No Line on the Horizon

No Line on the Horizon is the twelfth studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was produced by Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, and Steve Lillywhite, and was launched on 27 February 2009. It was the band’s first report since How one can Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004), marking the longest hole between studio albums of their profession to that time. The band initially supposed to launch the songs as two EPs, however later mixed the fabric right into a single report. Photographer Anton Corbijn shot a companion movie, Linear, which was launched alongside the album and included with a number of particular editions.

U2 started work on the album in 2006 with report producer Rick Rubin however shelved many of the materials from these periods. In Could 2007, the group started new periods with Eno and Lanois in Fez, Morocco. Intending to jot down “future hymns”—songs that might be performed perpetually—the group spent two weeks recording in a riad and concerned the producers within the songwriting course of. Having grown uninterested in writing within the first-person, lead singer Bono wrote his lyrics from the attitude of various characters. Recording continued at a number of studios in the USA, United Kingdom, and Eire by December 2008. The group had supposed to launch No Line on the Horizon in November, however after composing 50 to 60 songs, they delayed the discharge to proceed writing.

Previous to the album’s launch, U2 claimed that their time in Fez, in addition to Eno’s and Lanois’ involvement, had resulted in a extra experimental report than their earlier two albums. The band in contrast the shift in fashion to that seen between The Joshua Tree (1987) and Achtung Child (1991). Upon its launch, No Line on the Horizon acquired usually beneficial critiques, though many critics famous that it was not as experimental as beforehand prompt. The album debuted at primary in 30 international locations however didn’t promote in addition to anticipated; the band expressed disappointment over the comparatively low gross sales, in comparison with earlier albums, of 5 million copies. Against this, the supporting U2 360° Tour from 2009 to 2011 broke the report for the highest-grossing live performance tour in historical past, incomes over $736 million.

Recording and manufacturing

Aborted periods with Rick Rubin

In 2006, U2 began work on the follow-up to How one can Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004), collaborating with producer Rick Rubin.[1] After U2 guitarist the Edge labored individually with Rubin in Los Angeles,[2] the group spent two weeks in September 2006 finishing songs with the producer at Abbey Street Studios in London.[3] Later that yr, the band launched two songs from these periods on the compilation album U218 Singles: a canopy of the Skids’ “The Saints Are Coming” with Inexperienced Day, and “Window within the Skies”.[2][4] In January 2007, lead singer Bono mentioned U2 supposed to take their subsequent album in a unique musical path from their previous couple of releases. He mentioned: “We’re gonna proceed to be a band, however possibly the rock should go; possibly the rock has to get rather a lot more durable. However no matter it’s, it isn’t gonna keep the place it’s.”[5]

Rubin inspired a “again to fundamentals” method and wished the group to deliver completed songs to the studio. This method conflicted with U2’s freeform recording fashion, by which they improvised materials within the studio.[4] The Edge mentioned: “we type of hadn’t actually completed the songs. It is typical for us, as a result of it is within the technique of recording that we actually do our writing.”[6] Bassist Adam Clayton mentioned: “as soon as we’ve a tune, we’re within the atmospherics and the tones and the overdubs and the totally different stuff you are able to do with it… issues that Rick was not within the slightest bit desirous about. He was desirous about getting it from embryonic stage to a tune that may very well be blended and placed on a report.”[6] They in the end determined to shelve the fabric recorded with Rubin,[4] however expressed curiosity in revisiting it sooner or later.[6] Rubin mentioned: “I do not know what their perspective was. I believed we had enjoyable.”[7]

Periods with Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, and Steve Lillywhite

A large, open room that is filled with dining tables and chairs. In the centre of the room is a fountain shaped like a flower with eight petals. A chandelier hangs from the ceiling, which is supported by three columns at the back. A group of people eat a meal at the table closest to the columns.

For 2 weeks from Could–June 2007, U2, Eno, and Lanois wrote and recorded music in a Moroccan Riad just like the one pictured.

U2 subsequently started working with Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois in Could 2007.[8] Bono, who had accepted an invite to the World Sacred Music Pageant in Fez, Morocco, invited his bandmates to attend.[2][9] Bono additionally invited Eno and Lanois, hoping they’d collaborate with the band as full songwriting companions in recording an album of “futuristic spirituals” or “future hymns”—songs that might be performed perpetually.[9][10] For 2 weeks, U2, Eno, and Lanois rented the riad of the resort Riad El Yacout in Fez and turned it right into a makeshift recording studio, often recording with an oud participant and native percussionists.[8][11][12][13]

Recording throughout the competition uncovered the group to Hindu and Jewish music, Sufi singing and Joujouka drums. The unique influences impressed them to pursue a extra experimental sound.[9][12][14] Clayton mentioned the music they heard in Fez “had a primitivism … however there was an other-worldly really feel, there was that reference to that Arabic scale.”[9] Eno insisted that drummer Larry Mullen Jr. use an digital drum equipment.[10] The band described most of the tracks conceived in these periods as unsuitable for radio airplay or for taking part in stay.[9] The open-air riad allowed the group to listen to birdsong, as captured within the introduction to “Unknown Caller”.[15] The songs “Second of Give up”, “White as Snow”, “No Line on the Horizon” and “Unknown Caller” have been written at the moment; every observe was recorded in a single take.[13] In complete, the band recorded roughly 10 songs throughout the two weeks.[8] The Edge mentioned of their time with Eno and Lanois in Fez, “it grew to become very clear nearly instantly that this was gonna be a really fruitful experiment.” He known as it “a really liberating expertise” that “reminded [him] in some ways of early on and why [they] received right into a band within the first place. Simply that pleasure of enjoying.”[2] When the subject of who would produce the report was broached, Lanois prompt, “[the album is] sort of producing itself, so let’s simply go along with the folks we’ve”, cementing him and Eno within the roles.[10]

