U2’s art is many things but never a prank

With each album and concert, the Irish quartet U2 has made tonal craft-rich music of lasting substance that has enjoyed massive popular acclaim. Their work is meaning-saturated and produced hands-on as un-fooled-around-with straight up rock! It is rife with overt spiritual content.

U2 have, at times, been the most popular band in the world and also, arguably, one of the most important musically. And they place a premium on high artistic craft as if the likes of Damian Hirst and company never existed. U2’s art is many things but never a prank.

“We had no interest in being the biggest if we weren’t the best,” guitarist Dave “The Edge” Evans told Rolling Stone in 2004. “That’s the only way being the biggest would mean anything.”

U2’s albums War (1983), The Joshua Tree (1987) and All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000) are classics. Bono’s struggle for causes like Third World debt relief and U2’s participation in rock-for-charity events including Live Aid and Amnesty International’s “Conspiracy of Hope” tour have been motivated by an unashamedly religious humanistic non-ironic ethic. And U2’s music opens doors for other bands to follow. They see themselves as servants of a great tradition, not smashers of the past. Instead of mocking their chosen art they have struggled to perfect it.

(You’ve been reading an excerpt from –WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace Chapter 23 — to read more go to Amazon and please buy the book in paperback for $ 11.00 or on Kindle for $3.99)

Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book —WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace

Available now on Amazon

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