I dont know what is exactly factual but i can see many things that are easilly & subjectively referenceable in U2. Actually IMHO that whole wall of guitar sound the edge has and continues to use is rooted in David Gilmour ...a la "run like hell" ... BTW & sorta more on topic, i do think the edge is running loops underneath their 1st top 10 US hit with or without you. but the bite of the edge's style was rooted in joy division ( new order )...which kinda was the majority of english/european style guitar stuff ( bass players included here too. & dig it, adam clayton sounds a lot like peter hook as did all those goth bands such as the sisters, red lory yellow lory, the mission and the fields of the nephillim, etc ; all except bauhaus. @ the time most english/euro bands Bands were simply in the roxy music camp and doing a disco/punk funk thang or more along the lines of the style guitar bands who were just as image conscious but more from a punk perspective ( squeeze and elvis C excluded ). all of that stuff was energetic too but not really that crunching and thunderous, it was rocking and colorful or as sarcastic and as morbid and melodramitic that teeenagers will tend to be. And like a text book, most ( manchester ) bands that came along concurrently with joy div/new order were clearly out of had that similar sound until the stone roses came along. even echo and the bunnymen had the bass and "style guitar" thang. will sargeant did a great and more 60's psychedilc version of bernard sumners phrasings so did robert smith )w/ the big exception of johnny marr say circa late 79-strecthing out to arounddddd.... say 88; it was then that we started the rediscovery of the 60's all over again. But that UK "style geetar stuff" was rooted in bernard sumners style of open string banging ( sharp, angular, jaunty, punctuated, jerky, lots of harmonics ). you could also argue gang of four in the same vein if you wanna be contentious cause they fit the joy div/new order timeline too. groups like the fall, killing joke and wire had more distinction to their sounds in my ears. same can be said with early and i do mean the very early demo album and 1st album from psychedelic furrs. Veering way of topic but related to this whole historical approach thang: The early Public Image Ltd was both groundbreaking and pretentious but never boring or afraid. ( A little prentiousness is sometimes a necessary ingredient and killer if it is used or played with or upon in the right contexts ) Back on to the topic related to what prompted this post : i always saw what eno did for U2 as being an avenue for U2 to embrace traditional rock n roll textures on U2's terms and allowed them to kinda get beyond that niche of what was then called being a "college band" played on college radio. U2 was always played on AOR stations butthey needed a breaktheough in america to get to the next level. Dont know if i am alone but i dont get the rush i used to get from rock n roll anymore and it seems U2 like all other rock n roll bands which are established and not quite ready for retirement ...well they are all trying hard to define themselves in a context that is hardly left breathing anymore. perhaps there may be more room for the loop musician ? somehow I suspect that room is already on the turntables somewhere.