“… none of that [experimental music] actually appeared on the report … as a result of it sounded sort of artificial. It sounded sort of like ‘world music’ add-on. I am positive it could have gotten a number of folks saying, oh, how fascinating, they’ve damaged out into North African music, however truly it simply did not sound convincing. We have been very impressed by the music whereas we have been there, however there was no lifelike or emotionally satisfying approach of marrying it utilizing the music that we have been doing, so in the long run not very a lot of it in any respect confirmed by.”

 —Brian Eno[16]

After leaving Fez, the band recorded in Hanover Quay Studios in Dublin, Platinum Sound Recording Studios in New York Metropolis, and Olympic Studios in London.[12][17][18] Steve Lillywhite was introduced in to provide a number of tracks throughout these subsequent periods. In pre-release interviews, U2 in contrast the extent of their anticipated shift in musical fashion to that of Achtung Child.[10][19] The band scaled again these experimental pursuits, nonetheless; Mullen famous: “at a sure stage, actuality hits, and also you go, ‘What are we gonna do with these things?’ Are we going to launch this type of meandering experimentation, or are we gonna knock some songs out of this?”[9] Bono shared this opinion, stating, “We went to this point out on the Sufi singing and the type of ecstatic-music entrance, that we needed to floor it and discover a counterpoint.”[9] Eno commented that a lot of “the extra contemplative and sonically adventurous songs” had been dropped, attributing the dearth of African-inspired music to its sounding “artificial” and unconvincing when paired with different songs.[4][16][20][21]

Clayton filmed the band’s progress throughout the album’s manufacturing; these movies have been added to the subscribers’ part of[22] On 16 August 2008, an eavesdropping fan recorded a number of songs enjoying from Bono’s seaside home in Èze, France. These “seaside clips” have been uploaded to YouTube, however eliminated at Common Music’s request.[23] In November 2008, the Edge confirmed the album’s working title as No Line on the Horizon and famous that the band needed to transfer shortly to finish mixing to fulfill the brand new February launch date.[24] In an interview with Q, the group revealed that rapper had labored with them on the observe “I will Go Loopy If I Do not Go Loopy Tonight”.[25]

In December 2008, U2 recorded at Olympic Studios in London, placing the ending touches to the album[12] and making a number of modifications to its content material. The group had deliberate to launch the fabric as two prolonged performs, titled Daylight and Darkness, however throughout these periods determined to compile the very best songs onto one album.[26] The band struggled to finish “Stand Up Comedy”, a tune they’d been engaged on because the Fez periods 16 months beforehand. The tune had been by a number of iterations and titles, together with “For Your Love” and “Stand Up”.[12] U2 dropped “Winter”, a tune Eno had urged them to finish, in addition to “Each Breaking Wave”, which they eliminated to cut back the album’s operating time.[9][27] “Winter” seems within the accompanying Anton Corbijn movie Linear and the 2009 warfare movie Brothers.[28][29] Each songs had been talked about in pre-release album critiques.[12][25][30]

The band modified most of the tracks’ names throughout recording, retitling “French Disco” to “Magnificent” and “Loopy Tonight” to “I will Go Loopy If I Do not Go Loopy Tonight”. “Chromium Chords” grew to become “Tripoli”, and eventually “Fez – Being Born”.[12][31][32] The band thought-about “Fez – Being Born” and “Get On Your Boots” as album openers, however in the end selected “No Line on the Horizon”.[31][33] On the finish of the periods, the band selected to incorporate “White as Snow”, a quiet tune a couple of dying soldier in Afghanistan, to steadiness out the sooner, rockier tunes.[27] Excluding this observe, U2 had tried to maintain the theme of warfare out of the album.[34] In early December 2008, Clayton acknowledged, “that is undoubtedly the final week of recording. However then once more, final week was undoubtedly the final week of recording, and the week earlier than that.”[12] The ultimate periods ended later that month.[21] No Line on the Horizon is devoted to Rob Partridge, who signed the band’s first report deal in 1980 and died of most cancers in late 2008.[34][35]

Observe-up album

In February 2009, Bono acknowledged that by the tip of the yr, U2 would launch an album consisting of unused materials from the No Line on the Horizon periods. Bono labelled it “a extra meditative album on the theme of pilgrimage”.[12] Provisionally titled Songs of Ascent, it could be a sister launch to No Line on the Horizon, just like Zooropas relationship to Achtung Child.[36] In June 2009, Bono mentioned that though 9 tracks had been accomplished, the album would solely be launched if its high quality surpassed that of No Line on the Horizon.[37] A December 2009 report acknowledged that U2 had been working within the studio with the objective of a mid-2010 launch.[38] The band revealed that the primary single was supposed to be “Each Breaking Wave”.[36][39]

