U2: War CD Track Listing

A list by checkmate

U2 War (1983)
War (West German ''Target'' Pressing)\n\nOriginally Released February 28, 1983\nCD Edition Released \nMobile Fidelity CD Edition Released January 12, 1993\n\nAMG EXPERT REVIEW: 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 became 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. -- Stephen Thomas Erlewine\n\nAmazon.com essential recording\nThe final album of U2's early period, before the group broadened its sonic palette and lyrical vision, War is a brilliantly conflicted album, sounding martial and majestic while its very purpose is to tear down false idols propped up by politics. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "40" take the subject of Ireland's troubles head-on, while it's the subtext of "New Year's Day," which is about a sundered love relationship symbolic of a greater division. "Torn in two, we can be one," Bono pleads, as Edge's guitar scratches and snarls behind him. Songs such as "Two Hearts Beat as One" and the delicate "Drowning Man" take a back seat here, but they help make War a compelling and well-rounded album. --Daniel Durchholz \n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nWAR Scores, October 1, 2004\nReviewer: Richard B. Luhrs (Jackson Heights, NY United States)\nAn indisputable rock classic, WAR was U2's first "big" album. It gave the band a huge international following, and effectively cleared the field of any serious competition for the post-punk throne. With its fervent political commentary, poppish sensibilities, killer hooks and vague nods to world music, it also served in many ways as the band's blueprint for the remainder of the '80s. Henceforth U2 would become a social as well as a musical phenomenon, its overt dedication to various headline-grabbing causes alternately complementing, combatting and at times even eclipsing the quartet's artistic accomplishments. Whether you love or hate U2, chances are WAR has a lot to do with why you feel that way. \nWith a pseudo-martial drum statement now nearly as familiar as the opening lick of "Satisfaction," "Sunday Bloody Sunday" starts the proceedings off in typically absolute fashion. One may choose to read this angry song as either a celebration or condemnation of the Irish nationalist cause - or neither, which probably makes the most sense - since the lyrics, for all their earnestness, are a good deal more ambiguous than the spare and sharp music behind them. So easily does U2 pull of this transformation into explicit topicality, however, that it's rather surprising to think it took the band until its third album to begin addressing political issues so directly. \n"Seconds" expands on this new, socially conscious side of U2, with The Edge sharing vocal duties for a strangely catchy number about atomic bombs, power brokers and the eternal possibility of instant annihilation for others' mistakes. in lesser hands the message would undoubtedly sound rather clumsy - the names of countries and capitals are tossed out like buckshot, with the stark assurance that in all of them "It's the puppets who pull the strings" - but then as now, Bono found ways to make profound truths sound as obvious as they really ought to, while his bandmates drove those truths home with fully realized, no-nonsense arrangements. \n"New Year's Day," another classic track, may be the album's strongest song. The haunting piano figure which underpins the melody sounds as distinctive today as it did twenty-one years ago, while the lyrics cleverly alternate the woes of lost love with grander and more threatening sorrows. "Like a Song," on the other hand, shows that Bono's penchant for bombast started early. Having apparently run out of specific gripes, he here takes aim at just about everything and everyone, getting downright silly by the end. "Drowning Man" sounds like earlier U2, a droning number complete with violin, which only brings home how much Steve Lillywhite cleaned up the band's sound for this album. As much as U2 itself, he is responsible for WAR's greatness. \n"The Refugee," my personal favorite track here, combines thundering percussion and heavily processed guitar in a portrait at once harrowing and humorous. "Two Hearts Beat As One," another single, is one of the band's stronger early love songs. "Red Light" goes a bit over the top with its blasting trumpets and girl backup singers, but "Surrender" makes extremely effective use of the latter in its huge chorus and extended ending. "40" closes the album on its softest and most profound note, with Biblical lyrics perfectly summing up the catalogue of ups and downs presented over the preceding forty minutes. For all of those ups and downs, WAR is justly famed, and an essential addition to any serious rock music collection. \n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nU2's first declaration of