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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change

on 3 February 2015
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on 30 November 2017
1981 was the year of Bobby Sands and the hunger strikes. Anyone interested check out the book Ten Men Dead. A great read. Tomorrow for me is the best thing they ever did. That terrible time in NI captured in under 3 minutes. Forget the story about his mum that's the boys sitting outside in the car intent on doing God knows what. Easy to laugh at U2 now but not then.
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on 21 August 2009
Ah, October. Wonderful memories of the autumn/winter of '81. I can understand why people don't rate this as highly as a lot of other U2 albums as it doesn't seem to fit comfortably with its near neighbours (chronologically) 'Boy' & 'War'. However for me it evokes a feeling of discovery. Discovering the world, yourself and also, in my case, U2 (in my tender years I hadn't spotted 'Boy' or anything earlier than 'Fire').

There is a melancholy feeling here but also one of celebration. I'm not a Christian myself but I love the feeling the band give of wanting to shout from the rooftops.

Not the best U2 album but probably my favourite.
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on 27 June 2008
A must have for any self-respecting U2 fan, these deluxe editions follow in the footsteps of last year's Joshua Tree anniversary release.

Overseen by The Edge himself, the original albums have been fully remastered, but its the 2nd disc that will most appeal - containing B-sides, rarities and live versions that would take a small fortune to track down on the original singles. Notable on October Deluxe, is the great lost U2 single, 'A Celebration', which was released between October and War in 1982, but then fell out of favour with the band. (Although it's B-side '...Party Girl', also included, has become a live favourite to this day). Extensive liner notes, lyrics and unseen photographs are included in each version.

The first three albums represent the band's early punk influences (Boy) religious leanings (October) and the first steps toward stadium rock (War) and the fact that U2 still play songs from this period in their live set today is testament to the quality of the albums.
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on 12 February 2010
It's impossible to take U2 as seriously as they take themselves and what makes it more comical is that Bono he means every word and feels the need to shout it to the world, the way to enjoy U2 is to consider the vocals as sound effects and concentrate, as the band does, on the sound of the guitar.

October proves that even the mighty U2 were subject, long ago, to the difficult second album syndrome. During its recording both Bono and The Edge left the band temporarily. October concerns itself in the main with things spiritual. All band members except Adam Clayton (we are lead to believe) were avowed Christians. The produces an album with abundance references to rejoicing and exultation. The album's only hit, Gloria, even came complete with a Latin liturgical chorus. But the ablum only really works because of Steve Lilywhite's production, who was in a class of its own

Unlike U2's debut album, Boy, October is awkward and generally keeps the guitar in the foreground, not breaking up the echoes with Boy's endless glockenspiels. But Here we have U2 tinkering and obviously attempting to vary their sound, but none of the strategies work as well. Also unlike Boy, October is barely coherent. October is really a concept album a band looking for a new direction with an almost ethereal sound feeding on the subliminal emotions the band members. The album as a hole is confused and I think it's fair to say that the Irish quartet didn't really follow through on the promise of Boy until 1983's War. This is not to say that there aren't some inspiring and attractive moments here, but it doesn't hold a candle to their promising potential highlighted on Boy. October was made at a time when post punk was giving way to the androgynous new romantics from London and the northern gloom bands (Joy Division and the Bunnymen). The public were split and this may be apart of the reason why October is such a difficult album. It never seems to find its niche. Some the albums experimentation is tangible and could be considered "good", but most of the songs are from memorable. But we must consider these were only a bunch of 20 year olds and larry was only 17. Having your second album centred on faith and "God" is pretty ambitious and it undeniably helps October to a small extent, giving it some vitality. But the album still lacks fluency, unwitting creating an album that could be considered and of demos and outtakes (A filler Ablum) before the next studio release. The Smiths were masters at this, some u2 could never master and this was proved again at the latter Rattle and Hum offering
Gloria is probably as close as the album comes to offering up a classic U2 track, with it's sharp guitar lead and pumping drum beat. It draws upon the musical sentiment of Boy, but the lyrics are all October. The lead line of "Gloria, In te domine" - which translates to "Glory to God in the highest" - is almost a statement about the theme of the album. The frustrating thing about October is that it could have been so much better. Boy was a great debut and the band had shown it had the ability to pen truly memorable songs, yet October didn't fully deliver. Rejoice has also proved to be one of the enduring tracks from the album. The Edge's guitar work is as sharp and beguiling as ever with his crisp and lingering chords providing Bono with the perfect platform to wax lyrical about personal and communal suffering and development. The thumping drums and driving bass make this one of the most full-blooded Rock songs in the U2 catalogue.
This was proven two years, when a cult music TV show "The Tube" premiered an edited 30minute live footage of U2 at Red Rocks. Admittedly the Songs featured in this transmition were primarily from the third album WAR, but the songs from featured October fit snugly into the set.
Sadly after War, worse was to come, the young men from Ireland became seduced by the world of rock and roll before finally becoming characters of themselves. So perhaps October is'nt as bad as we first might think. The only albums you really need from U2 are Boy October and War.
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VINE VOICEon 12 January 2009
One reviewer describes "October" as "underwhelming". I disagree. As soon as "Gloria" bursts through the speakers you know you are onto a good thing. I'll admit that "I Fall Down" and "I Threw a Brick" are a little dull (with better versions on the bonus disk); but the rest of the album is first class - one of their best five albums in my view.

