My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: War is the third album by Irish band U2. The album was produced by Steve Lillywhite and recorded from September through November 1982. War was released in February of 1983.
What I think: U2 is an odd band for me. I really enjoyed them in my teen years (the mid and late nineties) and then somewhere in the early 2000’s I burnt out on them and haven’t really gone back. I never even made it to the point of digging through most of their albums. At some point, I just got sick of hearing them and moved on. Hearing War, that may be unfair to their music.
War is a really powerful album, especially on the first side. It starts with “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and then just gains momentum from there. “Seconds” is a great song and almost feels like a sequel to “Sunday Bloody Sunday”. “New Year’s Day”, we all know. It sounds like a love song but is something darker. “Like a Song…” is pure passion and just explodes before a complete left turn with the acoustic “Drowning Man”. Side two has some misses with “The Refugee” and “Red Light”, but “Surrender” and “40” are a great way for the album to end.
I do think the album sounds a little funny though. Think of “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, it’s like someone cranked the treble way up and turned the bass really low. I can hear the bass guitar, but only the higher end of it. It’s strange and I’ve noticed it since a young age and I think much of the rest of the album was mixed in a similar way. Whereas the songs could be much more powerful with a full range, it is missing some of that.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I do think it belongs here. It won’t get me over my U2 draught, but it makes me interested in hearing those upcoming albums when they come along for this project.
Rating (Out of 5) 3.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (408/534)