Bono Says U2 'Must Make Hits' In Order To Survive

Bono has once again expressed concerns about U2's future, saying the band must "make hits" if they are to survive.

Ultimate Guitar

Bono has once again expressed concerns about U2's future, saying the band must "make hits" if they are to survive.

Speaking to London's The Sun, the singer said the group has struggled in recent years to create successful singles. His comments come on the heels of a statement made to Rolling Stone that he "wasn't sure the future hasn't dried up" for the band.

"Get On Your Boots", the highest-charting single from U2's last album, failed to crack the Top 10, while other singles culled from the album languished outside the Top 20.

"We've been on the verge of irrelevance for the last 20 years", Bono told The Sun. "But this moment, now, for me, feels like really close to the edge of relevance. We can be successful and we can play the big music and the big places."

What seemed like optimism was quickly tempered by Bono's acknowledgement that U2's viability, going forward, was an open question. "Whether we can play music for small speakers of the radio or clubs, or where people are living right now, remains to be seen", he said. "We have to go to that place again if we are to survive."

Thanks for the report to Russel Hall,

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    rocknroll \m/
    Bono is a freak. You don't "write hits", you write music and the fans decide which are hits. If you're making music to write hits, you're doing it for the wrong reason.
    I think Bono's comments are actually very astute. He is comparing U2's success at writing hit songs vs. their success putting on live performances of scale. The difference is the listener's state of mind - going to a massive show to hear a band's hits, versus critically listening to their latest recording at home. He is also opining that U2 can sell out big shows and put on a good performance, but their ability to write hit music is the key to their longevity. On a related note, I wonder what U2's business costs look like. They have got to be one of the biggest bands in the world, and their operating costs must be quite substantial. I can understand where he's saying - you gotta feed the beast. I'm not the biggest U2 fan out there, but they have been around for 30 years w/o lineup drama. That's gotta be worth something. Is U2 still U2 without the radio hits? Isn't that where we (as fans) count the 'laps' with bands that have become beasts?
    I wish that was the way the world worked. "Honey we're out of food! Quickly cover I Fought The Law so we can survive!"
    They don't need to 'make hits' in order to survive. They need to 'make hits' in order to remain a hit making band. They can exist in any capacity they choose.
    But the rest of U2 and U2 fans DISAGREES with Bono. They just want to make "their" music, and the fans want to hear "their" music. Screw the Top 40 and Billboard. Bono just needs to stop hanging out with the likes of Jay-Z and Kanye West. Boy, War, The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby went against the grain, when those were released. Like Pop, No Line On The Horizon, latest one, is becoming a favorite for the U2 fan too....not many hits on that. Their albums usually take time to grow on their fans...not really the overnight success type...which is a good thing IMO. The majority of U2 fans want those type of albums back, not the All You Can't Leave Behind and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb type.
    Midlife crisis... No other way to explain Bono's sudden insecurities about the band. Hopefully he gets over it soon and releases a brand new U2 record. I thought about six months ago he said there were four new albums coming? Unleash them, if you please.
    What happened to that club record they were going to work on with Guetta? That would have been cool to experience. Now whats all this about? Oh right.. Bonos bloated ego.
    You just need fans to survive... If you don't have fans you suck, and trust me Bono, I think you have enough money to go independant if you had to...
    kalamity kool
    I would love to see U2 put out more dance versions, of old songs, and new ones, too. Relevance is a far deeper quality than hit singles, I believe... U2 to be continued..
    U2 donates excessive amounts of money to charity and supports causes because they want the world to recognize how great they are. No one is just going to listen to your music because of that. Their music sucks. If Lady Gaga supports fag marriage and all the queers purchase her albums as an emblem of "equality" that is indivisible in diversity, then they must be a bunch of homos with a terrible taste in music!