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This is the vinyl edition of what is considered to be one of the seminal live albums, not just by U2, but by any rock band, full stop. It's a short sharp eight-track combination of punches and contains the definitive versions of 'Gloria' and 'Sunday Bloody Sunday'. Recorded live at concerts in the US and Germany, Under A Blood Red Sky captures U2's legendary energetic and impassioned stage performances, with songs taken from their first three albums.
Under A Blood Red Sky established U2's reputation as a major live act and is U2 at their most raw, urgent and hard-hitting. It cannibalises their first three albums but strips the songs of studio textures to spit them back out in leaner and tougher form. This is particularly true of 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' - Bono announcing "this is not a rebel song" - which emerges as a song re-defined.
The sound quality of Under A Blood Red Sky is exceptional, with the roar of the audience introducing and ending the music. In between are lessons in what a live rock performance could and should be about, Bono's intro's and banter, Edge's squalling guitar, the strident backbeat of Larry and Adam.
Under A Blood Red Sky showcases a rock group to believe in, a juggernaut of sound and swagger: If you want to understand exactly what makes U2 special, this is a pretty good place to start.