Thursday, November 7, 2013
U2 - Under A Blood Red Sky
The eight tracks were drawn from three 1983 concert recordings: Boston from May 6th, Red Rocks in Colorado from June 5th, and Sankt Goarshausen in Germany from August 20th.
Side one begins with “Gloria”, from 1981’s October. The Red Rocks crowd really gets into chanting along on the bridge.
“11 O’Clock Tick Tock”, from the 1979 EP “Three”, is the sole track from the Boston show. I like how producer Jimmy Iovine edited the crowd cheering to make a seamless transition from the first track. One of my favorite parts is when the guitars simulate the on-the-hour chiming of a large clock tower.
“I Will Follow”, also from 1980’s Boy, peaked at number 81 on the US Billboard Hot 100 as a single. The energy on this performance is through the roof, taking this bouncing rhythm song to even greater heights.
“Party Girl”, a 1982 single B-side, is one of those tracks that I was not very familiar with until this album.
Side two starts with “Sunday Bloody Sunday” from 1982’s War (click here for that review). I have always liked the live version of this one as it happens to be my favorite track from the record.
Also from Boy, “The Electric Co.” features reverberating guitars in abundance. The song is about the use of shock therapy as a treatment by psychiatrists. Many of the later pressings of the album feature an edited version of the song (cut down by twenty seconds) that removed Bono‘s singing of a snippet of “Send In the Clowns“.
“New Year’s Day”, from War, is up next. The Edge switches from guitar to piano on this one then back again.
On this recording of War’s “40”, the Edge took over the bass while Adam Clayton switched to guitar. I like how it ends with the crowd singing the chorus after the band has left the stage.
I remember when Under A Blood Red Sky came out during my freshman year of college. In fact, I am pretty sure it was one of my earliest exposures to U2 as the record was very popular around campus. I recall listening to it late one night with a girl I had met at a party earlier in the evening; she was a big fan.
For my review of 1987’s The Joshua Tree, click here.