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19th Jan 2022

Bono says he’s embarrassed by U2 songs – what took him so long to realise?

Danny Jones

Bono embarrassed by most U2 songs

He’s finally come round to a lot of other people’s opinions

Music legend and U2 frontman Bono has come out with a rather damning indictment of his own music, revealing that he finds the majority of it “embarrassing” these days.

Speaking on The Hollywood Reporter’s “Awards Chatter” podcast alongside bandmate the Edge, Bono – real name Paul David Hewson (Edge obviously isn’t his real name either, he’s David Howell Evans) – the pair discussed the legacy of their Dublin-based rock band.

However, though their 175 million records sold worldwide and nine number ones in the UK and US combined speak for themselves, Bono confessed: “I’ve been in the car when one of our songs has come on the radio and I’ve been the colour of, as we say in Dublin, scarlet. I’m just so embarrassed.”

While the 61-year-old maintained that he can still listen and enjoy “Miss Sarajevo” with legendary Luciano Pavarotti, adding that he’s probably proudest of “Vertigo” – the lead single taken from 2004’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb – he went on to admit that “most of the other ones make me cringe a little bit”.

So does stuff like this, to be fair:


As if taking a dig at his own band’s songwriting wasn’t enough, he even revealed that he wasn’t a big fan of the name U2. Rumoured to be named after a 1960 spy plane incident, it was original manager, Paul McGuinness, who apparently pushed for it after saying it would “look good on a T-shirt”. Hands up, how many people own a U2 band tee?

Bono went on to say, “I do think U2 pushes out the boat on embarrassment quite a lot, and maybe that’s the place to be as an artist — you know, right at the edge of your level of embarrassment”.

They’ve certainly dished out some contact embarrassment over the years. After all, if you’ve been made the butt of an entire South Park episode, it’s usually a safe bet you’ve done something that is at least somewhat cringeworthy and or humourous.

While we don’t hold anything against U2 ourselves – we think it’s more just a case of another Coldplay or Nickelback: people love to hate them – you’ve got to admire this level of brutal, self-flagellating honesty.

Nevertheless, we’re still not over having that album foisted onto our iTunes under cover of darkness.

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