Re: Music by U2, lyrics by Bono--why?

Robbie Robinson ([email protected])
Tue, 07 Jul 1998 20:49:42 -0700

David J Marbaugh wrote:
> I'm new to the list but I have a question that has plagued me for some time
> now. Why in the credits is it often printed, "Music by U2, lyrics by Bono"?
> Is it a legal thing? I know Lennon and McCartney did it, and countless other
> continue to do it. But to me, it seems that even if the singer writes the
> lyrics in his or her hotel room, the entire band should be credited with the
> song. I know many guitarists come up with riffs sitting on the Edge of their
> bed, and yet the music is credited to the entire band.
> Help my confusion...

As I understand it, everything, including the songwriting royalties
is split equally among the band members and manager. They decided
on that at the very beginning so that there would be no future
financial arguments that would threaten the bands existence.
What it say on the albums is only recognition that Bono writes
about 98% of the lyrics. The music is attributed to the band as
a whole because the way that they ususally wirte the music makes
it almost impossible to trace who came up with what. Usually
Edge or Bono will come up with the basic melody, but after that
it can change in many ways once the band starts jamming on it.
If you haven't read Flanagan's book "U2 at the End of the World"
it can give you a lot of insights in how the band works in the


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