When most people think about U2, it’s Bono and The Edge. They’re the face and in many ways the spirit of the band.
But Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen have served as the backbone and rhythm section of the band since the lads formed back in the late 1970s. And although Bono and The Edge get most of the attention, Clayton and Mullen can stake a claim Bono and The Edge can’t counter: they’re one-hit wonders.
Their contribution to the one-hit wonder canon is a 1996 instrumental from a little movie titled Mission: Impossible that starred some obscure actor named Tom Cruise. As of mid-2011, Mission: Impossible has grossed more than $450 million at the box office worldwide. The Tom Cruise star power still works and the latest chapter of Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol or Mission: Impossible IV will reach theaters in December 2011, just in time for the holiday movie season.
Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen aren’t slated to participate in the film or the soundtrack. But their techno/electronic take on the classic Mission: Impossible theme was a massive hit in 1996, reaching #7 on the Billboard Top 40 and transforming Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, U2’s bass player and drummer, into legitimate one-hit wonders.
Listen to Theme from Mission: Impossible by Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen
Not sure how becoming a one-hit wonders squares for guys whose day job is working as half of the biggest band in the world. U2 is so big they’ve sold more than 150 million records. They have 2 number-one songs, 6 top-10 hits and 16 top 40 hits. And that’s in the United States alone.
By contrast, “Theme from Mission: Impossible” by Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen sold only a paltry 500,000+ copies.
For many artists, that’s a career. For Clayton and Mullen, it’s just another day at the office.
Buy Theme from Mission: Impossible by Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen
Filed under: 1990s · Tags: 1996, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, instrumental one hit wonder, movie one hit wonder, movie soundtrack, movie soundtrack one-hit wonder, movie theme, Movies, Theme from Mission: Impossible, U2