YEAR RELEASED: 1980
CHART ACTION: #63 US, #52 UK
SINGLES: A Day without Me, I Will Follow
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Nothing else was on the radio
LINEUP: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen, Jr.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Irish band releases rock album about adolescence (a typical rock topic) but forges a fairly unique sound crossing Television, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and other post punk bands. Oh, and there’s this unique voice and lyricist leading the band.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Lumped in initially with several post-punk bands in the UK at first, the initial album by U2 did show something a bit different and more mature than some of their compatriots. The ringing guitars of the Edge (Dave Evans, if you would) were influenced by Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd, and the arrangements did have a little Siouxsie and the Banshees vibe to them, with a little echo and delay.
What set them apart, even here, is the voice of Bono. Already he was blessed with an identity and a singular sound. His passion and earnestness comes through in songs as diverse as “I Will Follow”, “Into the Heart”, “Out of Control” and “A Day without Me”.
Not everything is perfect. Some of the tracks get muddied in their lyrics and some get in their own way with too arty of arrangements. It was a good debut and signaled good things.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: There was an EP released earlier called Three, that contained two of the tracks that made this album.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, the usual assortments of remixes, live cuts, etc.
GRADE: B+: A solid debut with memorable songs and just a few that you’ll skip over a few times.