How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb – Wikipedia

2004 studio album by U2
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb is the eleventh studio album by Irish rock ‘n’ roll isthmus U2. It was released on 22 November 2004 in the United Kingdom by Island Records and a day late in the United States by Interscope Records. much like their previous album All That You Can’t Leave Behind ( 2000 ), the record exhibits a more mainstream rock audio after the band experimented with option rock and dance music in the 1990s. It was produced by Steve Lillywhite, with extra production from Chris Thomas, Jacknife Lee, Nellee Hooper, Flood, Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno, and Carl Glanville. Looking for a more hard-hitting sound than that of their previous album, U2 began recording How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb in February 2003 with Thomas. After nine months of work, the band had an album ‘s worth of material ready for release, but they were not satisfied with the results. The group subsequently enlisted Lillywhite to take over as producer in Dublin in January 2004. Lillywhite, along with his assistant Lee, spent six months with the ring reworking songs and encouraging better performances. U2 lead singer Bono described the album as “ our first rock album. It ‘s taken us twenty years or whatever it is, but this is our first rock album. ” [ 2 ] Thematically, the record touches on life sentence, death, love, war, religion, and family.

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb received broadly positive reviews from critics and reached act one in 30 countries, including the US, where first-week sales of 840,000 copies about doubled the isthmus ‘s former personal best. The album and its singles won all nine Grammy Awards for which they were nominated ( U2 themselves were awarded eight out of the nine ). It was besides the fourth-highest-selling album of 2004, [ 3 ] with about ten million copies sold, [ 4 ] and it yielded several successful singles, such as “ Vertigo “, “ City of Blinding Lights “, and “ sometimes You Ca n’t Make It on Your Own “. The album was included on Rolling Stone ‘s list of the “ 100 Best Albums of the Decade ” at phone number 68 .

Writing and recording [edit ]

run singer Bono explained that he had to ask himself a few hard questions before carrying on record : “ I wanted to check where I was to where I am. So I went back and listened to all the music that made me want to be in a band, right from the Buzzcocks, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Echo & The Bunnymen, all that stuff. And what was interesting is, that was what a fortune of people in bands now are listening to anyhow. so in a curious way, it made us wholly contemporary. ” [ 5 ] Looking for a harder-hitting rock sound than that of their former record, All That You Can’t Leave Behind, [ 6 ] U2 began recording How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb in February 2003 with manufacturer Chris Thomas. [ 7 ] After nine months of work, the isthmus had completed an album ‘s worth of songs. In October, they met in Dublin to review their work. Bono and guitarist the Edge believed it was good enough to release ; Bono said, “ All we needed was the assent of the politburo and the commemorate would have been out for Christmas. ” Bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr., however, disagreed with their bandmates and voted against releasing the record. [ 8 ] Mullen said that the songs “ had no magic ”, [ 6 ] while Clayton said, “ When it comes to signing off on a project, you ask questions like, ‘Have we got a inaugural individual to open the crusade ? ‘ Frankly, we were missing more than fair a first single. ” [ 8 ] Clayton and Mullen besides had a nag palpate that All That You Can’t Leave Behind had been overpraised when it merely produced one hit— ” Beautiful Day “. Clayton thought that if U2 ‘s goal was to continue to be the universe ‘s biggest band, they needed three or four hits from their album that could attract newly fans. [ 8 ]
Steve Lillywhite (pictured) took over as producer of the album after U2’s dissatisfaction with their work with took over as producer of the album after U2 ‘s dissatisfaction with their employment with Chris Thomas The group brought in their long-time manufacturer Steve Lillywhite to mediate the discrepancy. After they played him the album, Lillywhite assessed that it felt like “ it had the weight of the earth on its shoulders. It surely was n’t any playfulness. ” After drawn-out discussions, Bono and the Edge were convinced that the album needed more function. Bono thought their songs were good but admit “ thoroughly wo n’t bring you to tears or make you want to leave your house and go for a year ”. [ 8 ] The group subsequently dismissed Thomas and enlisted Lillywhite to take over as the album ‘s producer in Dublin in January 2004. [ 9 ] Lillywhite, along with his assistant Jacknife Lee, spent six months with the dance band reworking songs and encouraging better performances. [ 6 ] Several other producers received credits on the album, including Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno, Flood, Carl Glanville, and Nellee Hooper ; [ 10 ] Bono acknowledged that the engagement of multiple producers affected the record ‘s “ sonic cohesion ”. [ 11 ] A show translation of the album ( guitarist the Edge ‘s copy ) was stolen while the band were having their photograph taken for a magazine in France in July 2004. It contained unfinished versions of several songs that made it onto the album. [ 12 ] The band publicly announced that if those tracks were leaked on-line, they would release the album immediately via the iTunes Store. [ 13 ] several months later, the finished album was leaked on-line, [ 14 ] but the dance band did not release it earlier, despite previous comments. [ 15 ] In late 2004, “ Mercy ”, an unreleased cut taken from the How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb sessions, surfaced on the Internet through a fan who had been given a copy of the album containing the extra racetrack. The track is of less than standard audio quality, but managed to become a favorite on fan websites. It was cut from the concluding dismissal, but was described by Blender as “ a six-and-a-half-minute discharge of U2 at its most uninhibitedly U2-ish ”. [ 16 ] The lyrics to the birdcall can be found in the booklet for the Special Limited Edition. A significantly revised version of the sung was performed during the European leg of the U2 360° Tour ; it made its live introduction on 12 September 2010 during the second Zurich concert, [ 17 ] and was formally released as the opening cut on the ring ‘s Wide Awake in Europe vinyl-only populate EP that November .

