U2 has maintained their longevity with well-crafted songs and a great live show. They exposed themselves on the world's stage in 1985 on Live Aid showing that anthemic quality they still possess. They became the biggest band in the world with 1987s sadly beautiful album The Joshua Tree and Rocks Hottest Ticket on the cover of Time magazine.
They reinvented themselves with 1991s Achtung Baby incorporating industrial and electronic influences creating another masterpiece and arguably their best to date. Sometimes the irony and music of the 'new' U2 alienated fans but they still moved forward peaking with 1997's underrated but lacklustre effort Pop. They came back with a safe, classic U2 record that mixed old and new with 2000s All that You Cant Leave Behind and returned to the top of the charts to save rock and roll all over again. The members of U2, especially St. Bono used fame for more meaningful purposes instead of the typical rock clichés.
As Chris Martin of Coldplay explained, U2 do what they want regardless of what people say.
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