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4.6 out of 5 stars
38
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 9 June 2017
Excellent
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on 10 August 2017
Great
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on 16 September 2017
Excellent
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on 30 May 2017
Brilliant, excellent condition and price
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on 10 August 2017
Best band in the world
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on 5 September 2016
A classic
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on 16 July 2009
In a recent BBC4 documentary celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Island Records, U2 made a point of thanking the label for not dropping them after their second album October. Probably the band's most overtly religious LP, October was not, as the band now acknowledge, the follow-up that many at the record company were looking for. Despite some calls from within to drop them, label chief Chris Blackwell kept faith in the young Irish four-piece and I guess it's fair to say that the rest is history...

So how does October sound now after so many years? Remarkably good as it happens with fine, uncluttered arrangements and an excellent clear production by the highly regarded Steve Lillywhite. The playing by Larry Mullen Jr (drums), Adam Clayton (bass) and especially The Edge with an already distinctive guitar style is inventive and excellent. Coupled with strong vocals by Bono and melodic yet highly individual songs, it's amazing to consider that this album was put together by an act still in their very early 20s.

October opens with the anthemic Gloria, which is probably its best-known track. As well as a brilliant riff, Gloria also displays the band's Irishness with Bono's Gaelic tones as does another highpoint, the underated ballad Tomorrow with its oillean pipes and lyrics partly influenced by the tragic young death of the singer's mother.

In many was an unusual act for Island Records, U2 display a perhaps surprising affinity to the label's Jamaican roots with some distinctly dub reggae influenced passages in the impressive I Threw A Brick Through A Window. Rejoice and the piano based title tracks are also highlights and even the minor hit Fire, much derided in later days by the band themselves, still sounds excellent.

Lyrically, religion and spirituality have a strong hold over October which is not surprising bearing in mind that the strong Christian views of three members of the band were such that they were seriously considering whether they should be playing rock music at the time. Fortunately, Bono, Edge and Larry concluded that they should carry on though, even if they hadn't, they would still have made two excellent albums. Thankfully Chris Blackwell agreed and U2 went on to become one of the biggest bands in the world. Though often overlooked by their millions of later fans, October displays in spades the band's innovation and passion and stand up as an equal to any of their more famous LPs. It is highly recommended.
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on 27 April 2004
Having followed the band with a passion since 1981, it still irks me that October was and still is to some extent continually slated by reviewers, music mags, authors and even some fans of the band. Recorded during a turbulent period for the band(Bono had his lyrics stolen in the US, pressure was being applied by the Shalom group that Bono, Edge and Larry were part of to disband and concentrate on more Christian based activities thus causing moral dilemas for the three and problems with Adam too, together with other disruptive issues)the emotional uncertainty of these issues seeps through beautifully in the songs and in particular Bono's lyrics. Sure, given the chance to revisit, the band would have tackled a few songs differently(eg Tommorrow was superbly re-recorded by Bono and Adam for the Common Ground compilation)but overall what you get is U2 at their most vunerable with their backs firmly up against wall and in many respects this is when they are at their most powerful. Tracks such as Gloria, I Fall Down, Rejoice, Tomorrow, October and Stranger in a Strange Land are really great tracks. At the age of 15 in 1981, the album was never off my turntable(it was pre CD's folks!) and the ease in which I could relate to the lyrics and 'feel' of the songs still stays with me 23 years on. If you've never delved into their back catalogue, I can assure you that you too will rejoice in the wonderfully uplifting and passionate sounds of October.
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on 9 July 2003
I bought this mainly because it was cheap and I've recently been getting into U2's 80's stuff, so my expectations for this early effort were not huge. However, I was hugely impressed. It hasn't dated nearly as badly as some of the singles from the so-called, "Best of '80 to 90" (which, I'm pretty sure doesn't feature any of these tracks) and would go as far as saying that this is better than the more acclaimed and well-known 'Joshua Tree'.
My personal favourites here are the majestic 'Gloria', and the melancholic 'Tomorrow' and 'October'. The latter introduced by the Edge's solitary piano, and culminating with Bono's uncharacteristically down-beat vocals.
Bono's lyrics are probably less political than usual for an 80's U2 album, tending to focus more inwardly, as on 'Gloria' an interesting insight into what seems a rare thing in his line of work, a meaningful faith.
The Edge probably at his best guitar-wise as well on this album, in both the single 'Fire' and the aptly-named final flourish 'is that all?'
My conclusions? If you're a fan of U2's more guitar-based stuff, then you'd do very well to invest in a copy of this, an overlooked classic.
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on 6 May 2008
One thing I've never understood about this album is why it seemed to be hated so much. Sure this isn't one of U2's strongest releases but it's still a great album.

Overall the lyrics aren't up to Bono's usual standard but he lost his songbook and had to make up a lot of the lyrics on the spot so I think he deserves a little slack for them.

Oddly enough the best two songs on this album are the ones that opened both sides of the vinyl ("Gloria" and "Tomorrow"); these songs are classic U2 songs that (especially "Tomorrow") go unnoticed by the general public. Even the band seems to have forgotten them as they haven't even put "Gloria" on any of their Best-Ofs, which I simply can't understand.

Other highlights of the album include basically the first eight songs, each one of them is a great song and "Rejoice" features Larry Mullen's only drum solo! The last 3 songs are where the quality of the album drops. "Stranger in a Strange Land" is a good song but leaves the listener feeling like it could be more, "Scarlet's" biggest problem is that it doesn't close the album; it would have been the perfect closer but instead U2 decided to close the album with "Is That All?" Which for the first 20 seconds or so sounds like it might actually be a great song (If you're a U2 fan you'll recognise the riff as being from "The Cry") but then Bono uses probably some of the worst lyrics of his career, the only thing that stops this song from being bad is "The Cry's" guitar riff which lifts the song from being bad to being average filler.

This album is probably U2's most overlooked album and it doesn't deserve to be (then again I'd be hard pressed to find a U2 album that deserves to be...). The album is nowhere near as bad as it is portrayed in general, it is a great album. Parts of it aren't that good but overall it's great and seeing as most people will probably listen to it with low expectations, I'd say most people will be pleasantly surprised by how good it actually is.
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