U2 has a charismatic leader without portfolio for a singer, an idiot savant for a guitarist, and about the strongest rhythm section you can imagine. Distinctive and impressive today, they started out scruffy and rather anonymous. … U2 grew up in the 70s watching bombast replace emotion, ritual replace thought, and pretension replace meaning. They watched, that is, rock ’n’ roll becoming stupid and careless, and resolved not to be a part of it. ¶ I know what you’re thinking: so they’re punks. But what’s interesting about U2 is that they aren’t punks, never were.

Bill Wyman, “U2: the grace of another time” (1992)