When U2 released ... WAR

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Twilight

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When U2 released ... WAR
« on: April 13, 2020, 04:55:08 PM »
Somehow it doesn't seem right to not have a "where were you when" thread for this album, although I gather some of you weren't even a gleam in your pa's eyes when it came out. So here you go.... What were you up to/what was going on in your life when u2 released War?

Me, I was in my late 20's, just trying to find my way post-college, mostly friendless, listening hungrily to new music as one way to connect with ... something. Someone. I already liked some of U2's songs, and War was a big deal on the local radio, so it became the first U2 album I actually spent my hard-earned cash on. Took me a few listens to really get into it, but it became, and still is, one of my all time favorite albums. Bloody Sunday was THE song at the time, but New Year's Day is the one that really makes me stop and listen, every time I hear it.

I was still on the periphery of U2 fandom, though ... I was listening to a lot of other bands just as much. (The '80's were a great time, musically.) But a year or two later, Live at Red Rocks graced my TV screen, and bam ... I was IN, hook, line and sinker.
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imaginary friend

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Re: When U2 released ... WAR
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2020, 08:41:51 PM »
War came out about 2 weeks before my 20th birthday. Bought it with birthday $$$. It was the first U2 album I bought; I'd been a U2 fan for a bit less than 2 years at that point, but never felt compelled to buy any of their previous stuff.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 08:43:54 PM by imaginary friend »

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riffraff

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Re: When U2 released ... WAR
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2020, 08:56:23 PM »
I don't remember  ???
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laoghaire

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Re: When U2 released ... WAR
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2020, 09:29:12 PM »
I was a wee one, 6 years old. They weren't part of my world yet.

I met War in 1991, before Achtung Baby. I don't know why, but it was the last album in the back catalog I worked on. I had already done UABRS in 1990, and I think if I were older, UABRS might have been my gateway drug.

I didn't plan it this way, but I did October in the fall, and War in the winter. So War still calls up winter for me. The way Lillywhite recorded Larry, that bit of an echo or a space, sounds like winter to me. Like the way Like a Song starts.

I loved the military sound juxtaposed with love. I trusted the screaming.

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Codeguy

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Re: When U2 released ... WAR
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2020, 09:31:21 PM »
WOW, I have a story about WAR, but it's too long for right now. My first U2 album.
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Twilight

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Re: When U2 released ... WAR
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2020, 12:35:52 AM »
I was a wee one, 6 years old. They weren't part of my world yet.

I met War in 1991, before Achtung Baby. I don't know why, but it was the last album in the back catalog I worked on. I had already done UABRS in 1990, and I think if I were older, UABRS might have been my gateway drug.

I didn't plan it this way, but I did October in the fall, and War in the winter. So War still calls up winter for me. The way Lillywhite recorded Larry, that bit of an echo or a space, sounds like winter to me. Like the way Like a Song starts.

I loved the military sound juxtaposed with love. I trusted the screaming.

Interesting, I've always associated it with winter too, but in my case I think it's because of New Year's Day.
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The Edges Cat

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Re: When U2 released ... WAR
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2020, 12:54:35 AM »
Watching Return of the Jedi for the hundredth time. And discovering Krull on VHS.
The Edge: “[Eno] would love to see us making albums a bit more like [Zooropa]. Where we go, ‘You know what? We’re not going to second-guess any of this. Let’s just go for it.’”

U2 Fans: We'd all love to see that, Edge.

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guest532

Re: When U2 released ... WAR
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2020, 04:16:44 AM »
Watching Return of the Jedi for the hundredth time.

I only saw it once.  I was collecting the figures though.


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Marvinho

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Re: When U2 released ... WAR
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2020, 02:06:11 PM »
1983? I was abut 9 or 10 and had no or little interest in music outside of watching Top of the Pops. What I was excited about was Return of the Jedi and riding my bike every where. Music and records were just around the corner though ...

