U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin formed in 1976. The group consists of Bono (lead vocals and guitar), the Edge (guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). Initially rooted in post-punk, U2’s sound grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music, yet has maintained an anthemic sound. Their lyrics, often embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal themes and sociopolitical concerns. Popular for their live performances, the group has staged several ambitious and elaborate tours over their career.
Label: Island Records
War is the third studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was produced by Steve Lillywhite, and was released on 28 February 1983 on Island Records. The album has come to be regarded as U2’s first overtly political album, in part because of songs like “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “New Year’s Day“, as well as the title, which stems from the band’s perception of the world at the time; Bono stated that “war seemed to be the motif for 1982.”
U2 recorded the album from September–November 1982 at Windmill Lane Studios with Lillywhite producing, the group’s third consecutive album made at the studio with the producer. While the central themes of their earlier albums Boy and October focused on adolescence and spirituality, respectively, War focused on both the physical aspects of warfare, and the emotional after-effects. Musically, it is also harsher than the band’s previous releases. The album has been described as the record where the band “turned pacifism itself into a crusade.”
Opening with the ominous, fiery protest of “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” War immediately announces itself as U2‘s most focused and hardest-rocking album to date. Blowing away the fuzzy, sonic indulgences of October with propulsive, martial rhythms and shards of guitar, War bristles with anger, despair, and above all, passion. Previously, Bono‘s attempts at messages came across as grandstanding, but his vision becomes remarkably clear on this record, as his anthems (“New Year’s Day,” “40,” “Seconds”) are balanced by effective, surprisingly emotional love songs (“Two Hearts Beat as One”), which are just as desperate and pleading as his protests. He performs the difficult task of making the universal sound personal, and the band helps him out by bringing the songs crashing home with muscular, forceful performances that reveal their varied, expressive textures upon repeated listens. U2 always aimed at greatness, but War was the first time they achieved it.
1. Sunday Bloody Sunday (4:38)
2. Seconds (3:09)
3. New Year’s Day (5:38)
4. Like A Song… (4:48)
5. Drowning Man (4:12)
1. The Refugee (3:40)
2. Two Hearts Beat As One (4:00)
3. Red Light (3:46)
4. Surrender (5:34)
5. “40” (2:36)
U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono (lead vocals and guitar), the Edge (guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). U2’s early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music.
Title: The Unforgettable Fire
Label: Island Records
The Unforgettable Fire is the fourth studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was released on 1 October 1984. The band wanted a different musical direction following the harder-hitting rock of their 1983 album War. They employed Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois to produce and assist in experimenting with a more ambient and abstract sound. The resulting change in direction was at the time the band’s most dramatic.
Recording began in May 1984 at Slane Castle, where the band lived, wrote, and recorded to find new inspiration. The album was completed in August 1984 at Windmill Lane Studios. It features atmospheric sounds and lyrics that lead vocalist Bono describes as “sketches”. Two songs feature lyrical tributes to Martin Luther King Jr. The Unforgettable Fire received generally favourable reviews from critics and produced the band’s biggest hit at the time, “Pride (In the Name of Love)“.
Working with producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, U2 created a dark, near-hallucinatory series of interlocking soundscapes that are occasionally punctuated by recognizable songs and melodies. In such a setting, the band both flourishes and flounders, creating some of their greatest music, as well as some of their worst. “Elvis Presley and America” may well be Bono‘s most embarrassing attempt at poetry, yet it is redeemed by the chilling and wonderful “Bad,” a two-chord elegy for an addict that is stunning in its control and mastery.
1. A Sort of Homecoming (5:28)
2. Pride (In the Name of Love) (3:48)
3. Wire (4:19)
4. The Unforgettable Fire (4:55)
5. Promenade (2:35)
1. 4th of July (2:12)
2. Bad (6:09)
3. Indian Summer Sky (4:17)
4. Elvis Presley and America (6:23)
5. MLK (2:31)