By Hollis James

10. When your lead singer looks like Robin Williams, how cool can your band be?

9. “Hey, Edge, how can we possibly make the Bataan death-march ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’ even more interminable?”
“Hmmm…. Oh, I know, Bono, how about a really long guitar intro?”
When you first hear this song’s repititious-2-note guitar intro vomit out of a dive-bar jukebox at 3AM on a Monday night and realize the audio punishment that you’re about to hear, this song has a way of making "Bohemian Rhapsody" seem like the "By Mennen" jingle.

8. When a band’s groupies’ waistlines are expanding even quicker than those of the band they worship, it’s time to end the whole non-sexy charade.

7. No offense to Steve Lillywhite—and the SEVEN other lesser producers listed on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb album—but after fourteen albums, shouldn’t you have the balls (and brains) to produce yourself?

6. When a band comes from a country whose greatest freedom fighters tend to blow themselves up, and they still name an album How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, one can’t help but be a little skeptical.

5. Some artists' transformations (both aesthetic and artistic) capture a rare moment when they boldly mark a line in the sand between who they were and who they have become—David Bowie's transformation into Ziggy Stardust, Bob Dylan going electric, John Lydon becoming Johnny Rotten, then becoming John Lydon again—rare moments worth noting both in a band's career and in our listening lives. Adam Clayton switching from glasses to contacts is not one of them.

4. It’s pathetic when a band is less charismatic than the Memphis studio in which they're jamming. Perhaps this is why Rattle & Hum makes Death Wish 5 look like Citizen Kane. At least the film occasionally borders on comedy, such as the live concert moment when Bono ends his extemporaneous rap about Desmond Tutu and tells Edge to “play the blues,” and then Edge plays something that, well, is about as bluesy as sharing tea and cucumber sandwiches on the settee with both Merchant & Ivory.

3. Remember when you were a kid and would request rock albums on your Christmas list that your parents refused to buy you? Well, Junior, rock albums should be on every parent’s shit list. Instead, U2 are not only mother- but also grandmother-approved. And you can hear why. Musically speaking, if Iggy Pop is Richard Pryor, U2 is Soupy Sales.

2. When asked to compose the theme for Marin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, U2’s resultant ethnocentrically self-serving, obvious and schmaltzy "The Hands That Built America," should have spurred all Hollywood directors and producers compiling soundtracks to start building signs reading, "No Irish Need Apply."

1. Although hard to choose, the band’s nadir must have been when they gleefully jammed (via satellite) with Dana Carvey’s Garth character on 1992’s MTV Music Awards, performing (ironically) "Even Better Than the Real Thing." You know, U2 pilots during the Cold War were issued a “suicide needle” so they would be afforded the chance to off themselves in case their mission failed. I’m just saying….