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Twilight

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Re: When U2 released ... WAR
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2020, 04:24:40 PM »
Watching Return of the Jedi for the hundredth time. And discovering Krull on VHS.
Krull! I was a big fan, at the time. It was better in the theater, though.  :)
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MPare1966

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Re: When U2 released ... WAR
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2020, 01:22:53 AM »
Probably long overdue, but time to tell my WAR story, it’s been 37 years for me this month. My apologies, but this is a bit long. Thanks for reading.

April 1983, I’m in a Catholic boys-only private high-school, Le Collège de Montréal , a school that’s run by the Sulpicians priests. It’s the oldest school in Montreal and is also located on the same premises as the Grand Séminaire de Montréal where all catholic priests in the Province are ordained. That year I’m in 11th grade, or what we call here Secondaire IV. The following year would then be my last high-school year, as in Quebec, we go on to college after that.

The cool thing was that 10 students in 12th grade would have the privilege to be part of the in-house radio station DJ crew and be allotted 2 time slots per week (1 in the morning, 1 at lunch) and play whatever records they wanted, all for the listening pleasure of the guys in 10th-11th and 12th grade. Speakers were installed in each of the cohort’s common rooms, so everybody could listen in. It was a huge deal to get that gig, especially since you had been listening to the older guys for 2 years, and if you were into rock music (as most of us were), you absolutely wanted the DJ job.

April was when the teacher who was in charge of the radio station would select the 10 lucky guys for the following year. He was someone very well versed in all-things rock music; he had hundreds of records in his office and he was also very much in touch with all the new music that was coming out then (the New Wave, if any of you remember). His selection process involved testing us on our musical knowledge, with a few “exams”, some written, some with music clips we had to identify, song-album-artist, etc... in one particular “test”, we had to write an essay on why we found rock music important, during a 1 hour session, while he played Alan Parsons Project’s Tales of Mistery and Imagination in the classroom. An experience I remember vividly to this day. I think we were 25 guys who wanted in and the selection process lasted 3 weeks, in 4 or 5 sessions overall, done after school. He was dead serious about the whole thing, needless to say. So at the end of it all, as you can guess now, I was selected.

At that moment in my young life, I was a big fan of 70’s rock music. Pink Floyd, Led Zep, Genesis, Jethro Tull, The Stones, The Who, Supertramp, Yes, Deep Purple, ELP, Queen, etc... name it. And back then, when you were into that, you were not too keen on listening to new stuff, as anything else was suspicious, and most probably some disco shit, like what your younger sister would listen to. Back then in Montreal, we had only one FM rock station and they were strictly 70’s rock, that is where we got our fix, it was like religion to us, the Church of CHOM FM 97.7, The Spirit of Montreal.

But one new band had caught my ears though (probably on Friday Night Videos) and it was The Police. They had some bigs hits in 1982 with Ghost in the Machine and I was slowly going through their back catalogue because I liked these fun, less hard-rock songs of theirs. But at that time I had never heard of U2 (and no one else in our group to my knowledge) And clearly, looking back, I was ready to get away from the 70’s “classic” rock.

So at the end of April, our teacher and the 10 of us selected, we were having our first lunch meeting, where he would tell us the plan going forward. We had to form teams of 2, who would be together for the whole year, find a name for our show, a theme song, etc... we would have until the end of the year to finalize that, learn the ropes with the studio turntables, “cueing up” the records, working the mixing console, talking properly over the mic, etc.  It’s during that first meeting that my teacher mentioned U2, he thought we should check them out, said they had new album out and that it was getting some good reviews in some magazines. At the end of the meeting, he took me aside and said to me: “Martin, you should really check out that band U2, the album is called War, I’m sure you’ll like it”. Little did he know he was about to change my life. Or maybe he did know...

