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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...I Will Be With You Again..."
U2's third album was unleashed on an expectant world in 1983 and launched them as a genuine global phenomenon. This long overdue CD Remaster is released today, Monday 21 July 2008 in the UK and then 22 July 2008 in the USA and other territories. Also released today are "Boy", their 1980 debut and "October" their second album from 1981. The Edge has personally overseen the...
Published on 22 July 2008 by Mark Barry

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slight Blip
This is a review of the remastered edition of U2's 1983 album. In the sleevenotes Niall Stokes informs us about the whys and wherefores of the songs, but claims that `War' is less fragmented and rushed than its predecessor `October'. However, I disagree completely; rather, it is `War' that lacks consistency.

At least half of its ten-song set are duff tracks -...
Published on 15 Aug 2012 by Nicholas Casley


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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...I Will Be With You Again...", 22 July 2008
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: War (Audio CD)
U2's third album was unleashed on an expectant world in 1983 and launched them as a genuine global phenomenon. This long overdue CD Remaster is released today, Monday 21 July 2008 in the UK and then 22 July 2008 in the USA and other territories. Also released today are "Boy", their 1980 debut and "October" their second album from 1981. The Edge has personally overseen the remastering of all of them utilizing the same team that brought us the amazing quality re-issue of "The Joshua Tree" last year.

DISCS:
Here in the UK, "War" (like the others) comes in no less than 4 physical variants. The single CD is a straightforward remaster with an extended and upgraded booklet (it's one of those new round corner jewel cases) and costs £10. The second is this issue - the 2CD Deluxe Version at £20 - the 2nd disc being the B-sides of singles and new previously unreleased mixes. The third variant is a Limited Edition containing the 2CD Deluxe Edition housed in a DVD sized card box with a T-Shirt of the album sleeve - it costs a frankly ludicrous £35 and is a waste of space and money in my book. Last is the humble 10-track LP - it's housed in a repro of the original gatefold sleeve and is pressed on 180 grams vinyl with upgraded liner notes - it costs £15 and is a limited edition. THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2CD DELUXE EDITION and the SINGLE DISC EDITION.

Here's the layout:
Disc 1 is the 10 track original album, issued March 1983 on Island ILPS 9733, remastered 2008 (42:11 minutes)

Disc 2 is the B-sides of 7" and 12" singles from Germany, the UK and the USA along with two brand new mixes of "New Year's Day" - all tracks remastered in 2008. It should also be noted that the CD lists 12 tracks, but the booklet lists only 11 - and in the wrong order! Looks like the track list was changed at the last minute, but the booklet wasn't upgraded to reflect this - a bit sloppy to say the least considering the expensive price of the 2disc set. Whether this is a mistake or a hidden track is unsaid, but the song not listed on the packaging is number two, "Angels Too Tied To The Ground" (59:29 minutes)

PACKAGING:
Housed in an outer hard card sleeve is a 36-page hardback booklet with lyrics, album history by noted writer NIALL STOKES, 7" singles pictured, photo outtakes from the videos and a detailed breakdown of the tracks on Disc 2. The 26-page single disc booklet is extended for the deluxe one by about 12 pages and there are informative notes by The Edge on how and why some of the B-sides were recorded. Both the single CD and 2CD set are picture discs with 2 members of the band on Disc 1 and the other 2 on Disc 2. A nice touch in the 2CD set is the way the card leaves that hold the CDs have slits at their base to let the disc slide out a fraction (it would have cut through anyway). It's a small thing, but nice attention to detail. The packaging is good (apart from that track list), and classily presented, but the best bit is the SOUND...

SOUND:
Remastered by ARNIE ACOSTA at Bernie Grundman Mastering, the tapes and remasters were also overseen by THE EDGE and the quality achieved is fantastic. Like most fans, I've waited for over 20 years to hear "Seconds", "Drowning Man", "Surrender" and "40" in truly great sound quality and this re-issue delivers that in dollops. The drums are clear and loud, the guitars and keyboards passages leaping out of the speakers at you - the great guitar work given the muscle it needs - as I say - FANTASTIC STUFF. "New Year's Day" too - unbelievably good (lyrics above). Fans will really delight to this.

