The Decade in Review

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It is hard to believe but ten years have passed. During this past decade a lot has happened to the world, including the world of U2.

The decade started with U2 releasing their first album of the twenty-first century. Rumored to be a return to their rock n' roll roots, U2 had their careers riding on the album's success. The band had spent the 90's experimenting with new sounds. While these albums were successful creatively, they left critics and some fans scratching their heads. The band had in the past thrived under pressure, and this was no different. ALTYCLB proved to be a success both artistically and financially. U2 had reclaimed their position at the top.

The lyrics in ALTYCLB seemed to echo the times as the U.S. tried to cope with the aftermath of 911. U2 showed their support by displaying the names of the victims on a screen during their concerts. Bono also took to wearing a jacket lined with an American flag.

It was during this time that Bono became actively involved in helping the world's poorest nations by joining the Jubilee Network. His involvement with Jubilee was a catalyst for Bono forming DATA and One. This lead to a string of humanitarian awards including several nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.

As a band, no award could be greater than when U2 were inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, permanently cementing their place in history.

U2 followed up their success with Vertigo. This album contained many of the same themes and sounds as its' predecessor. However, the lyrics on Vertigo were less general and/or political and much more personal. The band members had undergone many trials and emotional trauma, namely Edge's daughters' battle with cancer and the death of Bono's father.

After spending the 90's doing stadium concerts, the band decided to keep it simple and instead played arenas. They brought back the concept of general admission and proved that it can be done in a safe manner. (General admission was being frowned upon after a serious of injuries and deaths at major rock concerts, most notable the death of a fan at a Pearl Jam concert.)
Controversy was no stranger to the band. The new U2 studio was protested against for many reasons, one being that it blocked out the sun. Bono and Edge's attempt to renovate their hotel was put on hold do to complaints that the hotel structure is considered a historical building. Bono, who in the 80's spoke of money as being the root to all evil, became friends with the moguls Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Edge's Malibu construction is being frowned upon by environmentalists.

The band ended the decade with a new album. No Horizon is an uneven mix of new age rhythms accompanied with Bono's usual lyrics of spiritual searching, combined with pop melodies about boots and cockatiels. They returned to stadiums with a worldwide sold out tour, partially thanks to the claw stage designed by Willie Williams.

U2 start the next decade with an already sold out summer tour and the promise of a new album. Historically, U2 change gears every ten years. Will this game plan keep them on top? Or, will the next decade see U2 reach the mountain top and start to decline? No matter what happens, their fans are sure to be along for the ride.

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This page contains a single entry by Brenda published on January 3, 2010 4:37 AM.

U2 tops highest-grossing concert tour list for 2009 was the previous entry in this blog.

Ten for the Next Ten is the next entry in this blog.

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