Over time, the album continued to be delayed. In April 2010, U2’s supervisor Paul McGuinness confirmed that the album wouldn’t be completed by June, however indicated {that a} launch “earlier than the tip of the yr [was] more and more probably.”[40] In October 2010, Bono acknowledged that their new album can be produced by Hazard Mouse, and that 12 songs had been accomplished. He additionally famous that U2 have been engaged on a possible album of membership music within the spirit of “U2’s remixes within the Nineties”.[41] Across the identical time, McGuinness mentioned the album was slated for an early 2011 launch.[42][43] In February 2011, he mentioned that the album was nearly full and had a tentative launch date of Could 2011, though he famous that Songs of Ascent was not the probably title.[44] The Songs of Ascent undertaking in the end didn’t come to fruition and has not been launched; its evolution and obvious abandonment are examined within the ebook The Best Albums You will By no means Hear.[45] Clayton mentioned, “We thought there was extra materials left over from No Line… we now really feel a good distance from that materials.”[46]

After quite a few delays, U2 digitally launched their thirteenth album, Songs of Innocence, on 9 September 2014 in a shock launch. The band appeared the identical day at an Apple Inc. product launch occasion to announce the album and reveal it was being launched to all iTunes Retailer clients without charge.[47]

In October 2014, Bono mentioned that Songs of Ascent “will come” and that the group views it because the third launch in a potential trilogy of albums.[48]


“… it is a very private album. These are very private tales regardless that they’re written in character and, in a approach, they could not be farther from my very own politics. However, within the sense of the peripheral imaginative and prescient, there is a world on the market. Because the outdated blues tune goes, a world gone mistaken. You’ll be able to really feel it simply on the edges—the warfare in Iraq, the darkish clouds on the horizon. However there may be additionally a deliberate shutting out of that with a view to give attention to extra private epiphanies.”


Through the Hanover Quay periods in 2008, Bono indicated that he had change into “uninterested in [writing in] the first-person”, main him to jot down songs from the attitude of various characters. He invented “a site visitors cop, a junkie [and] a soldier serving in Afghanistan.”[12] Though every character tells a private story, the underlying theme of the album is peripheral imaginative and prescient, occasions happening within the wider world, “simply on the edges”.[12] Bono described it as “central to the understanding of this album”.[12] Nonetheless, because the characters narrate there may be an intentional “shutting out” of the broader world, in order that the main target stays on their “private epiphanies”. The narrative the group initially deliberate for the album was damaged up within the periods’ last weeks with their modifications to the observe itemizing.[12] Bono revealed that numbers have been important in most of the songs,[49] and that the album was break up into thirds; he described the primary part as “a complete world unto itself, and also you get to a really ecstatic place”, and the second as “a load of singles”. The ultimate third consists of songs which might be “uncommon territory” for the band.[50]

“No Line on the Horizon” stemmed from Mullen’s experiments with totally different drum beats; Eno sampled and manipulated the patterns, and the remainder of the band started to play over the beats. The lyrical concept of a spot “the place the ocean meets the sky and you may’t inform the distinction between the 2” and the vocal supply have been each current from the beginning.[10] Bono famous that the theme behind the tune was infinity, and that the observe was inherently optimistic.[12] “Magnificent” is an up-tempo tune that begins with a synthesiser line by Eno. The band wished a observe that felt euphoric, and the melody, created from a sequence of chord modifications throughout a jam, was labored on constantly by Bono.[10][34] The setting within the lyrics was described by Lanois as “New York within the 50s”, written from the attitude of “a Charlie Parker sort of determine”.[10] The tune has been described as “echo[ing] The Unforgettable Fireplaces opening observe ‘A Type of Homecoming’ in its atmospheric sweep”.[25]

The drug addict character seems within the songs “Second of Give up” and “Unknown Caller”. “Second of Give up”, improvised and recorded by U2, Eno, and Lanois in a single take, demonstrates gospel influences. Eno and Lanois mentioned the tune is the closest to the group’s authentic idea for an album of future hymns.[9] Eno famous, “Aside from some modifying and the addition of the brief cello piece that introduces it, the tune seems on the album precisely because it was the primary and solely time we performed it.”[12] Within the tune, the addict is having a disaster of religion. In “Unknown Caller”, the character is suicidal and, whereas utilizing his cellphone to purchase medication, begins receiving cryptic textual content messages with technology-inspired instructions.[34] The observe was developed early within the Fez periods. The guitar solo on the tune’s conclusion was taken from the backing observe.[10]

Eno developed “I will Go Loopy If I Do not Go Loopy Tonight” throughout the Fez periods, underneath the working title “Diorama”.[10] U2 reworked it with Steve Lillywhite throughout a break from recording with Eno and Lanois.[10] Among the lyrics have been influenced by Barack Obama’s presidential marketing campaign, whereas others referenced Bono.[12] Album critiques described the tune as a joyous pop rock composition. “Get On Your Boots” stemmed from a guitar riff The Edge created and recorded at his residence.[10] At 150 beats per minute, the tune is among the quickest the band have recorded.[21] Rolling Stone known as it a “blazing, fuzzed-out rocker that picks up the place ‘Vertigo’ left off.”[30] Thematically, the tune is about Bono taking his household on trip to France and witnessing warplanes flying overhead initially of the Iraq Struggle.[4] The mantra “let me within the sound” was developed late within the recording periods and have become a motif all through elements of the album.[10]

