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U2’s music defines a generation

Rebecca Saunders | Wednesday, October 8, 2003

Like most 15-year-old girls, my absolute favorite song after 15 boy band-filled years of musical development was “Crash” by Dave Matthews Band. Dave Matthews Band fandom was my mature move into what I considered to be “real” music. This newfound appreciation of “real” music, which came directly from my clearly extensive musical expertise, opened up new worlds for me.

Eventually, I turned off my “Today’s Hits” radio station and determined to find real music I could truly appreciate. I nobly went out – and borrowed my friends’ Beastie Boys and Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits albums. After committing both albums to memory, I still found myself hungry for a deeper level of musical genius than party songs and divas. At this time, I entered an art class composed of a handful of musical connoisseurs, and somewhere between Britney and Metallica, someone played the U2 The Joshua Tree album. Enough said. With the huge rock ballads “With or Without You,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “Where the Streets Have No Name,” I became an instant fan.

Since my initial life-changing experience of U2, I have only become more and more addicted to the Irish band that fills stadiums without a second thought. “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” came out right as my addiction began to peak. While this is slightly glorified, in all seriousness, I believe that U2 has been the defining band of our time. They are one of the few bands today known worldwide, and as much as they hate this comparison, they are The Beatles of our generation. Not only do they write amazing and groundbreaking music, but they also use their fame for the improvement of the world at large. Political activists from the start, U2 strive to bring peace to the world through their art form. They are great men, and the band of our time.

Contact Rebecca Saunders at rsaunderl@nd.edu