They've been one of the world's biggest rock bands for over 40 years – but U2 frontman Bono is still a tough critic about the group's output.
In a surprising new interview with The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast, Bono admits he's often "embarrassed" by the band's early music – and still doesn't like their iconic band name.
Fellow band member The Edge revealed he wasn't a fan of the band's name at first – to which Bono responded, "I still don't. I really don't. I was late into some kind of dyslexia – I didn't realise that The Beatles was a bad pun either."
"In our head, it was like the spy plane, it was … a U-boat, it was futuristic. But then, as it turned out to imply this kind of acquiescence, no, I don't like that name. I still don't really like the name," he said.
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And he said that to this day he struggles to listen to U2's earlier albums, such as their 1980 debut Boy. While the band sound "incredible" on the record, Bono said his voice in U2's early years was "very strained" and "not macho".
"I've been in a car when one of our songs has come on the radio and I've been the colour of … scarlet. I'm just so embarrassed. I do think U2 pushes out the boat on embarrassment quite a lot," he said.
And it turns out Bono wasn't the only one who had that withering critique of his own voice. He recounted an anecdote in which late Addicted To Love singer Robert Palmer had a quiet word with U2 bassist Adam Clayton in the 1980s.
According to Bono, the crooner said, "God, would you ever tell your singer to just take down the keys a little bit? He'd do himself a favour, his voice a favour, and he'd do us all a favour who have to listen to him."
The Irish rock legend that he feels like he "only became a singer recently" and that "maybe it hasn't happened yet for some people's ears".
Perhaps, but with 175 million records sold worldwide, clearly a lot of U2 fans don't agree.