Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Classic Album: U2, Under A Blood Red Sky (Universal-Island)

A quarter-century after its first appearance, Under a Blood Red Sky remains the best summation of pre-Eno U2.

A year on, and The Unforgettable Fire would herald the arrival of New, Improved U2, with added "Pride (In the Name of Love)", and Bono's gusty self-righteousness would be working up to the messianic mistral we know today. They were always a more potent prospect in concert than on record, and this account managed to condense their set down to its most vital moments: anthems such as the surging "I Will Follow", U2's initial article of faith, and "Sunday Bloody Sunday", probably their most courageous composition. It's preceded here by Bono's assurance that "This is not a rebel song", though it's debatable whether many Germans would be conversant with its context. Because despite the iconic scarlet packaging based around the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, most of the album was recorded in St Goarshausen. The accompanying DVD does, however, provide the opportunity to watch the Red Rocks concert in its entirety, an experience akin to watching a Pathé Newsreel of a distant time. Ironically in retrospect, both "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "40" contain queries as to "How long must we sing this song?" Well, for ever, I'm afraid – that's rather the point of anthems.



Pick of the Album: 'I Will Follow', 'Sunday Bloody Sunday', 'Gloria', '40'

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Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Aries:

Wanderlust may be too powerful to resist. Planning a long holiday will be a pleasant diversion from work. You don't have to have fancy accommodation. You're willing to rough it for an adventure, but you do want to get good value for your money. Doing some research into the best places to stay and eat will pay off handsomely. Take along a friend who is free spirited and eager to explore unfamiliar vistas. The two of you will make great travelling companions.More