October: Your Three Favourite Tracks

11 Oct 2021124


Arriving in the world on October 12th 1981, the band's second studio album marks its fortieth birthday this month.

When it was remastered a few years back, Edge recalled the period of its writing like this.

'It was obvious to everyone that we were driving with two wheels over the edge of the cliff, and it drew from us, and particularly Bono, a level of creativity that we had not seen before.'
'Like all great rock,' ran the review in the English music title Melody Maker in 1981, 'you feel you must have heard these songs somewhere else - and yet they're unlike any other that you can think of.' 

Producer Steve Lillywhite recalled the record in the band's magazine Propaganda.
''October was the most difficult of the three three records I did with them basically because of the well-chronicled story of Bono losing his lyrics during the American tour. The fact that the first album had a bit of success in America meant that the band toured over there for a long time to do the groundwork. When they came back and it was time to do the second album, nothing was ready!"
Of the eleven songs on the album, some like Gloria and October have always kept a place in the band's live set but if you had to choose only three tracks to keep from October what would they be?

Vote in our poll and then tell us why in the comments below.

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time flies with good musical
Heaven sent
I was 13, I was completely lost, and already so jaded, when I heard Gloria, and I knew that it was very, very special, I was comforted and encouraged in a way that I had never known before, and that has happened for me many times over since that first time. U2 simply are a part of who I am. ✌❤✌❤
Northern Alberta
I live in Northern Alberta and this album is special to me because as of October 1, the trees truly are bare of all that they wear. I bought this album to celebrate my 20th birthday 40 years ago!
October Tomorrow Gloria
Miriam Jonker
One classic and 2 beautiful titles
'Nuf said.
Great album
think it's a very good album but it didn't have the right success. There are very beautiful songs but underrated and little played by the band such as for example With a Shout
Changed my world
Gloria was the song that made me fall in love with U2. It still makes me levitate. The whole album was a soundtrack to my coming of age, and even though I didn’t understand most of the biblical/spiritual references, its energy and soul somehow spoke to me. Many years later I learned that Bono and Larry had experienced early familial losses like me and I wonder if that’s part of what I instinctively felt coming through the music. And it was, indeed, unlike anything I’d ever heard before. In a good way!!!!
To go back on track after losing lyrics and create songs like Gloria, Fire, October, Scarlet full of inspiration, faith and musicality, that’s a huge achievement and put October into my U2’s top 5 albums. I will never be agreed with Edge’s recalling October’s experiences, for me October is a angular stone of musical maturity of the band, specially on this Covid times, all the faithful essence of October, makes us to move forward with God and our beliefs in him. God bless the band.
Great Album
The album is still young and fresh and rock n roll. I love the raw thing about the album ... no frills
Punk Period
I consider the band's first four albums to be their punk rock period. Reminiscent of The Clash, and other classic bands from that time. War was my first U2 album, at the age of 13, but Boy & October are a unique sound from a band that has evolved many times over the years.
Tomorrow + Rejoice + Fire + With a shout
I agree with Lost Sailor and Morgan 777: "Tomorrow", "Rejoice" & "Fire", and if I could say one more, "With a shout". "Tomorrow" has a lyrical intensity greater than "Drowning man" and close to "Promenade" or even "With or without you" or "Heartland". "Rejoice", "Fire" and "With a shout" have powerful chorus and good, even fast, guitars, And the guitar solo from "Fire" is also the endearing solution to the mysterious ending of "Boy"... it's a delicious bridge between the two albums. I love "October", more than "War" and probably (not very sure) than "Boy". Although my jewels will always be "The Joshua Tree", "Rattle and hum" and "The unforgettable fire".
Growing up to the sound of U2 , playing on the dutebox in my friends bar. The Failte Hotel in Killarney
Brendan McGee
I bought a cassette of 'October' a few days after seeing the band in Phoenix Park, Dublin in August 1983. It was a CBS Ireland copy with white labels and the funny thing is, it seemed to be duplicated from an LP record. That's right, you could even hear the crackle and rumble of a turntable between the songs and the music actually skipped during 'Tomorrow'! I sent it back to CBS Ireland a few years later and they replaced it with an updated copy. I really wish I had kept that cassette now but I did find a photo on the web of it. I have of course, bought CDs and a vinyl copy of the album over the years because it has remained a favourite. When there was only 'Boy', October' and 'War' to choose from, 'October' always got a bit of a raw deal but I always loved it. Bono didn't seem to have much to say but the band sound on fire!. Almost every song has a long instrumental section and I am around long enough to remember when the late (Irish) Bill Graham re-named the guitarist, 'The Edge Orchestra'. because that is what he was on this record. Most of it is drenched in a beautiful reverb too, leaving it just nicely out of focus. I am choosing 'Gloria', 'October' and 'Rejoice' as my three favourites.
Great album
