U2 Boy (Island)

The U2 Catalog

Record Reviews


Boy (Island)

Boy shone so brightly when released in late 1980 that it shimmered throughout the warm spring of 1981. In a time of magnificent and definitive first releases, Boy resounded with an exuberance that lifted hearts and spirits in a way that other albums didn't. U2 were so fresh that the sweeping joy of "I Will Follow" became an anthem of the day, an invitation to dance with life. When they sang on "Twilight" that "boy meets man in the shadow," they were 19 and 20, boys from Dublin telling secrets to ears eager to listen. It was a shout disguised as a whisper, the calm before a storm of sold-out arena shows, multiplatinum albums, and Grammys galore. The Edge played sharp but safe guitar, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen were a solid but unremarkable rhythm section, and yet Bono's vocals soared in a way that got the attention of all the disenfranchised punks and New Wavers. In 1981 Austin, the Armadillo closed in January, followed by Raul's in April. Duke's was just then floundering, but the newer, hipper Club Foot was a beacon, and we danced away the summer on its cement floor to U2. Boy was a glimmer of hope in the approaching darkness of the Reagan years, a time when music was still capable of saving your life if you just closed your eyes and clicked your heels together. "If you walk away, walk away, walk away, walk away -- I will follow," was Bono's promise. We followed.


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