So the next Saturday I went downtown to the huge Sam The Recordman store, where I would usually buy all my albums, and went straight to “U” bin in the rock section. No band named U2 was in there. So I asked a clerk if he knew of them, and he said “sure, they’re On the second floor, in the “New Wave” section”. What? New wave? What the hell is that? I said to myself. Anyways, I found the bin and indeed there were records there from a band named U2. The record, as you can imagine, immediately jumped to my face. I was struck by that kid’s face, in black and white, the anger in the eyes, the big red letters. I take it in my hands, flip it over, I read the song titles (what’s that? A song named “40”?), I read the band members names (WTF, the guitarist is called The Edge?) I see “Electric Violin” as an instrument listed. All this is overwhelmingly appealing, strangely. And without hesitation, I purchase the album and head home, heart throbbing, eager to listen to this peculiar album.

I get home, and at that moment, I am a complete virgin (unless maybe I saw a few seconds of NYD on tv the prior weeks, maybe...) So I drop the needle and SBS starts. An immediate and intense lighting jolt hits me. It’s a sound I’ve never heard before, it’s cathartic, it’s like an epiphany. I’m totally taken by the military drums, the passion and angst in the singer’s voice, the violin, the gritty guitar. All of it is transcending. Then comes another song with some more military beats, a weird movie interlude. Then NYD with the piano, and again that passionate voice and the friggin guitar solo! Like a Song brings the whole thing to another level, so much energy and passion, it’s almost unbearable. Drowning Man, more violin, the singer again giving everything from his gut. I am completely drained, and it’s just side A that listened to. (hell, my eyes are full of tears just writing all this... )

Moving on to side B gave me a bit of relief, as the songs felt less intense. Nevertheless, I was immediately taken by Surrender (which remains an absolute favorite to this day) and “40” was just so perfectly soothing as an ending to an astonishing record. I think after that initial listening of the record, I just played and replayed and replayed side A. I was completely and visceraly transformed by it. That music literally flows in my veins to this day. I get the chills. Every. Single. Time.

After that day, everything changed. I left all the classic 70’s rock albums in my library accumulate dust, as I went on to discover more of these new bands, like Simple Minds, Big Country, Talking Heads, Tears for Fears, The Smiths, Eurythmics, INXS, etc. Also, I had to listen to all the other stuff U2 had released. Later that year, UABRS was released and I think I played it in it’s entirety on my show one time (to the desperation of my co-host  ;D).

At school, when we were back in September, I became “The U2 guy”. I was on a mission to convert everyone. Also, the band was getting some traction, as CHOM FM started playing some songs, UABRS being very helpful for that (they loved playing live tracks on that station). As for my little radio show, I can assure you that there wasn’t a single instance where I did not play one U2 song.

So there you have it. For me, there was a Before-War life, and an After-War life. All this explains why I have a hard time ranking the album in the band’s overall career. There’s just too many emotions, too many deeply entrenched memories attached to it. U2, as you well know, would throw me to the floor a few more times with TUF, JT, AB and Zoo, but that first time could never be matched (although the first time I listened to AB was pretty close).

Those 2 years, 1983 and 84, with my buddies on the DJ crew, were the best of my life. It was an exhilarating time of musical discovery that shaped me forever. Thank you Mr. Dubois, may you rest in peace.





From left to right:

- Nicolas; he became a banker
- Charles; became a financial adviser (I also dated his sister for a few years, he hated me for it)
- Mr. Pierre Dubois (he would also have a huge impact on my younger half-brother, 15 years later)
- Mike; became a record label executive.
- Phil; he became a carpenter
- Crazy U2 fanatic
- Nicolas; went on to Law School, like me. Remains my best friend to this day.
- Louis; also went to Law School
- Éric; became an accountant
- Louis; went on to become a doctor
- Stephan; my co-host and childood friend. Became a sexologist.


« Last Edit: April 15, 2020, 01:25:44 AM by MPare1966 »
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Re: When U2 released ... WAR
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2020, 05:44:03 AM »
Probably long overdue, but time to tell my WAR story, it’s been 37 years for me this month. My apologies, but this is a bit long. Thanks for reading.

