Boy October War Reviews

30 Jul 2008
What The Press Said

'Like all great rock, you feel you must have heard these songs somewhere else - and yet they're unlike any other that you can think of.' (Melody Maker, October 1980)

Betty Page in Sounds (late, lamented) reported that while U2 have already been dubbed 'the Irish Skids... which is no insult', in fact, 'they share a jungly feel without having the harder core.'

Declan Lynch in Hot Press sensed that 'they stand for something'. 'There is a romanticism there, a dream-like quality and this is offset by a new aggression, a new directness.'

Lynden Barber in Melody Maker (also late and lamented) was won over from the off: '...there's nobody else who plays like that. Okay, perhaps the band have the power of The Who at times - but they don't sound anything like The Who.'

Dave McCullough of Melody Maker demonstrated a certain prescience in opening his review of 'October' in 1982: 'There's a classicism about U2 that's best relayed by their covers. You can imagine either 'Boy' or 'October' perched in a record shop in the middle of nowhere in ten years time, having more to do with grainy old Mayall, Them or Yardbirds sleeves than the moderns of the time.' Make that thirty years, but bang on Dave.

Adam Sweeting of Melody Maker was also far-sighted. 'It's not a fashionable record because it needs time to work its way into your heart. And if U2's emotionalism is at times threatening in its nakedness their detractors will just have to lump it - because they're here to stay.'

'Blood on the Tracks' was how Hot Press headlined Liam Mackey's review of 'War' in the Spring of 1983. He thought the album 'totally eclipsed' 'Boy' and 'October': 'Indeed U2 break moulds throughout this album. Much has been made of '83 being the year in which the guitar supposedly fights back but it's unlikely that many will deploy the instrument with the resourcefulness and imagination demonstrated by The Edge on tracks like New Year's Day and Red Light...'

Chris Roberts in NME judged that 'the long-awaited third album from U2 has all the expected elements of power and glory, is in every way U2 at their brilliant best and yet reveals exciting and effective progressions in the band's approaches to production and presentation.'

- Hot Press : 10th October 1980
- Melody Maker : 4th October 1980
- Music Week : 15th November 1980
- NME : 25th October 1980
- Sounds : 4th October 1980
- The Guardian : 12th November 1980
- Time Out : 1st November 1980

- Melody Maker : 10th October 1981
- Sounds : 24th October 1981

- Hot Press : 17th February 1983
- Sound Maker : 5th March 1983


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