composition [edit ]

As with All That You Can’t Leave Behind, this album finds U2 returning to “ more ‘stripped down ‘ rock ‘n’ roll and crop up sounds ”, according to musicologist Susan Fast. [ 18 ] Adam Clayton said of Atomic Bomb, “ It ‘s very a lot a guitar record. “ Vertigo “, “ Love and Peace ”, “ City of Blinding Lights “, “ All Because of You “, all reasonably up, rough tunes. A fortune of them are a kick-back to our very early days, so it ‘s like with each year we have gathered a little morsel more and this is what we are immediately. ” In 2003, Bono said one of their new songs called “ Full Metal Jacket ” was “ the beget of all rock songs ” and “ the reason to make a new album ”. A similar show called “ native son ” was besides recorded. Both of these demos would late become “ Vertigo ”. contemporary Christian artist Michael W. Smith joined the band in the studio during the Atomic Bomb sessions and worked on at least one track with them, entitled “ north star topology ”. That track, which was a protection to Johnny Cash, has not yet surfaced officially or unofficially in any imprint. vitamin a birdcall introduced by Bono as “ North Star ” was played in Turin during the U2 360° Tour ; however, it is nameless whether or not this is the like song that was worked on during the sessions. [ 19 ] [ 20 ] other tracks, such as “ Shark Soup ” ( another translation of “ Vertigo ” ), “ Lead Me In The Way I Should Go ”, and “ You Ca n’t Give Away Your Heart ”, were referenced in the media and by the ring themselves, but have not been released .

“City of Blinding Lights” (2004) (




) “ City of Blinding Lights ” is one of the tracks which reflects back to the band ‘s earlier exploit .

