Undeniably U2’s best album, third time’s a charm for our Irish boys with 1983’s War. Released on April 28th, 1983, the album continues the fantastic production by Steve Lilywhite. Returning again for the album’s sleeve is the Boy, Peter Rowen, (brother of Virgin Prunes Guggi) who was previously featured on the cover of U2’s debut. Here he is now older, with a bruised lip, masterfully represented by the iconic cover photograph by Anton Corbijn.
The album’s overarching theme is undoubtedly war and mixed with political protest—opening with “Sunday Bloody Sunday” representing the conflict in Northern Ireland, with the political theme continuing Seconds a song about nuclear proliferation, and the spellbinding “New Year’s Day”, which was about the Polish Solidarity movement.
War’s scope went beyond political themes, also encompassing love in “Two Heart’s Beat as One” (one of the album’s singles, in addition to New Years Day, and “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, prostitution in “Red Light”, and religion in “Surrender” and “40″.
War is one of the greatest post-punk records of all time, and the touring that commenced in support of the record cemented U2’s reputation as a formidable live act, ultimately leading to the band becoming without a doubt the biggest band in rock and roll.