“Stand Up Comedy” went by quite a few iterations; at one level, Lanois famous, “that tune was about six totally different songs”.[10] In its authentic idea, the observe featured mandolins enjoying in a Center Jap beat. The riff was altered and a refrain of “to your love” was launched. This model was discarded because the band got here up with a brand new riff and lyrics, solely retaining the “to your love” vocal.[9] U2 preferred the outcome on the finish of the periods, however felt that the tune would seem too “crafted”; they as an alternative selected an older combine for inclusion on the album.[10] A number of of the tune’s lyrics, together with the road, “Watch out of small males with massive concepts”, relate to Bono’s self-mockery.[12] The guitar sound from the experimental “Fez” portion of “Fez – Being Born” was developed whereas the band recorded “The Saints Are Coming” throughout the Rick Rubin periods.[34] Lanois edited the half, including a beat developed by Eno, earlier than enjoying it for the group. The sounds of a Moroccan market have been additionally added. The quicker part of the tune, “Being Born”, was altered into the identical key as “Fez” and Lanois positioned the 2 sections collectively, creating the one tune.[10] The “let me within the sound” chant from “Get On Your Boots” is included at first of the observe.[34]

“White as Snow” focuses on the soldier character’s final ideas as he dies from the injuries suffered from an improvised explosive gadget.[4] The tune is predicated on the normal hymn “Veni, veni, Emmanuel”; the thought to base the tune on a public area melody was prompt to Lanois by Newfoundland musician Lori Anna Reid.[4] “Breathe” is ready on 16 June, an intentional reference to James Joyce’s novel Ulysses.[9] U2 labored on an earlier model of the tune for a very long time earlier than they scrapped it and re-recorded it with Lillywhite.[10] Two units of lyrics have been additionally current; one about Nelson Mandela, and the opposite “extra surreal and private”.[9] The band determined to make use of the latter.[9] “Cedars of Lebanon”, written from the attitude of a journalist masking a warfare abroad, was created in the same method to “Fez – Being Born”. The tune’s melody was based mostly on a pattern of “In opposition to the Sky”, a observe Eno and Lanois had collaborated on with Harold Budd for the 1984 album The Pearl; the group famous that the atmosphere of the tune was “like a direct throwback to the early 80s”.[10][34] The ultimate verse is a condemnation of the Iraq Struggle.[9]


On the music trade commerce honest Midem in 2008, Paul McGuinness mentioned No Line on the Horizon can be prepared for launch in October 2008.[51] Lanois corroborated that in June 2008, stating the album ought to be prepared in 3–4 weeks. He mentioned, “We’re simply ending the vocals. Bono’s in nice kind, singing improbable.” On 3 September 2008, posted an article by which Bono revealed that the brand new album can be out “in early 2009”, additionally noting that “round 50–60 songs” had been recorded within the periods.[19] It was later confirmed the album can be launched on 27 February 2009 in Eire, 2 March within the UK, and three March in North America. The hole between How one can Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and No Line on the Horizon‘s launch was the longest of the band’s profession to that time.[26]

Common Music Group took excessive measures to forestall the album from leaking, providing pre-release listening periods for critics as an alternative of sending out evaluate copies. Nonetheless, Common Music Australia’s on-line music retailer,, unintentionally launched the album for digital sale on 18 February 2009, nearly two weeks earlier than the scheduled launch date. The whole album appeared on the web site for a short while earlier than it was eliminated, and the unintentional sale led to the album’s being leaked and shared throughout the Web.[52] U2 reacted to the leak with some positivity. The Edge acknowledged, “The one advantage of that’s a variety of our followers have already given us their thumbs up. Despite the fact that it was followers getting it at no cost.”[53]


The duvet artwork for No Line on the Horizon is {a photograph} of Lake Constance, taken by Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto; titled Boden Sea, it’s considered one of 200 footage in his Seascapes assortment.[54] The picture was the inspiration for Bono’s lyrics on the observe “No Line on the Horizon”.[54] Sugimoto and U2 struck a deal by which the band may use the {photograph} as the duvet artwork and Sugimoto may use “No Line on the Horizon” in his future tasks; Sugimoto’s solely stipulation was that no textual content may very well be positioned on prime of the picture.[54] Unique releases had an equals signal superimposed in the course of the album cowl, however later releases featured solely the picture.[55] AMP Visible, who designed the equals signal, acknowledged that it represents “a type of title for the album, from the common language of arithmetic,” taking inspiration from the album’s theme of “common steadiness and distinction, of night time and day.”[56] Persevering with the mathematical theme that the equals signal established, the packaging of the digipak particular version incorporates a “little hidden code” within the type of a chunk of the Fibonacci sequence.[56]

