Undeniably U2’s best album, third time’s a charm for our Irish boys with 1983’s War. Continuing the fantastic production by Steve Lilywhite, the Boy previously featured on the cover U2’s debut, is Peter Rowen, (brother of Virgin Prunes Guggi) who is now older, with a bruised lip, masterfully represented by the iconic cover photograph by Anton Corbijn.
The album’s theme is indeed war and 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), prostituion 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.