protest occurred here., January 13, 2004\nReviewer: Distant Voyageur "Nicholas Computer" (Io)\n \n1983's "War" is remember as the album where U2 saw their status as a formidable force come to fruition and with good reason. This album is absolutely incredible and was a great commercial leap forward from their previous two albums. It was where they had their first major hit "Sunday Bloody Sunday" followed by the eerie and enigmatic "New Year's Day" both of which are not only amazing but have defied the passing years and are still powerful anthems for the 21st century amidst the turbulent era we're going through right now. The band brings forth an album that has a very pure and powerful expression of political expressions, pure fury and a desperation that is not seen on any album of theirs since then. "War" in a lot of ways has a unique appeal against their latter albums because most of the music on this album has a very raw and live audio quality to it like as if they recorded the music right out of the living room and straight onto tape. \nFor a long time, "War" may have been the soundtrack to a past time of turbulence and international turmoil but now with the war-machine going on like a previous reviewer stated, "War" has regained a great deal of it's chilling power and could help save us from the injury of a war mongering leadership. The album cover alone gets my nod as one of the scariest but most riveting album covers of all time. The expression is very unsettling like telling of something dangerous or horrible that has or will happen if we do nothing to stop it from occurring. \n\nThe two hit songs off this album are not only the most well-known but also among the best on this album. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is a very chilling but highly imaginative track with a very raw, live feel and a much younger Bono bringing forth some of the greatest vocals I've ever heard from him. The music itself is really amazing, being something that is so raw and relatively unpolished in production. In this way, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is a really great song that benefits from the rawness of its sound. This was one of my first exposures to U2's music. "New Year's Day" gets my nod as the greatest song of U2's early period. This is a really powerful and sometimes scary song aobut the eeriness of a possible silence before or after a major event, either good or bad based on the lyrical line "All is quiet on New Year's Day". Those distant echoing piano riffs that dominate the track are absolutely hypnotizing and give the song a very chilling and enigmatic feel that rivals the atmospherics of "The Unforgettable Fire" but through a different light. I don't find much satisfaction with the shortened radio edit version with the rock guitars fading out and prefer the full-length version with the echoing pianos rounding out the track. The third but minor hit is/was "Two Hearts Beat As One". This is a very upbeat and joyous song. \n\nSome of the non-singles though are worth mentioning also. "Like A Song" is almost like two songs in one. It starts with pulsating drums and a haunting guitar riff and becomes a very intense and compelling song. The last minute of the song becomes a very menacing and sometimes scary melody with the drums becoming loud and pounding and the melody becoming a minor note before fading out. My favorite song though of the non-singles is the fifth track called "Drowning Man". This is a very moving and powerful song with a very downbeat vibe and a highly protesting mood to it. I love the acoustic 12-string guitars that dominate the middle of the song. "Surrender" is a really hauntingly beautiful song with a mix of rock and some atmospherics that give the song a distant and remote feel to it. I completely disagree with someone saying that it's too long. It's just about perfect at its five and a half minute length. "Red Light" is a very interesting song starting with a haunting female chorus and melting into an edgy and somewhat jazz-oriented song. \n\nThe last song "40" is pretty good too but it's not a whole lot to write home about and feels more like a leftover from the "October" era recording sessions. \n\nU2 have carried on since then to create better albums but "War" is Pretty much the album where they first reached their status as a musical tour de force. With their next album "The Unforgettable Fire" the following, they built on the greatness of this album and created their best album alongside "Achtung Baby" seven years after that but do not let those two albums overshadow "War". "War" is a really well-rounded album and incredible for such a raw and sometimes undercooked album and the instability in Ireland around 1983 that this album brings to light gives this album a sense of power not seen on their other albums, even on those that are overall better than this one. This is a definite must-have album and should not be passed up.