EXTRAS:
The extras, however, are a very mixed bag. "Endless Deep" is the non-album B-side to the German and UK 7" singles of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and is a sort of a meandering instrumental - interesting but hardly great. "Angels Too Tied To The Ground" is much better though and new to me - it's got to be an outtake from the sessions - musically it sounds like a rehearsal for "New Year's Day". It's a fully formed song and would have made a great B-side - it's a superb little ditty - and without question one of the best surprises on here. Fans will eat this one up. Unfortunately, tracks 5 and 6 are - in my mind - absolute travesties. They're 1999 Ferry Corsten remixes of "New Year's Day" which sound like those endless crap versions that came off "Pop" CD singles - they're staggeringly inappropriate to an 1983 album and its unique sound. What were they thinking about - tagging these on here - they're so out of place as to be laughable? "Treasure..." is the B-side to the UK issue of "New Year's Day" while 10, 11 and 12 make up the 3 other songs on the UK double 7" pack of "New Year's Day". The live tracks are good, but not that well recorded. All in all, with 4 mixes of "New" and 3 mixes of "Two", Disc 2 is a very boring and disjointed experience. In truth, I doubt I'll be returning to these soon, despite their rarity value.

To sum up, Disc 1 is 10 out of 10, but Disc 2 is pushing 5.

"War" is a superb U2 album and still stands up to this day - and this great remaster has only reminded us of that. Shame that Disc 2 lets the side down somewhat. Fans will have to own the 2CD Deluxe Edition, while the casual buyer should opt for the single disc version instead. On its own, it's a superlative remastered reissue.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where did this come from?, 28 Oct 2005
This review is from: War (Audio CD)
I am a young U2 fanatic and one of the things I love the most is going back to the oldies! Everyone of them I have listened to and got addicted to. WAR was strangely the last of the 80s classics that I got into but for me it is the best! I was amazed that I had listened to U2 for so long but i had never listened to the 'smaller songs' on this album. 'Sunday Bloody, Sunday' and 'New Year's Day' are undoubted U2 classics but it is the other songs that capture this album. 'Seconds', 'Two hearts beat as one' and '40' are superb songs but the one that shocked me was 'Drowning Man'. It is beautiful and it is a mystery why this is not a U2 classic, I think it is up there with 'One' and 'With or Without You'. The best thing about U2 is finding these gems of songs that you would'nt usually listen to. WAR is full of these songs and you would be a fool not to try it out!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars tender years of a giant, 15 Sep 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: War (Audio CD)
Like many reviewers say, you really need to listen to U2 albums more than once, there is a huge difference between hearing and listening, and over the years the band has taught me to listen to the lyrics, not just for their songs but other artists as well. Growing up in a country where every day somebody was killed due to the "Troubles", the cover ups, the misunderstandings and angst between communities, there was not one person born or raised in Ireland that was not affected by it in some way during those 30 years. Sunday Bloody Sunday is a U2 classic and is a stark reminder for all as to what happened in the town of L'derry - 4 very young men stood up against the corruption on all sides and I'm glad to say they are still at it in HTDAAB, this island of ours is more peaceful, but there are many more countries in the World who are experiencing their own troubles now. With War the guys got stuck in and have remained there ever since, listen to HTDAAB straight after War - from a tender start they have become a passionate giant, long may they continue, long may their music continue - we need more of this honesty!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best U2 Album, 6 Aug 2008
By 
Mr. Ross Maynard (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: War - Remastered (Audio CD)
It was hearing "New Year's Day" on the radio nearly 25 years ago that first switched me onto U2. I rushed out and bought "War" on tape and played it everyday for months (student days !).

