Music: Mysterious Ways

MAKING RECORDS HAS ALWAYS BEEN MISERY FOR U2. BUT ON HOW TO DISMANTLE AN ATOMIC BOMB, THEY REDISCOVERED THE SECRET: FUSION

U2's Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. realize that much of the world thinks they are criminally lucky. The Edge works out most of U2's melodies on his guitar and Bono writes the bulk of the lyrics, leaving bassist Clayton and drummer Mullen Jr. just a few empty bars to fill and plenty of leisure time. But U2's less famous members are hardly dead weight. In fact, their job is to be live weight--or at least ballast. They are steady, difficult to impress and maddeningly unromantic. "If we're in the studio trying to build the rocket," says Bono, "Edge is under...