\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nTruth-in-Packaging Violation!, April 23, 2003\nReviewer: A music fan\nTake a long, hard look at this album. It is called simply "War". Its cover is a black-and-white close-up of a young boy's face. His eyes are furious, his lips bruised, his arms twisted behind his head as though he is being arrested or lined up to be shot. His gaze confronts you dead-on: haunted, violated, yet utterly defiant. This could be an image torn from a headline about Palestine, Bosnia, Ulster. Its stark power reminds you of the cover of Rage Against the Machine's debut, or any of a hundred punk albums. Just imagine its impact in the days of 12" vinyl.\nYou put the CD on, expecting music just as ragged, explosive, and enraged. Or, at the very least, as tensile and crisp as U2's previous albums. And what do you hear?\n\nProbably not what star producer Steve Lillywhite heard when U2 first played this material for him. I envy him the experience, just as I envy the Asiatics who first crossed the Prehistoric ice-bridge over the Bering Strait to the New World. Imagine the floral sweetness of its air, the purity of its rivers and springs, the untamed glory of its terrain. Buried in the stinking, toxic, prefab hellhole America is fast becoming you can still catch glimpses (between plumes of diesel smoke and video billboards) of the virile beauty of that vanished land.\n\nSimilarly, under Lillywhite's mincing female choirs and saccharine orchestral swill you can sense the crack songwriting and killer riffs of a great album. What happened? Did Steve have a little chat with the boys about unit shifting: "Here, lads, Celtic fervor is all well and good, but if we want to crack America we're going to have to go with the whole poncey, overcooked Britpop thing...." It's not just that he diluted their power to the consistency of Harp Export; he also amputated their originality in favor of trendy mush-rock. (Notice that the only track with any raw force to it, "The Refugee", was produced by Bill Whelan.) For every bracing gem like "Sunday Bloody Sunday" there's a swamp-creature like "Surrender" or "Red Light" with backing tracks slathered on with a trowel and tarted up with a big, pink powder-puff. "Drowning Man" is right; that's what the whole album should've been called. And man oh man, does it ever sound dated now....\n\nNone of this would matter so much, but the album's pencil-necked production turns its theme (or, rather, Crusade) into a joke. How are we supposed to believe anything these bleating popmeisters have to say about the harshness of conflict? The irony is that the band *is* passionate, *is* sincere, and is completely right about warfare, nationalism, the nuclear arms race, all of it. It's just that with these lyrics and this sound, you don't want to give a toss.\n\nAds for this disk in 1983 exhorted us to "Join the war against boring music." Many underground songs of the time were like turbid roller-coaster rides; "War" feels more like being smothered in damp, rose-scented hankies. Not exactly boring, but a far cry from that album cover, you know?\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nA Young Vandal Turns Me On To U2 (She Hate Me), April 14, 2003\nReviewer: James F. Colobus (Pittsburgh, PA United States)\nI got into U2 back in high school at least partly because of a girl who hated me. Her name was Jenny and the two of us mixed like oil and water. Jenny was a good friend of several of my close female friends so I was always around her despite our mutual antipathy. Part of the problem was that in ninth grade I had accidentally discovered that Jenny was responsible for a recent incident of vandalism in which the phrases "Nam Sucked" and "Free Nelson Mandela" had been spray painted in large white letters across the front of our beloved high school. Jenny became paranoid that I would turn her in to school authorities and began to make my life miserable with threats of physical violence of a most unpleasant nature.\nYou might suspect that Jenny cut an imposing figure, but she was actually short, pale, and thin. She did, however, have an alarming affinity for spending her free time cutting and burning herself, hobbies which allowed her to achieve a sinister aura despite her diminutive stature. To avoid harassment from teachers at school, Jenny covered up the damage wrought by knife and flame by regularly donning a studded black leather jacket featuring the word "Siouxsie" etched on the back with what appeared to be white-out. Three musical artists mattered to Jenny - one you can already guess, the other two were Kate Bush and U2. Now, I had little interest Siouxsie and the Banshees or Kate Bush, but U2 seemed a little more compelling. I'd heard "New Year's Day" on the radio and found it