Sitting behind a desk wasn't all it was cracked it up to be for Steve Lillywhite. Well, either that or the chance to produce the next U2 record is one no man in his right mind would pass up. A little of both I'm sure, but either way, Lillywhite has left his role as managing director of Mercury U.K. in favor of once again entering the studio to work with U2. The famed producer, who's worked with such heavyweights as The Rolling Stones, Talking Heads, Morrissey and Dave Matthews, produced U2's first two albums - 1980's Boy and 1981's October. He's also worked on some of the band's more recent releases in a more limited capacity, as he tells Billboard, "I worked on The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby and All That You Can't Leave Behind, but this will be the first time I've really set up the mikes and done everything for a long time."
Lillywhite was brought to Universal U.K. by chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge in 2002 following a long and distinguished career as one rock's top producers.
"I've had two great years, and I've loved a lot of it, but really I wasn't that made out for getting up early in the morning," Lillywhite revealed. "That's 25 years of producing records. I got more and more of an urge to be in the studio, so Lucian and I had a chat and decided it was best that I return to that."