MTV Years of U2

New York:  On Saturday, August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m. EST, MTV steamrolled right into America's living room.  Footage of the first Space Shuttle launched, andcountdown of Columbia and the launch of Apollo 11 visuals on our television screenMusic would forever linked to videos. The first video on that early morning was "Video Killed The Radio Star."

U2's first video to get heavy airplay was New Year's Day considered at the time the most ambitious video at that point. Directed by Meiert Avis, who worked on "Gloria and "I Will Follow".

Meiert and the boys had planned to shoot the video in Sweden, however, that just did not work out. So they headed off to Norway, and those beautiful mountains and lots of snow gave way to one of the most beautiful videos produced.

What most people did not know was that the band members not experienced riders as well as being right in the middle of a tour gave an opportunity for some Swedish teenage girls disguised as the members of group riding on horseback with masks over their faces to shoot the horse riding scenes.

"New Years Day" is U2's fifth most frequently performed live concert song, what would you think the first song would be? 

Happy Birthday MTV


#MTV #u2




Still Hadn't Found What I Was Looking For

By: Karen Pittman

It was 1980 something and I had the flu and was home from school. I remember sitting on the couch and listening to the drama unfold on daytime soap operas that my mother watched religiously back then.

But, she decided it was time to get up and begin her motherly duties of cleaning and providing food for her family. As she went to the kitchen to begin cooking the evening meal (chicken and dumplings, as requested by me since I was feeling some relief from my flu symptoms) she said that I could, "watch what I wanted on the television." So like any kid from this time, it went straight to MTV (you know, when they played music and music related television shows. No 16 and pregnant would be seen this day).

Once on the channel I was greeted with Kurt Loder doing MTV news. I dont exactly remember what was happening that day in music news, but it was just a stopping point before they got back to playing the music videos that made MTV the thing to watch back then. Once the music began you would think from this story it would have been a U2 video, but no it was Whitney Houstons video for "So Emotional." I loved Whitney back then along with Michael Jackson, New Kids on the Block (who I still love) and Journey (Steve Perry's Journey).

It wasnt until after Whitney got finished that I got my first taste of Bono and the boys, the voice and the melodic sounds of their most famous hit (in my eyes) "With ot Without You." I was blown away by the music, the look of the members and meaningful song that I was hearing. After that I had to wait (a while in most cases) in order to see or hear another song from this band.

Keep in mind back then (before the Earth's crust cooled), there was no Youtube, no iTunes and no internet to research information about the bands and music you heard. You just had television and radio and of course you could go down to the local store and buy the cassette (yep, thats right ladies and gentlemen.......cassette). Kids these days (including my 3 year old) will never know how much time was wasted by sitting and waiting in front of their radio in order to tape their favorite song on cassette. Now there is the internet and phones that give you instant access to any song, or video at anytime day or night.

Now, back to U2. What a rush I felt listening to this band I had never heard of prior to this day. I had to know more. I had to hear more. So, after begging and pleading with my mother the next time we visited the happened. She bought me the Joshua Tree. Of course, I was prepared to listen to it as soon as we got back in the car, but the batteries in my walkman (yep..thats right a walkman, made by Sony) decided to die. What luck. So I had to wait until we arrived home before I got to listen to my brand new cassette. Of course, back then, my older brother and I shared an extra room in the basement where we could listen to music.
Complete with a "We Are the World" (original 1985 version, not the Haiti version) poster on the wall.

Once in my little section of the basement I switched the batteries and began the journey of The Joshua Tree and all its splender. I was mesmorized. I couldnt stop listening, and I didnt want to. From Streets, to In Gods Country I was hooked. I still had to know more so I went back time and time again to MTV to get a glimpse of them. Finally seeing the video for "Where the Streets have no Name" and "I Still havent found What I'm looking for." Then, I ended up seeing older videos like "New Years Day" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday." Thus began my mission to buy those albums on cassette as well. Since I was my moms favorite (and have remained her favorite even today) she would always buy them when she had the chance. Before I knew it, I had Boy, War, October and The Joshua Tree.

