Sunday, September 29, 2013


Before there was the Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum, in 1981 U2 produced an album that would spawn only one recognizable song. October is one of my favorite U2 albums. The only recognizable song to many would be Gloria. The rest of the songs, gems if you ask me, are dreamy at times and are wrought with politics, religion, and young angst.

This is where our Bono becomes David, the King and Psalm writer and makes his debut of sorts. He mixes traditional Catholic Latin te domine (Glory, In You Lord) with a sort of power ballad to the father, son and Holy Ghost Himself. Statements like But only in you I'm complete make reference to the band's overall Christian beliefs. Add a catchy bass solo by Adam Clayton and the praise-filled song become a band favorite.

I Fall Down
I don't know who Julie and John are but it seems as if they are down on their luck. But Julie seems like a pretty positive person. And let's just say that The Edge really loves pianos on this album.

I Threw A Brick Through A Window
Adam has strong bass presence on this song, one of my favorites on the album. It could be a song about a typical male adolescent sibling argument; it could also be about the Troubles. And in this song, Bono is flirting with symbolism and allegory, his literary genius comes out in this song with lyrics such as No one is blinder, Than he who will not see, No one is blinder, Than me. Its definitely a song about conflict of some kind and it has a very haunting feeling to it.
Did you know how devout to Christianity Bono, The Edge and Larry were? Enough to not only write this song, but to write this song about Adam not carrying that same devout belief that the others did.
These are some extremely deep lyrics for 20 something kids to be writing Just tell me what am I supposed to say, I can't change the world, But I can change the world in me, If I rejoice, Rejoice...

Yup, if you haven't gotten the religious overtones of the album yet, this one might just do it. It even starts out with sort of a chant that you might hear in church. It's a very apocalyptic, fire and brimstone song. He also references going home in this song, and I don't think he meant anywhere near the River Liffey.
Such a beautiful, sad, haunting song about the Troubles. The pipes even add to the sorrow of this song. Won't you come back tomorrow, Won't you be back tomorrow, Will you be back tomorrow, Can I sleep tonight?It isn't about the person who died, but the song writer himself, telling a black funeral cab to return another day. It's also the cry for what  Christ stands for Open up, open up, To the lamb of God, To the love of he who made , The blind to see, He's coming back, He's coming back, I believe it, Jesus coming.
Ahh, the song I play each October 1st. The piano notes are like the first chilly nights of the month. Simple song about the month the album was released.

With A Shout
When a song contains references to Jerusalem, sides of the hill and messiah, you know where the band was coming from. It shocks so many that songs that sound like typical U2, Larry's Apprentice Boys sharpshooter drumming, Adam's bass and the perfect notes from The Edge, could really be about the crucifixion of Christ. Again, it was songs like this that almost drove the band apart since Adam was not devout like his band mates.

Stranger In A Strange Land
A song NEVER performed live that was inspired not my Northern Ireland like many think, but my an encounter with a soldier at a crossing in Germany. It was the beginning of Bono reflecting on politics and life around the world.

It has some future Passengers sounds, and some sounds that U2 don't reproduce until 2000. Chant worthy and very tribal.

Is That All
This song seems like a temper tantrum to me. Singing this song makes me angry ...  Singing this song makes me happy. This seems like a song to just get the album over but I could be wrong. Bono, if you're out there - help me out on this one
So there you have it. The religious undertones of a young U2, just mastering what would be their signature sound before The Joshua Tree. They would have been great, very energetic men of the religious word, but secretly, I am glad they found that maybe being in a band could also be a platform for preaching the word ...

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