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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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CONCERT SERIES: U2

Page from the Statesman issueDate of the show: May 1, 1983
Top song in 1983: “New Year’s Day”
After 1983…

War, the album from which the 1983 hit “New Year’s Day” came, was considered more “politically charged” than the band’s previous albums. With the song “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” reviewers found that the band was capable of deeper songwriting. War debuted at #1 in the UK, and “New Year’s Day” was the band’s first hit outside of Ireland or the UK. During the War Tour, U2 recorded the live album, Under the Blood Red Sky, which was widely played on the radio and MTV and helped expand the band’s audience. However, they feared being shoehorned into certain genres because of the tone of War and, therefore, switched their style up in subsequent albums.

The band’s biggest change in direction was the follow up album to WarThe Unforgettable Fire, which was more serious. Off that album came the song “Pride (In the Name of Love),” the band’s first single to enter the US Top 40. In 1985, U2 performed in the Live Aid concert for Ethopian famine relief. This was a pivotal point in their career, as it helped them connect with their audience in a way they never had before. Rolling Stone magazine referred to the as the “Band of the 80s” and said they were possibly the “only band that mattered” to rock and roll fans. Since then, they’ve continued to expand their styles and broaden their audience base. In total, they’ve released 12 studio albums, making them one of the all-time best-selling musical acts.

With 22 Grammy Awards, they’ve won more than any other band. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility, 2005. They continue to make music and tour, as well as raise awareness of different causes and campaign for human rights.

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