Then it was time for U2 to go away and, "Dream it all up again." After which time most of the cassette formats were switching the Cd's. Which meant I had to not only rebuy all my favorite albums on Cd, but I also had to buy a Cd player (thanks Santa ;-D).

My journey with U2 continues when Achtung Baby is released.........

U2 LIve at the MTV EMA Awards

U2 to perform at MTV EMA awards in Glasgow on Sunday.

This will be U2's fourth MTV EMA performance after Rotterdam in 1997, Stockholm in 2000 and from Berlin's Brandenburg Gate in 2009.

The Glasgow awards show is being hosted by rapper Nicki Minaj, who will also perform. Other acts include DJ Calvin Harris, Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran.

It is estimated that the show will generate up to £10m for the city's economy.


Glasgow City Council leader, Gordon Matheson, said: "Today's exciting announcement that U2 - one of the biggest names in music - is to join the incredible list of acts already confirmed to perform at the MTV EMA this weekend will come as welcome news to music fans across the city.

"In a little over 48 hours' time, this year's EMA will showcase Glasgow to more than half a billion households through MTV's global network of channels, reinforcing our enviable reputation as a world-class music destination."

Bono and Guetta Smashing Good !

David Guetta is looking forward to the ”challenge” of producing U2, and says he’s ”honored” to have been approached to work with them .

David Guetta is looking forward to the “challenge” of producing U2.

The French DJ confirmed he has been approached by the Irish rockers about making tracks together, and wants to take part in their next project, which lead singer Bono has previously described as a “club-sounding record”.

David - who has worked with artists including Rihanna, Flo Rida and Black Eyed Peas before - said: “We met with Bono, and I was really excited, really honored because he proposed me to maybe produce some tracks for the next U2 album.

“I’ve been more and more open to different styles of music, and obviously electronic music is still my main thing, but I just love music. If it’s good, it doesn’t matter what style.

“After those collaborations with all these urban artists, I thought it would be a real challenge for me to try to go in that direction.”

He also admitted that he has started working on some ideas for the ‘Vertigo’ rockers, adding to MTV: “I started a few ideas already, yes.”

U2’s “club” record is as yet untitled, but producers said to have been approached to work on it, as well as David include of Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga’s producer RedOne.

The band - which also features guitarist The Edge, drummer Adam Clayton and bass player Larry Mullen Jr. - are also presently said to be working on a rock album, called ‘Songs Of Ascent’ with producer Danger Mouse, who has previously worked on records for The Black Keys, Beck and Gorillaz.

A third project linked to the group is a conceptual soundtrack to Bono and guitarist The Edge’s Spider-Man musical, which has been beset with problems, but is now due to open on Broadway in New York in March

I want my U2

How many of you remember when MTV first came on air in the Tri state area. On August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m., MTV: Music Television launched with the words “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,” spoken by John Lack.

Those words were immediately followed by the original MTV theme song, a crunching guitar riff written by Jonathan Elias and John Petersen, playing over a montage of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

With the flag having a picture of MTVs logo on it. MTV producers Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert used this public domain footage as a conceit, associating MTV with the most famous moment in world television history.

Seibert said they had originally planned to use Neil Armstrong’s “One small step” quote, but lawyers said Armstrong owns his name and likeness, and Armstrong had refused, so the quote was replaced with a beeping sound.

At the moment of its launch, only a few thousand people on a single cable system in northern New Jersey could see it.

Appropriately, the first music video shown on MTV was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. The second video shown was Pat Benatar’s “You Better Run”. Sporadically, the screen would go black when an employee at MTV inserted a tape into a VCR.

Video of the launch of MTV was uploaded onto YouTube in 2009, with the original commercials, and the “black screens” between videos. The “MTV lettering” differed on its first day, and included record label information like year and label name.

