Rock U2 Academy of Popular Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

Rock U2 Academy of Popular Music is a one of a kind performance-based school that offers world-class music instruction.


Rock U2 is a vocational school for rock music students located in Dublin, Ireland. The school was founded in 2008 by musician and producer Dik Evans, and provides training in all aspects of rock music, from performance to songwriting and production.

The school offers a two-year diploma course, as well as shorter courses and workshops. Rock U2 has a strong emphasis on live performance, and students are given the opportunity to perform regularly at local venues. The school also has its own record label, Academy Records, which releases student albums.

The Early Years

Rock band U2 formed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1976. The original members were lead vocalist Bono, guitarist the Edge, bass player Adam Clayton, and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. The group’s first albumBoy (1980), catapulted them to international stardom. Achtung Baby (1991), introduced a more experimental side to the band. More than 170 million albums have been sold worldwide, and they have won 22 Grammy Awards. Rolling Stone magazine has described them as “the biggest band in the world.”

The First Album

The first album U2 produced was “Boy.” This album was released on October 20, 1980. The members of the band at this time were Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. This album contained the songs: “I Will Follow,” “Out of Control,” “Stories for Boys,” “The Ocean,” “A Day Without Me,” “An Cat Dubh,” into the Heart.”

The Second Album

U2’s second album, October, was released seven months after their debut. The album is markedly different in sound from their first album, Boy. Whereas Boy was guitar-driven pop with a raw and edgy sound, October is more meditative and melancholy, with greater use of keyboards and synthesizers. The lyrics are also more introspective than those on Boy, dealing with themes of spirituality, doubt, and fear.

The Third Album

Rock U2 is the third album by Irish rock band U2, released on 26 August 1980 on Island Records. The album was produced by Steve Lillywhite, and saw the band move towards more experimental music after the commercial success of their previous albums.

The Fourth Album

U2’s fourth album, released in October of 1981, was titled “Fire.” It was their first album with new label Island Records, and was produced by Steve Lillywhite. The album is notable for its political and social commentary, which was unusual for a popular music album at the time. “Fire” reached #12 on the UK charts and #3 on the US Billboard 200.

The Fifth Album

The fifth album by Irish rock band U2, War was released on February 28, 1983. The album was produced by Steve Lillywhite, and was their first album with him as their producer. It was also their first album with guitarist Bluvas Doyle, who replaced founding member Steve Edge after he left the band during the recording sessions.

The album was a commercial success, reaching number one in several countries including the UK and the US. It was well received by critics, many of whom praised its social and political themes. However, some commentators criticised its production values and accused the band of selling out.

The Sixth Album

U2’s sixth album, commonly known as The Joshua Tree, was released on March 9, 1987. The album is one of the band’s most commercially and critically successful albums, having sold over 25 million copies worldwide and earning a place in the Grammy Hall of Fame. The album covers a wide range of topics including love, war, religion, and social injustice.

The Seventh Album

The album was planned as a return to rock after the band’s pop-influenced previous two albums, October (1981) and War (1983). It was produced by Brian Eno and completed in May 1987. The album is cited by critics and fans as the band’s best album, and is included in several lists of the greatest albums of all time, including Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 2012, The Seventh Album was ranked number 7 on NME magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.

The Final Years

In the fall of 1987, U2 began work on their next album with producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. The band had intended to return to Dublin to record their follow-up to The Joshua Tree, but Lanois convinced them that a change of environment would inspire them creatively. They eventually settled on a more stripped-down and experimental approach for the album, which was completed in just two months at Danero Studios in Hanover Quay, Dublin.

The album, titled Rattle and Hum, was released in October 1988. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and received mixed reviews from critics. The album’s lead single, “Desire”, was a smash hit, reaching number one in several countries. The band embarked on a massive world tour in support of the album, which lasted over a year and became one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time.

In 1989, U2 won three Grammy Awards: Album of the Year (The Joshua Tree), Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”), and Best Performance Music Video (“Where the Streets Have No Name”). That same year, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Their seventh studio album, Achtung Baby, was released in November 1991 to critical acclaim. The record saw the band embracing a more ironic and self-deprecating tone than in previous years, with songs like “The Fly” and “Mysterious Ways” becoming radio staples. The album’s lead single, “One”, won two Grammy Awards: Record of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. In 1992, U2 embarked on another massive world tour in support of Achtung Baby, which concluded with four sold-out concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside Denver, Colorado that were documented on the live album Zoo TV: Live from Sydney.

The band took an extended break after the conclusion of the Zoo TV Tour before reconvening in 1995 to begin work on their next record. The resulting album, Pop, was released in March 1997 to mixed reviews but strong commercial success; it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and spawned several hit singles including “Discothèque” and “Staring at the Sun”. The band went on hiatus again following the PopMart Tour before resurfacing in 2000 with another new album titled All That You Can’t Leave Behind. The record marked a return to more traditional rock sounds for U2 and was widely hailed as a comeback for the band; it topped charts around the world and won seven Grammy Awards including Album of the Year.”

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