U2

They came out of Dublin to take over the world: in the ’80s, U2 – led by Bono’s

charismatic, messianic presence and The Edge’s ringing guitar hooks, brought a

moral weight to rock music that would eventually make them the biggest band in the

world – a stature they haven’t yet lost judging by the massive 360º Tour, the

highest-grossing jaunt in history. Announcing their arrival with I Will Follow in 1980,

they injected rock with a wide-eyed seriousness and crusading zeal about faith and politics,

including those of Northern Ireland (Sunday Bloody Sunday). The sweeping, majestic

The Joshua Tree conquered the planet in 1987, selling 25 million copies. Perhaps most

remarkably, the group reinvented itself in 1991 with the Euro-centric Achtung Baby and

continued to do so in the ’90s, remaining the biggest live act in rock and one of its most

globally resonant voices.