utterly entrancing. As much as I disliked Jenny, I had to admit she might be onto something. I discussed this hunch with my friend, Chris, and he seemed to be of like mind. In fact, he went so far as to pick up U2's War and a few weeks later kindly leant it to me. \n\nFrom the first drumbeats of "Sunday Bloody Sunday", I was hooked. After several years of happily listening to great songs without much lyrical substance from albums like Van Halen's Fair Warning and Boston's Boston, War was the first overtly political album I'd heard and I loved it. Whereas Fair Warning made me want to chase girls and Boston made me want to learn to play guitar, War gave me the urge to change the world or at least be more informed about what was going on in it. Even if you completely ignore the lyrics on War, the anthemic sound of many of these songs just makes them feel important. In hindsight, although The Joshua Tree moved more units and Boy was a better overall album, no album represents what U2 were all about in the 1980s better than War. Songs like "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "Seconds", "New Year's Day", "Like A Song" and "The Refugee" touch both mind and heart.\n\nAfter War, Jenny felt U2 began to lose the faith. I'll never forget how betrayed she felt by The Joshua Tree, which was released at a time of even greater social upheaval than usual for Jenny. Her torrid affair with a 25-year old Marine was coming to a close and she had begun looking forward to college at Columbia where she would come to embrace the love that dare not speak its name. New York appeared to agree with Jenny and from what I've heard, she became far less angsty and self-destructive once she arrived there. After a brief stint in grad school at Vanderbilt, Jenny dropped out to toil in the health food industry, met the love of her life, and got married in the Pacific Northwest. Since we certainly don't keep in touch, your guess is as good as mine as to whether Jenny ever pulls out her early U2 albums or how she feels about All That You Can't Leave Behind which in some ways represents a return to U2s early sound. Call me crazy, but I'm kind of curious to know.\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nOne of U2's Greatest!!!, July 10, 1998\nReviewer: A music fan\n'War' is U2's third major album and it is reknowned as the album which made the band's presence known in America. In 'War' U2 has regained most of the vigor of 'Boy' (their debut record and most energetic), retained the complexity of their second album, 'October' while adding thoughtfullness and rage. As a result, 'War' is U2's most pensive album to date. \nEach song on the record reminds us of the self-destructiveness of society. The first song, 'Sunday, Bloody Sunday' borrows its name from two Irish massacres, and it is frequently mistaken as a 'rebel' song. Yet, when one analyzes the lyrics, it delivers a plea for the end of the continuous violence in Northern Ireland, and the world. The following song, 'Seconds' (Bono rests his voice here and The Edge takes the lead on this one.), sings of the horrors of nuclear warfare and acknowledges how quickly it could all end - literally in 'seconds'. 'New Years Day' emphasizes the grim circumstances of war and hope's rapid rate of deterioration. 'Like A Song...' contains allusions to the Irish Civil War and reflects the reluctance to participate in another conflict again. 'Drowing Man' is the tale of a dying man struggling to reunite with his love. The fast-paced 'The Refugee' tells two stories of a young woman ready to leave her homeland and of a young man enthusiastic about fighting although not knowing exactly why. \n\nDespite the preceeding melancholy songs, 'Two Hearts Beat as One' talks of the bewilderment of love and 'Red Light' speaks of the confused nature of a relationship. 'Surrender' sings of giving into change and the album ends on a rather optomistic note with "40" (based on Psalm 40). \n\nIn the eyes of any U2 fanatic 'War' would be considered one of the finest masterpieces they have ever produced. Bono's singing, The Edges signature guitar method, Adam Clayton's bass technique and Larry Mullen Jr.'s militant styled drumming are all at one of their heights in 'War'. No U2 collection is complete without the! edition of 'War'.\n\nROLLING STONE REVIEW\nFrom the start, it was clear that U2 could create impressive music. The jagged guitar riff and thundering drone that launched "I Will Follow" and the rest of their 1981 debut album, Boy, was eloquent and visceral. It was also musically uncomplicated; these four young Dubliners had an instinctive sense for making the most out of simple shifts in dynamics and elementary voicings, and it gave their sound a rough, exhilarating grandiloquence. The only problem was that once U2 caught a listener's attention, they had little to say. Boy waxed poetic on the mysteries of childhood without really illuminating any of them; October, its successor, wrapped itself in romance and religion but didn't seem to understand either. Without a viewpoint that could conform to the stirring rhythms and sweeping crescendos of their music, U2 often ended up sounding dangerously glib.