From their punk roots in north Dublin, Ireland of the late 1970’s, U2 have grown to become one of the biggest rock band out there these days and a force to be reckoned with when it comes to live music performances. There are some out there that like to criticize these guys for the scale of their success, but we at Dead Dog Clothing certainly do not. Having said that, we were as annoyed as anybody when they invited themselves into our ITunes library without permission a few years back, not cool Bono!
Over the last 40 years, U2 have had the ambition to expand their music and their audience. The musical transitions they made from The Joshua Tree through to All That You Can Leave Behind alone are staggering. It was touring The Joshua Tree in 1987 that they first broke the US and with the success that followed they have shamelessly become a force of good in the world. They openly criticized US foreign policy on that record and in those live shows as well as speaking out against the violence that gripped Northern Ireland at the time. They’ve since gone on challenge the developed world to end poverty and disease in Africa. They’ve become a credible humanitarian voice on a global scale and all this with the same four teens that first starting jamming together in Larry Mullen’s kitchen in 1976. We at Dead Dog feel that the way U2 have managed both the scale and longevity of their commercial success has started to challenge the very concept of musical credibility.
But what we love about this band is what you’re left with when you strip out all the padding. Remove the record breaking world tours, enormous album sales, the humanitarian and political activism, the lemon and you’ve got some banging rock songs made by four men who never surcame to the pitfalls of success that claimed so many of the greats. U2 have shown that the only thing a band needs to make it in the rock and roll world is ambition and great music. We have nothing but respect for that.