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U2 by U2 [Hardcover]

U2 , Neil McCormick
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Sep 2005

“I always thought the job was to be as great as you could be.” – Bono

This is the story of U2, in their own words and pictures. It is the only authorised, fully comprehensive guide to the biggest band in the world.

"We are trying to pin down something elusive, something that represents where we are, emotionally, physically, spiritually, but is also fresh and exciting. If it is not absolutely the best it can be, then why bother?" – Adam Clayton.

In 1975, four teenagers from Mount Temple School in Dublin gathered in a crowded kitchen to discuss forming a band. The drum kit just about fit into the room, the lead guitarist was playing a homemade guitar, the bassist could barely play at all and nobody wanted to be the singer. Over thirty years later, Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jnr are still together, bound by intense loyalty, passionate idealism and a relentless belief in the power of rock and roll to change the world.

“We wore it as a stubborn badge of pride that we weren’t prepared to fall into line with every other group and take the fashionable stance of the day. We were uncool because we were hot, we just erupted as a live band.” – The Edge.

Told with wit, insight and astonishing candour by the band themselves and manager Paul McGuinness, with pictures from their own archives, ‘U2 By U2’ allows unprecedented access into the inner life of the greatest rock band of our times. Bad haircuts, worse hangovers, prayer meetings and wild parties, encounters with presidents and popes, intimate accounts of the creation of all their classic songs, it is all here in a beautifully-presented book overseen by the band with the same passion for substance, style and immaculate attention to detail familiar from their musical career.

"I have read a lot of rubbish about U2. Whenever I see us described in some mythic sense as masters of our own destiny, it makes me laugh. Being in U2 is more like riding a runaway train. We are just ordinary guys, hanging on to this thing for our lives." – Larry Mullen Jnr.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: It Books (30 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060776757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060776756
  • Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 2.5 x 35.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,289,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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'There are no shortage of books about U2 and many of them aren't worth the paper they're written on. This is different because the cod psychology is abandoned and the boys simply tell their story – and tell it well.' Irish Independent.

'This book is a brilliantly realised concept, dense in its factual content with many rare photos.' Mail on Sunday (Ireland)

‘It’s a shame every band can’t make a book like this.’ Record Collector

‘This book is more like an experience with U2 and is an essential piece of memorabilia for any fan of the band. It’s so alive it almost has a pulse and you genuinely feel that U2 have put their heart and soul into this as much as they would a new album.’ The Irish Post

'One of the best rock autobiographies in print.' Scottish Daily Record

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

'One of the best rock autobiographies in print'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a great book, presented as a series of reminiscent conversations between the 4 members of U2 and their manager, as they reflect on different periods of the band's history. What comes across very clearly is how they all differ from each other: they each have certain foibles and idiosyncracies that they acknowledge and respect in each other, often in a gently mocking and self-deprecating way, which makes entertaining reading. It is touching to read about how they stand by each other, and there is a clear sense that U2 are very much about life and death - they're not just a rock band.

The interesting thing is that U2 is such a model of successful team dynamics. The shared vision and quest for the perfect melody/album/gig is what compels them and keeps pulling them forward into the future. And along the way they each get to bring their own stuff to the party - Bono's chaotic creative process and intuition, Edge's technical brilliance and dogged determination, Larry's "so what" tests, Adam's steadiness and wisdom and Paul's expert management. It's all held together with great humour, authenticity, honesty, patience and love. A great lesson in hard work, determination, motivation and a healthy acknowledgement of what work life balance really is, even if sometimes it's hard to live up to. A must read for any music fan, and anyone who finds themselves working in a team environment where the whole needs to be greater than the sum of its parts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A look at U2 as written by themselves 7 July 2007
Similar in tone to the Beatles anthology book written in the mid 1990's, U2 by U2 sees the band and other contributors, such as their long term manager Paul McGuinness, discuss all aspects of U2. From their formation in the mid 1970s, through to Live Aid which really helped cement them on to the global stage, to their most album, every aspect of U2 is considered and analysed. Of particular interest is the early 1990s period, when U2 elected to totally revise their sound and image after the huge success of The Joshua Tree, relocating to Berlin and producing the superb Achtung Baby with its European influences and dance and industrial feel, a million miles from the American style rock of its two predecessors. The band also give an insight into the famous Zooropa tour, in which they would regularly ring the White House from the stage in an attempt to speak to the President , as well as welcoming such figures as Salman Rushdie on to the stage. It is also interesting how critical the band are on certain aspects of their own music, in particular their 1997 album POP.
This book has not sold as well as it was hoped, which is a shame, as it offers a real insight into one of the world's most popular acts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 14 Feb 2013
This book written by the band and using their vast collection of pictures is a wonderful book for any U2 and a good addition to any collection for a music lover.

This book really is the inside track of U2 in their own words and it would be great if other rock bands of some years standing could do something similar.

A must for all U2 fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the ultimate U2 fan 11 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An extensive biography of the worls greatest band (imho). Interesting to read, beautiful pictures and a sturdy book of quality. A must read for every one interested in U2.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a weighty tome 19 Jun 2013
By pr
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Cracking book by the masters, a weighty insight into their thoughts & a good buy for any U2 fan. Great stuff
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