Windmill Lane studios, the Dublin studio where internationally renowned band U2 recorded some of their earliest material, has been razed and demolished over the weekend. The building in which it was located is being rebuilt to assist a local redevelopment project. Redevelopers have gone on the record vowing to “take into account” the site’s history. Although the studio has become known to many as that “U2 studio,” it has also hosted a group of other storied recording artists including R.E.M., The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, and Elvis Costello.
U2 recorded several of their earliest albums in Windmill Lane studios. The band recorded their 1980 debut album Boy, their 1983 War effort, as well as parts of their breakout album, The Joshua Tree, in the studio. The Joshua Tree was critically acclaimed and is credited with earning the band superstar status. Prior to its release, U2 was respected more as a touring group than for their musical efforts.
Brian Masterson opened Windmill Lane studios in the 1970s, and it rapidly brought in some of the biggest names in the industry to record in the studios. In recent years, the studio was moved from the building and relocated to Ringsend, so all that remained at the site was the original building and several graffiti-decorated walls. It has been speculated that the walls will be maintained in the demolition process, though it is unclear if the walls will remain on the site or if they will be sold or donated.
U2 remains a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. The band has released 13 studio albums since their 1980 debut. Most recently, they released their 2014 effort Songs of Innocence, an album that found its way onto iTunes accounts across the world due to a promotional deal with Apple. The band is still recognized for their efforts while playing their music on the road. They have embarked on several international tours including the U2 360 Tour, which took place between 2009 and 2011.
Currently, U2 is gearing up to hit the road again with a new show. The tour, called the Innocence + Experience Tour, is in support of their Songs of Innocence album and will be kicking off on May 14th in Vancouver, Canada. The tour is scheduled to run for 70 dates with stops across North America and Europe. Several stops in Dublin are expected to be announced in the future. The band has yet to comment on the status of Windmill Lane studios.
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