Boden Sea had beforehand been utilized by Richard Chartier and Taylor Deupree for his or her 2006 album Specification.Fifteen. The album covers are related, although No Line on the Horizon has a white border across the picture, and Specification.Fifteen has a field on the prime of the duvet with the names of the artists and the album.[57] Deupree known as U2’s cowl “practically an actual rip-off” and acknowledged that for the band to acquire the rights to the picture it was “merely a cellphone name and a test.”[54][58] Sugimoto refuted each of those claims, calling the usage of the identical {photograph} a coincidence and stating that no cash was concerned within the take care of U2.[54]


No Line on the Horizon was launched in 5 bodily codecs, three of which—the digipak, journal, and field codecs—have been restricted editions.[59][60] The usual jewel case launch contained a 24-page booklet.[59] The vinyl launch was pressed on two black discs and contained a 16-page booklet.[59] The digipak launch had a 36-page booklet and a poster, which was additionally included within the field launch. A 60-page journal was included within the journal launch.[59] Linear was a downloadable function within the digipak and journal codecs, and was a bonus DVD within the field launch, which additionally contained a 64-page hardcover ebook.[59]

The album was made obtainable for pre-order on the iTunes Retailer on 19 January 2009, the day “Get On Your Boots” premiered on radio. iTunes album pre-orders contained bonus tracks unavailable with every other model.[61] Digital variations have been obtainable from in MP3 format, and from in MP3 and FLAC codecs.

Persevering with a marketing campaign by U2 to reissue all of their information on vinyl, No Line on the Horizon was reissued on 22 February 2019 on two 180-gram vinyl discs to commemorate its tenth anniversary. Two reissued editions—black vinyl and a limited-edition “ultra-clear” vinyl—embrace the album on three sides, with remixes of “Magnificent” and “I will Go Loopy If I Do not Go Loopy Tonight” on aspect 4.[62][63][64]


Linear, a movie directed by Anton Corbijn, is included with the digipak, journal, field, and deluxe iTunes editions of the album.[59][61][65] The thought for the movie originated from a U2 video shoot in June 2007, throughout which Corbijn requested the band to stay nonetheless whereas he filmed them to create a “{photograph} on movie”; the band didn’t transfer however the objects round them did.[66] Impressed, the band believed that the web album listening expertise may very well be enhanced with transferring imagery. In Could 2008, they commissioned Corbijn to create the movie.[66] Corbijn has claimed that Linear isn’t a music video however “a brand new strategy to take heed to a report” and “a brand new approach to make use of movie to connect with music”.[67]

The movie is predicated on a narrative by Corbijn and Bono, and consists of a number of of the characters Bono created for the album. The plot focuses on a Parisian motorbike officer, performed by Saïd Taghmaoui; the character has change into disillusioned along with his life and the battle between immigrants and the police within the metropolis, inflicting him to depart to see his girlfriend in Tripoli.[28][66] The tune order within the movie is consultant of No Line on the Horizons because it was in Could 2008.[28]

Promotion and singles

A green street sign with 53rd Street written on it. Just above the sign is another, identical in colour, which says"U2 Way". A skyscraper with reflective windows is immediately behind the signs.

A road signal studying “U2 Method” was added to 53rd Avenue in Manhattan throughout the album’s promotion.

To advertise No Line on the Horizon, U2 carried out “Get On Your Boots” on the 51st Grammy Awards, the 2009 BRIT Awards, and the 2009 Echo Awards, though the album was not eligible for awards at any of the ceremonies.[4][68][69] The band later appeared on French tv and radio on 23 February 2009, and on 26 February they taped a phase for Friday Evening with Jonathan Ross, which was aired the subsequent day.[31][70][71] On 27 February, U2 made an look on a Stay Lounge session for BBC Radio 1, adopted by a mini-concert on the roof of Broadcasting Home.[72][73] On the week of two March 2009, U2 appeared on CBS-TV’s Late Present with David Letterman for 5 consecutive nights, the primary time a musical visitor had carried out for a whole week on the present.[55] The group carried out “Breathe”, “Magnificent”, “I will Go Loopy If I Do not Go Loopy Tonight”, “Stunning Day”, and “Get On Your Boots”. On 3 March, Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York Metropolis, added a road signal studying “U2 Method” at 53rd Avenue in Manhattan, for the week that U2 carried out on the Late Present.[74] U2 additionally carried out at Fordham College on 6 March 2009 for an look on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America.[75] From 9 to 11 March, the band participated in “U2 3 Nights Stay”, a sequence of radio interviews and performances that have been broadcast throughout North America and streamed stay on[76]

From 11 to 17 February 2009, hosted a promotion the place 4,000 followers may win a 7-inch single collector’s version field set that contained all 4 of the singles launched from No Line on the Horizon.[77] An alternate model of the title observe, “No Line on the Horizon 2”, debuted on RTÉ 2XM on 12 February 2009; it was later used because the B-side for the primary single, “Get On Your Boots”.[78] The complete album started streaming on the group’s MySpace web page on 20 February 2009, and on a number of days later.[52]

4 singles have been deliberate from the album,[77] though solely three have been launched. The primary single, “Get On Your Boots”, was launched as a digital obtain on 19 January 2009, and in a bodily format on 16 February 2009.[61][79] The iTunes retailer held the unique digital obtain rights to the one for the primary 24 hours.[61] The second single, “Magnificent”, was launched on 4 Could 2009.[80] The third single, “I will Go Loopy If I Do not Go Loopy Tonight”, was launched on 7 September 2009.[81]

