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© Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/Corbis
When they first got together in the late ‘70s, the teenaged members of U2 couldn’t play very well, so they turned their limitations into strengths and decided to play like nobody else ever had before.
This was especially true of the band’s genius guitarist The Edge, who did more with three notes, an Echoplex and his feral imagination than a whole fleet of sweep-picking shredders.
Whether dishing out punk-laced new wave, chest-beating anthems, witness-bearing Americana, futuristic dance rhythms or expansive art-rock, the group proved that anything could get on the airwaves as long as the hooks were massive. Ensuring band harmony, U2 split their songwriting equally, although singer Bono most certainly shaped the impassioned lyrical message, broad strokes that can be by turns theological, political, introspectively confessional and ironically arty.