U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, 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). U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music. Throughout the group's musical pursuits, they have maintained a sound built on melodic instrumentals, highlighted by The Edge's textural guitar playing and Bono's expressive vocals. Their lyrics, often embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal themes and sociopolitical concerns.
U2 formed at Mount Temple Comprehensive School when the members were teenagers with limited musical proficiency. Within four years, they signed with Island Records and released their debut album Boy. By the mid-1980s, they became a top international act. They were more successful as live performers than they were at selling records, until their breakthrough 1987 album The Joshua Tree, which, according to Rolling Stone, elevated the band's stature "from heroes to superstars". Reacting to musical stagnation and late-1980s criticism of their earnest image and