From the beginning, U2 aspired to profound ecstasy. But it took Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. a while to get there. Two of U2's first three albums are undeniable classics: 1980's precociously magnificent Boy for its proudly spiritual optimism in the thick of post-punk nihilism and for the Edge's reveille-treble guitar; 1983's War for its arena-rock muscle tone (honed over three years of touring) and the matured blend of soldier's ardor and pop wile in the singles "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "New Year's Day." But those albums were transitional achievements on the way to the complete victory of The Joshua Tree and U2's brassy Berlin-techno makeover on Achtung Baby, and the second discs in these deluxe reissues — including the rushed, middle runt of the litter, 1981's October — are honest, thoughtfully programmed evidence that, contrary to sainted-teen myth, U2 were as fallible as the next Dublin garage band. They were also too impatient to wait for greatness to come to them. The pre-LP singles on Disc Two of Boy (including early versions of "Out of Control" and "Stories for Boys") are promising but leaden: In the studio, Clayton and Mullen are a backbeat, not yet a rhythm section, and Bono's singing is more passionate than exact. But the band sounds hotter and tougher in Marquee Club takes of "Boy-Girl" and "11 O'Clock Tick Tock," developing a stage power that blooms in the live and BBC-session tracks dominating October's second disc. Those extras make October a fuller experience. And while the original LP, made by a band short on songs and temporarily divided by faith (Bono, the Edge and Mullen had joined a maverick Christian sect), still lacks Boy's rich bravado, "Gloria," "I Fall Down" and Bono's repeated cries of "What am I to do?" in "Rejoice" are exciting in their open-heart despair. In comparison, War is a reunion album, a record of bonded purpose and empathic rock theater. U2 sound like stars, not aspirants, ready for their money shot: the 1983 Red Rocks Amphitheatre video of "Sunday Bloody Sunday." Notably, most of War's bonus tracks are long dance remixes of "New Year's Day" and "Two Hearts Beat As One" — as if the band already can't wait to get to Berlin.
- Universal Distribution
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Around the Web
Men's Journal12 Things Everyone Should Know About Vaginas
Guitar WorldThe 13 Creepiest Album Covers of All Time
Diffuser10 Cover Songs Better Than The Originals
Guitar WorldThe 10 Best Stage Names of All Time
SalonThe 7 Most Offensive TV Shows Of All Time
Men's Journal9 Traits That Attract Women
- Hear Drake Demolish Meek Mill on 'Back to Back' Freestyle
- Meek Mill Fires Back at Drake With 'Wanna Know'
- Flashback: Watch Two Cut Scenes From 'Shawshank Redemption'
- 'Game of Thrones' Will Have Eighth Season, Promises HBO Exec
- Up in the Air: Meet the Man Who Flies Around the World for Free
- Drake Responds to Meek Mill With 'Charged Up' Diss Track
- One Direction Plot Post-Zayn Future With New Song 'Drag Me Down'
- Watch the Edge, Adam Clayton's Shock Performance With U2 Cover Band