‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Bono and The Edge (‘Sing 2’)
Bono and The Edge , this week’s guests on The Hollywood Reporter ’s Awards Chatter podcast, are two of the most popular and influential music artists of all time. They account for one half, and are the principal songwriters, of U2 , a band from the north side of Dublin which formed in 1976 and has since made 14 studio albums, sold more than 157 million albums, had two songs top the Billboard Hot 100 (“With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”), had eight albums top the Billboard 200 (including at least one in four successive decades, something that no other band has ever done), had the highest-grossing concert tour in history (when factoring in inflation), won 22 Grammys and two Golden Globes, been nominated for two Oscars, and been inducted into the Rock ’n Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 (their first year of eligibility).
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You can listen to the podcast here. (The article continues below.)
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For U2, Bono provides vocals and, until recently, also played guitar; The Edge plays guitar, keyboards and also provides vocals; Adam Clayton is on bass guitar; and Larry Mullen Jr. handles drums and percussion. Rolling Stone has called U2 “the biggest band left on Earth,” and ranked U2 as the 22nd greatest artists of all time, Bono and The Edge as the 35th greatest songwriters of all time, Bono as the 32nd greatest singer of all time, The Edge as the 38th greatest guitar player of all time, U2’s albums Achtung Baby and The Joshua Tree as the 124th and 135th greatest albums of all time, and their tunes “One,” “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” as the 62nd, 211th and 321st greatest songs of all time.
Meanwhile, the New York Times has described U2 as “what the Rolling Stones ceased being years ago — the greatest rock ’n’ roll band in the world.” The Los Angeles Times has said they “come closer to matching the quality and mass appeal of the Beatles than any other band.” And Vanity Fair has argued, “There has never been, and probably never will be again, a band like U2. A combination of The Beatles (hugely popular, melodic) and the New York punk band Television (innovative, uplifting), they also have the heart of the Ramones and the swagger of Frank Sinatra.”
Among the many bands who have been influenced by U2 are Pearl Jam, Radiohead and Coldplay. Coldplay’s Chris Martin has gushed about U2, “The sound they pioneered — the driving bass and drums underneath and those ethereal, effects-laden guitar tracks floating out from above — was nothing that had been heard before. They may be the only good anthemic rock band ever. Certainly they’re the best.”
Over the course of this conversation, Bono, who is 61, and The Edge, who is 60, discuss how the band came together 46 years ago, when all of its members were attending the same public high school; how they arrived at their signature sound and social conscience; how they have managed to stay together for longer than almost any other major band in history, and when they came closest to breaking up; what inspired their first new song in three years, “ Your Song Saved My Life ,” which is featured in Garth Jennings ’ hit animated film Sing 2 and has been shortlisted for the best original song Oscar; plus much more.