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The very earliest versions of “ Love and Peace or Else ” originated during the recording sessions for All That You Can’t Leave Behind. It serves as Atomic Bomb ‘s “ big plea for peace ” song, following in the footsteps of “ Sunday Bloody Sunday “, “ Miss Sarajevo “, “ Please “, and “ Peace on Earth “. [ 21 ] During performances on the Vertigo Tour, “ Love and Peace Or Else ” featured Mullen moving out to the focus on of the ellipse -shaped ramp, where he played a floor turkey cock and crash cymbal for the majority of the song. Near the end, Bono took over and played the brake drum until the sung segued into the opening drumbeat of “ Sunday Bloody Sunday ”. Most live performances of the sung besides saw Mullen singing the “ release, exhaust, turn, release ” separate during the chorus aboard Bono. “ Crumbs from Your table ” is about the kinship between western countries and developing countries. The verses and choir address the kinship from the perspective of citizens from the developing world, focusing on the disparity between the long-run socioeconomic planning stressed by the West ( “ You speak in signs and wonders ” ) and the originate world ‘s immediate motivation for support ( “ But I ‘m begging for the rotter from your table ” ). One line ( “ You speak in signs and wonders ” ) was meant as a criticism of the Catholic Church. [ 22 ] The bridge ( “ Where you live should not decide / Whether you live or whether you die ” ) is instruction from Bono that follows with the subject in his speeches in which he tries to raise awareness about African poverty. Bono stated on a bonus DVD included with special editions of the album that the ring has no remembrance of writing the song, as they were intoxicated at the time. A studio performance is besides included on the aforesaid bonus DVD. It was only played a handful on times during the third base leg of the Vertigo Tour. [ 23 ] “ One Step Closer ” is a slow tempo song, with Bono ‘s lyrics centered around dealings images, leading to the singer being stranded on a safety island. The origins of the song go back to the All That You Can’t Leave Behind sessions. [ 24 ] It was revived for Atomic Bomb, with Lanois introducing a bicycle steel guitar, in addition to guitars from the Edge and Bono, and melodious influences varying from state music to The Velvet Underground making themselves felt. [ 24 ] One recording of the sung ran for more than 15 minutes, with Bono adding many verses that were subsequently dropped. [ 24 ] Jacknife Lee besides contributed to the final form of the record. [ 25 ] “ One Step Closer ” is billed in the album with thanks to Noel Gallagher of Oasis. The title of the sung comes from a conversation Bono had with Gallagher about Bono ‘s dying father, Bob Hewson. Bono asked, “ Do you think he believes in God ? ” to which Gallagher replied, “ well, he ‘s one tone closer to knowing. ” [ 24 ] Through the end of the Vertigo Tour, the sung had never been performed in any U2 concert. The title of the album derives from a lyric in the song “ Fast Cars ”, which was only available on some versions of the album .

promotion [edit ]

U2, their director Paul McGuinness, and concert promoters Gérard Drouot and Michael Deeny pose with copies of the album before a 2005 concert in France For the album release, U2 partnered with Apple Inc. for respective cross-promotions. “ Vertigo ” was featured on a wide aired television receiver ad for the company ‘s ipod music player. additionally, a special edition U2-branded ipod was released bearing the total darkness and loss color schema of the album, adenine well as laser-engraved autograph of each member on the back. The Complete U2, an iTunes Store -exclusive box set featuring 448 tracks, including previously unreleased content was besides released. Proceeds from the ipod and iTunes partnerships were donated to jacob’s ladder. [ 26 ] A alive version of “ Original of the Species ” from the concert film Vertigo 2005: Live from Chicago was former featured in commercials for the video ipod. several CD copies of the album have the message “ Miss You Sugar ” on the bottom of the compact disk near the matrix number. The compilation Medium, Rare & Remastered and the EP Unreleased and Rare, included in The Complete U2 box set, contains previously unreleased tracks, six of which were from the record sessions for How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb :
U2 made respective promotional appearances on television receiver. On 20 November 2004, U2 appeared as the musical guests on Saturday Night Live, performing “ Vertigo ”, “ sometimes You Ca n’t Make It on Your Own ”, and “ I Will Follow “. Two days later, on the day of the album ‘s release, U2 performed on a flat-bed hand truck, which drove through much of business district New York City. footage of the flat-bed operation was used for the music video of “ All Because of You ”. The repel ended at the Brooklyn Bridge, under which the band performed a “ mystery gig ” in Empire Fulton Ferry State Park. separate of the concert was broadcast in an MTV television plan and released in the EP Live from Under the Brooklyn Bridge .