Vital reception

Skilled rankings
Combination scores
Supply Ranking
Metacritic 72/100[82]
Assessment scores
Supply Ranking
AllMusic [83]
Blender [84]
Mojo [85]
NME 7/10[20]
Pitchfork 4.2/10[86]
Q [87]
Rolling Stone [88]
RTÉ [89]
Time Out Sydney [90]
Toronto Star [91]

No Line on the Horizon acquired usually beneficial critiques. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted common ranking out of 100 to critiques from mainstream critics, the album acquired a mean rating of 72, based mostly on 30 critiques.[82] David Fricke of Rolling Stone gave it a five-star rating and known as it “[U2’s] greatest, in its textural exploration and tenacious melodic grip, since 1991’s Achtung Child.”[88] In his evaluate for Blender, Rob Sheffield acknowledged “The times are gone when U2 have been making an attempt to maintain it easy—at this level, the lads have realized that over-the-top romantic grandiosity is the fashion that fits them, so they arrive on just like the cosmic guitar supplicants they have been born to be.”[84] Uncut journal’s Andrew Mueller commented, “It is U2’s least fast album—however there’s one thing about it that means it could be considered one of their most enduring.”[92] Jeff Jensen of Leisure Weekly graded it an “A−” and known as the album “an eclectic and electrifying winner, one which speaks to the zeitgeist the best way solely U2 can and dare to do.”[93] BBC Music reviewer Chris Jones mentioned, “There’s loads to rejoice about right here” whereas noting that the “symbiotic relationship with Brian Eno (and Daniel Lanois) appears to have reached the purpose of imperceptibility.”[94] NME contributor Ben Patashnik known as the album “a grand, sweeping, courageous report that, whereas not fairly the reinvention they pegged it as, suggests they have the chops to retain their relevance properly into their fourth decade as a band.”[20]

In a much less enthusiastic evaluate, Time Out Sydney felt that the album is sadly Brian Eno’s new album fairly than U2’s: “for all that is new, there isn’t any approach that you will mistake it for an additional band.”[90] Pitchfork reviewer Ryan Dombal gave a rating of 4.2 out of 10, stating, “the album’s ballyhooed experimentation is both terribly misguided or hidden beneath a wash of shameless U2-isms.”[86] Cameron Adams of the Herald Solar gave a ranking of three and a half stars, evaluating it to the Nineties albums Zooropa, Pop, and Unique Soundtracks 1 whereas stating “That is no blockbuster … It is the least fast U2 album in years, however one which diehard followers will take pleasure in dwelling with”.[95] Madeleine Chong of MTV Asia wrote that, “Though U2 ought to be lauded for his or her efforts at fixed reinvention and pushing the envelope within the rock style, [No Line on the Horizon] possesses neither the long-lasting qualities of The Joshua Tree or the unconventional but related magnetism of Achtung Child.”[96] Toronto Star music critic Ben Rayner known as the songs boring, including that the atmosphere launched by Eno and Lanois was “usually all these imprecise, hook-deficient songs have going for them.”[91] Rob Harvilla of The Village Voice gave the album a blended evaluate and wrote that its songs “will remind you of different, significantly better songs, however in a approach that solely makes you wish to go and take heed to these different songs as an alternative.”[97] Josh Tyrangiel of Time journal additionally gave it an unfavourable evaluate, calling the trouble “unhappy” and “principally stressed, tentative and confused.”[98]


No Line on the Horizon was nominated within the Greatest Rock Album class on the 52nd Grammy Awards in 2010.[99] The tune “I will Go Loopy If I Do not Go Loopy Tonight” was nominated for Greatest Rock Efficiency by a Duo or Group With Vocals and Greatest Rock Track.[99] The reduce tune “Winter” was nominated for Greatest Unique Track on the 67th Golden Globe Awards for its function within the movie Brothers.[29] Rolling Stone ranked No Line on the Horizon the very best album of the yr and the Thirty sixth-best album of the last decade, and “Second of Give up” as the very best tune of the yr and the Thirty sixth-best tune of the last decade.[100] The Irish Unbiased positioned it fourth on their listing of the yr’s prime Irish albums, whereas Time listed the tune “No Line on the Horizon” because the third-best of 2009.[101][102]

Industrial efficiency

No Line on the Horizon opened with sturdy gross sales, debuting at primary in thirty international locations, together with Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Eire, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, the UK, and the USA.[103] Inside one week of launch, the album was licensed platinum in Brazil, a report for the nation.[104] In the USA, it was U2’s seventh number-one album; first-week gross sales exceeded 484,000, the band’s second-highest figures after How one can Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.[103] In the UK, the album bought 157,928 copies in its first week to change into U2’s tenth number-one album, making them the fifth-most-successful act on the UK Albums Chart.[105][106] By June 2009, over 5 million copies had been bought worldwide.[107] Globally it was the seventh-highest-selling album of 2009.[108]

Gross sales of the album stalled halfway by 2009. By October, simply over one million copies had been bought within the US, the group’s lowest in additional than a decade.[109] Via March 2014, the album’s lifetime gross sales within the nation totaled 1.1 million copies.[110] Within the UK, the report bought lower than a 3rd of How one can Dismantle an Atomic Bombs figures, and 1 / 4 of All That You Cannot Depart Behinds.[111] International gross sales of No Line on the Horizon remained at 5 million copies by September 2010.[112] The album didn’t generate successful single;[111] ABC famous that gross sales of How one can Dismantle an Atomic Bomb had been propelled by the observe “Vertigo” which, though not a chart success, had change into well-known to the general public from its use in iPod commercials.[113]

U2 360° Tour

A concert stage; four large legs curve up above the stage and hold a video screen which is extended down to the band. The legs are lit up in green. The video screen has multi-coloured lights flashing on it. The audience surrounds the stage on all sides.

