Australia’s special relationship with U2
Australia's U2 fans have always had a special relationship with Pride (In The Name Of Love).
Their 1984 hit single, the first taste of their Unforgettable Fire album, currently leads our poll to find out which song Australian fans nominate as their greatest track of their litany of hits.
The song made an immediate impression on fans down under as it was released the day before they kicked off their long-awaited first tour here at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on September 4.
While U2 had originally planned to bring their War tour here in late 1983, they were exhausted after their year-long world tour and headed home to Dublin to begin recording their fourth studio album.
To appease patient fans, they kicked off their Unforgettable Fire world tour - calling it Under Australian Skies - here ahead of the album release with Pride the only new song in the setlist.
U2 hold the record in Australia for the most No. 1 albums having claimed the summit of the ARIA charts on 11 occasions.
They have also enjoyed five No. 1 singles - Desire (1988), The Fly (1991), Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me (1995), Beautiful Day (2000) and The Saints Are Coming with Green Day (2006).
Since ARIA started keeping score of singles and album sales in 1988, the band have accumulated a mammoth 79 platinum and 14 gold accreditations.
That translates to official sales in Australia alone over their four decade recording career of more than six million singles and albums.
One of the freshest songs on the setlist for their opening Joshua Tree concert in Auckland on Friday was Every Breaking Wave from their 2014 record Songs Of Innocence.
Bono revealed that song began its recorded life in Sydney during their Vertigo tour.
"We recorded some of it there, but then it went down the drain for seven years, up the arse, as these things do," he said after their soundcheck on Friday in Auckland.
"But it's such a peach," he said. "A sour peach."
As the band finetune the setlist for their Joshua Tree opening concert in Brisbane, thousands of fans have been immersing themselves in their extensive catalogue of singles and much-loved album tracks and B sides.
Max TV's group program manager Toni Pipicelli has trawled through the band's 72 music videos to curate the Evolution of U2 playlist which will be screened on the channel during the Irish supergroup's Australian visit.
Starting with the beloved I Will Follow from 1980 and rounding out 2017's You're The Best Thing About Me, Pipicelli said the biggest songs naturally hail from the 80s and 90s as U2 established themselves as a supreme live act and pioneered the state-of-the-art technology music fans now expect at a stadium concert.
Watching every video also revealed the band's preferred locations are streets and rooftops.
But she said what became truly obvious as she observed them across the decades was the consistency of their image across four decades.
"Back in the early days, their videos were all about presenting them playing live," she said.
"There are nods to creativity but you always get the sense the video is about the song and the band.
"It is very rare to find a band who knows who they are from the minute you first see them."
Pipicelli nominates Sweetest Thing as her favourite video for its lighter, "goofier" presentation of Bono and the band.
"They're having a bit of fun and it shows that sweet side of the band," she said.
U2 recorded scenes for their Window In The Skies video at Melbourne's iconic Corner Hotel while they were in town for the Vertigo tour.
The Evolution of U2, screens on Foxtel's Max on Thursday at 8pm and on Saturday at 6am.