With this remastering, one of U2's best albums becomes even better. The remastering gives us a crisper cleaner sound particularly noticeable through much clearer vocals. Every song is improved by this treatment and it is wonderful to hear the lyrics properly on 40, Drowning Man, Sunday Bloody Sunday and the other songs. On "Seconds" Adam Clayton's bass is emphasised turning this from a fairly dull filler track to a really enjoyable piece. "Drowning Man" is also vastly improved, though, sadly, clearer lyrics can't really improve the second-rate "Refugee", "Red Light" and "Surrender".

I decided not to buy the deluxe version of this remastering - four versions of "New Year's Day" and three of "Two Hearts" are not really worth an extra tenner for me.

This was my first U2 album and my favourite for many years. I think this remastering lifts it back to the top spot in my mind (at least until "The Unforgettable Fire" gets the treatment). Brilliant.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too Many Remixes, Not Enough Actual U2, 2 Aug 2008
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: War (Audio CD)
"War", meanwhile, is the third U2 album, which saw them at the cusp of fame. The album is sonically a progression which has barely dated, the song writing is sound but painfully earnest and boringly sincere, and the band are clearly creating their own identity, their own personality, and have their own rare voice in the world. There are four or five truly classic songs on the main album, including the played-to-death "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (which repeated exposure to has now made me sadly numb and immune), and in true U2 style, it sounds very much like no one else, yet also unique to that particular record. If the band had split at this point, they'd go down in the annals of history as a band that were almost huge. And probably reformed a few years ago as a pension plan.

Nonetheless, "War" is certainly a fine and assured album that is imperfect only in its naivety. It's almost as if Bono felt he could cure the worlds ills with a stunning melody and an effective lyrics. Oh, youth. Nonetheless. as an album "War" is a product of its time,a reflection of youthful ideals, and well worth getting if you are a fan of the band.

The bonus disc, again an assortment of single-only b-sides, live fragments, and extra stuff is a boring listen, for one reason and one reason alone. Of the 12 songs on there, four of them are remixes of "New Years Day" (presented in one half-hour chunk of boredom, including two rather dated 1999 remixes by Ferry Corsten), followed by a quarter-hour of dated 12" mixes of "Two Hearts Beat As One" which explore the endless possibilities of the echo box and syndrum to their very limits. It turns what could have been an interesting listening experience into a barren plain of boredom. There's an unreleased track - average b-side fodder "Angels Too Tied To The Ground", and a couple of live songs, but ultimately, it's a uneven and frustrating compilation produced without care or thought for what actually sitting down and listening to it in one go might be like.

In addition, there are some alternate mixes that were issued on a 1993 remaster that are omitted, as are 5 well-circulated demo and rehearsal recordings that could easily have fitted on the disc to create a more satisfying and cohesive listen. Given that these albums have each shifted several million copies each, I have to be honest and say that most people who buy these reissues already have the albums - and that seems a little exploitative to put together an underwhelming and inexhaustive selection of extra tracks at such a high price, especially when there's copious amounts of extra space on the discs themselves. These reissues are worthy, and I'm glad they were released, but they could've been so much more than they currently are, and been produced in a fashion that satisfied the bands knowledgable and large fan base. Close, but no cigar.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only the second review for such a classic?, 8 Jun 2001
By 
LE Dave (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: War (Audio CD)
This is U2 at their best - raw, passionate and still a few years away from world wide stardom.
The LP contains 10 tracks - none of which will disappoint. From the now anthem like New Year's Day and Sunday Bloody Sunday, to the later live classics such as Seconds, Surrender and Two Hearts Beat As One, (live on Under A Blood Red Sky - not here!),the album is a rollercoaster ride through all the best U2 have to offer, and a true reflection of their superb song writing abilities.
If you are thinking of buying an 'early' U2 album, but only came on board the bandwagon in the 90's, then this is the one for you!
Enjoy, and don't wear out that CD player!!!
(Other U2 albums worth a listen include the Joshua Tree, October and Under A Blood Red Sky.)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars U2'S "WAR" IS GIVEN A FANTASTIC REMASTER..., 22 July 2008
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: War - Remastered (Audio CD)
U2's third album was unleashed on an expectant world in 1983 and launched them as a genuine global phenomenon. This long overdue CD Remaster is released today, Monday 21 July 2008 in the UK and then 22 July 2008 in the USA and other territories. Also released today are "Boy", their 1980 debut and "October" their second album from 1981. The Edge has personally overseen the remastering of all of them utilizing the same team that brought us the amazing quality re-issue of "The Joshua Tree" last year.

