In 2010, U2 will doubtless continue their reign as one of the pre-eminent rock bands on the world stage, but 27 years ago, the Dublin based quartet of Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. were yet to ascend to the throne of superstardom. U2’s 1983 album, ‘War’ (UK#1/US#12/OZ#9), elevated the band to near vertigo heights. Aside from the rousing politi-rock anthem, ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’, the Steve Lillywhite produced set boasted U2’s breakthrough hit single, ‘New Year’s Day’. Released in January of ‘83, the track was a significant signpost on U2’s road to the top of the Joshua Tree, or any kind of tree really. The band’s rapidly evolving signature sound, highlighted by The Edge’s fervently strident guitar work, and Bono’s hauntingly emotive vocal plea, propelled ‘New Year’s Day’ to #10 in Britain, #9 in Australia, rattled and hummed across European chart territory, and alerted the U.S. to the Irish pop-rock fury that was soon to be unleashed.
If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, may 2010 offer many a beautiful day to you and yours.
Footnote: Retro Universe will be reactivated in the coming weeks, though in a reduced capacity to previous years. I teeter on the edge of anticipation as to where this curious journey into pop history will take us.