As programming chief, Robert W. Pittman recruited and managed a team for the launch that included Tom Freston (who succeeded Pittman as CEO of MTV networks), Fred Seibert, John Sykes, Carolyn Baker (original head of talent and acquisition), Marshall Cohen (original head of research),Gail Sparrow (of talent and acquisition), Sue Steinberg (executive producer), Julian Goldberg, Steve Casey (creator of the name MTV and its first program director), Marcy Brafman, Ronald E. “Buzz” Brindle, and Robert Morton.

So what’s the point? Well it’s summer in North America, hot and getting hotter. Many of us have grown have a couple of kids, raising a family trying to make ends meet and yet we all when out and purchased tickets to see the boys. It was kind of a chance to go back to that happy time. Summer 1982 ! 

Now fast forward to December 1982, the band arrived in Sweden with director Meiert Avis to shoot a video for New Year’s Day, first single from the their third album ‘War’.

The song, which made its 360 debut in Dublin a few days ago, was inspired by Lech Walesa, the leader of Solidarity, the trade union in Poland which helped bring down communism.

‘Snow as an image of surrender,’ explained Bono, talking about the lyric. ‘And these little glimpses of narrative, which are really just excuses for the overarching theme, which was Lech Walesa being put in prison and his wife not being able to see him…’

Adam remembers the video: ‘We needed snow so the director suggested northern Sweden. It was very basic, us performing in the snow, just kind of wrapped up, so you couldn’t really see us. I think Bono sussed that to be in a video you had to look like yourself, so he wasn’t wearing wooly hats or anything. I don’t even think he was wearing thermal underwear, just the same clothes he had on when we got off the plane from Dublin.’

Edge: ‘Bono’s mouth almost froze solid; if you watch him lip-syncing his mouth won’t quite work. But the video has an epic quality, there was something about that song that seemed to conjure up images of Dr Zhivago and European winterscapes. People always ask me: ‘Was it difficult riding the horse, in the video?’ And I have to tell them that was shot the day after we left. Apparently the four figures on horseback were all women, dressed similarly to ourselves.’

So there you go…. a random U2 connection from Sweden to Poland. (Maybe you can think of a better one…)

U2 has won 67 Awards !

U2 may not have won 2009 Grammy awards they have won a boat load of awards over the years. Let’s take a look back at some of those awards and pop open a Guinness and lets enjoy this great album. Drink up boys 2010 will be your year !

U2 is considered to be on of the most popular acts in the world since the mid-1980s. The has sold more than 140 million albums worldwide and has won a total of 22 Grammy Awards, record still standing as “more than any other rock band.

American Music Awards

The American Music Awards are awarded annually. U2 has won one AMA, and been nominated for seven. (2002)

BRIT Awards

The BRIT Awards are awarded annually by the British Phonographic Industry. U2 has won 7 BRIT awards.

Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in the United States. To date, U2 are tied with Stevie Wonder in having won the most Grammy Awards of any artist of contemporary music with a total of 22 awards. They have won Best Rock Duo or Group seven times, Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Rock Album all twice.

 Meteor Music Awards

14 Meteor Awards.


MTV Video Music Awards

6 VMAs.

Q Awards

10 Q Awards.

Other Awards

In 1989 and 1993, U2 won Juno Awards for International Entertainer of the Year, and subsequently, producer Daniel Lanois won the Jack Richardson Best Producer Award for the production of “Beautiful Day” and “Elevation”.

In 1992, U2 won No. 1 Album Tracks Artist at the Billboard Music Awards for “Mysterious Ways”. In 2001, they received both the NME Award for “Godlike Genius” and “Best Rock Act”.

The following year, they received the award for “Best Live Act”. In 2003 they received both the Golden Globe Award and Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Song for “The Hands That Built America”, which appeared in Gangs of New York.

