Thirty Year War

4 Feb 201361

'We knew there was something special there,' recalled Larry. 'We felt we'd finished the songs and done as much on the album as we could possibly do.'

Opening with Sunday Bloody Sunday and closing with "40", it was, said Bono at the time, 'A slap in the face against the snap, crackle and pop'.

 'War', the band's third studio album,  was released in February 1983. It was U2 at their most rhythmic said Adrian Thrills in the NME. 'Their sound is rooted in drummer Larry Mullen's shuddering tub-thumping and bassist Adam Clayton's bewildering percussive patterns. Guitarist the Edge is less dominant than before, the traditional solos of the axe hero superceded by intuitive excursions in tonality and harmonics that put an eerie veneer over the rock solid foundations.'

J D Considine in Rolling Stone concluded  that the songs 'stand up against anything on The Clash's London Calling in terms of sheer impact, and the fact that U2 can sweep the listener up in the same sort of enthusiastic romanticism that fuels the band's grand gestures is an impressive feat.'

Tracks like New Year's Day and Sunday Bloody Sunday  came to define the band's sound for millions and remain live standards today...  but can you remember the second single release, Two Hearts Beat As One, performed in this clip on a TV show deep in the heart of the 1980's?

What is it you love about War?  Was it a beginning or an ending for U2? How would you recommend the album to a teenage or twenty-something fan who wasn't born when it came out?  Complete the following sentence: 'If you like War by U2 you'll also like...'

Add your comments below.

If you can do clever and profound along with concise, post your review of War in less than 140 characters. We'll retweet the best from our @u2com twitter account. #U2WAR30

@u2fanlife New Year's Day + Sunday Bloody Sunday = #U2War The best phrase. Bono: "No more! No More!" #U2WAR30

@maxtsukino And they're doing the atomic bomb / Do they know where the dance comes from? #U2WAR30

@danicr1 It has something special. Something that can't be explained. Rage. Non-conformism. Love. It was an ending and a beginning for U2. #U2WAR30

