It was the cover article in Time magazine about U2 back in 1987 that got me curious about War. The writer repeatedly proclaimed it the band’s best album before The Joshua Tree. Being a neophyte U2 listener at the time, I sought the album, thinking I’d get the same transporting experience I got from The Joshua Tree.
No such luck.
I actually enjoyed Boy way more than War, and it was War that pretty much killed any curiosity I had about October or Under a Blood Red Sky. In short, I blame War for shutting me out of a pretty important part of the U2 repertoire.
But I was 15 at the time and not an experienced listener. Two decades should be enough time for opinion to change, right? I mean, Steve Reich’s Different Trains put me to sleep the first time I listened to it in 1989, but today, I hum along with the piece. Perhaps a remastered release of War in 2008 may reveal nuances I missed the first time.
So I listened to War again. And I still think it’s U2’s most overrated album.
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I had forgotten about this live album till it was reissued in 2008. It’s something of a punctuation mark in the U2 ouvre, a snapshot of a band at the apex of its youthful vigor. I never got around to listening to Under a Blood Red Sky when I was first exploring the U2 discography 20 years ago, and a remastered release was the perfect opportunity.
It has since revised my perspective about the band.
As previously explained, I didn’t get into U2 till far into its career, and my remembrances of the band aren’t as linear as anyone who’s been a fan since day 1 or day 3. I couldn’t take anyone who seriously who couldn’t take The Joshua Tree seriously. But after listening to Under a Blood Red Sky, I can totally understand, if not agree on some level.
Producer Steve Lillywhite does an admirable job capturing the vitality of the then-young rockers in the studio, but Under a Blood Red Sky finds U2 in its best element — on stage. If staples such as "I Will Follow", "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "The Electric Co." felt urgent on record, they became blisteringly so in the arena.
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Hot on the heels of releasing a best compilation, Tommy heavenly6 is set to release a third album on April 29, reports Bounce.com. Details of the album will be announced later, but the release is expected to include both a limited edition first pressing and a regular edition. It’s been two years since the release of Tommy heavenly6’s previous album, Heavy Starr heavenly, and oddly enough, only one single, "PAPERMOON", has preceded the release of this forthcoming album.