October: Your Three Favourite Tracks

11 Oct 2021140


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.

You must be a logged-in member to add comments.
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.
more then 3
The whole album is brilliant, after 40 years it still stands up! Its hard to point out the three favorite's.
All album is simply perfect !
The door is open ...
I remember very well the first time I listened to the album. The fade-in of Gloria and I was put into a song that never left your heart and soul. The door is open, I went inside and and I was embraced by an unforgettable warmth. Today is still the same. Thank U2.
Tomorrow ... never heard the band play i
I have seen a lot of U2 concerts but I have never heard the band playing " tomorrow " life ; To me it is one of the most powerful songs the band has ever made . I hope , when allt his covid19 thing is over , the band will go back on tour ... and perhaps they put " tomorrow" on their playlist .
Outside, there's someone knocking...
Originally got this album on the the strength of Gloria. Played it and got to side two and what I thought was a slow song, blew me away on how it changed into a guitar driven outro. Would love to hear outtakes of this song. The conversation at the beginning still intrigues me...
It was the first song of U2 that i listen on the radio and it was for me the reason to follow U2 for many years. And i did it . I love U2 for the rest of my life.
Giving Glory
I love how these tracks go so much deeper than a superficial first hearing can ever bring.
D Mc Namara
Second favorite album
This is the most Irish album As unique sound, not always perfect and a little bit of bitter sweet sadness to it. I love it!
October 1981
This album got my attention in a big way when it came out in 1982 in Australia. I had read up on U2 in the English Christian mag Buzz and from that article chose to check this release out. After 2 songs in I was sold on both the album and U2. I found the simple joy simply flowed out of each track and Bono's passion for his Savior showed. Hope flowed out too. All songs were great listens and is hard to separate best from good. But Gloria, October and I Fall Down are what I chose.
When I first this song it connected with me. It resonated with me like a song I heard in a church chorus. The drums, guitar and bass and the words were just perfect. From the 1st moment I heard this song I loved this band! Till today 2021 I haven’t missed an outdoor and indoor concert in the New York City area.
Life changing
October landed when I was in my last year of high school in apartheid South Africa -- mixed up and angry and frustrated. It touched me on many levels and remains my favourite U2 album, shuffling its way inexorably back into prime position each time the band released a new one over the past four decades. I cannot hear REJOICE without wanting to do so (and yeah, jump around a bit, especially as the song builds to its climax.) And for 17-year-old me in Cape Town, "I can't change the world / But I can change the world in me" worked miracles. Hard to choose # 2 and 3 -- the tracks are all so good -- but SCARLET and TOMORROW are up there. Thank you U2, and God bless you guys.
natural compression and the unfairly mal
It's clear that there was no slow build in the songs that fill this album. Unlike it's predecessor, built off the back of adolescence and warmed by the steady glow of a fan base built at home, October is the unsteady foal facing the world with naive uncertainty; and herein lies its strength. Freed of the strictures of ambition or planning, Bono's loss of notebooks and ideas presented the band with a novel problem: how do we define ourselves when faced with creative adversity? The answer was simple: play, feel, play again and keep feeling. Musically, this meant that some of the songs don't play like songs at all, but rather muted ideas, amped up in the light of chiming and reverberating guitars and pushed by a steady thump and throb of bass and drum with gregorian scat singing harmonising, calling and yearning: a loose, new wave, celtic jam drenched in a aforeto hidden spirituality. 'Rejoice' is a prime example. By letting loose the post-punk chains and fanning out through a personal ethos, the band layed a bluerint for future endeavour by steeling themsleves throught the fire of righteousness and self-doubt. It is an album I go back to again and again for a healing balme. It is at once soft and smoothly uplifting all the while yearning you to hold hands and dance. Without it, I doubt U2 would have ever become the band that they did. Or to paraphrase another great Irishman, "Mistakes are the portals of discovery"
Nostalgic Winter Tracks!
I remember this album and their songs, especially "Gloria" and "Rejoice " as I was walking with my friend for miles in the middle of a freezing cold winter landscape in my small hometown of Maaseik ( belgium) as we were trying to get home listening to these tracks on our walkman coming from a New wave concert nearby. Unforgettable memories!!!
Still grabs my heart
This album may be one of the most dismissed of the U2 cannon. But it came at a time in my life when I needed exactly what is offered. Searching, groaning and ultimately beating myself to feel the presence of a God who is willing to seek and find me. Yes, this album will always matter to me.
   Newer comments    31 - 60 of 140    Older comments


10 May, 2022

On Bono’s birthday the news is out: he’s written a memoir to be published on 1 November 2022.

27 Apr, 2022

 Subscribers Special. 'One of the themes of this tour & album is uncertainty…' Propaganda 18, latest addition to our digital collection.

21 Apr, 2022

Coming April 23, 40th anniversary release on a limited edition 12" vinyl EP.

12 Apr, 2022

Edge, Bono and Gavin Friday among artists remembering Hal Willner.


Related Topic