The following year they won Favorite Group at the People’s Choice Awards.n 2005 the band was inducted into the Cleveland-based Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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One series part II: The Videos

Version 1, directed by Anton Corbijn and produced by Richard Bell - State, was made in Berlin in February 1992. The video features members of the band in drag as well as two cars—with cartoonish paintings of a nude woman and man painted on the hoods and roofs—driving around Berlin. Interspersed throughout the video is the image of a rather stern looking older man, who is in fact Bono’s father. (Bono’s mother had died while he was young and Bono was raised by his father with whom he had a fairly distant relationship. According to interviews with Bono, he and his father began getting closer around the early 1990s.)

Version 2 was directed by Mark Pellington, edited by Bob Gleason and produced by Carina Rubin - Woo Art International. It was made in New York, also in February, 1992. This version of “One” was chosen as Number 99 by the editors of Rolling Stone in their list of the 100 best rock videos of all time.

Director Mark Pellington’s video for “One”—the first (sic) of three versions made for the single—may not have gotten as much attention as the other two, but his slow-motion, out-of-focus footage of running buffalo is a quietly elegant tour de force. Its power lies in its simplicity: The piece includes no band shots and was intended as a meditative video background for U2’s live performance of the song, which deals with AIDS and intolerance toward gays.

“We had done a cut of it, which we used in rehearsals,” says bassist Adam Clayton. “When the need for a video came up, we went back to it.” Built around the closing image of the beasts being herded off a cliff (a photograph by artist David Wojnarowicz, who died of AIDS in 1992), the video was played on MTV until, according to the band, the network determined it wasn’t right for heavy rotation, and it was replaced by the other two more MTV-friendly clips. one by director Phil Joanou, the other by photographer Anton Corbijn.

David Wojnarowicz was a controversial New York artist, prominent in the mid-to-late 1980s. His work, which has been described as media art and includes writings, performances, photo- and video-based pieces and installations, deals primarily with sexual/gender orientation and AIDS issues. Wojnarowicz died of AIDS in 1992.

In a March 4, 1993 interview with Alan Light for Rolling Stone, Bono discussed the use of David Wojnarowicz’ images in the “One” video. Bono said:

Adam is the man who turned me on to Wojnarowicz’s work, Whatever you do now, you are in the post-AIDS age. It’s there, and you’ve got to walk through it or around it. And if a record deals with any kind of erotic subject matter, the specter of AIDS is even all the more close.

You know, if Freud was even half-right, if sex is even close to the center of our lives, how is it that we leave it to pornographers and dum-dum guys? We leave the subject to them, and it’s reduced to titillation in the cinema, to these kind of half-baked plots. Wojnarowicz dealt with the subject seriously, he took it on. I can’t believe how people can just walk around it, you know? I’m sympathetic to Madonna in that respect, too. Whatever you think about her work, she’s actually just trying to say: “Look, here I am, and I have these feelings and ideas, and I know you do, but you’re not owning up. I will.”2.

Version 3 is considered the most “MTV-friendly.” It was directed by Phil Joanou and produced by Ned O’Hanlon - Dreamchaser Productions in New York in March 1992. This video uses the standard supermodels and banks on Bono’s sex appeal, featuring close-ups of the tortured-looking singer in a bar drinking and smoking cigarettes.

Check the video out here from our YouTube Channel:

Version 4: In 2006, U2 re-recorded the song as part of a duet with contemporary R&B singer Mary J. Blige. After being invited to join the group on-stage at a New York concert in 2005, Mary J. Blige performed the track with U2 and received a standing ovation. A recording of the song was later created, with Blige on lead vocals, Bono supplying additional vocals, and the band performing the music. This recording was featured on Mary J. Blige’s multi-platinum album The Breakthrough, released in late 2005.

Behind the Wall

On November 5, Irish rock group U2 will perform a free concert to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The band will play in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate during the MTV Europe Music Awards, which take place at Berlin’s O2 World arena. The wall separating east from west came down on November 9, 1989.