19 April 2002
Adam on NME and U2
U2 In Top Ten NME List of '50 Greatest Artists of all Time'.
'In the mid '70's the NME defined the culture and the look and the
attitude,' recalls Adam in an interview with the UK music weekly NME, to
mark its fiftieth birthday. 'It brought new types of musica sound, a look
a manifesto. It put a face on the new musical attitude of ska, reggae, punk
and the all-important live scene was covered in depth. It was essential for
anyone in a band or interested in music at the time.'
NME have been writing about U2 for 22 years and, as this week's issue puts
it, 'the band have been through as many changes as the paper'. Their top
fifty poll of 'NME Icons' is based on appearances on front covers, volume
and significance of features, dominance in end of year writers polls,
readers letters and the number of actgs who are referrred to as 'the new
them'. It is a quirky, opinionated, eccentric list, notable as much for who
is missing as for who is included.
Here's their Top Ten
1: The Smiths
2: The Beatles
3: Stone Roses
4: David Bowie
5: Sex Pistols
8: Paul Weller/The Jam
10: Public Enemy
Last year, at the NME Carling 'Brat' Awards, Bono recalled that, 'We were
put on the cover of the NME before we had a record deal, in fact it helped
us get a record deal.'
Asked about the impact that NME had on U2, Adam remembers, 'We were very
serious about what we were doing and NME took its role seriously too. There
was a passion in the writing and an importance attached to the subject of
music criticism. They united people around the idea that some music was
genius and some music was crap and that that was all that mattered.'
NME, Adam concludes, 'was the important voice of what we were getting into'.
'It brought us to a wider audience and made an effort to understand us when
we were only beginning to understand ourselves.'
Complete Top Fifty list in the latest issue of NME and more at