April 1983, I’m in a Catholic boys-only private high-school, Le Collège de Montréal , a school that’s run by the Sulpicians priests. It’s the oldest school in Montreal and is also located on the same premises as the Grand Séminaire de Montréal where all catholic priests in the Province are ordained. That year I’m in 11th grade, or what we call here Secondaire IV. The following year would then be my last high-school year, as in Quebec, we go on to college after that.

The cool thing was that 10 students in 12th grade would have the privilege to be part of the in-house radio station DJ crew and be allotted 2 time slots per week (1 in the morning, 1 at lunch) and play whatever records they wanted, all for the listening pleasure of the guys in 10th-11th and 12th grade. Speakers were installed in each of the cohort’s common rooms, so everybody could listen in. It was a huge deal to get that gig, especially since you had been listening to the older guys for 2 years, and if you were into rock music (as most of us were), you absolutely wanted the DJ job.

April was when the teacher who was in charge of the radio station would select the 10 lucky guys for the following year. He was someone very well versed in all-things rock music; he had hundreds of records in his office and he was also very much in touch with all the new music that was coming out then (the New Wave, if any of you remember). His selection process involved testing us on our musical knowledge, with a few “exams”, some written, some with music clips we had to identify, song-album-artist, etc... in one particular “test”, we had to write an essay on why we found rock music important, during a 1 hour session, while he played Alan Parsons Project’s Tales of Mistery and Imagination in the classroom. An experience I remember vividly to this day. I think we were 25 guys who wanted in and the selection process lasted 3 weeks, in 4 or 5 sessions overall, done after school. He was dead serious about the whole thing, needless to say. So at the end of it all, as you can guess now, I was selected.

At that moment in my young life, I was a big fan of 70’s rock music. Pink Floyd, Led Zep, Genesis, Jethro Tull, The Stones, The Who, Supertramp, Yes, Deep Purple, ELP, Queen, etc... name it. And back then, when you were into that, you were not too keen on listening to new stuff, as anything else was suspicious, and most probably some disco shit, like what your younger sister would listen to. Back then in Montreal, we had only one FM rock station and they were strictly 70’s rock, that is where we got our fix, it was like religion to us, the Church of CHOM FM 97.7, The Spirit of Montreal.

But one new band had caught my ears though (probably on Friday Night Videos) and it was The Police. They had some bigs hits in 1982 with Ghost in the Machine and I was slowly going through their back catalogue because I liked these fun, less hard-rock songs of theirs. But at that time I had never heard of U2 (and no one else in our group to my knowledge) And clearly, looking back, I was ready to get away from the 70’s “classic” rock.

So at the end of April, our teacher and the 10 of us selected, we were having our first lunch meeting, where he would tell us the plan going forward. We had to form teams of 2, who would be together for the whole year, find a name for our show, a theme song, etc... we would have until the end of the year to finalize that, learn the ropes with the studio turntables, “cueing up” the records, working the mixing console, talking properly over the mic, etc.  It’s during that first meeting that my teacher mentioned U2, he thought we should check them out, said they had new album out and that it was getting some good reviews in some magazines. At the end of the meeting, he took me aside and said to me: “Martin, you should really check out that band U2, the album is called War, I’m sure you’ll like it”. Little did he know he was about to change my life. Or maybe he did know...

So the next Saturday I went downtown to the huge Sam The Recordman store, where I would usually buy all my albums, and went straight to “U” bin in the rock section. No band named U2 was in there. So I asked a clerk if he knew of them, and he said “sure, they’re On the second floor, in the “New Wave” section”. What? New wave? What the hell is that? I said to myself. Anyways, I found the bin and indeed there were records there from a band named U2. The record, as you can imagine, immediately jumped to my face. I was struck by that kid’s face, in black and white, the anger in the eyes, the big red letters. I take it in my hands, flip it over, I read the song titles (what’s that? A song named “40”?), I read the band members names (WTF, the guitarist is called The Edge?) I see “Electric Violin” as an instrument listed. All this is overwhelmingly appealing, strangely. And without hesitation, I purchase the album and head home, heart throbbing, eager to listen to this peculiar album.

