U2 Albums Ranked

U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin, formed in 1976. The group consists of Bono (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), the Edge (lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). Initially rooted in post-punk, U2’s musical style has evolved throughout their career, yet has maintained an anthemic quality built on Bono’s expressive vocals and the Edge’s effects-based guitar textures. Their lyrics, often embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal and sociopolitical themes. Popular for their live performances, the group have staged several ambitious and elaborate tours over their career. Here are all of U2’s albums ranked.

Don’t miss out on the TIMELESS U2 music below! Click to experience the power of BONO!

14. Songs of Innocence (2014)

“I honestly think this is one of the best albums U2 has put out since the 80’s. I love all their music, but this album expresses their experiences of their youth. The journey they embarked upon — becoming men while dealing with fame and other personal experiences, both good and bad. This is their perception of their youth looking back as adults. I absolutely love it!”

13. Songs of Experience (2017)

“Best album since 1991 .. Yep , I said it .. Really wasn’t expecting much from this outing , thought it would be much the same .. It’s not .. Like most great albums it takes a good 2 or 3 plays to get under your skin . Track 7 – Red Flag Day has echoes of old U2 , backing vocals from the Edge make the song sounds like something off October or War .. Great melodies run though out the album . I took a 7 hour car trip last week and this album was on repeat for the whole journey , I wasn’t bored. I think when it’s all over for U2 this album will be looked upon very well , up there with their best work. I wasn’t going to see them for this tour but after hearing the album I can’t wait to hear these songs live.”

12. No Line on the Horizon (2009)

“I have to admit to enjoying it, surprisingly, when giving it my full attention. Although there is a “same-iness” to listening to it in full, the stodgy feel I mentioned earlier, there is a way it just sort of insinuates itself into your consciousness. Dear me, I am beginning to sound like Bono. I guess my main point is that it is easy to dismiss these later period U2 albums as lazy product from multi-millionaires whose mojo left them long ago. Not so. Give it a chance, as I did, however late. It is a good album. Maybe in a few years, I’ll listen to “Songs Of Innocence”.”

11. Pop (1997)

“POP on it’s release disappointed, some good tracks, notably Discoteque and Do you feel love, but although good, somehow wasn’t a classic U2 album. The release changes do much, you realise now the quality, great production values, really deep, complex and layered sounds. It actually sounds more impressive now than the remastered Achtung Baby. The quality of the remastering is second to none and on vinyl it is certainly rediscovered. Maybe it was ahead of it’s time, now it still sounds fresh and up to date, powerful and atmospheric. The remastering really does take this album where it should have been and I would rate now amongst their best. I think from the original release this is a massive step up and you realise how good it was, where with Achtung, it was always good, so even the improvements with the remaster do not have the same impact.”

10. October (1981)

“U2’s “OCTOBER” comes in 1981. With the first track, “GLORIA”, it starts off on a good note for certain. I really enjoyed the CD, remastered here, especially the first song “Gloria”, “Fire”, “Tomorrow”, and “October”. The packaging is redone also, great photos and liner notes, picture disc. It sounds better than it has ever been. I would recommend if you really love and enjoy U2’s earlier work. You will be pleasantly surprised at how good the sound is now then it was originally on CD.”

9. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004)

“Many U2 purists feel like this album is a low point for the band, but I’d disagree. This album may not reach the heights of their earlier work, but that doesn’t mean it’s garbage. In fact, I like it better than All That You Can’t Leave Behind, and find only two songs to be not the strongest, but even then, those songs don’t reach the doldrums of Pop or the duds on ATYCLB.”

8. Zooropa (1993)

“I think that Zooropa is U2’s most enjoyable and powerful studio album to date. Unfortunately it is exceedingly difficult to find new on vinyl. I bought this very slightly-used (green vinyl) copy in the absence of genuine new ones. It does sound a bit better than the CD, but unfortunately there is quite a lot of spurious background noise on the early tracks of side 1; this seems to decrease markedly on the later tracks. Whilst this is a little annoying it doesn’t prevent me from enjoying the quirky brilliance of this excellent album.”

