Saturday, May 10, 8960
Bono (Paul David Hewson, b. 1960) - U2
Paul David Hewson (b. May 10, 1960), most commonly known by his stage name Bono, is an Irish singer and musician, best known for being the main vocalist of the Dublin-based rock band U2. Bono was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School where he met his future wife, Ali Hewson, and the future members of U2.
Bono writes almost all U2 lyrics, often using political, social, and religious themes.
During their early years, Bono's lyrics contributed to U2's rebellious and spiritual tone.
As the band matured, his lyrics became inspired more by personal experiences shared with members of U2.
Outside the band, he has collaborated and recorded with numerous artists, sits on the board of Elevation Partners, and has refurbished and owns The Clarence Hotel in Dublin with The Edge.
Bono is also widely known for his activism concerning Africa, for which he co-founded DATA, EDUN, the ONE Campaign and Product Red.
He has organised and played in several benefit concerts and has met with influential politicians.
Bono has been praised and criticised for his activism and involvement with U2.
He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, was granted an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, and was named as a Person of the Year by Time, among other awards and nominations.
U2 is a rock band from Dublin, Ireland. The group consists of Bono (vocals and guitar), The Edge (guitar, keyboards and vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums and percussion). The band formed at Mount Temple Comprehensive School in 1976 when the members were teenagers with limited musical proficiency. Within four years, they signed to Island Records and released their debut album Boy. By the mid-1980s, they had become a top international act. They were more successful as a live act than they were at selling records, until their 1987 album The Joshua Tree, which, according to Rolling Stone, elevated the band's stature "from heroes to superstars."
Their 1991 album Achtung Baby and the accompanying Zoo TV Tour were a musical and thematic reinvention for the band. Reacting to their own sense of musical stagnation and a late-1980s critical backlash, U2 incorporated dance music and alternative rock influences into their sound and performances, abandoning their earnest image for a more ironic, self-deprecating tone. Similar experimentation continued for the remainder of the 1990s. Since 2000, U2 have pursued a more conventional sound, while maintaining influences from their earlier musical explorations.
U2 has released 12 studio albums and are among the most critically and commercially successful groups in popular music. They have won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other band, and they have sold more than 150 million records. In 2005, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.
Throughout their career, as a band and as individuals, they have campaigned for human rights and philanthropic causes, including Amnesty International, the ONE/DATA campaigns, Product Red, and The Edge's Music Rising.
The Joshua Tree is the fifth studio album by rock band U2. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 9 March 1987 on Island Records. In contrast to the ambient experimentation of their 1984 release The Unforgettable Fire, for The Joshua Tree, U2 aimed for a harder-hitting sound that used the limitation of strict song structures. The album incorporates influences from American and Irish roots music into the band's sound, and thematically, it depicts their love-hate relationship with the United States.
Inspired by tour experiences in the United States and American literature they were reading, U2 settled on "America" as a theme for the record. Recording began in January 1986 in Ireland, and to foster a relaxed, creative atmosphere, the group recorded in two houses, in addition to two professional studios. Several events during the sessions helped shape the politically- and socially-conscious tone of the album, including the band's participation in A Conspiracy of Hope tour, the death of roadie Greg Carroll, and lead vocalist Bono's travels to Central America. Recording completed in November, with additional production continuing into January 1987.
Throughout the sessions, U2 sought a "cinematic" quality for the record that would evoke a sense of location, in particular, the open spaces of America. They represented this in the sleeve's photographs depicting them in American desert landscapes and with a lone Yucca brevifolia plant ("Joshua tree").
The album received critical acclaim, topped the charts in over 20 countries, and sold in record-breaking numbers. According to Rolling Stone, the album increased the band's stature "from heroes to superstars." It produced the hit singles Where the Streets Have No Name, With or Without You, and I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.
The group supported the record with the successful Joshua Tree Tour. Frequently cited as one of the greatest albums in rock history, The Joshua Tree is one of the world's all-time best-selling albums, with over 25 million copies sold. In 2007, U2 released a 20th anniversary remastered edition of the record.
The album sleeve was designed by Steve Averill, and the band developed the idea for it from the record's "imagery, and cinematic location" in the desert. The initial concept for the sleeve was to represent where the desert met civilisation, and accordingly, one of the provisional titles for the album was The Desert Songs.
