War (Deluxe Edition) [Remastered]
With their third album, 1983’s War, U2 came together as a fully charged unit as the anthemic “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “New’Year’s Day,” “Seconds,” and “40” prepared the Irish quartet for worldwide arenas. Again, Steve Lillywhite works his producer’s magic, keeping the band’s raw, visceral energy intact while emphasizing their sonic palette’s preference for imagistic guitar hooks. Bono had always aimed for a wide, sweeping, grandiose tone, but it’s here where he matures into a singer who can carry the weight of his political and personal convictions. Thematically, it’s a heavy album, handling the 1972 Bloody Sunday incident in Northern Ireland, the era of nuclear arms proliferation, and the suppression of the Solidarity movement in Poland. Yet, one doesn’t have to be versed in world events to enjoy the passion the group brings to these songs. “Two Hearts Beat As One” works as both a grand gesture and as an intimate love song. “Like A Song” chimes with a furious undercurrent pushing it forward. And the “Deluxe Edition” includes a number of remixes of “New Year’s Day” and “Two Hearts Beat As One,” b-sides and live tracks from 1982 in Belgium that make one wonder why the band never released a live album from this period, as it shows off their wild, spontaneous side.