business and that way of operating has also over the years been hugely beneficial. So it’s very difficult. It seems now that every entrepreneur and every successful businessman is being viewed with total suspicion for being overly greedy and taking advantage of the boom years. Well, it’s like you can’t have it both ways (laughs).

How do you mean?

What we need now is jobs. We need entrepreneurs, we need people who are willing to get out there and have ideas and do stuff. So I would be a little bit concerned now that we might swing the other way and we might turn the clock back to that period before there was any kind of economic prosperity on the horizon. I think we just have to keep our heads together. I mean, Ireland’s been so brilliant on so many levels over the years. It’s shown so much great leadership in so many areas of culture and politics – the politics particularly of the developing world or whatever. But it’s not a time to panic. It’s time to get the house in order, but I would be very much in favour of not allowing this heads on pikes mentality to prevail, because I think it’s very counterproductive.

The vast and cavernous Earl’s Court venue is buzzing with activity as a small army of workers prepare for tomorrow night’s mega-bash. Cleaners, carpenters, technicians, soundmen, assistants, cameramen, security personnel and the occasional celebrity scurry to and fro. Busy, busy, busy...

No more than ourselves. As soon as we arrive, The Edge is ushered off towards the stage and Hot Press is directed towards the band’s dressing room (the Kings Of Leon are just up the corridor). Manager Paul McGuinness and publicist Regine Moylett greet me warmly, coffee me up, and take me into a small side room.

No sooner have I taken my jacket off and pulled up a seat than Larry Mullen, Jr briskly walks in. Dressed entirely in black, the blonde-haired U2 stickman easily looks 10 years younger than his 47 years. He’s affable, courteous and professional. However, there’s a cold steeliness to Larry’s eyes that suggests he’d go through you for a shortcut if you ever pissed him off.

Olaf Tyaransen: We’re under a bit of time pressure here so I’m gonna ask you to talk pretty quickly.

Larry Mullen, Jr: I’lltalkprettyquickly! (Laughs). No, it’s all a bit chaotic, but if there’s stuff you want to clarify later I’m sure we can figure it out. But I’ll talk fast.

Edge tells me that that the birds were shitting on your drums in Fez.

Yeah, they were. They wrecked my new electronic drumkit. It was just one of those great moments, you know. This idyllic place, everything is just perfect – or not perfect, but pretty close to it. From a musician’s perspective, anyway. Brian Eno’s on one side, you’ve got the rest of U2, you’ve got Daniel Lanois doing his thing on his guitar. The roof is open, the sun is shining. And suddenly the birds are shitting on you! That suddenly brought us back down to reality.

Was it the legendary Joujouka drummers that attracted you to Fez?

No, not at all. The original idea was to go to this spiritual festival that goes on every year in Fez. And I was certainly interested to go along and see it, but there was talk at one stage of us performing at it. I think every time you record, you need to be placed somewhere. It just seemed like a good place for us to be. I don’t really understand why – and sometimes you don’t.

You’d visited Morocco before, hadn’t you?

Yeah, we’d been before and we liked the vibe. It’s just a very interesting place. Musically its influences are Arabic, you know. There’s nothing Moroccan, necessarily. Like, the drums are Egyptian. They’re Egyptian drums and it’s fascinating to watch – complex and all as it is. But no, it was really just to see the festival. And then to debunk there for a couple of weeks and record, as well. But the idea that there wouldn’t be an idea was very much part of it. And that was what was attractive to me.

As a drummer, do you have any sort of academic interest in the history of drumming or of drumming styles?

I’m about as basic as you get as far as drums are concerned. When I started, I was a huge Gene Krupa fan because what he did sounded simple enough to me. And I liked Buddy Rich and I liked a lot of the jazz players, but I always knew that that wasn’t where I was going to be. So I never studied with that in mind. When I was a kid, when I went to learn how to play, I got frustrated that I had to only learn on one drum, that I couldn’t use more. I was one of those kids that got bored easily.