\n\nWith their third album, War, U2 have found just such a perspective, and with it, have generated their most fulfilling work vet. War makes for impressive listening, but more important, it deals with a difficult subject in a sensible way. That subject is the sectarian strife in Northern Ireland, or what the Irish call "the troubles." U2 are not the first group to play soldiers with this topic: Belfast's Stiff Little Fingers have dealt with the problem explicitly, the Clash somewhat more obliquely. But no one has caught the paradox between stance and action so accurately.\n\n"Sunday Bloody Sunday," which opens the album, apparently addresses Bloody Sunday, a 1972 incident in which British paratroopers killed thirteen civilians in an illegal civil-rights demonstration in Londonderry. As an acoustic guitar and a sizzling hi-hat build tension, vocalist Bono Vox sings. "I can't believe the news today...." The band slips into some lush, sustained chords as he wonders, "How long? How long must we sing this song?" then jumps back into a militant, jagged dance beat.\n\nIt's great drama, and it lends a certain amount of credence to the song's wistful chorus, "Tonight, we can be as one. Tonight!" But Vox tips his hand when he sings the urgent disclaimer. "I won't heed the battle call It puts my back up, puts my back up against the wall." What Vox and the band are saying, then, is that it's pointless to take irresponsible risks when confronting irresponsible authority -- but one must still take some sort of stance.\n\nUnlike the Clash, who wrestle with imperialist foreign policy, or the Gang of Four, who try to transfer a Marxist dialectic to the dance floor, U2 don't pretend to have the answers to the world's troubles. Instead, they devote their energies to letting us know that they are concerned and to creating an awareness about those problems. And not only is that refreshing, but it makes sense, because U2 understand that it's the gesture, not the message, that counts.\n\nComplementing U2's lyrical growth is a newly developed dark sense of humor, which the band uses to striking effect throughout the album. "Seconds," for example, opens with a sleepy funk riff driven by a cheerful toy bass drum. It's a pleasant juxtaposition, but as the song's subject matter becomes clear -- the insanity of nuclear blackmail, where, as Bono Vox puts it, "the puppets pull the strings"--you realize that this jolly noisemaker is no more an innocent plaything than is the one in Gunter Grass' The Tin Drum. Similarly, "New Year's Day" includes the wisecrack, "So we are told, this is a golden age Gold is the reason for the wars we wage" -- a remark far wiser than it at first seems.\n\nYet War isn't all jaded ideals and sour wit, for as Bono Vox makes his pronouncements, his vocalize reveals the full flower of U2's melodic abilities. In between the bitter humor of "Seconds," he breaks into joyous flights of wordless melody, his voice soaring in multitracked polyphony over the song's slippery rhythms. "Surrender" is lighter still, thanks to its airy melody and the Edge's coolly sustained guitar. In fact, this song is the one instance where the music says more than lyrics ever could, because hearing Vox' blissful tenor floating over the backing vocals (courtesy of Kid Creole's Coconuts) is a better definition of "Surrender" than anything in Webster's.\n\nGenerally, the album's musical strengths are largely the product of well-honed arrangements and carefully balanced dynamics. Even as the Edge spins increasingly sophisticated guitar lines, he maintains the minimalist bluntness that sparked Boy. And while bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. have swung to more dance-oriented rhythms, their songs hurtle along with the sort of brusque purposefulness more frequently associated with punk.\n\nU2 may not be great intellectuals, and War may sound more profound than it really is. But the songs here 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. For once, not having all the answers seems a bonus. (RS 392 - Jan 22, 1997)\nJ.D. CONSIDINE
This country cd contains 10 tracks and runs 42min 11sec.
Freedb: 7809e10a


: Music



  1. U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday (04:40)
  2. U2 - Seconds (03:10)
  3. U2 - New Year's Day (05:35)
  4. U2 - Like A Song... (04:46)
  5. U2 - Drowning Man (04:14)
  6. U2 - The Refugee (03:40)
  7. U2 - Two Hearts Beat As One (04:03)
  8. U2 - Red Light (03:46)
  9. U2 - Surrender (05:34)
  10. U2 - ''40'' (02:35)

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