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From rock ego to alter-ego: 25 years on, U2’s ‘Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me’ should finally get the credit it deserves

It confounded fans and critics alike, but Ed Power argues that the song, which brought Bono’s MacPhisto character to life, represents a fateful fork in the road for the band

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U2 frontman Bono as Macphisto

U2 frontman Bono as Macphisto

U2 frontman Bono as Macphisto

By the summer of 1995, there was one question U2 couldn’t get out of their heads: why so serious? 

Bono and the boys had already completed the first leg of their journey from dour stadium preachers to neon-soaked satirists with the $150 million-grossing ‘Zoo TV’ tour, which had criss-crossed the globe from February 1992 to December 1993. Now the Dubliners were about to go one step further. They would do so by lending their name to the ultimate symbol of pop culture tackiness: a superhero movie.


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