Friday, November 12, 2004

U2 - BOY - Countdown Day I

Tonight my wife is out with the girls celebrating her birthday watching Bridget Jones, the kids are asleep and I'm finally listening to the first album, while playing Party Poker. Later I will be watching one of my favorite shark movies, Deep Blue Sea, and going to bed.

Listening to this album is pretty interesting. The quality is poor, since it's an analog master, transposed (or whatever you call it) onto a CD. As jerm so eloquently puts it today, this album shows a ton of signs of what is to come. A few songs could easily be dropped into other albums and no one would be the wiser. One of the differences between these earliest albums and the last five or so, is the bands relationship with celebrity and the commercial side of the business, and the ability to put together a CD chock full of viable singles. Boy has numerous songs that I would classify as "boring", that seem to blend together and not grab you by the throat and make you pay attention.

In addition to the studio album, today I listened to the B-sides from both "Sweetest Thing" singles, which included live versions of Stories for Boys and Out of Control (Boston, March 6th 1981) as well as Twilight and An Cat Dubh (Red Rocks, June 5th 1983). This live version of Stories, and it could just be the mix, gives incredible life to Larry's work on the drums. An Cat Dubh has this "Biola Band" feel to it. I think what I feel is the influence of the band on Kenny Reuter, the guitarist for Plain Jane and Mars Hill (and Soul Kilter, of course).

Top songs to hold on to:

1. I Will Follow
2. Out of Control (I also think it should have been on the 1980-1990 best of)
3. Stories for Boys
4. An Cat Dubh
5. Twilight

When I get to one day teach U2 101:
Required text, simply because it's the first.

Homework assignment: 3-page essay on one of the following topics
  • For each member of the band, discuss how you can see shades of Boy in future U2 albums.
  • Discuss the relationship of U2 and the late-70's punk scene and how it influenced them at the time.