This remastering gives a slightly richer, fuller, sound and clearer vocals, but it is not a massive improvement in the original. The bonus disk is a revelation, with energetic live tracks; a fantastic BBC session and some rare tracks. It is every bit as enjoyable as the original album.

If, like me, you think that U2 did their best work in the 1980's, this is a very enjoyable purchase.
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on 16 April 2009
Building on the muscularity and vigour of the first album and showing more variation in texture, October boasts moments of brilliance but at times sounds somewhat directionless. Like Boy, the first track is impressive, Gloria builds in power from a voice crying out in pain and desperation. The guitar and rhythm section is perfectly judged so that the return of the chorus becomes joyful and uplifting, possibly the first great U2 song.
I Fall Down with its piano backing and Bono's voice once more inspirational; a song which demonstrates the band's ability to mix broad blasts of powerful rock with surprising subtlety.
Then another change of texture. I Fall Down introduced by blistering drumming. Bono's voice swooping into falsetto. So far, so brilliant and Rejoice is effortlessly inspirational.
Fire however falls back, a mid-tempo piece, undistinguished. Yet the band are able to adjust the texture again. Tomorrow introduces the sound of pipes over a growling bass. Bono's vocal performance is almost melodramatic but desperately sincere and the song builds and builds. October reintroduces the piano giving the short track a sense of majety and importance, a lovely quiet number.
With A Shout a loud song, great guitar playing, Bono cries out for Jerusalem but doesn't tell us what he hopes to find there.
As the main album draws to a close, we are reminded of the flaws of the first album; a reliance on mid-tempo numbers, a loss of focus.
The CD comes with an impressive array of bonus tracks including live versions of songs from the album and a good selection of other tracks.
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on 13 February 2009
BY AUTUMN '81, a long time in music then, with fashions changing so quickly - U2 were verging on splitting up. Well, not quite; that was still to come. For now, they struggled with a case of stolen lyrics and a crisis of faith, as they lived that `difficult' second album.

Listening again, it's interesting how the naivety and innocence of their debut, in terms of sound, had progressed from dinky drums and xylophone to the sparse production and bleak soundscape of post-Punk, Joy Divison-esque 'October'. Intriguing were the reviews of the time, clearly already informed of the group's Christian beliefs. Listening afresh, their so-called `Christian' album is no more overtly-religious than any which have followed, in lyrical concern. Largely gone, however, is the adolescent angst. Still to come, the political commentary. Only two years previously, Bob Dylan announced his conversion to Christ with the evangelistic 'Slow Train Coming' and coupled with Cliff and After The Fire both in chart ascendancy, a new wave act with spiritual sympathies wasn't a complete surprise to the listening public. Indeed, 'October' sat well with 'Slow Train' and complimented the latter's preaching with a work of art remarkable for it's genuine doubt, confusion and apprehension.

In amongst it, the sheer joy of 'Scarlet'; the still-raw bereavement of 'Tomorrow', the anthemic 'Gloria'. Dense, intense and atmospheric, the Uilleann pipes suggest Ireland as a geographical place. The album's title and lyrical feel countenance a time for death and re-birth.

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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 2 August 2008
"October", the second album, is perhaps U2's strangest record : hastily written and recorded, it sees Bono as an evangelical Christian, espousing the virtue of God over a curiously uncohesive musical backing. Some of the songs here are clearly the sound of a band racing against the clock to create enough material for an album, and it is, therefore, the weakest U2 album in their canon. There are some unrecognised moments of genius (such as the title track itself), but these are few and far between. The bonus disc is also, once again, rather underwhelming. All the non album songs of the time are included (aside from an alternate mix of the title track that was on a compilation release), as well as an assortment of live b-sides, and a third of a rather brilliant concert the BBC recorded in London in December 1982. The whole show is worthy of release, and the discs again have ample space to contain the material, so quite why it isn't included is a mystery. The bonus disc is topped off with a superior BBC Radio Session - which easily eclipses the original LP recordings but misses 1 of the 4 numbers recorded - and somewhat incongruously, a 1996 reworking of album track "Tomorrow". This 1996 recording sits miles apart from the original in style and production, and sounds like the work of a different band, thus breaking the spell and seal of history set by the previous contents. The bonus disc is, sadly, again the sound of a band failing to satisfy their fans with a half-way house that satisfies no one and leaves out huge chunks of available music in favour of blank space. Well done, millionaire rock stars, with a value-for-money ethos.
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on 22 July 2008
Not listened to the remastered original album yet, but the second cd of live and rare stuff is excellent. Hammersmith Palais & BBC session versions of the album tracks are far better than the original versions. Celebration & Trash, Trampoline & the Party Girl are excellent as ever and the live stuff from Boston & Holland is very good too.

Never particularly like J Swallo, and this reissue has not changed my opinion and the version of Tomorrow at the end is just weird
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