Released in November 2004, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb was U2's 11th studio album and their first since All That You Can't Leave Behind in 2001.
With a series of hit singles like 'Vertigo', 'Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own', 'All Because of You' and 'City of Blinding Lights', the album reached No.1 in 34 countries and went on to sell 10m copies. It has the 'wisdom, depth and complexity expected from the durable foursome,' wrote Edna Gunderson in USA Today, 'but there's also some of 1980's Boy power and no shortage of buoyant optimism, still evident today.'
Vertigo, the first single, was released in time to be nominated in three categories at the 2005 Grammy Awards - it won in all three. A year later, the album qualified for consideration and was nominated in five categories - it swept the board again, including Song of the Year, Album of the Year and Best Rock Album. Steve Lillywhite joined the band on stage - and took home his own Grammy for Producer (nonclassical) of the Year.
'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is an odd title for an album,' reflected Bono at those Awards. 'We accept that. Actually I was talking about my father Bob. He was the atomic bomb in question. I wanna thank my father Bob for giving me the voice and a bit of attitude to use it...'
The worldwide success of the first single 'Vertigo' was accelerated by a partnership with Apple - the song featured on a global TV promotion for the iPod. The band released a customised 'U2 iPod' in the black and red look of the album artwork containing 'The Complete U2', an iTunes digital collection of 446 tracks, including previously unreleased songs and rarities.
The success of Vertigo at the 2005 Grammy Awards was followed by the band's induction into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame - with Bruce Springsteen making a perfectly judged speech.
'Uno, dos, tres, catorce. That translates as one, two, three, fourteen. That is the correct math for a rock and roll band. For in art and love and rock and roll, the whole had better equal much more than the sum of its parts, or else you're just rubbing two sticks together searching for fire.'
Produced by Steve Lillywhite. Additional production: Chris Thomas, Jacknife Lee, Nellee Hooper, Flood, Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno, Carl Glanville.
'We've always been political in an organic way. I thought actually this would be a more political album. I think Bono did, too. I'm amazed at how personal it is. It's not a manifesto. It's about what matters. It's an honest snapshot of where we're at.'
'It's just such a personal record. It may just be our best.'
'It's very much a guitar record, Vertigo, Love and Peace, City of Blinding Lights, All Because of You -- all pretty up , rocky tunes. A lot of them are a kick-back to our very early days, so it's like with each year we have gathered a little bit more and this is what we are now.'
'It started out to be a rock 'n' roll album, pure and simple. We were very excited that Edge wasn't sitting at the piano or twiddling a piece of technology, because he is one of the great guitarists. Halfway through, we got bored, because it turns out you can only go so far with rifferama. We wanted more dimension. Now you've got punk rock starting points that go through Phil Spectorland, turn right at Tim Buckley, end up in alleyways and open onto other vistas and cityscapes and rooftops and skies. It's songwriting by accident, by a punk band that wants to play Bach.'
Buy in UK
Buy in US