From the outset, U2 went for the big message -- every song on their debut album Boy sounds huge, with oceans of processed guitars cascading around Bono's impassioned wail. It was an inspired combination of large, stadium-rock beats and post-punk textures. Without the Edge's echoed, ringing guitar, U2 would have sounded like a traditional hard rock band, since the rhythm section and Bono treat each song as an anthem. Of course, that's the charm of Boy: all of its emotions are on the surface, delivered with optimistic, youthful self-belief, yet the unusual, distinctive guitar textures give it an unexpected tension that makes it an exhilarating debut. The songs may occasionally show some weakness -- the driving "I Will Follow," the dark "An Cat Dubh," and the shimmering "The Ocean" stand out among the sonic textures -- yet the band's musical and lyrical vision keep Boy compelling until the finish.
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Performance CreditsU2 Primary Artist
Adam Clayton Bass,Bass Guitar
Larry Mullen Drums
Technical CreditsEdge Composer
Adam Clayton Composer
Steve Lillywhite Producer
Larry Mullen Composer
Paul Thomas Engineer
Steve Avril Art Direction
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One of the greatest albums ever made by the greatest band in the world! Awesome tracks, very youthful and exudes talents from each member of U2. I love Bono's voice and Larry, Edge and Adam's playing because it sounds so unrehearsed! I recommend this highly to everyone!
When asking fans what their favorite 80's U2 album is, you pretty much have to exclude "The Joshua Tree", just so you start getting some more interesting and varied answers. In that case, my pick would have to be "Boy", U2's debut from 1980. Plenty have already said it, and I must jump on the bandwagon in agreement: the simple, down-to-earth production proves that sometimes, less is more. While "Boy" is still clearly an '80s album (some post-punk influences shine through), its stripped-down sound has helped it age a little better than the sometimes cheesy, mid-80's production of albums like "War." Plus, it's just a strong set of songs that happen to flow well together. The band, as others have said, perform youthfully and exuberantly, which fits the album's loose concept of a boy's passage to manhood. "I Will Follow" is the single most will recognize, but the other songs are no slouch either. The whole first side/half is captivating. The second side contains my favorite song, the post-punkish "A Day Without Me", which was supposedly written for Ian Curtis' passing that same year. It also works well with the album's theme. If early songs (like the first two) stress boyhood and "Shadows and Tall Trees" is the "coming of age" moment, an ode to the suicidal teen makes perfect middle ground. "Shadows and Tall Trees" by the way, is one of my favorite U2 closing songs. "Boy" is underrated; it deserves a listen from any serious U2 fan.
Listen to the 1st five songs on this album and you'll realize just how great it is. ''I will follow'' is a great example of the U2 post-punk driving rock that made them famous. ''Twilight'' has an awesome intro with The Edge's syncopated guitar rhythms and Adam's bass groove. The transition from ''An Cat Dubh'' to ''Into the Heart'' is stellar. The latter is a tranquil, serene showcase of the Edge's guitar. ''Out of Control'' is a strong, propulsive anthem that's just incredible. The rest of the songs on the album are also good, if not to the caliber of the first five. ''Another Time, Another Place'' is a stand-out. Get this album.
"There is no better music than when a band is hungry"...and that's true here. This album is on FIRE. I've got to think the producers knew it, the engineers knew it, and the band knew it. How thrilling it must have been to be in the studio when these songs were coming together. The intuitive person in the studio during these recordings could probably see the writing on the wall. It's no accident this band is sending ripples through the fickle music world 25 years later.
To think that this album started one of the biggest rock bands known to man. If you've only heard the new stuff, sit back and listen to 'Boy.' Your ears will thank you.