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After the U2-3 release in 1979, the band went on a self-organised tour. Despite no offers of a major record deal following a round of London showcase gigs, the tour culminated in a sold-out show in front of two thousand fans in Dublin.

In January 1980, the band topped five categories in the readers' poll of Irish rock magazine Hot Press. In April of that year, U2 signed to Island Records, releasing their first single, 11 O'Clock Tick Tock, the following month.

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