How can one band go from where they were, to where they are??

(There is no photoshop required for you to imagine crosshairs on this face.)

Just The Facts

  1. U2 is simultaneously one of the most critically acclaimed and critically reviled bands of popular music era.
  2. Upon hearing their old stuff and then hearing their new stuff, it's no wonder why.
  3. Their singer, Bono, is one of the most famously up-his-own-ass schmucks of the last three decades.

The Early Years

Most bands consisting of school chums start out with little knowledge of their instruments, and most sound like it. U2 defied this by starting out with great, inventive songs although they barely knew which plug went in which hole. Their first handful of albums were among the most passionate and well-performed of the early 80s. Listen to "Sunday Bloody Sunday," or "New Years Day," and try not to visualize poor European farmers dragging themselves from their burning homes on bloody stumps. Real fiery stuff.

The Beginning of the Decline

Somewhere along the way, with all the talk of U2 being the best band of the 80s, Bono (their lead singer) skipped best frontman status and simply convinced himself that he was Best Guy in the World. This has since led to gradually more pompous sentiments accompanied by a gradual decline in their dynamic sound. That's right, as they progressed and learned how to play their instruments they began forgetting how to write songs. By the 90s they were co-opting whatever trend around until finally settling on peddling the same tired album again and again and again.

U2's PopMart Tour in 1997 helped inspire the phrase, "It's a lemon!"

Bono's Savior Complex

The story of U2 cannot be told without focusing on Bono's globe-trotting, world-saving exploits. If Superman were Irish but had a time-share on the North Jersey Shore instead of superpowers, he'd look a lot like Bono. In other words, dude is the Alpha Douchebag. The only thing he has even remotely like a superpower is fuck-tons of money. Everything the man does screams, "Look at me!" The millions he spends on charity work for third world nations is only topped by the millions he (and his band) spend on elaborate stage-sets. Such hypocrisy has been met with much understandable outrage, making him ultimate fodder for modern satire. And all this hubbub over a band that hasn't actually rocked in two decades.

"So, Bono, when are you gonna change out of the hat??"