Formats [edit ]

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb was released in four different formats :

  • Standard Edition – with album CD
  • Double CD/DVD Edition – with album CD and bonus DVD, featuring making of the album footage and bonus performances
  • Special Limited Edition – with album CD, bonus DVD, and a hardcover book, featuring extracts from band members, song lyrics, original paintings, illustrations and photography
  • Vinyl LP

Singles [edit ]

The album was preceded by the lead single “ Vertigo ”, which was released on 24 September 2004. The birdcall topped the charts in several countries, including the UK, reached numeral 31 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and topped the Modern Rock Tracks chart. It besides topped the digital downloads graph in both the US and the UK, becoming U2 ‘s best-selling digital single ever in the US, with 2x platinum condition ( note that for downloads, Platinum status was obtained at 200,000 copies sold ). Upon liberation the song received extensive airplay and was an external collision, being featured in a popular ipod television commercial. The song lent its namesake to the band ‘s Vertigo Tour. The second base individual in the UK was “ sometimes You Ca n’t Make It on Your Own ”, released on 7 February 2005. The song is about Bono ‘s relationship with his dying don. The song debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming U2 ‘s first-ever follow-up single to top the charts. On US adult contemporaneous radio, it reached phone number 15 on the Adult Top 40 and besides appeared on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, the Pop 100, and the Hot 100. “ City of Blinding Lights ” was the third gear UK free. It peaked at number 2 and exhausted nine weeks on the graph. It besides placed on the US Adult Top 40. The second single in the US was “ All Because of You ”. Although it received some airplay on rock ‘n’ roll radio, reaching number 6 on the Modern Rock Tracks graph and number 20 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, the song had little mainstream exposure. When released in the UK, it peaked at count 4 but only spent four weeks on the chart. “ Original of the Species “ was released as a promotional single in the US. It peaked at number 6 on the Triple A Chart according to and the video recording has reached number 12 on VH1 ‘s top 20 television countdown. The track has besides made brief appearances on the Hot AC charts according to Radio and Records and MediaGuide .

reception [edit ]

critical reaction [edit ]

