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U2: The Definitive Biography by John Jobling

U2: The Definitive Biography

by John Jobling

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Spanning the early 70's until 2014, British music journalist John Jobling takes his readers along U2's career for U2: The Definitive Biography. He could use first-hand interviews with record label scouts, politicians, music critics, and childhood friends. The result is unauthorized, which doesn't surprise me. The band members are portrayed in all their fallibility as humans. Several episodes were new and busted myths. My personal love for U2's music started in the early 80's leading up to Joshua Tree, minimized during the Zooropa and Pop 90's, and regained momentum with All You Can't Leave Behind, How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. During the last decade, U2 kept us all waiting for new albums like No Line on the Horizons, Songs of Ascent, and Songs of Experience. Yes, I was happy that Bono, Edge, and Larry were three evangelical boys not ashamed of the gospel in the 80's. I knew of some of Adam's escapades. In this 'definitive' (U2 is still around!) biography all these puzzle pieces fall into place.

Jobling explains a lot on the band origins, inspiration and genesis of U2 songs and the recording process, the business adventures of all band members, and Bono's activism for the One Campaign, DATA, RED, etc. The author also reveals the commercial flops, the power struggles within the band and its management. He follows the money, is open about the tax evasion via the Netherlands, and the successes and failures of side projects, whether it's a next partner, home, hotel, movie, or musical production. Ticket price inflation, the ups and downs at Island Records, the deals with LiveNation and Ticketmaster, and the disadvantages of being a public person are included. Your overall impression or conclusion after reading may be finetuned, if not completely turned upside down, thanks to this exhaustive in-depth dig into the lives of the Irish rock and roll band U2. ( )
  hjvanderklis | Jun 18, 2018 |
John Jobling's "definitive" biography of U2 - arguably the World's Biggest Band - chronicles the Irish foursome's rise to pop music dominance in a manner that is revealing, critical, yet remains unbiased. Much of the information contained within will be familiar to devoted fans of U2, given that the author relies entirely on existing interviews, reviews and articles to gain access to the band's point of view. Jobling did, however, extensively interview many former members of the U2 inner circle in an attempt to sneak a peek inside the tightly controlled U2 machine. Unfortunately, the accusations and anecdotes he culls from former production personnel, business associates, and peers are not addressed directly by the band, leaving the readers to judge for themselves the validity of the information. While perhaps not as much of an expose as one might expect, the real value of Jobling's work lies in the wealth of detail surrounding U2's early days and the recording of their albums. Much of the information may have been previously printed in numerous magazines and newspapers, but to have it all succinctly summarized in a single, well-written volume should be a nice treat for U2 fans. ( )
  dknoch | Nov 5, 2014 |
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"John Jobling takes readers beyond the myth in this unauthorized biography to present the first comprehensive account of the illustrious Irish rockers in 25 years. Drawing on extensive interviews with insiders including record label scouts, studio presidents, politicians, music critics, and childhood friends, Jobling investigates the U2's most personal relationships and controversial business practices, delivering a vivid portrait that traces the rock phenomenon from its conception to post-punk champions to political crusaders. Filled with captivating revelations, reader will learn: How Bono, the Edge, and Larry Mullen, Jr. worshipped with a Charismatic Christian church that practiced speaking in tongues during the band's early days Insider stories of the genesis and recording of classic albums such as The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby Creative tensions within the band and power struggles among management How the disappointments of the Rattle and Hum film and PopMart Tour spurred the band to greater creative heights Both the successes and controversies of Bono's wide-sweeping philanthropic and political ventures The disconnect between the band's personal lives and public personas Sure to inspire debate with every music lover, this book humanizes the band and paints an honest picture of a band's rise to the top, plunging into the heart and underlying soul of this iconic rock and roll band"--… (more)

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