They asked their photographer Anton Corbijn to search for locations in the United States that would capture this.
From December 14-16, 1986, the band travelled with Corbijn and Averill on a bus around the Mojave Desert in California for a three-day photo shoot. The group stayed in small hotels and shot in the desert landscape, beginning at the ghost town of Bodie before moving to locations such as Zabriskie Point and other sites in Death Valley. Many of these photos appeared on the album packaging and in the concert tour programmes.
For the shoot, Corbijn rented a panoramic camera to capture more of the desert landscapes, but having no prior experience with the camera, he was unfamiliar with how to focus it. This led to him focusing on the background and leaving the band slightly out of focus. Corbijn said, "Fortunately there was a lot of light."
He later recounted that the main idea of the shoot was to juxtapose "man and environment, the Irish in America."
On the evening after the first day's shooting, Corbijn told the band about Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia), hardy and twisted plants in the deserts of the American Southwest, and he suggested their use on the sleeve.
Bono consulted the Bible and was pleased to discover the religious significance of the plant's etymology.
According to Mormon legend, early settlers referred to the Joshua tree as "the praying plant" and said that its branches represented the Old Testament prophet Joshua raising his hands in prayer. The following day, Bono declared that the album should be titled The Joshua Tree.
That day, while driving on Route 190, they spotted a lone-standing tree in the desert, unusual for the plant, which is usually found in groups.
Corbijn had been hoping to find a single tree, as he thought it would result in better photographs than if he shot the band amongst a group of trees.
They stopped the bus and photographed with the lone tree for about 20 minutes, something The Edge called "fairly spontaneous."
The final day of shooting was spent in snow-covered ghost towns. Corbijn's insistence on photographing there upset Bono, prompting him to question, "Why have you brought us to this shitty place?"
"I'm proud of the pictures, I'm happy to be part of them. But I guess people felt they took themselves too seriously. It was definitely the most serious, I think, that you can photograph a band. You couldn't go any further down that line unless you start photographing graves."
—Anton Corbijn, on the serious tone of the sleeve images
Corbijn's original idea for the sleeve was to have a shot of the Joshua tree on the front, with the band in a continuation of the photograph on the back.
Ultimately, separate photographs were used for each side of the sleeve; an image of the group at Zabriskie Point was placed on the front, while an image of them with the tree appears on the reverse side.
Rolling Stone believes the title and the images of the tree befit an album concerned with "resilience in the face of utter social and political desolation, a record steeped in religious imagery."
The tree photographed for the sleeve fell around 2000, yet the site remains a popular attraction for U2 fans to pay tribute to the group. One fan inserted a plaque into the ground reading, "Have you found what you're looking for?," in reference to the album's track I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.
While the band and crew were working on the album's mixing, record producer Steve Lillywhite's wife, singer Kirsty MacColl, volunteered to set the running order for the album. The band told her to put "Where the Streets Have No Name" first and "Mothers of the Disappeared" last. The rest were sequenced according to her preference, which the band kept.
All songs written and composed by U2, with lyrics by Bono.
No. Title Length
1. "Where the Streets Have No Name" 5:38
2. "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" 4:38
3. "With or Without You" 4:56
4. "Bullet the Blue Sky" 4:32
5. "Running to Stand Still" 4:18
6. "Red Hill Mining Town" 4:54
7. "In God's Country" 2:57
8. "Trip Through Your Wires" 3:33
9. "One Tree Hill" 5:23
10. "Exit" 4:13
11. "Mothers of the Disappeared" 5:12
With or Without You is a song by rock band U2. It is the third track from their 1987 album, The Joshua Tree, and was released as the album's first single on March 21, 1987. The song was the group's most successful single at the time, becoming their first number-one hit in the United States by topping the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks.
With or Without You features sustained guitar parts played by guitarist The Edge with a prototype of the Infinite Guitar, along with impassioned vocals by lead singer Bono and a driving bassline by bassist Adam Clayton. The song originated from a demo recorded in late 1985 that the group continued to work on throughout The Joshua Tree sessions. Ostensibly a troubled love song, the track's lyrics were inspired by Bono's conflicting feelings about the lives he led as a musician and domestic man.
Critics praised the song upon its release. It is frequently performed on the band's tours, and it has appeared on a number of their compilation albums and concert films. With or Without You is U2's second most frequently covered song.