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb received broadly positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalize score out of 100 to ratings from critics, the album received an average score of 79 based on 26 reviews. [ 27 ] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone described it as “ grandiose music from grandiose men, sweatlessly confident in the execution of their duties ”, believing the album was well served by not tamping down Bono ‘s ego or ambitions. Sheffield praised “ sometimes You Ca n’t Make It on Your Own ”, calling it “ a admonisher that what makes U2 sol boastful is n’t in truth their cagey ideas, or even their intelligence — it ‘s the warmheartedness that all besides few rock stars have any theme how to turn into music ”. [ 36 ] Johnny Davis of Q said that the Edge ‘s guitar play “ makes this phonograph record ” with his “ arsenal of guitar noises that bring to mind a particularly impatient son with a new box of indoor fireworks ”. Responding to Bono ‘s quote about the group wanting to stave off a decline, Davis said, “ They ‘ve succeeded in not becoming stool quite admirably. ” [ 35 ] Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times called the album “ exultant ”, praising U2 ‘s “ travel from adolescence to maturity ” over their career as one that few groups could make “ with their creative vision so fully entire ”. He said that Bono lyrically “ explores epic poem themes, from religion to kin, with such indelible grace that the certificate of deposit stands with ‘The Joshua Tree ‘ and ‘Achtung Baby ‘ as one of the Irish quartet ‘s essential works ”. [ 32 ] Dan Martin of NME called it “ a authoritative U2 album, but besides a breathtakingly modern heavy fucker ”, adding that “ Bono ‘s ace is that his inner soliloquy is so huge and heroic that it matches the scale of the music ”. [ 33 ] Steve Morse of The Boston Globe called it a “ nakedly honest, uplifting album ” and their most personal one since The Joshua Tree. He called it “ a joy to see the group rekindle its shimmering ’80s guitar-pop sound ” and was encouraged that their music “ comes then strongly from the gut once again, without the latest techno-experimental production techniques. ” [ 38 ] Ann Powers of Blender called the album a “ tour de force of tune and temper ”, adding, “ because U2 ‘s legal has come to signify an open heart … it about always palpate fresh, the room a new flame does ”. She thought that Bono lyrically “ wield mawkishness like a switchblade ” but besides said that “ U2 ‘s music is so broad and welcoming it can express ardor evenly good for Christ, wives, supermodels, children or Bishop Desmond Tutu “. [ 29 ] Stephen Troussé of Uncut called it “ their most unabashedly raucous record since The Unforgettable Fire “ and said that songs such as “ City of Blinding Lights ” and “ All Because of You ” gave “ the sense of a band flexing muscles they have n’t used in years ”. He remarked about the melancholic undertow of Bono ‘s lyrics, believing that the “ lines that stay with you speak of a crawl malaise ”. [ 37 ] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian said that the album “ may be unadventurous and melodramatic, but it is packed with disarming moments ”. He thought the group had embraced the clichéd elements of their 1980s music but said, “ Driven by a ferociously mighty rhythm method of birth control section, U2 sound pleasingly crude, peculiarly adjacent to the stream brandish of stadium rock pretenders ”. He lamented the abandonment of their 1990s experiment, but appreciated their memory of self-awareness, conclude, “ it seems highly improbable anyone will laugh at U2 again ”. [ 31 ] David Browne of Entertainment Weekly questioned U2 ‘s motivations for back-pedaling musically but called them “ one of the few remaining bands who can make pop-chart lust study for them, as Atomic Bomb intermittently demonstrates ”. [ 30 ] Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune said that the record “ marks a hideaway from invention and audacious, and re-immerses the irish quartet in the comfort partition of its earliest successes ”. He believed the band had “ settl [ erectile dysfunction ] into in-between age by recycling its best riffs and ideas ” and that those melodious ideas were “ destined to pale in approach years as second-hand versions of those classic albums ”. [ 39 ] Amanda Petrusich of Pitchfork called the record “ brash, begrimed, and loud ” but not “ particularly surprising ”, judging it to contain a “ bantam handful of outstanding tracks and a hale mess of bathetic filler ”. She criticised Bono ‘s “ vague, cliched observations, his sentiments always awkwardly bombastic or hopelessly bathetic ” and thought the album ‘s biggest issue was “ that it sounds so much like U2 ”. [ 34 ] Keith Harris of The Village Voice said that the lyrics were marred by “ legions of rampant clichés ” and that the album ‘s producers “ plainly construct a U2 album in miniature, mixing in the Edge ‘s processed-guitar hallmark whenever you fear they ‘re straying into inexcusable un-U2ness. That ‘s fair not adequate. ” [ 40 ]

commercial operation [edit ]

Following its 22 November 2004 let go of, the album debuted at number one in 34 countries, [ 41 ] including the US Billboard 200 ( with sales of 840,000 ), [ 42 ] the UK Albums Chart, and the australian ARIA Charts. The album has sold 9 million copies worldwide. [ 43 ] According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album has sold 3.3 million copies in the US through March 2014. [ 44 ]

Accolades [edit ]

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb was rated the best album of 2004 by USA Today, Paste, and The New York Times. Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times called it the second-best album of the class, and it was ranked fourth respectively by Q in its list of the best albums of the year. The Village Voice rated it the eighth-best album of 2004, while PopMatters ranked it 25th. It was included in Rolling Stone ‘s top 50 Albums of 2004. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and its songs won eight Grammy Awards overall in 2005 and 2006, sweeping all of the categories in which they were nominated. In 2005, “ Vertigo ” won in three categories : Best rock song, Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, and Best Short Form Music Video. In 2006, “ sometimes You Ca n’t Make It on Your Own “ was awarded sung of the class and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, “ City of Blinding Lights ” was awarded Best Rock Song, and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb won for Best Rock Album and Album of the Year. [ 45 ] The album producer ‘s Steve Lillywhite was besides award manufacturer of the Year, Non Classical in 2006.

