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Audio CD, April 30, 1990
$3.49 $0.01

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U2 formed in 1978 after Larry Mullen pinned a 'musicians wanted' ad to the notice board at Dublin's Temple Mount School. Adam Clayton had discovered rock'n'roll as a thirteen year old, buying his first acoustic guitar and then talking his parents into buying him a bass guitar. 'It just sounded good to me. Deep and fat and satisfying.'

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 30, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: 1980
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B000001FRY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,047 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I Will Follow
2. Twilight
3. An Cat Dubh
4. Into The Heart
5. Out Of Control
6. Stories For Boys
7. The Ocean
8. A Day Without Me
9. Another Time, Another Place
10. The Electric Co.
11. Shadows And Tall Trees

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The initial shot from the band that won the world's heart with an impassioned delivery and precocious songs. The European edition cover art is different than the US edition and features a boy who also appeared on the cover of the "War" album and it's accompanying singles.

There's little in U2's 1980 debut to suggest that this was a band bent on world domination. Indeed, there's a charming, if naive, coming-of-age urgency in songs such as "I Will Follow," "Stories for Boys" and "Out of Control" that may startle listeners more familiar with U2's latter-day bombast and stadium-scale theatrics. Bono's viewpoint, still tantalizingly vague and wide-eyed, showed that his penchant for strident polemics hadn't yet gotten the best of him; his anthems are those of a yearning Dubliner barely out of his teens rather than those of a world-weary multimillionaire. The band's sometimes-ragged musical chops work in its favor here, gently burnished to then-fresh new-wave sheen by producer Steve Lillywhite. If the Edge's dense, effects-laden guitar work seems overly familiar, it's only because this album was such a key influence on the whole "rock of the '80s" sound. Though not quite as moody or musically accomplished as October, arguably the band's first masterpiece, Boy still ranks as one of U2's best albums. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

Conceptually, this album is very good.
The lyrics are great, Bono's voice and The Edge's guitar is great, especially the opening riff.
Johnny Boy
Boy is definitely a must have for any U2 fan and even for non U2 fans who like the U2 of old.
Erik J. Malvick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Boy on July 23, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Although U2's real debut came in early 1979 with 'Three' the band broke onto the scene with 'Boy,' from 1980. They had recently been signed to major label Island Records, which was home to bands like Bob Marley & The Wailers in the '70s. 'Three' was released on CBS.

But anyway, this is where it all started. Right here. 'Boy,' their major label debut, gave them their first hit, 'I Will Follow' and contained such fan favorites like the eight minute 'An Cat Dubh/Into The Heart,' one of my personal favorites 'Shadows and Tall Trees' and the early-U2 concert classic 'Twilight.'

The bonus disc is where things get interesting. If you are a casual U2 fan, just buy the standard edition of 'Boy.' However, if you are a lifelong, die-hard U2 fan like I am, than this is a real treat!

The original version of '11 O'Clock Tick Tock' should have made the original cut. I don't understand why it didn't. This song is a great one, and while many people know it from 'Under A Blood Red Sky,' I prefer the studio version. (Note: For those who haven't heard the studio version, you are in for a real treat!)

The previously unreleased tracks 'Speed of Life' and 'Saturday Night' have a more punk rock sound. Clearly influenced by bands like The Clash and The Jam, these songs proves U2 can make great punk.

And finally, 'Three' is available on CD! This is what I've been waiting for for years! This is the real highlight of the disc! 'Boy/Girl' is a classic, and another really good punk rocker. The live version from London in early 1980 that is also featured here is superb as well. And what a treat it is to hear the original 'Out of Control' and 'Stories for Boys'! The songs have a much more punk rock sound here than they do in their 'Boy' album versions.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Evil Lincoln on September 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
For those familiar with U2 only as the larger-than-life superstars responsible for socially conscious anthems such as "Where the Streets Have No Name," "One," and "Beautiful Day," their debut album Boy should surprise. It's their most rocking album (their latest, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, is really pretty timid), their most apolitical, and their most energetic. The young U2's energy, enthusiasm, and ear for a good song more than make up for any lack of musical refinement (The Edge in particular seems to be having a whole lot of fun on the guitar, while never getting too technical). This is their best album of the `80's (along with 1983's War, but that's another review), besting even The Joshua Tree in terms of strength and consistency.

Boy's most recognizable song, "I Will Follow," begins the album. If there were one song to define U2's energy and optimism at this point in their careers, this is it. "Twilight" includes one of The Edge's best guitar solos ever; it's so simple yet so evocative of the pensive mood of the song. "An Cat Dubh" is the album's high point. It's a very dark song, with a fantastic instrumental finale (that also serves as the beginning of "Into the Heart"). Adam Clayton's bass and Larry Mullen Jr's percussion really shine here.

Other highlights include "Stories for Boys" and "Out of Control" (U2's first single), two great hard rockers. "The Electric Co." is a great jam piece, and "The Ocean" provides a nice, calm change of pace.

What might be the most valuable thing about Boy is it's picture of U2 as a very young band, free of any spotlight, making energetic, earnest music. This is essential for any rock music collection.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Pax on July 27, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The remastered version of Boy is really incredible and very worthy of the purchase. The old cd versions that have represented the U2 catalog for so many years have really done a disservice to their early material. These new remastered versions really bring back the potency of the music and give the music a vibrancy it hasn't had for way too many years. So many lesser bands have remastered their entire catalog years ago. I wonder what has kept U2 from doing so? It kind of reminds me of the Beatles, where they really seem to want to control what happens to their music. Who knows?

One decision I do applaud is keeping the extra material on separate cd's (Deluxe Version). I have always felt that when bands tag on singles, rarities etc. on the back of the original LP when they re-release an album that it muddies the waters and dilutes the orginal work. I think U2 did the right thing by keeping the original work intact by offering different versions of the remastering, each with the original work intact.

Either way, I have waited a long time to see U2 finally remaster their early albums and I am very satisfied with the results. While its hard to describe, the remaster is so much more immediate, with full bass, and Bono's voice is really much more complex & three dimensional on this version. It adds so much to the music and makes one realize all over again why this album is so great. The remaster is so good(yet unobtrusive)that it has brought back memories for me from when I first listened to it back in 80-81, similar to a specific smell that jars a memory.

I believe that Boy is so good for such a variety of reasons that it has never really been as appreciated as it should be.
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