U2's first single, 11 O'Clock Tick-Tock, was released in May 1980. Boy, their debut album, was released five months later - promoted by another single, I Will Follow , October, a year later and by May 1983, they had their first UK number 1 album with War, culmination of a trio of albums produced by Steve Lillywhite.
It all began in 1976 when Larry Mullen pinned a 'musicians wanted' ad to the notice board at Dublin's Temple Mount School: Drummer seeks musicians to form band. 'So on Saturday 25th September 1976, ' recalls Larry. 'This odd group of people convened in my kitchen in Artane. And that's where it started.'
Adam Clayton had discovered rock'n'roll as a thirteen year old, buying his first acoustic guitar and then talking his parents into buying him a bass guitar. 'It just sounded good to me. Deep and fat and satisfying.'
From the beginning, U2 were marked out by their passion. "A band before we could play" was how Bono put it in early interviews. Edge remembers reading UK music papers NME and Sounds every week and then hearing about this 'wild kid called Paul Hewson.'