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Boy Original recording remastered

4.4 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 July 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Universal / Island
  • ASIN: B0013LPS6Q
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,505 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

U2 Boy (2008 issue UK 11-track digitally remastered [from the original analogue master tapes] CD album - their debut album originally released in October 1980 including the singles I Will Follow Out Of Control and A Day Without Me. With a 16-page picture sleeve booklet containing previously unseen photos full lyrics & new liner notes by Paul Morley)

BBC Review

Here's a mind-bending 'what if?' moment. This, U2's debut album, was originally to be produced by Martin Hannett, but at the last minute he withdrew, distraught over the recent death of Joy Division's Ian Curtis. Imagine how the universe-gobbling careers of the four boys from Dublin would have fared in the hands of the Mancunian experimentalist. Luckily Hannett's replacement, Steve Lillywhite was (like Eno and Lanois seven years later) to help steer them to a sonic identity that made them stand out from the crowd. In the days of grey raincoated new wave, the band's sound was stadium-sized.

A lot of this was also down to The Edge's ringing, Echoplex-ed Gibson Explorer. From the two-note delay-drenched start to I Will Follow, underpinned by Larry Mullin Jr's massive gated drums, theirs was a sound that had ambitions way beyond the smokey clubs of Dublin. Of course none of this made sense without the gigantic ego of Paul David Hewson. The re-christened Bono Vox was the focal point that marked the band for glory. On the band's first polytechnic-touring promotion of the album in the UK he was already climbing PA stacks, mixing it up with his adoring public and generally acting like the world was his; it just didn't know it yet.

In interviews of the time the band hinted that their collective christianity had informed the writing. Certainly the hit I Will Follow displays the themes of faith and belief. But overall the album marks the passage from childhood to adulthood, and all its attendant uncertainties and anxieties. Hence the title. In this sense, lyrically, the songs are too immature to pass muster. It would take a few more years before Bono's words matched his vaulting ambitions and messianic zeal. Also, musically, it lacks a satisfying variety, with most songs fitting the same skittering four-four pattern shaded by the Edge's minimal chords, arpeggios and ringing harmonics. Only the morose sketch, The Ocean, the mid-tempo pairing of An Cat Dubh/Into The Heart or the closing Shadows And Tall Trees exhibit life beyond the bluster. Oddly it's on the latter number that they most resemble Hannett's beloved Joy Division. They weren't above a little plagiarism too; the opening riff of Stories For Boys bearing more than a passing resemblance to The Dead Kennedy's Holiday In Cambodia. Still, for a debut it still contained a fair number of their early defining live moments. A song like Out Of Control was hand built to be stretched, embellished and bludgeoned about on stage. And one thing was for sure: they really knew how to fashion some great intros. The Electric Co. never quite delivers on its promise, but the riff is still utterly mighty.

Of course it was to take two more Lillywhite-helmed albums to really make the world aware of what the band themselves already knew. But all the warning signs were here in this brave, life-affirming cry of youthful defiance. --Chris Jones

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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U2 would never allow the re-structuring of any album so the fact that Into the Heart has gone from the listing and I will Follow has moved to the bottom must be a mis-print or admin error as all other sellers I find online are showing the orginal listing.

This will always be my favorite album of all time. I was 21 when I bought This and October on the day that October came out. It was a time when New Wave was turning into New Romantics and new 'rock' needed rescuing. So along came U2. As is sometimes common with debut albums, this is a 'greatest hits' of early U2. Out of Control, Stories for boys, Twilight being the only songs from a catalogue of early singles that were re-recorded with Steve Lillywhite for this album. Other songs like my favorite 'Electric Co.' culled from live sets. It was a 5* album at the time making all of the music papers top listings for the year and although now I see Actung Baby as their pinnacle musically I will always go back to the days when this couldn't leave my turntable or car cassette. Its one of those classic can't take off albums where each track flows effortlessly into the next and every track gap seems perfectly timed.
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This album from start to finish flows with such great energy and joy that you feel that you are a 'boy' again. It is U2 at their most innocent and fragile time and there is just four young energetic guys giving it all they've got. U2 may have made some better stuff since but they will never be able to make something so original and beautiful as BOY. The two main songs I feel being 'I Will Follow' and 'Out of Control' which are U2 through and through. Edge's guitar is majestic and Bono's voice quite frankly the most pure voice I have ever heard in rock and roll. Larry and Adam are also superb and their massive talent is clearly evident from their first album. I don't feel there is any songs that really stand out, the album just flows from song to song in this fantastic up beat nature that brings out the BOY in you. Fantastic!
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I've always had the feeling that many people have U2 all wrong (Mark Kermode, I'm looking at you). It's a joy to go back to the source, their only deceptively stripped down debut album (one reviewer at the time saying “the production is so ambitious its hard to know what to make of it”). One of the great debut albums for sure, and one of the great albums about adolescence – not the obvious sex and drugs kind, either. At once a headlong charge of optimism and yet tinged throughout with melancholy (that would become a occasionally little over-wrought in the follow-up, October) and even fear.

U2 had been playing for four years when their debut was released, and this 2 disc affair offers glimpses of the path that led them there, all manna from heaven for the true early-U2 devotee. All present and correct are their first 3 track ep on CBS and its follow up Another Day, and then the track that topped the Hot Press annual readers poll for years, 11 O Clock Tick Tock helmed by Joy Division producer Martin Hammet and its B side. All more angular, more self-consciously New Wave than the album which was to come, good in their own right but missing the unique essence that Lillywhite was able to coax out of the band, even when the songs were the same (Out Of Control / Stories For Boys).

But back even further it goes – Cartoon World was an early favourite but was never recorded and features here in a live version occasionally drowned in feedback – no electronic rose-tinted touching up here. And no Street Missions – their first awkward anthem - in this version sadly.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the debut album from U2 , an unknown band from Dublin whose music can probably be best described as new wave . It's not their first contribution to the world of music and had released several singles in their own country . As a massive U2 junkie / completist in the mid 1980s I hunted down their early singles exclusive to Ireland and was rather disappointed by their early stuff . By no means bad those early tracks lacked any sort of polish or sheen and don't hint at a band who had any pretence to longevity . Three of these early tracks namely Twilight , Out Of Control and Stories For Boys appear on this debut album and it's very obvious indeed that producer Steve Lillywhite takes a massive amount of credit for creating the early band's sonic soundscape . What were very basic demo tracks become very different songs indeed

Now I'm not going to come on here and say that's a bad thing because this is a very accomplished album and has a timeless quality . A combination of producer vision and streamlined passion from the band combine to make an unpretentious album that would have sounded great in 1977 , 1987 , 1997 or 2027 . In other words it's an album that has a timeless quality

The opening track I Will Follow is basically three chords but is a track that is genuinely life affirming . It's my favourite track from the band and is my all time favourite song . Enough said . Twilight is entirely different from the B side single release while the two other previously released tracks Out Of Control and Stories For Boys are again superior thanks to Lillywhite . .
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