I get home, and at that moment, I am a complete virgin (unless maybe I saw a few seconds of NYD on tv the prior weeks, maybe...) So I drop the needle and SBS starts. An immediate and intense lighting jolt hits me. It’s a sound I’ve never heard before, it’s cathartic, it’s like an epiphany. I’m totally taken by the military drums, the passion and angst in the singer’s voice, the violin, the gritty guitar. All of it is transcending. Then comes another song with some more military beats, a weird movie interlude. Then NYD with the piano, and again that passionate voice and the friggin guitar solo! Like a Song brings the whole thing to another level, so much energy and passion, it’s almost unbearable. Drowning Man, more violin, the singer again giving everything from his gut. I am completely drained, and it’s just side A that listened to. (hell, my eyes are full of tears just writing all this... )

Moving on to side B gave me a bit of relief, as the songs felt less intense. Nevertheless, I was immediately taken by Surrender (which remains an absolute favorite to this day) and “40” was just so perfectly soothing as an ending to an astonishing record. I think after that initial listening of the record, I just played and replayed and replayed side A. I was completely and visceraly transformed by it. That music literally flows in my veins to this day. I get the chills. Every. Single. Time.

After that day, everything changed. I left all the classic 70’s rock albums in my library accumulate dust, as I went on to discover more of these new bands, like Simple Minds, Big Country, Talking Heads, Tears for Fears, The Smiths, Eurythmics, INXS, etc. Also, I had to listen to all the other stuff U2 had released. Later that year, UABRS was released and I think I played it in it’s entirety on my show one time (to the desperation of my co-host  ;D).

At school, when we were back in September, I became “The U2 guy”. I was on a mission to convert everyone. Also, the band was getting some traction, as CHOM FM started playing some songs, UABRS being very helpful for that (they loved playing live tracks on that station). As for my little radio show, I can assure you that there wasn’t a single instance where I did not play one U2 song.

So there you have it. For me, there was a Before-War life, and an After-War life. All this explains why I have a hard time ranking the album in the band’s overall career. There’s just too many emotions, too many deeply entrenched memories attached to it. U2, as you well know, would throw me to the floor a few more times with TUF, JT, AB and Zoo, but that first time could never be matched (although the first time I listened to AB was pretty close).

Those 2 years, 1983 and 84, with my buddies on the DJ crew, were the best of my life. It was an exhilarating time of musical discovery that shaped me forever. Thank you Mr. Dubois, may you rest in peace.





From left to right:

- Nicolas; he became a banker
- Charles; became a financial adviser (I also dated his sister for a few years, he hated me for it)
- Mr. Pierre Dubois (he would also have a huge impact on my younger half-brother, 15 years later)
- Mike; became a record label executive.
- Phil; he became a carpenter
- Crazy U2 fanatic
- Nicolas; went on to Law School, like me. Remains my best friend to this day.
- Louis; also went to Law School
- Éric; became an accountant
- Louis; went on to become a doctor
- Stephan; my co-host and childood friend. Became a sexologist.

An enjoybale read, Monsieur - thanks for sharing.

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riffraff

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Re: When U2 released ... WAR
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2020, 07:10:41 AM »
MPare...thanks for sharing. Your bio gave me goosebumps. And then goosebumps on my goosebumps. 
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Twilight

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Re: When U2 released ... WAR
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2020, 07:54:41 AM »
Wow ... that was amazing. I have goosebumps too. I remember having a similar response to Bloody Sunday. And your teacher sounds awesome, what an experience!
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laoghaire

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Re: When U2 released ... WAR
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2020, 08:04:22 AM »
OMG!! I've been waiting for this story! Amazing!

Goosebumps!