Boy was the first of three albums to be produced by Steve Lillywhite and was released in October 1980. The original sleeve featured the 'boy' Peter Rowan but Warner Bros, fearing controversy, released a different album cover in North America, featuring a stretched and distorted picture of the band. Other releases of note around the world included the original 12" vinyl of Boy in Japan - withdrawn after a few months and re-issued on the Polystar label. In several countries, Boy was also re-issued on 5" CD in April 1995 as part of the Island Master series. This Island Masters re-issue featured higher quality paper and extra pictures from the original LP's inner sleeve. On the heels of the UK and Ireland release of Boy, in Sweden they released a limited blue vinyl pressing, with identical sleeves and catalog number to the UK edition.
Boy was voted Best Album, Best Debut Album, and Best Album Sleeve in the Hot Press Irish National Poll Results. It peaked at No. 52 on the UK album charts and No. 63 on the US album charts. In the US, it was certified platinum by the RIAA.
A digitally remastered edition of Boy was released in 2008.
'Boy was a retrospective of U2 over two years - the end of our adolescence...What we were looking for in Boy was a sort of cinema sound, panavision - really textured and big, like a huge screen in a cinema.'
'Going back through the early stuff, nothing really horrified me. Particularly on Boy, I can hear a bit of the Banshees and The Buzzcocks and some hint of The Skids, as well as - ha ha - some wildly original ideas of our own... The shocking thing is that well before we had a right to, we had this belief that we would become a very succesful band. From the beginning Adam never doubted that we would make it big.'
Edge speaking to Q Magazine, December 1998
'The first thing we recorded together was A Day Without Me, which we thought was pretty good then. But when you listen back to it, it's probably quite childish, but everyone seemed to like it so I was asked to do their first album....
Everyone was in such a good frame of mind, ideas would just flow. All the silly noises on I Will Follow in the middle section, me and Bono...I'll always remember this...Bono was breaking bottles in the back and I had a push-bike upside down on its saddle, turning the wheels and running a knife along the spokes...'
Steve Lillywhite, producer