The Edge says: “We knew we wanted something that chimed with Songs Of Innocence, which featured Larry and his son. If it had just been the two of them, it would have been a little too sleek but the military helmet gives it that little tension. “It also gives us a connection back to the War album so U2 iconography is being reused.
In the past week, I’ve spoken to two of Bono’s brothers in arms, guitarist The Edge, on the phone from LA, and bassist Adam Clayton, in a quiet corner of a pub in London’s Maida Vale.
They’re thrilled with the new album, which I believe is U2’s best since the turn of the millennium, but acknowledge the recent stress on their frontman.
“There’s been an attempt to look back at our position, which is rarefied in many ways, but there’s also humanity in our shared experience.
“At 57, you view the time ahead of you differently to the time behind you.” The last word is with Bono, who writes: “I wanted to dive naked into these Songs Of Experience, not just skinny dipping with the ones I love, I wanted to take my skin off.” Being constantly in the spotlight has made U2 easy targets.
We want this stuff to enter the language.” It’s quite apparent that the delay and subsequent reboot of the album has given it a freshness and urgency that may otherwise have been lacking.