U2 is famously known for their countless hits, to the point where the band has reimagined their own catalog for their latest album, Songs of Surrender. Yet on the most recent podcast episode of the Broken Record podcast, U2’s The Edge revealed the uncertainty the band felt at each release, and specifically, their 1984 album The Unforgettable Fire.
LISTEN NOW: Broken Record: The Edge
Following up their previous album War, U2 was looking for a new and rock-based sound. This ultimately led them towards collaborating with record producer and guitarist Brian Eno. Yet, the band’s renowned relationship with Eno almost didn’t happen, The Edge said.
Relaying what Eno had told the band later on, the Edge said that, “He came pretty much with the idea that he was going to turn down the offer. But, during the course of our conversations, I think we realized how much we had in common.”
After they had convinced the Bowie producer to take on the band, U2 then had to convince themselves that they were worth it. “A week before Brian was to arrive to start work, we had this sort of crisis of confidence in the material” the GRAMMY winning guitarist reported.
Relaying an internal conversation, The Edge continued, “‘Look, should we council the sessions? We’re not sure we have anything.’ and [producer Steve Lillywhite] said, ‘Well, play me what you got.’ So we played him a version of “Pride (In the Name of Love)”, “A Sort of Homecoming”, and “Unforgettable Fire”. And he said, ‘mhm, I think you guys are gonna be fine. I don’t think you need to worry about the songs, you’ve got some good things here.’ So we started working”.
Listen to the full conversation between The Edge and podcast host Rick Rubin, which includes discussions of the new album Songs of Surrender, on the free Audacy app.
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