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Under a Blood Red Sky Live

169 customer reviews

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Under A Blood Red Sky (Remastered)
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Audio CD, Live, June 15, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

U2 Live: Under A Blood Red Sky [Audio CD] Recorded Live in 1983. TRACKS: 1. Gloria; 2. 11 O'Clock Tick Tock; 3. I Will Follow; 4. Party Girl; 5. Sunday Bloody Sunday; 6. The Electric Co.; 7. New Years Day; & 8. '40'.

There seem to be two major camps of U2 fans now: Those who dig the early albums (good and sensible people), and those who only like the ones from the '90s, putting everything previous down as "classic rock." But U2 only became a classic rock sort of band in 1984, with The Unforgettable Fire. The real early stuff, from '80 to '83, still comes off as edgy--and it's comparatively ignored. Here's a sampler: Under a Blood Red Sky is from a U.S. tour (1983's) in which U2 still thought of itself as a hungry little band from Ireland--and draws (fairly wisely) from the band's first three albums. There's nary a misstep on the entire disc, although it could stand a few more tracks. --Gavin McNett
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 15, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: 1983
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B000001F5F
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,822 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Two of things that make U2 such as special band is their passion and energy. While these traits are present on their studio albums, they come to the front in their live performances. Under A Blood Red Sky perfectly captures all their raw emotions and energy. The album opens with the soaring "Gloria" from their October album and then seiges into "11 O'Clock Tick Tock". Next is a scorching version of their first hit "I Will Follow". "Party Girl" is a great lost U2 song. It was originally issued as a b-side and available on imports only. It starts off with just the Edge strumming his guitar and builds up to a powerful crescendo. Bono states on the record that "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is not a rebel song, but it is definately an anthem. Bono has always had a bit of a preacher in him and as he urges the crowd to chant "no more", the album takes on the feel of an old time revival. After whipping things up to a fever-pitch, "The Electric Co." and "New Year's Day" follow and they mellow things out. The hymn-like "40" is the final track and the album ends on a poignant note with just the crowd singing the chorus. For those of you who may only be familar with the U2 of the 90's and their mammoth Pop Mart and Zooropa concerts, this album is a fine sampler of their earlier efforts. While the approach is simplier in nature, it produces just as big of a sound.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Ian on October 6, 2008
Format: Audio CD
We've waited years for it and here it is. Finally. I have every U2 concert DVD you can have (even the Super Bowl performance and SNL) yet this is the one DVD that was a no-brainer.

For those of you around back then, it's nostalgic. This concert is what turned me on to U2. For some reason, MTV was showing it in 83 and when I saw it I said "Who ARE these guys?" From that point on, I was hooked. All because of this.

For others of you not old enough, this is a chance to see U2 at their absolute peak when they were the Band That Mattered, before they started playing around with irony beginning with Achtung Baby. Not that they don't matter now, but as other reviewers have pointed out, this is THE definitive version of "Sunday Bloody Sunday," just as Live Aid was the definitive version of "Bad."

The songs are almost universally great and well-played (save for a sloppy trainwreck of "Two Hearts") and you get to see the original order of the set; if you owned this back in the day, it made it seem like "Surrender" was the opening song.

The visuals are stunning because of the weather. The crowd is nuts. And this was the concert that launched U2 into the big time.

AS FOR PICTURE QUALITY: as the director clearly states in the commentary, this was shot on VIDEO. It's been treated to look like film for this reissue, but it was video. And when you point a video camera at a light, it "burns" the tube, creating streaks across the screen which are all over this. That was the POINT. The director threw out all the "rules" for filming and did not care about the streaking/flaring. This is NOT a flaw in the remaster it ALWAYS looked like this. If you want a perfect picture go buy Live in Boston or Rattle & Hum.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Bushman VINE VOICE on March 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is a five star album for a variety of reasons:

A. The song selection. This is a release from a supremely confident band, trusting that their audience will enjoy the songs they enjoy playing and not just the obvious favorites. Party Girl? 11 O'clock Tick Tock? Rock on!

B. If you are of a certain age, UABRS is inextricably linked to the Red Rocks concert video that was incessantly played on MTV for months and months (and months) back when MTV was not only concerned with music but on a mission to break high quality, envelope-pushing new music in America

C. It is a snapshot of one of Rock's great bands peaking for the first time

All that said, Under A Blood Red Sky cries out for the Deluxe Edition treatment. This short (under 40 minutes) album was sold as an EP upon it's 1983 release and if memory serves was priced accordingly. It seems like this sold for under $6.00 on vinyl. In my humble opinion, Island should blow the dust off the masters re-release it:

A. Remastered in SACD format

B. Fleshed out with all or most of the songs played on the dates originally recorded for the album (I saw this tour at the old Paramount Theater in Portland, OR in 1983 and I remember they were still playing some of the great tunes from Boy, An Cat Dubh particularly sticks in my memory)

C. With a second-disc DVD containing the whole Red Rocks concert

D. Why not add some MTV interview footage from the time?

E. A liner note essay from Paul McGuinness telling the story of the first American transformation: From obscure Irish New Wave up and comers to America's Alterna-Rock heroes with the release of War and the Red Rocks video

UABRS compares favorably to the Who's Live At Leeds. The Who release was an explosive live document also, marred only by it's brevity. The Deluxe Edition remedied that and proved a revelation. Come on Island, get on the stick!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Fowler on March 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album on vinyl back 'in the day'. Subsequently, I bought it on cassette, and finally on CD, so you might say that I like it a lot. The energy in these live versions really make the more careful studio versions seem less vital. The version of `Party Girl' here totally wipes out the B-Side studio version (which can be found on the two disc edition of `Best of 1980-1990').
As some reviewers have noted, part of the track 'Electric Co' is missing a bit during an interlude in the song where Bono starts singing part of 'America' from West Side Story and 'Send in the Clowns' from A Little Night Music. Of course, our Draconian copyright laws being what they are, these brief references had to be cut to avoid a lawsuit, I suppose. The cut is reflected on the tape and the CD. What I don't understand is why U2 can't just go ahead and clear the rights for the use of these snippets, so future CD editions can include what was taken out.
(Copyright-related Note: Years later, U2's label, Island Records sued the group Negativland after it incorporated 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' into a joke sound collage that they released as a single that they called `U2'. That's now available, though, as a bootleg entitled 'These Guys Are From England...' which is quite hilarious, though some may find it offensive.)
For those who think that it's a rip-off that this album is so short, keep in mind that it's a lower-priced E.P., not a full-length album. Also, remember that Rattle & Hum, U2's other foray into the live genre, was a double album, making this seem all the more lacking in material. Moreover, U2 wasn't quite what they are now (a huge supergroup) back then, so this E.P. was more of a marketing taster to give people an idea of how great U2 is live.
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