U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono (lead vocals and guitar), the Edge (guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). U2’s early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music. Throughout the group’s musical pursuits, they have maintained a sound built on melodic instrumentals. Their lyrics, often embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal themes and sociopolitical concerns.
The band formed at Mount Temple Comprehensive School in 1976 when the members were teenagers with limited musical proficiency. Within four years, they signed with Island Records and released their debut album Boy. By the mid-1980s, U2 had become a top international act. They were more successful as a touring act than they were at selling records until their 1987 album The Joshua Tree which, according to Rolling Stone Magazine, elevated the band’s stature “from heroes to superstars”.
This song is the opening track and first single from U2’s 2004 album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Upon release the song received extensive airplay and was an international hit, being featured in a popular iPod television advertisement.