DISCS:
Here in the UK, "War" (like the others) comes in no less than 4 physical variants. The single CD is a straightforward remaster with an extended and upgraded booklet (it's one of those new round corner jewel cases) and costs £10. The second is this issue - the 2CD Deluxe Version at £20 - the 2nd disc being the B-sides of singles and new previously unreleased mixes. The third variant is a Limited Edition containing the 2CD Deluxe Edition housed in a DVD sized card box with a T-Shirt of the album sleeve - it costs a frankly ludicrous £35 and is a waste of space and money in my book. Last is the humble 10-track LP - it's housed in a repro of the original gatefold sleeve and is pressed on 180 grams vinyl with upgraded liner notes - it costs £15 and is a limited edition. THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2CD DELUXE EDITION and the SINGLE DISC EDITION.

Here's the layout:
Disc 1 is the 10 track original album, issued March 1983 on Island ILPS 9733, remastered 2008 (42:11 minutes)

Disc 2 is the B-sides of 7" and 12" singles from Germany, the UK and the USA along with two brand new mixes of "New Year's Day" - all tracks remastered in 2008. It should also be noted that the CD lists 12 tracks, but the booklet lists only 11 - and in the wrong order! Looks like the track list was changed at the last minute, but the booklet wasn't upgraded to reflect this - a bit sloppy to say the least considering the expensive price of the 2disc set. Whether this is a mistake or a hidden track is unsaid, but the song not listed on the packaging is number two, "Angels Too Tied To The Ground" (59:29 minutes)

PACKAGING:
Housed in an outer hard card sleeve is a 36-page hardback booklet with lyrics, album history by noted writer NIALL STOKES, 7" singles pictured, photo outtakes from the videos and a detailed breakdown of the tracks on Disc 2. The 26-page single disc booklet is extended for the deluxe one by about 12 pages and there are informative notes by The Edge on how and why some of the B-sides were recorded. Both the single CD and 2CD set are picture discs with 2 members of the band on Disc 1 and the other 2 on Disc 2. A nice touch in the 2CD set is the way the card leaves that hold the CDs have slits at their base to let the disc slide out a fraction (it would have cut through anyway). It's a small thing, but nice attention to detail. The packaging is good (apart from that track list), and classily presented, but the best bit is the SOUND...

SOUND:
Remastered by ARNIE ACOSTA at Bernie Grundman Mastering, the tapes and remasters were also overseen by THE EDGE and the quality achieved is FANTASTIC! I've waited like most fans for over 20 years to hear "Seconds", "Drowning Man", "Surrender" and "40" in truly great sound quality and this re-issue delivers that in dollops. The drums are clear and loud, the guitars and keyboards passages leaping out of the speakers at you - the great guitar work given the muscle it needs - as I say - FANTASTIC STUFF. Fans will really delight to this.

EXTRAS:
The extras, however, are a very mixed bag. "Endless Deep" is the non-album B-side to the German and UK 7" singles of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and is a sort of a meandering instrumental - interesting but hardly great. "Angels Too Tied To The Ground" is much better though and new to me - it's got to be an outtake from the sessions - musically it sounds like a rehearsal for "New Year's Day". It's a fully formed song and would have made a great B-side - it's a superb little ditty - and without question one of the best surprises on here. Fans will eat this one up. Unfortunately, tracks 5 and 6 are - in my mind - absolute travesties. They're 1999 Ferry Corsten remixes of "New Year's Day" which sound like those endless crap versions that came off "Pop" CD singles - they're staggeringly inappropriate to an 1983 album and its unique sound. What were they thinking about - tagging these on here - they're so out of place as to be laughable? "Treasure..." is the B-side to the UK issue of "New Year's Day" while 10, 11 and 12 make up the 3 other songs on the UK double 7" pack of "New Year's Day". The live tracks are good, but not that well recorded. All in all, with 4 mixes of "New" and 3 mixes of "Two", Disc 2 is a very boring and disjointed experience. In truth, I doubt I'll be returning to these soon, despite their rarity value.

