The Joshua Tree - "from heroes to superstars" - Rolling Stone
The Police introduced a defining decade in rock music - the 1980s. U2, amongst many others, shaped the 1980s into a rock music history book.
I chose "Where the Streets Have No Name" especially because the lyrics have a sense of a story to tell. I am not one to analyze music down to a song's foundation. I am, however, one to appreciate the impact a song has on society. Religion, society, and politics drive Bono's lyrics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bono).
The tone behind Bono's musical words coincide with the tone he brings as an activist in Africa (same Wikipedia source).
I have no other recollection of a band telling such profound words in one song at a time that leads to unheard of success.
I have no other recollection of a band sharing powerful opinions one song at a time that leads to global recognition.
U2 - Hero, Superstar, Honor