In late 1985, U2 convened at a house that drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. bought to review material the group had written during The Unforgettable Fire Tour. During this time, a rough demo of "With or Without You" was written, with lead vocalist Bono composing the song's chord sequence.
The band continued to work on the song at STS Studios, creating many permutations of the track, but not making any progress. Guitarist The Edge considered the song at that point to be "awful."
The track consisted of a Yamaha drum machine beat and a bass part played by bassist Adam Clayton using an Ibanez bass guitar with a short scale.
According to Clayton, these early versions of the song sounded too sentimental and "very traditional because the chords just went round and round and round."
The sessions for The Joshua Tree started in earnest in 1986, and U2 were recording at the Georgian mansion Danesmoate House in Dublin in August. The group attempted to take the song in a different direction and "fuck it up," although Bono was reluctant.
Under the direction of co-producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, The Edge pursued more ambient guitar playing, Clayton turned up the volume on his bass, and Mullen experimented with an electronically enhanced drum kit.
Despite the work they continued to put into the track, the group considered abandoning the song, as they could not find an arrangement they liked.
Bono and his friend Gavin Friday continued to work on the song after Lanois and Eno declined to do so.
Bono credits Friday with rescuing the song and rearranging it, believing it could be a hit. Eno added a keyboard arpeggio, similar to the one from Bad.
The song's fate was still in doubt when The Edge was sent a prototype of the Infinite Guitar by Canadian musician Michael Brook, with whom he had collaborated for the Captive soundtrack.
The instrument allowed sustained notes to be played, producing "a similar effect to the E-Bow," but with the ability to provide all the "mid-points between no sustain and infinite sustain" that the E-Bow cannot provide.
The prototype included elaborate assembly instructions and as The Edge recollects, "one wrongly placed wire and you could get a nasty belt of electricity. This piece of gear would have failed even the most basic of safety regulations."
On subsequent tours, his guitar technician occasionally received electric shocks from the instrument when preparing it for performances.
Listening to the backing track to With or Without You in the control room, Bono and Friday heard the sustained effect that The Edge was creating with the Infinite Guitar in the other room.
The combination of the guitar and the backing track being played together impressed those listening. According to Lanois, "I said, 'That sounded pretty cool,' so we listened back and I said, 'Jesus it's better than I thought.'"
The Edge immediately recorded an Infinite Guitar part in two takes.
The band considers the song's recording to be one of the album sessions' breakthrough moments, as it was recorded amidst concerns that they had run out of ideas.
Bono wrote the lyrics while struggling to reconcile his responsibilities as both a married man and a musician. His wanderlust in belonging to a musical act was often at odds with his domestic life.
While writing the lyrics, he realized that neither facet of his life defined him, but rather the tension between the two did. He explains that the final lyric is about "torment" and how repressing desires only makes them stronger.
"With or Without You" is written in a 4/4 time signature and is played at a tempo of 110 beats per minute.
Although certain stanzas of lyrics are repeated, the song does not follow a traditional verse-chorus form. Lanois says of it, "It has tension and builds like one of those great Roy Orbison songs, where every section is unique and never repeats. I like that kind of sophistication."
The song begins with a minimal drum beat by Mullen playing eighth notes, while a backing track -- Brian Eno's synthesizer -- plays a "rippling" triplet arpeggio of the chord D major.
A high sustained guitar part (played by The Edge's Infinite Guitar) enters, played "dry" in the left channel before reverberating on the right.
At 0:09, Clayton's bass guitar begins to play eighth notes in time with the kick drum, and the song's four-bar sequence of the chord progression D-A-Bm-G, begins.
This chord progression is never explicitly played but is "implied" by the root notes played by Clayton and the guitar parts of The Edge.
"Notes actually do mean something. They have power. I think of notes as being expensive. You don't just throw them around. I find the ones that do the best job and that's what I use. I suppose I'm a minimalist instinctively. I don't like to be inefficient if I can get away with it. Like on the end of With or Without You. My instinct was to go with something very simple . . . . I still think it's sort of brave, because the end of With or Without You could have been so much bigger, so much more of a climax, but there's this power to it which I think is even more potent because it's held back."
—The Edge, on the song's concluding guitar figure
Bono's vocals enter at 0:28, and they are in a lower register than most of his past vocals.