To sum up, Disc 1 is 10 out of 10, but Disc 2 is pushing 5.

"War" is a superb U2 album and still stands up to this day - and this great remaster has only reminded us of that. Shame that Disc 2 lets the side down somewhat. Fans will have to own the 2CD Deluxe Edition, while the casual buyer should opt for the single disc version instead. On its own, it's a superlative remastered reissue.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent but Inconsistent, 3 May 2009
This review is from: War - Remastered (Audio CD)
25 years after I bought it for the first time- this remains one of my favourite U2 albums and yet I must confess it is an album I have played rarely. It contains some of their greatest songs, but also some numbers which are experimental in nature, aiming at a dance flavoured sound by introducing smooth brass sounds and backing singers.
Sunday Bloody Sunday is one of the greatest opening tracks ever, a call to arms, its greatness down to its simplicity and moral clarity. Bono's voice is magnificent. Seconds is a fine song boasting a powerful repetitive groove. New Years Day is again a magnificent song, a plea for togetherness and a vision of a golden future that transcends simple interpretations. It can be seen as a song about Ireland, a song about seperated lovers or a song for a band reaching out to connect to its audience. It is a difficult song to follow but A Song manages, a faster number building tension and ending in a tumultuous storm of drums.
There follows some songs which lack the power of the opening numbers. Drowning Man slightly slower, a nice accoustic sound. Two Hearts Beat As One is almost a conventional pop song. Red Light features backing singers and trumpets whilst Surrender also has a tired, slinky beat. Finally 40 reminds us of the opening song, but its impact is muted and the album seems to fade away.
Bonus tracks on an extended CD aren't as impressive as other releases on the series. There are many versions of New Years Day and Two Hearts and some disappointing live versions.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now THIS is what U2 did so well, 19 Dec 2007
This review is from: War (Audio CD)
Joshua Tree? Rattle & Hum?, Zooropa?, Achtung Baby?-Forget them all! This is the definitve U2 album from a period in their career when they were actually very good indeed. The music here is sublime as it mixes some great punk riffs with a bit of irish folk and a smidgen of new wave thrown in for good measure. The music is fresh and meaningful and invites the listener to concentrate upon it and not be distracted by the image conscious band they later became. Before the silly hats, daft sunglasses, ridiculous American identity and meaningless music (I mean, who cares who's gonna ride your wild horses or what you were looking for that you still haven't found?) before 'Bongo' and 'The Hedge' were synonyms for pretentiousness, U2 were an excellent three minute post punk band as demonstrated here in this superb album. This is U2 as posterity should remeber them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Work Of Genius, 24 April 2009
This review is from: War - Remastered (Audio CD)
Now for those of you who say U2 are sell outs, then listen to this one. I love U2 and I love their later work (although there a a couple of duds), but this is what they did best. The post-punk style they had was brilliant. This album is very dark, gritty and tough - unlike their anthemic radio friendly later work.

As the album title hints, the album is about war - and you certainly get that sense with the music. Larry Mullens pounding drums, Adam Clayton's marching basslines and The Edge's atmospheric guitar sound all give a sense of war. Then there's Bono's lyrics and vocal, which are incredibly emotional and powerful - the ideal singer for these songs.

To many, this was the last great U2 record. The album signals the end of 'early U2' before they went on to dominate world music and got experimental. This, 'October' and 'Boy' are arguably U2's most admirable work. It's not mainstream pop, but it's very mature work from a supremely talented band. My favourite U2 period it certainly is (despite me being born in 1990), and I would love it if they made an album like the early years again. Then again, what's left in the past should be left in the past, and we should treasure this great record.
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