Hello ,it's a beautiful album ;my favorite song it's "Tomorrow"
Great Album
An album full of power and energy…
Wonderful power and joy
I first heard U2 live in Rock Werchter in 1982. The songs I threw a brick through a window, Gloria and Rejoice stood out together with some Boy songs like An cat dubh, into the heart, out of control and the ocean. I was sold immediately and became since then a huge fan and still am. What a great band. Hope to see them perform in Belgium again soon.
October Album has 4 of my top 5 U2 Songs
I hear on almost every episode of Sirius/XM U2 Songs I Desire Most how difficult it is to choose the top 5 U2 songs. Not for me! Early U2 is the best U2! Its too bad my top 5 get bypassed in concert for mainstream songs that are way overplayed. It just makes me appreciate them more. My top 5 in no particular order: October - I Threw A Brick Through A Window October - I Fall Down October - Stranger in a Strange Land October - Tomorrow War - Drowning Man
Modern Psalms
For me are October and Gloria modern Psalms. October keeps on reminding me that, whatever bad things happen in the world, God goes on. He never stops sharing His love and grace. It helps me to see the bigger picture, when I feel angry about unrighteous, injustice and evil actions from human beings. Gloria is full of praise, positive energy and surrender to God. With a small team I organise U2 retreats. October is one of my favourites to use for meditating moments. It was so special to hear October live during the I & E Tour. This live performance, followed by Bullet the Blue Sky is so beautiful and powerful chosen.
October Album
First heard Gloria on a Saturday morning kids show and loved it. Rejoice is such a brilliant and powerful tube and I have fond memories singing tomorrow with a friend while drunk, in fact this became a weekly Friday night thing. Brilliant album, not as good as Boy but brilliant all the same.
I love this album!
I love this album!
Alle day long...
Missed the concert in Vera Groningen Holland in 1980. My parents said I was to young. So we went to see Herman Boord haha. Parents had no clue who we was. Two years later I missed the War tour as well case we had moved from Groningen to Hengelo. In the meantime I bought October and that was the start of me stepping full into puberty, music, smoking, joints, drinking playing guitar and had no clue what the songs were all about, But Rejoice and Tommorrow were sung by me on the bike riding home at night alone. Singing hard. Gloria was dancing and shouting with friends. The sound the band had those days moved you through the difficult start of the 80ties. Every had been said about the band so what can I say. Caught up with U2 at the Lorely 1983. ( warm day pfffff). The connection has never been less, even now when I am 55. Chords and words have been with me through may heights in my life and way to many dephts. I ow the band! Big!!
U2 Nashville 1981
October was the greatest for me. Saw my 1st show in Nashville in December of 1981 on that tour. Only 16 years old & captured these photos that night. https://www.u2gigs.com/tourpictures/?dir=1982%20-%20October%20Tour%2F1981-12-02%20-%20Nashville
October: One of My Favorites
40 years ago, I was 15 years old, a sophomore at an all-boys Catholic school. Having loved the Boy album, I couldn't wait to hear what the band had in store for us next. I know October isn't the most popular among the fans, but to me it's nearly perfect. I love the sound of it, the mood of it. It struggles with what I struggled with at that time (contemplating the Big Questions). It captured my feelings at that moment, and listening to it now takes me back to that young man. I'm grateful for it. It's nice we get to hear Gloria once in a while, but I would love someday to see some deep cuts off this album. Imagine Rejoice or Tomorrow! What a treat that would be. Anyway, October transports me back to a very specific time in my life, and I enjoy every song on it. It's one I still listen to today, and in my Top 5 U@ albums. Cheers!
It's not 3 ti's more 5 I keep always in mind !
Because they are fantastic songs. Gloria is just a great song. Means a lot. Tomorrow is raw and vulnerable, sad, hopeful. October is beautiful, and they all share one common thing; the guitar, the musical sound in them is just phenomenal. U2’s music has meant more to me since I was 14, than I can ever convey in words. I am now 47, so it’s been a 33 years great relationship.
Gloria, Fire and especially Tomorrow!
WLIR introduced me to U2
I first heard U2’s Gloria on WLIR and I knew right then and there my music taste switched from the classic rock and heavy metal so prevalent at the time to bands like U2 and The Police and UB40. WLIR itself was an awakening to music but Gloria just changed what I listened to going to forward forever. To this day I still listen to both discotheque and mofo from POP right before I present to an audience..
Gloria, Fire and October
Gloria and Fire give me much energy when i'm listening to those songs. October creates much with less (only piano, vocals and drums).
October, dear
One of U2 best songs ever. And One of my favourite Albums. I was 14 years old when U2 began to be part of my life and their songs are blessings. I also voted for Gloria and Stranger in a Strange Land but next time please give us at least five choices!
Ignited my youth and creative expression
How sobering it is to find that these songs that defined my youth and which gave me company and comfort through many moments of personal discovery are now 4 decades old. The strength of these songs, the memories, the moments, will never pass and yet these songs will continue to accompany me as my journey continues.
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