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There's no denying that U2 has become one of the most iconic, loved and, yes, important rock bands in the world. And if they're not bigger than Jesus, Bono's attempt to turn his celebrity toward the greater good -- rubbing elbows with heads of state as he tackles climate change and African debt relief -- hasn't hurt his saintly stature. With an unchanging lineup of Bono (vocals), the Edge (guitar), Adam Clayton (bass) and Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums), the Dublin-born band established itself with a string of post-punk-influenced, protest-minded albums in the early '80s. The Joshua Tree (1987) and the following year's Rattle & Hum capped the first phase of the band's career. The '90s were U2's pop decade, as they at once embraced and undercut their mega-star status, experimenting with dance beats and multimedia theatrics. Beginning with 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind, U2 returned to their rock roots and embarked upon a "mature" career phase that included record-setting tour grosses and induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. No Line on the Horizon -- released in March 2009, 30 years after their debut EP -- suggested that the band had no intention of slowing down.
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