Boy

~ Release group by U2

Wikipedia

Boy is the debut album from Irish rock band U2, released on October 20, 1980. Produced by Steve Lillywhite, the album received generally positive reviews. Common themes among the album's songs are the thoughts and frustrations of adolescence. The album included the band's first UK hit single, "I Will Follow". Boy‍ '​s release was followed by U2's first tour of continental Europe and the US.

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Album

Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Official
Boy (Early vinyl copy of the album.) 12" Vinyl 12 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) ILPS 9646 [none]
Boy 12" Vinyl 11 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) ILPS 9646 [none]
Boy Cassette 12 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) ICT9646
Boy CD 10 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) 610 561 4007196105614
Boy CD 11 Festival Records (Australian) D 37517
Boy CD 11 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group), Island Masters 842 296-2, IMCD 211 042284229623
Boy CD 11 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) 422-842 296-2 042284229623
Boy (made in West Germany, digipak) CD 10 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) 7 90040-2 075679004024
Boy (BMG Direct) CD 11 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) 7 90040-2
Boy 2×CD 12 + 14 Universal Island Records (not an imprint but a company; a division of Universal Music Operations Limited) 1761670 602517616707
Boy 12" Vinyl 12 Mercury Records (Universal Music Group) 1761671 602517616714
Boy 2×CD 12 + 14 Universal Island Records (not an imprint but a company; a division of Universal Music Operations Limited) B0010946-02 602517616707
Boy CD 12 Universal Island Records (not an imprint but a company; a division of Universal Music Operations Limited) B0010843-02 602517646469
Boy CD 12 Universal Island Records (not an imprint but a company; a division of Universal Music Operations Limited) 1764646 602517646469
Boy 12" Vinyl 12 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) B0010843-01
Boy CD 11 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) 842 296-2 042284229623
Boy CD 10 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) CID-110 075679004024
Boy CD 10 Columbia House (direct-mailing distributor of club editions of releases), Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) A2-90040 075679004024
Boy (made in West Germany) CD 10 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) 7 90040-2 075679004024
Boy CD 10 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) CID 110 (90040) [none]

Relationships

part of: Uncut: The 100 Greatest Debut Albums (2006) (number: 59)
Allmusic: http://www.allmusic.com/album/mw0000192151 [info]
Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/master/48750 [info]
Wikidata: Q207662 [info]
Wikipedia: en: Boy (album) [info]
other databases: http://musicmoz.org/Bands_and_Artists/U/U2/Discography/Boy/ [info]
http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/u2/boy/ [info]
reviews: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/2pbd [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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Most Recent

Here's a mind-bending 'what if?' moment. This, U2's debut album, was originally to be produced by Martin Hannett, but at the last minute he withdrew, distraught over the recent death of Joy Division's Ian Curtis. Imagine how the universe-gobbling careers of the four boys from Dublin would have fared in the hands of the Mancunian experimentalist. Luckily Hannett's replacement, Steve Lillywhite was (like Eno and Lanois seven years later) to help steer them to a sonic identity that made them stand out from the crowd. In the days of grey raincoated new wave, the band's sound was stadium-sized.

A lot of this was also down to The Edge's ringing, Echoplex-ed Gibson Explorer. From the two-note delay-drenched start to I Will Follow, underpinned by Larry Mullin Jr's massive gated drums, theirs was a sound that had ambitions way beyond the smokey clubs of Dublin. Of course none of this made sense without the gigantic ego of Paul David Hewson. The re-christened Bono Vox was the focal point that marked the band for glory. On the band's first polytechnic-touring promotion of the album in the UK he was already climbing PA stacks, mixing it up with his adoring public and generally acting like the world was his; it just didn't know it yet.

In interviews of the time the band hinted that their collective christianity had informed the writing. Certainly the hit I Will Follow displays the themes of faith and belief. But overall the album marks the passage from childhood to adulthood, and all its attendant uncertainties and anxieties. Hence the title. In this sense, lyrically, the songs are too immature to pass muster. It would take a few more years before Bono's words matched his vaulting ambitions and messianic zeal. Also, musically, it lacks a satisfying variety, with most songs fitting the same skittering four-four pattern shaded by the Edge's minimal chords, arpeggios and ringing harmonics. Only the morose sketch, The Ocean, the mid-tempo pairing of An Cat Dubh/Into The Heart or the closing Shadows And Tall Trees exhibit life beyond the bluster. Oddly it's on the latter number that they most resemble Hannett's beloved Joy Division. They weren't above a little plagiarism too; the opening riff of Stories For Boys bearing more than a passing resemblance to The Dead Kennedy's Holiday In Cambodia. Still, for a debut it still contained a fair number of their early defining live moments. A song like Out Of Control was hand built to be stretched, embellished and bludgeoned about on stage. And one thing was for sure: they really knew how to fashion some great intros. The Electric Co. never quite delivers on its promise, but the riff is still utterly mighty.

Of course it was to take two more Lillywhite-helmed albums to really make the world aware of what the band themselves already knew. But all the warning signs were here in this brave, life-affirming cry of youthful defiance.