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Podcast U2-Y
Podcast U2-Y


Gareth Averill
U2-Y follows the design story of one of the biggest bands in rock and roll history.It aims to celebrate a unique relationship; The creative partnership between ... More
U2-Y follows the design story of one of the biggest bands in rock and roll history.It aims to celebrate a unique relationship; The creative partnership between ... More

Available Episodes

5 of 7
  • Chapter 6 - The Joshua Tree
    In 1986, a small crew embarked on a three day journey across the stunning landscape in the deserts of California. This was the photoshoot for the upcoming 5th album from U2, then known by its working title of 'The Two Americas'. The Joshua Tree would eclipse everything that came before it. It would become a critically acclaimed and top selling cultural touchstone that still looms large today. With plenty to analyse in the cinematic design and iconic art direction for the sleeve, we come to realise that the personal stories of that journey were as important as the work carried out afterwards. Next week we will publish a conversation from 2017 between Steve Averill and Marc Coleman, former U2 assistant, about their shared memories of being in the desert with U2 in 1986. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
  • Intermission - The Night The Hype Became U2
    We're taking a short break this week, but found something very interesting in Steve's archive and are briefly revisiting the night of March 4th 1978 .. Normal service resumes next week. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
  • Chapter 5 - The Unforgettable Fire
    As U2 forge a hugely successful creative-partnership with production duo Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois on The Unforgettable Fire, the sleeve for the fourth LP brings a set of challenges. The result is a much-loved album cover created in the 11th hour, bringing along with it some controversy and lessons learned. We also discover how The Unforgettable Fire would lay the foundations for what would be their biggest breakthrough record (The Joshua Tree), and how some confusion amongst printers as to what colour 'magenta' actually was. As big a record as The UF was, it ultimately was still the calm before the storm. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
  • Chapter 4 - War
    In the 4th episode of U2-Y, we discuss the album that closes the first trilogy of releases.'War', released in 1983, was a highly respected record, with the design work itself netting Steve a Music Week award, much to his surprise.We discuss how the record that gave us the iconic and potent track, 'Sunday Bloody Sunday', drew its influences from war photography, propaganda and newsprint iconography.We also discuss the link back to the debut album and how the 'Boy' featured on one sleeve, who was once representing innocence, is now a symbol of tragedy.This would also be the first time Steve would work with the great Anton Corbijn. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
  • Chapter 3 - October
    In the 3rd episode of U2-Y, we focus on the difficult second LP, 'October'.This record, both from a sonic and visual point of view, has become the least celebrated of all U2's releases, notably by the band themselves.However, this record is hugely important in establishing U2's honourable desire for creative control and the important of sticking to your guns. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

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About U2-Y

U2-Y follows the design story of one of the biggest bands in rock and roll history.

It aims to celebrate a unique relationship; The creative partnership between designer/art director Steve Averill and the band U2.

This collaboration thrived and endured for over four and a half decades.

Before the sleeves, before any poster or visual ephemera, came the name itself. Steve gave them this name.

'U2'. A letter and a number. We will explore how the name itself became a monolith of design, whether it’s use is dominant or invisible.

Just the 2ofUs.

Steve is guided through the story of his career by his son, giving the series a unique and personal tone.

‘In recent years, I became fascinated by the idea of this creative collaboration enduring for such a long time', Gareth Anton Averill says.

The relationship that my father had with U2 was unique. I recognise this as being one of the longest-running creative relationships in music history, if not any creative or cultural industry.

I believe this is worth exploring and celebrating and asking the question, 'Why?’.

Alongside Steve's personal story, U2Y delves deep into design specifics. Topics discussed include the process of the pre-digital age, early computer-aided design, the advent of the Compact Disc and the explosion of promotional materials.

In essence, U2-Y tells the story of one of the biggest bands in the world from a different perspective; the record sleeve.

From Punk to Pop.

The story begins in 1977 with the Cultural explosion that was punk. Ireland's first punk group, 'The Radiators From Space', founded and fronted by Steve (Rapid), was the catalyst for his connection with U2.

The U2-Y Podcast will examine an album per episode. It begins with the invention of the name, 'U2' itself. It then journeys through each major campaign, up to and including the hyper-vivid years of the Pop album and Pop-mart tour.

Out now:

Episode 1 - Introduction

Episode 2 - Boy

Episode 3 - October

Coming Soon:

May 8th - Episode 4 - War

May 15th - Episode 5 - Unforgettable Fire

May 29th - Episode 6 - The Joshua Tree

TBC - Episode 7 - Achtung Baby

TBC - Episode 8 - Pop

U2's catalogue appears courtesy of Universal Music Publishing.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Podcast website

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