“Boy” by U2 - album review

TJR says

Their 4th single in a 13 month period, “A Day Without Me”, was released in August, 1980, the lead single announcement signalling the imminent release of their long-play debut. There was something a little bit different about it; a peculiar brand of catchy Celtic post-punk with a certain new wave bounce. The four Dublin lads had been playing togther since their schooldays in '76, and as U2 since '78. By now, the solid unit were: Paul 'Bono' Hewson (20, lead vocals), David 'The Edge' Evans (19, guitar, backing vocals), Adam Clayton (20, bass guitar) and Larry Mullen Jr. (18, drums). The second and final single from the LP, “I Will Follow”, about a mother's unconditional love, was released simultaneously with the album. By rights it should have been a Top 10 smash, with all the drive of Killing Joke and the skilful breakdown suss of The Police. It failed to chart though; clearly they still had a bit of work to do before being recognised and accepted by the record buying public.

The album's huge winner in my affections is the punkish “Out Of Control” which closes side one in the anthemic way of the Skids. It was newly recorded from the “Three” EP version which had served as their debut single 13 months earlier, as was “Stories For Boys” which opens side two. Highlights of the flipside are the aforementioned single “A Day Without Me” and “The Electric Co.”, a song which informs the album's title, written about the electric convulsion therapy practiced by psychiatric hospitals at the time. A school friend of the group was confined to the Grangegorman District Mental Hospital in Dublin and when Bono visited him, he talked about killing himself as a way out of the institution: “Boy, stupid boy, Don't sit at the table, Until you're able to. Toy, broken toy, Shout, shout, you're inside out, If you don't know. Electric Co. If you don't know Electric Co.” Good lads, and a solid debut record.

The Jukebox Rebel
12-Oct-2008

A1 [03:36] 7.8.png U2 - I Will Follow (Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.) Post-Punk
A2 [04:22] 6.2.png U2 - Twilight (Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.) New Wave
A3 [06:21] 5.8.png U2 - An Cat Dubh (Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.) Trance Rock
A4 [01:53] 5.6.png U2 - Into The Heart (Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.) Indie
A5 [04:13] 9.3.png U2 - Out Of Control (Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.) Post-Punk
B1 [03:02] 6.1.png U2 - Stories For Boys (Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.) Post-Punk
B2 [01:34] 5.3.png U2 - The Ocean (Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.) Moodcore
B3 [03:14] 7.5.png U2 - A Day Without Me (Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.) New Wave
B4 [04:34] 5.7.png U2 - Another Time, Another Place (Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.) Indie
B5 [04:48] 7.0.png U2 - The Electric Co. (Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.) Post-Punk
B6 [04:36] 6.4.png U2 - Shadows And Tall Trees (Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.) Alternative Rock




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