This was when you were in the Artane Boys Band?

I wasn’t there for very long. But they wanted you to learn these things over and over again. And they were absolutely right. But I wanted to play Croke Park. I wanted it now. And it was the same when I was learning how to play. I wanted to be better than I actually was. I never thought I was better than I was. But I guess I missed a golden opportunity to become proficient, and I ended up with U2. So you’ve gotta weigh it up (shrugs, laughs).

How good a drummer are you now? Would you say that you’re at the top of your game?

I would never say I was at the top of my game, not by any stretch. I think within U2 we’ve always worked as a team...

Even though it’s your band!

I guess (laughs). No, I’ve always wanted to be part of a band. That was always the idea. So I’m a very good member of U2. I’m not sure I’m even the best drummer in U2. But that doesn’t really bother me. I’m interested in being inventive and I’m interested in being creative. And I don’t care what that takes. And that’s not necessarily about chops. There are some extraordinary players, really great players, out there.

Do you ever throw a lyrical suggestion at Bono?

Absolutely. That’s part of the rich tapestry of U2 is that there are no rules, and everybody hasan opportunity to contribute on whatever level they want to. And early on in the record, I got an opportunity to go into a studio and to do my drum parts. Edge is in another part of the world, I send him those drum parts. He’s got guitar parts he sends me. So we work very much like that. Not on everything, but on a lot of the stuff.

I spoke to Ronnie Vannucci from The Killers recently...

He’s a great drummer!

He was telling me that the band put much of their new album together via email, just sending each other their various parts and working independently of each other. Do U2 do much of that?

It’s not as set in stone as that. We use that technology if Edge is in another part of the world, as I say, and I’ll be somewhere else, and we’ll work together. But what we don’t do is we don’t go back and forth by email. I’ll send the idea, Edge sends his idea, and then we’ll come together as a band and thrash it out. And we know what we’re talking about. So we all get a sense very early on of where the song is going. And it goes and meanders for a long period of time, and in the last two weeks of a record is when you actually realise what you have and when things start to change and move on. The things you held onto as being so important, they disappear – and that’s part of the game. We don’t write in a traditional fashion and we never have. We’re not very good at writing in a traditional fashion.

You’re a bunch of amateurs!

We are! But that’s what separates us is that we are... if you want to pitch yourself against some of the greatest singer-songwriters or just songwriters, we’re not songwriter-ly and if we try to be songwriter-ly what we do is we lose that thing that makes it special.

Could U2 continue without any one member?

I’m sure it could. Of course, it’d be very hard for U2 to continue without Bono, but think of Van Halen, think of AC/DC. But I don’t know. Do I see myself doing this into my ‘70s? No, I don’t. There will be a time. Whether that’s on an individual basis or a band decision. But right now I just think it’s very exciting to be out there making music. Making music and being creative is an incredibly amazing thing to be able to do. And the fact that people still want to hear what you do and people still want to come and see you. Why would you give that up? It’s a very hard thing to give up. And it’s not the money, it’s not the success, it’s just the challenge of being creative. Within the band, it’s the creative thing that drives people. It’s not being at the top of your game. Will we ever be as good as so and so? You can make all the comparisons, but I think that’s an error. You can only be as good as your last record. It’s a cliché, but it’s true.

You recently told an interviewer that you didn’t like seeing Bono palling around with people whom you consider to be war criminals, i.e. Bush and Blair. Was he upset with you?

I don’t know if he was. I didn’t discuss it with him. Bono is a big boy who understands that there are differences of opinion and there always have been. That’s just the way it is. We’ve been disagreeing on everything except music for more than 30 years. There is an impression out there that U2 is some kind of corporate team – that we move together and we all agree on everything. But we don’t. That’s not how it works. It’s important that people not understand that, but that they recognise that that is the case. That we all have a point of view and an opinion and we don’t always agree. And I think the older you get the harder it is to find things that you agree on. And that’s why having a creative basis is so important – because that is something that we do agree on.