See More: Radiohead Albums Ranked

7. Rattle and Hum (1988)

“What can I say about this album? A lot, but I’m not a reviewer for Rolling Stone magazine. I will say this album defined my teenage years growing up in a small, rural town in Georgia, and made me more aware of the issues facing the rest of the world (apartheid, racism, etc.) When I started collecting vinyl again in my 40s, “Rattle and Hum” was at the very top of my want list. I searched my local record stores, but I couldn’t find a copy locally. I saw that Amazon had it for a decent price, so I ordered it. The album arrived in new condition as promised and sounds great. If you are a U2 fan, this album is a MUST HAVE.”

6. All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000)

“Ive always loved this album and really wanted it on vinyl. Ebay prices were through the roof for the original pressing so when I saw the re-release I was ecstatic! This is the best this album has sounded. Much better then the original CD which suffered like most of U2’s offerings, light and bright. This finally sounds wholesome and full. Such a great album that finally is really enjoyable to listen too.”

5. Boy (1980)

“This will always be my favorite album of all time. I was 21 when I bought This and October on the day that October came out. It was a time when New Wave was turning into New Romantics and new ‘rock’ needed rescuing. So along came U2. As is sometimes common with debut albums, this is a ‘greatest hits’ of early U2. Out of Control, Stories for boys, Twilight being the only songs from a catalogue of early singles that were re-recorded with Steve Lillywhite for this album. Other songs like my favorite ‘Electric Co.’ culled from live sets. It was a 5* album at the time making all of the music papers top listings for the year and although now I see Actung Baby as their pinnacle musically I will always go back to the days when this couldn’t leave my turntable or car cassette. Its one of those classic can’t take off albums where each track flows effortlessly into the next and every track gap seems perfectly timed.”

4. The Unforgettable Fire (1984)

“This was the best album U2 ever made. Certainly the last artistic one before the record companies catapulted them to mega stardom. It’s their last and best album that I can listen to without getting nauseous. I did like The Joshua Tree, but radio and commercialism ruined U2 for from then on.”

3. War (1983)

“With this remastering, one of U2’s best albums becomes even better. The remastering gives us a crisper cleaner sound particularly noticeable through much clearer vocals. Every song is improved by this treatment and it is wonderful to hear the lyrics properly on 40, Drowning Man, Sunday Bloody Sunday and the other songs. On “Seconds” Adam Clayton’s bass is emphasised turning this from a fairly dull filler track to a really enjoyable piece. “Drowning Man” is also vastly improved, though, sadly, clearer lyrics can’t really improve the second-rate “Refugee”, “Red Light” and “Surrender”. “

2. Achtung Baby (1991)

“This was the album where U2’s music changed completely. They ceased becoming either a) a post-punk guitar-driven rock band or b) an ambient, atmospheric but occasionally very commercial stadium rock band. What we got now were contemporary, thumping, bassy, often mechanical dance rhythms backed by layers of industrial-sounding fuzzy, buzzy guitars. David “The Edge” Evans’ trademark guitar still cut through occasionally and the Berlin-derived influence of David Bowie’s “Heroes” and bits of Talking Heads’ “Fear Of Music” was all over it as well. It was an intoxicating brew, but often an impenetrable one tailor-made for stadium bombast however, with flashing light systems and increasingly elaborate stage sets. One listen to the opener, “Zoo Station”, confirms that. It’s great though, loaded with Bowie-esque late seventies guitars, weird noises and Cold War atmosphere. The influence of Krautrock bands like Neu! and Kraftwerk were never far away, either, or the “Madchester” scene dance-influenced rock bands like The Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses and The Inspiral Carpets could all claim an influence. U2 were becoming a “dance-rock” band.”

1. The Joshua Tree (1987)

“Many find this the best U2 album. It is unquestionable the success that he made at the time of launch and brings to this day good references. This commemorative edition is more than deserved and the 2 disc with a show of the time presents the fans. All the tracks on the original album are very good and bring great memories of the time. Disc 2 brings almost every track on the live album plus the band’s previous hits in great context. Great! Note 9.5.”