Tuesday, December 26, 2006

U2 by U2

Introspection by one of the world's most renowned rock bands.

Admittedly, I haven't read many autobiographical works, but this one is definitely different compared to what I have seen previously. It tells the U2 story from beginning to today through a collection of statements by the band themselves. They don't seem to leave much out or gloss over the less then glamorous sides of their very unconventional lives (and by unconventional I don't just mean as "rock stars"). This doesn't appear to be the controlled propaganda that is usually the fare of rock star documentaries, rather its no-holds-barred approach is quite refreshing. From the revealing truths about the infamous "stolen" lyrics for the October album and the extremely unconventional processes they use to produce their music (it seems they never have anything prepared before going into the studio), all the way through to Adam Clayton's battle with alcoholism. Even the mystic behind one of rocks greatest concerts ever put on film (Under A Blood Red Sky) is dispelled unceremoniously in this book (much to my own dismay I might add).

I only got the book yesterday as a gift. I have not read through the entire thing by any means, but I would say just from my cursory reading that it would be quite interesting not only to fans of the band but to anyone interested in the behind the scenes workings of a struggling unknown group of kids who barely know how to play their instruments all the way through their assent to stardom. It depicts the heights, depths and the challenges that they face even as they were reaching the pinnacle of success in the rock & roll game.

To this day I think they would attribute their success not only to a great amount of hard work but also to a great deal of luck. I may not be too far off the mark. These are four very different people who've somehow made this U2 thing work for the last thirty years. That's quite an accomplishment in itself. Who knows what they will do next? But it seems that it's definitely a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n roll.

ISBN: 0060776757


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