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25 years of "War"

3

March

U2war One sobering reality about being an '80s fan is the never-ending series of anniversaries and celebrations of work -- movies and music -- that became milestone achievements in popular culture.

This week, it's time to honor U2's "War" album. Recorded in 1982 and released on Feb. 28, 1983, "War" would become the band's first No. 1 album in the U.K. (knocking off Michael Jackson's "Thriller" -- which turned 25 years old earlier last month), spawned four hit singles and reaching platinum status in the U.S. with more than 4-million records sold.

Beyond the economics though, "War" marked a breakthrough for U2. Previously regarded as a band that impressive musical skills but insignificant messages, critics fell over themselves to praise the sudden "arrival" of the politically conscious U2.

"The songs here stand up against anything on the Clash's London Calling in terms of sheer impact," Rolling Stone said in its review. "The fact that U2 can sweep the listener up in the same sort of enthusiastic romanticism that fuels the band's grand gestures is an impressive feat."

War featured "Sunday Bloody Sunday," "New Year's Day," "Surrender" and "40." But is it U2's best album? Wait 'til the blog battle later this week between myself and pop music playboy Sean Daly!

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:30pm]

    

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