Are the friendships within the band as strong as they were when you were in school?

You ask yourself that question. Are you still friends in the same way as you were with people you knew when you were 15? You grow up, you have a family, things change. You’re not a gang of four guys from Dublin kicking against the world anymore. Things have changed. Friendships have changed. They’ve developed. They’re different.

Speaking of family, you’ve now got three kids. Is it difficult combining a rock ‘n’ roll career with the responsibilities of fatherhood?

It’s a real challenge, just trying to get the balance right. I haven’t figured it out. I really haven’t figured it out. I don’t know. There’s a certain amount of guilt that goes along with being away for long periods or being in the studio. You’re distracted a lot of your time. Of course, your priority is your family. But this is my job, this is what I do. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid and I’m not qualified to do anything else. And I hope my family are resilient enough to withstand the pressures and difficulties that my life imposes on them. It’s not comfortable all the time.

I guess Adam’s the lucky one there.

Well, I don’t know if he’s lucky. I think having kids is a really lucky thing. It’s certainly different; it’s a lifestyle choice. He’s made a different choice. But he doesn’t have the complications, you’re right about that. It’s not as complicated.

What do you make of what’s happening in Ireland at the moment?

On an economic basis? If I thought it was just an Irish phenomenon, I’d be really concerned. But I think it’s a worldwide phenomenon. So everybody is going through this. What was particularly difficult for Ireland is that it was so good for so long – we couldn’t be touched – and to have it go so badly wrong so quickly is a shock to everyone. I don’t know. I’m not an economist. I’m not even close to an economist. I hit things for a living. But I live in Ireland and when you see what’s going on... (shakes head).

In fairness, it’s not going to hit you that badly...

It doesn’t particularly affect me the way it’s affecting other people. I’m a rich rock star. There’s a lot of people really hurting out there and I’m not in that position. We tour internationally, we sell records internationally. So there is a certain amount of discomfort, I have to say. I haven’t felt that before. I didn’t feel it in the ‘80s, but I’m definitely feeling it now. There’s a different mood. Rich people and successful people are all lumped in together now – and there’s a perception that everyone’s ripping everyone off. But I think that will settle down. I think it’s a kneejerk reaction, and it’ll find its level. Or else there’ll be revolt.

There’s certainly a spirit of revolution in the air.

There is revolution in the air, but the advantage we have is that the European community is a parachute. And it was a parachute in the very poor times, it was a parachute in the good times, and I think it’ll be a parachute again.

I take it you’ll be voting ‘yes’ to Lisbon in the second referendum?

I was very confused about Lisbon. I thought it was very, very badly managed. I’m bipartisan as far as politics is concerned, but I thought the government did themselves no favours. I thought they didn’t explain it properly. So you ended up with extremists. So I was very confused about what was in there. I think there are probably some very good things in there, I think there are some compromises. I think there should be an opportunity to vote on it again. I know that’s a hard thing for some people to swallow, but I don’t think the facts were laid out clearly last time. And I think it’s very unfair to expect the people to vote on something when the facts are not obvious. I mean, I think there were government Ministers who hadn’t even read the text of it.

Brian Cowen admitted he hadn’t read it!

Well, I’m not being critical of him, but I just think there was a certain amount of complacency that happened around that time. You know, we’re all on the pig’s back so we can do what we want. That may have been an error.

The chickens have come home to roost.

They have – and there’s no glory in it at all. There’s no glory in seeing people losing their jobs, people who’ve never been on the dole. You know, I’ve been on the dole. I didn’t find it humiliating, I just found it difficult going in there and... oh, I dunno. It was just a difficult thing. But I was 17 at the time and there was a certain expectation that this was going to happen. So I was prepared for it. But the idea that you work in the IT sector, that you’re an educated person – all of a sudden your job’s gone and you’ve gotta go on the dole. That must be hard.

Click here for part two of the interview.

 

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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 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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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.

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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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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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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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