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October

4.4 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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Long a favorite of U2's original core following, October not only avoids the sophomore slump, but adds an edgy, emotional resonance to the buoyant self-confidence they showed on their debut, Boy. Though producer Steve Lillywhite deserves mention for helping effectively frame the material with production that manages to be both stark and atmospherically murky, this is the music where Bono, Edge, and company first show the potential that would make them superstars. Lacking the sometimes ham-fisted polemics that would mar War, The Joshua Tree, and later works, October has an oft-tortured sense of emotional and philosophical ambivalence that only underscores concerns that range from the crypto-spiritualist yearnings of "Gloria" and "Rejoice" to more anxious moments like "I Fall Down," "I Threw a Brick Through a Window," and "Fire." In retrospect, they may have peaked early. --Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 15, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B000001FS1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,747 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By P Magnum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 22, 2001
Format: Audio CD
U2 have always had an undercurrent of spirituality and religiousness running through their music. Growing up in a country that is literally divided by faith, the band members were obviously influenced by religion. October is their most overtly religious album where songs like "Rejoice", "Fire", "I Fall Down" and "Is That All?" find the band searching for answers to higher questions. "Gloria" opens up the album with a punch as the song which starts off with a driving guitar riff before ending up with a hymn-like closing. "Tomorrow" is one of their most Irish sounding songs and the title track is a strong instrumental. "I Threw A Brick Through A Window" and "Stranger In A Strange Land" are more in a political bent. October was only the band's second album and shows a that they could build on the tremendous potential that they showed on their debut release.
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By A Customer on November 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This album is overlooked so much and is always so underrated, and that upsets me because it has some great music on it. The music and lyrics on this album are almost completely about the struggle U2 had in their early days with Christianity and Rock and Roll. And although that's probably one of the reasons why it's overlooked so much, it's also one of the reasons why it's great. The album opens with "Gloria", which has lyrics that are commonly mistaken as being Bono talking to a girl, but are really a reference to God. It is the most popular song on the album, and one of the best on it, but not the best. My favorite song on the album is "Tomorrow", a song that's about Bono's mother and Christianity. Other classics on the album are "I Fall Down", "Fire", "Rejoice", and the title track "October". This is the most underrated U2 album, and a lot of people consider it their worst work, but I don't. If you're a U2 fan at all, this album is a must-have.
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Format: Audio CD
The mere fact that you're looking at U2's October is sufficient to conclude that you owe it to yourself to buy this album. Only a bona-fide U2 fan would go looking back to a 1981 album, released prior to the band's trajectory into rock superstardom, and think about buying it.
October is one of those select albums that I've now owned on vinyl, cassette, and now compact disc. This album has been an indispensable part of my music collection for 20 years. On this album, you clearly hear a band full of passion with the nascent ability to create timeless rock anthems. All the underpinnings of the legendary U2 are here, perceptible but unrefined. Through subsequent releases, you can trace the band's growth and evolution into one of the greatest bands in the history of rock music.
Though not as musically accomplished or commercially successful as U2's later albums, October stands independently as a great work. U2's raw energy pervades the album, and when coupled with the band's adroit songwriting, October compares favorably to many of the best rock albums of the last 30 years. There's an obvious post-punk melodic feel to the songs here, elevated by overtly sociopolitical lyrics. I love October's unapologetic religiosity; for me this makes the album infinitely more stirring and meaningful. U2 also experiments with a variety of musical textures, honing in on what is to become the band's enormous signature sound. Truthfully, there isn't a dispensable track on this album; every song contributes uniquely to October's forceful appeal.
And that brings me back to my opening statement. If you've read this much of my review, then there's no doubt you should get yourself a copy of October. You'll be rewarded with not only a collection of great songs but also a better understanding of the estimable foundations of one of the greatest bands in the history of rock music.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the most satisfying U2 albums. Very underrated. Upon a first listen, I think alot of people will find this album bland, but it is incredibly complex for a sophmoric album, particularly since Bono's lyrics had been stolen immediately prior to recording this album. It's incredible that they were still able to complete this album. It really shows a maturity from Boy and points to the direction that would happen with War, Joshua Tree, etc.. Highlights include Gloria, Rejoice, I Threw a Brick Through a Window. My favorite U2 song of all time is Tomorrow. The texture of this song is incredible. I can't find any info on any session musicians that may have played on this album but I am sure that Tomorrow starts with Uillian Pipes. Awesome. This album is definitely in my top 4 or 5 from U2 (1. Joshua Tree, 2. Achtung Baby, 3. War, 4. October, 5. All That You Can't..). Enjoy!!!

BaB
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Format: Audio CD
Most people when they think of U2 usually don't think of spirituality, but if you've read any of their biographies or really paid attention to their lyrics then you would know different.
Anyway, I've followed U2 since their beginning in 1979, and I must say that I believe in my opinion that this is their best album. For the emotion, because Bono's mother had passed away before its release and for its spirituality because I believe Bono's "walk" was stronger then than it is now, but that is another discussion.
However, October opens with "Gloria" giving thanks to God in latin during its chorus which so many people get confused thinking that Bono is talking to a girl but he's not. "I Threw a Brick Through a Window" is amazing. Bono is talking about being trapped in sin but being able to find forgiveness through his "brother" and through Christ. "Rejoice" is so obvious. "Tomorrow" is probably my favorite in that Bono is crying out to two people: his mother and to Jesus. The rest of the album deals with him dealing with his emotions of his mom passing and incorporating it with the love of his faith. And the music as always is amazing. What else could you expect from U2! (Other albums by U2 that are similar to October in lyrical content would be Unforgettable Fire, War, and The Joshua Tree.)
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