The U2 360° Tour featured the biggest live performance stage ever constructed.

Following the discharge of No Line on the Horizon, U2 staged a worldwide stadium tour, titled the U2 360° Tour. Starting on 30 June 2009 in Barcelona, the tour visited Europe, North America, Oceania, Africa and South America from 2009 to 2011 and comprised 110 reveals.[114][115][116] The live shows featured a 360-degree stage that the viewers surrounded.[117] To accommodate this, a big four-legged construction nicknamed “The Claw” was constructed above the stage. At 50 meters (165 ft) tall, it was the biggest stage ever constructed and twice the dimensions of the earlier largest set, which was used on The Rolling Stones’ A Larger Bang Tour.[118] The thought for the stage had been proposed to the group by the set designer Willie Williams on the finish of the Vertigo Tour in 2006.[118] The design was supposed to beat the staid conventional look of out of doors live shows the place the stage was dominated by speaker stacks on both aspect.[119] Regardless of grossing over US$311 million from 44 reveals over its first two legs,[120] the tour was barely breaking even,[121] with manufacturing prices of roughly US$750,000 per day.[122] In 2010, U2’s scheduled headline look on the Glastonbury Pageant 2010 and their North American leg have been postponed till the next yr after Bono suffered a critical again damage.[123][124][125] By its conclusion in July 2011, U2 360° had set information for the highest-grossing live performance tour with $736 million in ticket gross sales, and for the highest-attended tour with 7.3 million tickets bought.[126]

Through the first leg of the tour in Europe, the band sometimes performed songs from No Line on the Horizon early within the set. “Breathe”, “No Line on the Horizon”, “Get On Your Boots” and “Magnificent” have been performed because the opening quartet, whereas “Unknown Caller” and a remixed association of “I will Go Loopy If I Do not Go Loopy Tonight” appeared near the midway level. “Second of Give up” closed each present.[127] U2 made minor modifications to the setlists for the second leg of the tour. “No Line on the Horizon” was carried out later within the live shows, whereas “Unknown Caller” was dropped for a number of weeks earlier than being revived in the direction of the tip of the leg. The band didn’t play “Stand Up Comedy”, “Fez – Being Born”, “White as Snow”, or “Cedars of Lebanon” at any level in 2009.[127] The 25 October 2009 live performance on the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, U2’s penultimate live performance of 2009,[127] was filmed and streamed stay over YouTube.[128] The shoot used 27 excessive definition cameras; the live performance was launched on DVD and Blu-ray as U2 360° on the Rose Bowl on 3 June 2010.[129]


Eight months after No Line on the Horizons launch, Bono mentioned he was upset with the album’s gross sales.[111] Relating to the dearth of economic attraction, Bono mentioned, “We weren’t actually in that mindset. We felt that the ‘album’ is sort of an extinct species, and we [tried to] create a temper and feeling, and a starting, center and an finish. And I suppose we have made a piece that could be a bit difficult for individuals who have grown up on a weight loss program of pop stars.”[111] Clayton agreed that the album’s business reception have to be “challenged” however mentioned, “the extra fascinating problem is, ‘What’s rock ‘n’ roll on this altering world?’ As a result of, to some extent, the idea of the music fan—the idea of the one that buys music and listens to music for the pleasure of music itself—is an outdated concept.”[109] The Edge predicted that, regardless of its lack of an enormous hit, No Line on the Horizon would develop on listeners over time.[111] He famous that the response to the songs within the stay setting made U2 imagine that the fabric was connecting with the followers, including, “There’s a variety of information that make nice first impressions. There is perhaps one tune that will get to be massive on the radio, however they don’t seem to be albums that folks … play rather a lot. That is one which I collect from speaking to folks. … 4 months later, they’re saying, ‘I am actually stepping into the album now.[130] McGuinness believed that the circumstances of the music market have been extra answerable for the low gross sales than any decline in U2’s recognition.[131]

Lillywhite believed that the African influences had not translated properly onto the album, remarking: “It is a pity as a result of the entire concept of Morocco as an enormous concept was nice. When the large concept for U2 is nice, that’s once they succeed essentially the most, however I do not assume the spirit of what they got down to obtain was translated. One thing occurred that meant it didn’t come throughout on the report.”[132] The Edge concurred, admitting that the group erred by “beginning out experimental after which making an attempt to deliver it into one thing that was extra accessible”. He added, “I feel in all probability we should always have mentioned, ‘It is an experimental work. That is what it’s.'”[133] Mullen refers back to the album as “No Craic on the Horizon” and mentioned, “It was fairly fucking depressing. It seems that we’re inferior to we thought we have been and issues received in the best way.”[134] He attributed the discharge of “Get On Your Boots” because the album’s lead single as “the start of the tip,” because the album wouldn’t recuperate from the tune’s adverse reception.[135] The band performed fewer songs from No Line on the Horizon because the 360° Tour went on, which Mullen calls “somewhat little bit of a defeat.”[135]

Monitor itemizing

All lyrics are written by Bono, besides the place famous; all music consists by U2, Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, besides the place famous.

