Say It's Your Birthday: The Edge

U2 are wrapping up a new album. Like right now.

Today is the birthday of The Edge. Even when U2

were a local

Irish post-punk rock band in the early '80s, they had big ambitions. From the

beginning, they were marked by grandiose sound which seemed to demand to be

listened to, a sound built around Bono's wailing crooning and The Edge's

incessant, repetitive, feedback-laden guitar. The Edge, née David Evans, was

born today in 1961, and the rest of the band, while capturing the raw energy

and fierce determinism, shunned the irony and world-weary attitude so many

punks embraced for a belief that, through their sheer superstardom and

consummate hipness, could change the world for the better. U2 first achieved

attention with their fierce, urgent debut, Boy, which still stands out

as one of U2's best studio efforts. Even on this early effort, The Edge's

incessant attack was clearly one of the trademarks of the band. The band's next

two albums, 1981's October and 1982's War solidified U2's place as

19 overtly political outfit. U2's next studio effort, 1984's

The Unforgettable

Fire, marked the bands first full-blown effort which showcased U2's

steadfast belief in their own egos, and their various political and social

causes they embraced over the years marked them as much as their music. In

1991, U2 released Achtung. Baby and embarked on a hugely successful

world-wide arena tour, and in 1993 they released the techno-tinged

Zooropa, produced by Brian Eno. They are currently working on their next

album. Also born today, Chris Foreman of Madness (1955), Ali Score of A Flock

of Seagulls (1956), and Poison's Ricki Rocket. --Seth Mnookin