He stays below the middle C for the first two and a half stanzas, centering his melody on the mediant F♯. At the end of each of the first two stanzas, his vocals drop an octave, from A to A. Author Susan Fast called Bono's vocals on "With or Without You" the first occasion on which he "extended his vocal range downward in an appreciable way."
At 0:58, an additional sustained guitar part joins the mix.
The drums increase in intensity at 1:45, before The Edge begins playing the song's signature guitar riff at 1:53. The riff, a perfect fifth opening to a sixth, features a prominent use of delay.
When the riff is played, it is answered by Bono singing "And you give yourself away," a line on which backing vocals appear at 2:06 and 2:32.
A stanza begins in which Bono sings the song's title in a high, passionate voice as the drums get heavier.
At 3:03, the song bursts out in emotion as Bono begins open-throated "Oh-oh-oh-ohh" vocals, which are double-tracked, and the rhythm increases to play sixteenth notes on the guitar, cymbals, and tambourine.
After another stanza of Bono repeating the song's title, the music dies down at 3:38 to a similar state as it was at the beginning of the song.
Ten seconds later, Bono sings in a falsetto while a bass synthesiser doubles the bass.
After the vocals complete, The Edge begins a simple guitar figure. He explained that its understated nature was meant to oppose the temptation to play an intricate guitar solo as an ending.
The second time the figure is played, the signature guitar riff from earlier re-appears and the song regains some of its intensity.
The song concludes with a fade-out.
The lyrics ostensibly describe a troubled relationship between two lovers, although the lyrics have been interpreted in religious contexts. The Washington Post interpreted the song as both an acerbic love song and a tune lamenting the moral contradictions one faces with their religious faith.
Toby Creswell echoed these sentiments, saying it "can be read as a song about either marital romance or spiritual need."
Bono explained that the lyrics had romantic intentions, saying, "there's nothing more revolutionary than two people loving each other. One, 'cause it's so uncommon these days, and two, 'cause it's so difficult to do."
In 1987, Bono explained that "And you give yourself away" lyric refers to how he sometimes feels exposed being in U2, and that his openness, both to the public and music press, can do damage to the group. Author Niall Stokes interpreted the line as encompassing the theme of "surrendering the ego" to one's love and spiritual faith.
Carlton Douglas Ridenhour (born August 1, 1960), better known by his stage name, Chuck D, is an American rapper, author, and producer. He helped create politically and socially conscious rap music in the mid-1980s as the leader of the rap group Public Enemy.
Public Enemy is an American hip hop group consisting of Chuck D; Flavor Flav; Professor Griff and his S1W group; DJ Lord, who replaced Terminator X in 1999; and bassist Brian Hardgroove.
Formed on Long Island, New York in 1982, Public Enemy are known for their politically charged lyrics and criticism of the American media, with an active interest in the frustrations and concerns of the African American community.
Osvaldo Golijov was born in and grew up in La Plata, Argentina, in a Jewish family that had emigrated to Argentina in the 1920s from Romania and Russia.
Golijov has developed a rich musical language, the result of a lifetime of experience with various types of music. His Romanian Jewish parents exposed him to the traditional Klezmer music and liturgical music of their faith. Growing up and going to public school in Argentina showed him the many musical styles of his family's adopted country, including the tango. Once Golijov traveled abroad to continue his studies, the influences of other people and other styles became part of him. What is considered so remarkable about his musical language is that, rather than a pastiche of styles, it is wholly cohesive. It is thought of as vibrant and alive, growing and changing as he does.
Golijov's mother was a piano teacher, his father, a physician. He was raised "surrounded by chamber classical music, Jewish liturgical and klezmer music, and the new tango of Ástor Piazzolla," according to his official website. He studied piano at the local conservatory in La Plata and studied composition with Gerardo Gandini.
In 1983, Golijov moved to Israel, where he studied with Mark Kopytman at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy. Three years later, he moved to the United States of America with his wife, Silvia. There he studied with American composer George Crumb at the University of Pennsylvania before receiving his doctorate.
Golijov is Loyola Professor of Music at the College of the Holy Cross at Worcester, Massachusetts, where he has taught since 1991. He is also on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory.
The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind, Kronos Quartet (Nonesuch, 1997)
Oceana (Deutsche Grammophon, 2007)
[8962 A. Rose / 8960 Bono / 8959 Hartley]