Pop is the ninth studio album by Irish rock band U2, released in March 1997. The album was a continuation of the band's 1990s reinvention, as they pursued a new musical direction by combining alternative rock, techno, dance, and electronica influences. The album employs a variety of production techniques relatively new to U2, including sampling, loops, programmed drum machines, and sequencing.
Recording sessions began in 1995 with various record producers, including Nellee Hooper, Flood, Howie B, and Steve Osborne, who were introducing the band to various electronica influences. At the time, drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. was inactive due to a back injury, prompting the other band members to take different approaches to songwriting. Upon Mullen's return, the band began re-working much of their material but ultimately struggled to complete songs. After the band allowed manager Paul McGuinness to book their upcoming 1997 PopMart Tour before the album was completed, U2 were rushed into completing the album. Even after delaying the album's release date from the 1996 Christmas and holiday season to March 1997, U2 ran out of time in the studio and the final product was not to their liking. Since the album's release, many of its songs have been re-recorded and remixed.
Although it reached #1 in 35 countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, Pop's lifetime sales are among the lowest in U2's catalogue, and critical reaction was mixed. Pop was certified Platinum by the RIAA on 5 May 1997.