U2’s biggest mistake was their album and movie Rattle and Hum.
That’s according to manager Paul McGuinness who says it was “too big,” “too controlled,” and “too vainglorious.”
“We got carried away,” he told the Irish magazine Hot Press. “And I’ll take my share of the blame…I think the sheer size of the campaign annoyed people.”
The album was universally panned on release in 1988 with one Irish reviewer calling it “Rattle and Humdrum.”
The McGuinness confession comes as the band continues to set new records for concert sales for its 360 Tour.
Seats are selling so fast that extra shows are being booked all over the globe, from Chicago to Barcelona. On March 31, all 65,000 seats in Chicago sold out instantly and the band is expected to add another night.
“This is going to be a very big tour, the biggest shows we’ve ever done,” says McGuinness.
McGuinness, who has been in charge of U2 for 30 years, says they have stayed on top of their game through sheer ambition and stamina.
U2’s contemporaries in 1979 included The Clash, Talking Heads, The Police, The Ramones, The Pretenders.
“They all stopped,” says McGuinness. “They either ceased to be bands or became individuals like Chrissie Hynde or Sting, or broke up completely, or died.”
It could be argued that Bono is one of the biggest “individuals” in the music world but McGuiness said the activist-singer has contradicted the old adage that you can only be famous for doing one thing at a time.
While Bono has also become famous for his activism, the band itself is also famous for its stage shows.
McGuinness told Hot Press how Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones was blown away by their Zoo TV at the RDS in Dublin. “He stood beside me and he said, "Faawk, this is like Star Wars!’