The legendary U2 producer Steve Lillywhite has said the band’s latest album 'No Line on the Horizon' was a flop

The album sold poorly and Lilywhite told the Irish Times it lacked a big hit single to help sales.

“At the end of the day, the public are always right especially when you have a platform as big as U2,” he said. “Of course it affects them. They are only human. They put their heart and soul into everything they do, but the sales were not what they expected because they did not have the one song that ignited peoples imaginations.

“It’s a pity because the whole idea of Morocco as a big idea was great. When the big idea for U2 is good, that is when they succeed the most, but I don’t think the spirit of what they set out to achieve was translated. Something happened that meant it did not come across on the record.”

Lillywhite is in Ireland to speak at the Hot Press Music Show.

Lillywhite (55) has been identified with U2 from the beginning and produced or co-produced most of their records He also produced many of Shane MacGowan's hits and compared MacGowan wih Bono

He said MacGowan is an “underachiever” whose best work is done.

“Shane MacGowan has not recorded a song recently because it wouldn’t be any good,” he said.

“He is one of the most talented people I’ve ever met, but he is also an underachiever. Sometimes such a fantastic natural talent means you don’t have to try so hard. Bono is the biggest overachiever I’ve ever met. His talent is not inconsiderable, but what sets him so far ahead of everybody else is his determination. “That determination to succeed is overachieving.”