U2 - With Or Without You (8D Audio)
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U2 - With Or Without You (8D Audio)
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In April 1977, Feedback played their first gig for a paying audience at St. Fintan's High School. Shortly thereafter, the band changed their name to "The Hype". Dik Evans, who was older and by that time attending college, was becoming the odd man out. The rest of the band was leaning towards the idea of a four-piece ensemble. In March 1978, the group changed their name to "U2". Steve Averill, a punk rock musician (with the Radiators) and family friend of Clayton's, had suggested six potential names from which the band chose U2 for its ambiguity and open-ended interpretations, and because it was the name that they disliked the least. That same month, U2, as a four-piece, won a talent contest in Limerick sponsored by Harp Lager and the Evening Press. The prize consisted of 500 and a recording session for a demo that would be heard by record label CBS Ireland. The win was an important milestone and affirmation for the fledgling act. Within a few days, Dik Evans was officially phased out of the band with a farewell concert at the Presbyterian Church Hall in Howth. During the show, which featured the group playing cover songs as the Hype, Dik ceremonially walked offstage. The remaining four band members returned later in the concert to play original material as U2. Dik joined another band, the Virgin Prunes, which comprised mutual friends of U2's; the Prunes were their default opening act early on, and the two groups often shared members for live performances to cover for occasional absences. As part of their contest prize, U2 recorded their first demo tape at Keystone Studios in Dublin in April 1978, but the results were largely unsuccessful due to their inexperience.
Irish magazine Hot Press was influential in shaping U2's future; in addition to being one of their earliest allies, the publication's journalist Bill Graham introduced the band to Paul McGuinness, who agreed to be their manager in mid-1978. With the connections he was making within the music industry, McGuinness booked demo sessions for the group and sought to garner them a record deal. The band continued to build their fanbase with performances across Ireland, the most famous of which were a series of weekend afternoon shows at Dublin's Dandelion Market in the summer of 1979. In August, U2 recorded demos at Windmill Lane Studios with CBS talent scout Chas de Whalley as producer, marking the first of the band's many recordings at the studio during their career. The following month, three songs from the session were released by CBS as the Ireland-only EP Three. It was the group's first chart success, selling all 1,000 copies of its limited edition 12-inch vinyl almost immediately. In December 1979, the band performed in London for their first shows outside Ireland, although they were unable to gain much attention from audiences or critics. On 26 February 1980, their second single, "Another Day", was released on the CBS label, but again only for the Irish market. The same day, U2 played a show at the 2,000-seat National Stadium in Dublin as part of an Irish tour. Despite their gamble of booking a concert in such a large venue, the move paid off. Bill Stewart, an A&R representative for Island Records, was in attendance and offered to sign them to the label. The following month, the band signed a four-year, four-album contract with Island, which included a 50,000 advance and 50,000 in tour support.
Steve Lillywhite produced the band's first three studio albums: Boy, October, and War.In May 1980, U2 released "11 O'Clock Tick Tock", their first international single and their debut on Island, but it failed to chart. Martin Hannett, who produced the single, was slated to produce the band's debut album, Boy, but ultimately was replaced with Steve Lillywhite. From July to September 1980, U2 recorded the album at Windmill Lane Studios, drawing from their nearly 40-song repertoire at the time. Lillywhite suggested recording Mullen's drums in a stairwell, and recording smashed bottles and forks played against a spinning bicycle wheel. The band found Lillywhite to be very encouraging and creative; Bono called him "such a breath of fresh air", while the Edge said he "had a great way of pulling the best out of everybody". The album's lead single, "A Day Without Me", was released in August. Although it did not chart, the song was the impetus for the Edge's purchase of a delay effect unit, the Electro-Harmonix Memory Man, which came to define his guitar playing style and had a significant impact on the group's creative output.
After the October Tour, U2 decamped to a rented cottage in Howth, where they lived, wrote new songs, and rehearsed for their third album, War. Significant musical breakthroughs were achieved by the Edge in August 1982 during a two-week period of independent songwriting, while the other band members vacationed and Bono honeymooned with his wife, Ali. From September to November, the group recorded War at Windmill Lane Studios. Lillywhite, who had a policy of not working with an artist more than twice, was convinced by the group to return as their producer for a third time. The recording sessions featured contributions from violinist Steve Wickham and the female singers of Kid Creole and the Coconuts. For the first time, Mullen agreed to play drums to a click track to keep time. After completing the album, U2 undertook a short tour of Western Europe in December.
War's lead single, "New Year's Day", was released in January 1983. It reached number 10 in the UK and became the group's first hit outside of Europe; in the US, it received extensive radio coverage and peaked at number 53. Resolving their doubts of the October period, U2 released War in February. Critically, the album received favourable reviews, although a few UK reviewers were critical of it. Nonetheless, it was the band's first commercial success, debuting at number one in the UK, while reaching number 12 in the US. War's sincerity and "rugged" guitar were intentionally at odds with the trendier synthpop of the time. Described as a record on which the band "turned pacifism itself into a crusade", War was lyrically more political than their first two records, focusing on the physical and emotional effects of warfare. The album included the protest song "Sunday Bloody Sunday", in which Bono lyrically tried to contrast the events of the 1972 Bloody Sunday shooting with Easter Sunday. Other songs from the record addressed topics such as nuclear proliferation ("Seconds") and the Polish Solidarity movement ("New Year's Day"). War was U2's first record to feature Corbijn's photography. The album cover depicted the same young child who had appeared on the cover of their debut album, albeit with his previously innocent expression replaced by a fearful one.
On the subsequent 1983 War Tour of Europe, the US and Japan, the band began to play progressively larger venues, moving from clubs to halls to arenas. Bono attempted to engage the growing audiences with theatrical, often dangerous antics, climbing scaffoldings and lighting rigs and jumping into the audience. The sight of Bono waving a white flag during performances of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" became the tour's iconic image. The band played several dates at large European and American music festivals, including a performance at the US Festival on Memorial Day weekend for an audience of 125,000 people. Nearly rained out, the group's 5 June 1983 concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre was singled out by Rolling Stone as one of "50 Moments that Changed the History of Rock and Roll". The show was recorded for the concert video Live at Red Rocks, and was one of several concerts from the tour captured on their live album Under a Blood Red Sky. The releases received extensive play on MTV and the radio, expanding the band's audience and showcasing their prowess as a live act. During the tour, the group established a new tradition by closing concerts with the War track "40", during which the Edge and Clayton would switch instruments and the band members would leave the stage one-by-one as the crowd continued to sing the refrain "How long to sing this song?". The War Tour was U2's first profitable tour, grossing about US$2 million.
With their record deal with Island Records coming to an end, U2 signed a more lucrative extension in 1984. They negotiated the return of the copyrights of their songs, an increase in their royalty rate, and a general improvement in terms, at the expense of a larger initial payment.
U2 feared that following the overt rock of the War album and tour, they were in danger of becoming another "shrill", "sloganeering arena-rock band". They were confident that fans would embrace them as successors to groups like the Who and Led Zeppelin, but according to Bono: "something just didn't feel right. We felt we had more dimension than just the next big anything, we had something unique to offer." Thus, they sought experimentation for their fourth studio album, The Unforgettable Fire. Clayton said, "We were looking for something that was a bit more serious, more arty." The Edge admired the ambient and "weird works" of Brian Eno, who, along with his engineer Daniel Lanois, eventually agreed to produce the record. Their hiring contravened the initial recommendation of Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who believed that just when the band were about to achieve the highest levels of success, Eno would "bury them under a layer of avant-garde nonsense". 041b061a72