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Russ Zara
I still love them.....
New Year’s Day was my first U2 song I ever heard. I was 15 years old……. It wasn’t my last. Here I am 30 years later…. Need I say more?
New Year's DayNew Year's DayNew Year's D
New Year's Day CHANGE My Life at 15 : ))) OOPPS ALMOST 30 Years Ago ?? I'm still 15 with U2 and WAR LP ...
War was my intro to U2. New Years Day was the hook. This was music that simply had to be heard and woke me up to my role in the world in which I live. Slap in the face indeed - but graciously so. This was U2 coming of age and ready to stand up and be counted - politics, faith and thumping rock'n'roll. A heady mixture of songs that have stayed with them - and fans - over the last 30 years, albeit reinterpreted constantly (such as Sunday, Bloody Sunday). Meaty.
war zone
Boy was brilliant,October was difficult second album with 3 worthwhile songs,War was the album that temporarily stopped me enjoying their music.Too abrasive,tinny sound,lyrically naive,especially Bloody Sunday.Only New Years Day can be saved from Room 101.On this album the band lost their dreamlike tendency to escape the mundane and embrace hope and grace.The music was simply too abrasive for my ears and had lost the Spirit.
excellent album
New Year's Day is one of my favourite songs...Sunday Bloody Sunday is classic, 40 also...can't forget tracks like Surrender and Seconds...overall War is one of their best albums!
This album was the beginning of my passion for U2. It changed my life and helped bring purpose to my existence. The album is perfect the way it is. As for the younger generation, in my experience, they love the beats. My children grew up with U2. They didn't understand them until they became teens. Now, U2 is one of their favorite bands, too. WOW!
I remember the wrong album in 1983.
I can only remember the live versions of "War" preformed on "Live at the Red Rocks" and watching the concert on MTV. My other memory of War was, a high school classmate of mine came to school wearing a War t-shirt from the concert the night before and saying he just seen the best band in the world. They won't be playing in bars much longer.
Gone a Long Way
I remember when U2 were in Vertigo tour, I also got the War CD. It seemed the songs from HTDAAB, especially “Love & Peace or Else” were some revisiting yet since evolved of those from War. As if there a searching, then finding the way to bring all what is dark and light, finally into the balance.
the most important song of my life
I was 20 when WAR arrived. In those years, the music scene had been getting away from playing actual instruments. I was blown away in February 1983 when an incredible sound arrived on my college radio station, and ever since it has been the perfect parnership of band and audience. New Years Day is the most important song of my life.
changed my life
from the first drumbeat of the opening cut of SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY, my life and spirituality and my outlook on the insanity of life changed forever. Sadly, the songs are still relevant today - meaning the human condition has not changed for the better. SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY still is the best song written. period.
War still rocks pretty hard.
If you like it you will also like REM's Life's Rich Pageant. This article prompted me to listen to War again. It really is a powerful record. References to "USSR, GDR, London, Peking" show its age but the message is still just as powerful as it was in the early '80s. Upon first listen, Two Hearts Beat as One jumped out at me immediately. That is still the case today. Sunday Bloody Sunday and New Year's Day were already known to me when I did hear War for the first and have not gone away; with that said, both are still incredibly strong.
Perhaps my all time favorite...
Powerful, Beautiful, Electric! I was a junior in high school when WAR was released. It was the album that made me discover U2. What great memories! It is still perhaps my all-time favorite U2 album. DROWNING MAN is my all-time favorite U2 song! Incredible!
Loved the track 'Surrender'. The album for me is inextricably linked to the burning torches of Boulder Hill, Denver and the 'blood red sky'. Halcyon U2, if you like. It was the last burning embers of boyish U2.......before they moved on. Classic tracks on this album that didn't get the credit they deserved like 'Refugee', 'Seconds' to name two.
Drowning Man
30 years on, still as good as the first time I heard it...
My young Aunt introduced me... the age of 13 to what she described as a good album from a new band...How could I know that after listening a first time to Aunties "War" album, this "new band" would be my compagnon for the next thirty years ! ..A musical journey through my life...How long to sing their songs !!!??? Congratulations to "War" from Belgium
Reggie Thee Dog
If you like War by U2 you'll also like..
any collection of impassioned rock 'n roll songs. R.E.M.'s 'Reckoning', Rage Against the Machine's first album, Pearl Jam's "Ten" and so on. The lightest song on War is "Two Hearts..." and Bono's singing on that is INTENSE! First U2 album I ever heard from start to finish, and still my all time fave. Heck, I even have a soft spot for the much maligned "Red Light"...U2 at the end of an era, ready to start the new one and take on the World!
Amazing and Spectacular!
My father bought the record. Because i wasn't even born. I was born on February 2nd 2000. My father also introduced me to U2. He made me listen to U2 and I immediately in love. This album is amazing my favourite track is "Seconds" mainly because of Adam's bass playing. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is also nice. This album is spectacular. Point is, this record the whole of it.. Is amazing. I'm just lucky enough to know this band and their records..
U2 is War Sometimes you need War to come to Peace. You have a lot of Wars. The War between Man and Women. The War between U2 and the Vertigo Hunter. The War against Terror? The War against Holy spirit. The war against Fear. Love only can leave this War, only love....... Love and light from the underground of Oldenzaal, does Bono come to sing on 11.02.13 in my Favorite Pub the Hypo to sing a few songs incl. War? Miss You Sugar. Love , Detlev Lassche, Oldenzaal town. By.....I will wait Bono..... ...
Being the first U2 album i bought i thank the stars everyday because if it wasn't for WAR i wouldn't have had a lifetime of pure listening pleasure from the greatest band in the world. Thank you Guys
This WAR is the best
"War" was my favorite album of U2 for a long time, and still remains one of my favorites. Thanks to this I was hooked with the music of U2 and I became a fan!!!
It was before I born but is in my veins!
I really love Bass in this album, is just amazing, And I can´t forget that sunday bloody sunday was the first song that I share with my momm and she totally understood why I love U2 how I do!!!! Love U guys!!!
Great Album
This album is AMAZING, I obviously enjoy the songs "Sunday Bloody Sunday" & "New Years Day", but "40", "Two Hearts Beat as One" or "Like a Song"... Spectacualar
this album got me hooked on u2
I remember listening to new years day for the 1st time back in 83 and i thought,i must buy into this band,30 years later and i still love the band
Past and future.
War is one of the best rock albums ever, and along the lines of "40", I'm greatly wishing and hoping that the band has not scrapped the "Songs of Ascent" project and title. I love the whole idea of a collection that really delves into the spiritual the way 40 and quite a few other U2 songs do.
Make music not "War"
Still love listening to this album. "Surrender" is a very underrated song in the U2 library.
Just like me, If I needed to tell an adolescence to check out the album I would suggest what happened to me: from Horizon to Boy. It was an incredible journey because I was a huge fan of Beutiful Day and Vertigo and Unknown Caller, and when I went back in time by checking the special editions and went through War, it was like wow! this is what Sunday and New Year sounded like at the beginning. So I would say If you like War by U2, you'll also like Boy and October. In my very own case was the fact that I had gone through certain experiences and I've acquired more knowledge and that helped me understand--from my own point of view--what Bono and the boys wanted to express. And the video, my a great memento.
A Defining Record... That Spoke Of A Po
Post Live Aid immersion of U2’s back catalogue revealed an intense record shouting protest, hope, & surrender, with a rhyme about an unexploded atomic bomb!
Awesome record
'If you like War by U2 you'll also like...' The Joshua tree. both of those albums full of energy and sound but so different as well. songs like sunday bloody sunday and bullet the blue sky although rythmiclly ones faster and ones slower both have to do with war and how it effects people all over the world. new years day and where the streets have no name. two songs both yearning for something out there love them both. two albums that sum up u2 in the 1980s for me.
manon amos
How I discovered U2's Music!
I fell in love with U2 with War's "New Year's Day" 30 years ago. I discovered rock with a cause and I could dance! 40 is the new 30!
Still love Adam's bassline to this.
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