No. Title Lyrics Music Producer Size
1. “No Line on the Horizon”     Eno, Lanois; Steve Lillywhite (add.) 4:12
2. “Magnificent” Bono, The Edge   Eno, Lanois; Lillywhite (add.) 5:24
3. “Second of Give up”     Eno, Lanois 7:24
4. “Unknown Caller” U2, Eno, Lanois   Eno, Lanois; Lillywhite (add.) 6:03
5. “I will Go Loopy If I Do not Go Loopy Tonight”   U2 Lillywhite; (add.) 4:14
6. “Get On Your Boots”   U2 Eno, Lanois; Declan Gaffney (add.) 3:25
7. “Stand Up Comedy”   U2 Eno, Lanois; Lillywhite (add.) 3:50
8. “Fez – Being Born”     Eno, Lanois 5:17
9. “White as Snow” U2, with Eno, Lanois Conventional, arr. U2, with Eno, Lanois Eno, Lanois 4:41
10. “Breathe”   U2 Lillywhite; Lanois (add.), Eno (add.) 5:00
11. “Cedars of Lebanon”     Lanois 4:13
Complete size: 53:44

 • (add.) Further manufacturing

Australian, Japanese and iTunes Retailer bonus observe
No. Title Producer Size
12. “No Line on the Horizon 2” U2 4:07
iTunes Retailer pre-order bonus observe
No. Title Music Producer Size
13. “Get On Your Boots” (Crookers remix) U2 Eno, Lanois, Gaffney 4:27


  • “Cedars of Lebanon” incorporates a pattern from “In opposition to The Sky” by Harold Budd and Brian Eno from the album The Pearl (1984).


Tailored from the liner notes.[34]


  • Bono – lead vocals, guitar
  • The Edge – guitar, backing vocals, piano
  • Adam Clayton – bass guitar
  • Larry Mullen Jr. – drums, percussion

Further performers

  • Caroline Dale – cello
  • Brian Eno – rhythm loop, programming, synthesisers, vocals
  • Daniel Lanois – guitar, vocals
  • Terry Lawless – extra piano, Fender Rhodes, keyboards
  • Sam O’Sullivan – percussion
  • Cathy Thompson – violin
  • Louis Watkins – boy soprano
  • Richard Watkins – French horn (4, 9)
  • – keyboards (5)


  • Brian Eno – manufacturing
  • Daniel Lanois – manufacturing, mixing
  • Steve Lillywhite – manufacturing, mixing
  • Richard Rainey – engineering, mixing
  • Declan Gaffney – engineering, mixing
  • CJ Eiriksson – engineering, mixing
  • Carl Glanville – engineering, mixing
  • Tony Mangurian – engineering
  • Dave Emery – engineering
  • Florian Ammon – extra engineering
  • Cenzo Townshend – extra engineering, mixing
  • Chris Heaney – engineering help
  • Tom Hough – engineering help
  • Kevin “Kevo” Wilson – engineering help
  • Dave Clauss – engineering help
  • John Davis – mastering
  • Cheryl Engels – audio submit manufacturing, coordination, and high quality management


Certifications and gross sales

Area Certification Licensed models/gross sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[202] Gold 20,000^
Australia (ARIA)[203] Platinum 70,000^
Belgium (BEA)[204] Platinum 30,000*
Brazil (Professional-Música Brasil)[205] Platinum 60,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[206] 2× Platinum 160,000^
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[207] 2× Platinum 60,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[208] Gold 17,019[208]
France 63,000[209]
GCC (IFPI Center East)[210] Gold 3,000*
Germany (BVMI)[211] Platinum 200,000^
Greece (IFPI Greece)[149] Platinum 15,000^
Hungary (MAHASZ)[212] Platinum 6,000^
Eire (IRMA)[213] 4× Platinum 60,000^
Italy (FIMI)[214] 3× Platinum 210,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[215] Gold 100,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[216] Gold 40,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[217] 2× Platinum 120,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[218] Platinum 15,000^
Portugal (AFP)[219] Platinum 20,000^
Romania (UFPR)[220] Platinum  
Russia (NFPF)[221] Platinum 20,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[222] Platinum 80,000^
Sweden (GLF)[223] Platinum 40,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[224] Platinum 30,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[225] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[227] Platinum 1,200,000[226]
Europe (IFPI)[228] Platinum 1,000,000*

* Gross sales figures based mostly on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based mostly on certification alone.

See additionally

  • Checklist of licensed albums in Romania


  • McGee, Matt (2008). U2: A Diary. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-1-84772-108-2.

  • No Line on the Horizon at

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