Rolling Stone rated it the 68th-best album of the decade, [ 46 ] while “ Vertigo ” was ranked the 64th-best birdcall. [ 47 ] Despite all of the critical acclaim for the album, Bono would late country that “ [ metric ton ] here are no weak songs. But as an album, the wholly is n’t greater than the summarize of its parts, and it fucking annoys me. ”

Vertigo Tour [edit ]

The indoor leg of the Vertigo Tour featured an ellipse-shaped ramp encircling the independent stagecoach, along with LED curtains. In support of the album, U2 launched the Vertigo Tour, which featured five legs and a total of 131 shows. The first base and third legs featured indoor concerts in North America, while the moment and one-fourth legs featured outdoor concerts in Europe, Mexico and South America, respectively. The final leg, which saw the band touring the Pacific, was delayed due to an illness suffered by The Edge ‘s daughter Sian. The stage plan of the indoor Vertigo Tour shows was a stripped, confidant affair for the fans and featured an ellipse-shaped B-stage extending from the main stage. In total, the Vertigo Tour had sold 4,619,021 tickets for a full gross of $ 389 million ; the crude was the second-highest such figure always. [ 48 ] Three concert films depicting the tour, Vertigo 2005: Live from Chicago, Vertigo: Live from Milan, and U2 3D, were recorded .

track list [edit ]

All lyrics are written by Bono except where noted ; all music is composed by U2 .

UK, Ireland and Japan CD bonus track
No. Title Lyrics Producer Length
12. “Fast Cars” Bono and the Edge Lillywhite 3:43
total length : 53:09


  • ^[a] – additional production
  • “Fast Cars” is a bonus track on the Japan, UK and Ireland CD edition, Special Limited Edition in all regions, and the digital version, included in The Complete U2. A new mix was featured on the “All Because of You” single.
Double CD/DVD and Special Limited editions, bonus DVD
No. Title Length
1. “U2 and 3 Songs” ( The Documentary ) 20:02
2. “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” ( Studio Performance ) 5:09
3. “Crumbs from Your Table” ( live in studio ) 5:00
4. “Vertigo” ( Temple Bar Mix ) 3:08
5. “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” ( acoustic Couch Mix ) 4:43
6. “Vertigo” 3:23
total distance : 43:00


  • Handwritten lyrics for “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” are included on the DVD as an Easter egg.

Personnel [edit ]

U2 [ 49 ]

  • Bono – lead vocals, additional guitar ( tracks 2, 9-11 ), backing vocal ( 2 ), piano ( 5 )
  • The Edge – guitar, backing/additional vocals ( 1–4, 6–7, 9, 11 ), piano ( 2, 4–5, 10–11 ), keyboards ( 3 ), additional percussion ( 7 ), synthesiser ( 10–11 )
  • Adam Clayton – bass guitar
  • Larry Mullen Jr. – drums, percussion, backing vocal ( 2 )

Additional performers [ 49 ]

Charts [edit ]

hebdomadally singles charts [edit ]

Singles charts (weekly)
Year Song Peak
BE (Wal)
US Pop
2004 “Vertigo” 1 5 9 2 1 31 10
2005 “All Because of You” 4 23 36 1 4
“Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” 3 19 32 1 1 97 87
“City of Blinding Lights” 8 31 23 2 2
“—” denotes a release that did not chart.

Certifications [edit ]

References [edit ]


  • How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb at
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