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“I was their second choice for a producer. Originally, they wanted Martin Hannett, who had worked with Joy Division. But when that band’s singer, Ian Curtis, committed suicide, Martin decided he wasn’t in the right headspace to produce U2.
"So they came to me, I saw them play, and we worked on a single called Stories For Boys. They liked it a lot, so we set about recording the album.
“It’s funny to think about it now, but back then, they weren’t the band you would expect to make it - not when you stacked them against Echo & The Bunnymen or The Teardrop Explodes. They just weren’t that hip at the time.
“I did like their sound, though. More than anything, I liked their spirit: U2 didn’t think about winning, they thought about not losing. They were keenly aware of their limitations, but they wouldn’t be stopped.
“Bono’s voice struck me right away. I never thought of him as a rock singer, but rather as a crooner. To me, the band is like Frank Sinatra - if Frank Sinatra had electric guitars behind him. It’s incredible to see how The Edge has become such a guitar icon, because on that first album, he only had one guitar. [laughs] But he did quite a lot with it.”