Sunday, September 24, 2017

U2 (Late '80s)

During the early '80s, U2 was a band with a growing cult following, known for its idealistic and sometimes spiritual songs. During the mid to late '80s, U2 became an enormously popular worldwide phenomenon, playing to stadiums and dominating the music charts. See the previous post on this part of U2's career.

The breakthrough moment for U2's popularity was perhaps their phenomenal performance at the Live Aid concert, which drew attention to the band from many who had not yet been followers.

In 1987, the U2 released The Joshua Tree, a critically acclaimed album that also topped the charts and became a blockbuster seller internationally. The Joshua Tree spawned several hits, including the shimmering "With or Without You."

Here, "Where The Streets Have No Name," also from The Joshua Tree.

In 1988, U2 released a rockumentary film, Rattle and Hum, with an accompanying album that included collaborations with B.B.King, Bob Dylan, and Harlem's New Voices of Freedom gospel choir.  Above, "Angel of Harlem," from Rattle and Hum.

In the years since the end of the '80s, U2 has become an international phenomenon, and perhaps the most acclaimed acclaimed band to emerge out of the '80s decade. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

U2 (Early '80s)

For many young people growing up in the '80s, U2 was a band that represented the idealistic side of the decade: the part of the decade that represented hoping for a better world and striving for something beyond mundane materialism. U2 eventually would become among the greatest rock superstars in history. But before that, they were a striving alternative band with high ideals.  

In "Gloria," from the 1981 album, October, U2 shows the compelling combination of spirituality and hope and good rock n roll that represented their work. The song is essentially a prayer. According to Wikipedia:
The chorus "Gloria in te Domine / Gloria exultate" translates to "Glory in You, Lord / Glory, exalt [Him]" with "exalt" in the imperative mood, a reference to Psalm 30:2 (in te Domine, speravi). The song also contains references to Colossians 2:9-10 ("Only in You I'm complete") and James 5:7-9 ("The door is open / You're standing there").
In "Sunday Bloody Sunday," from their 1982 album, War, U2 brings out their earnest idealism, in a song protesting the violence which was then a fact of life in Northern Ireland.
"Pride (in the Name of Love)", a soaring anthem from the 1984 album The Unforgetable Fire, is a tribute to Martin Luther King. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band: On the Dark Side

Happy Labor Day!!  To help us celebrate, here's a real blue collar band from the '80s: John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band, with 1983's "On the Dark Side." This song is from the Eddie and the Cruisers soundtrack, but John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band are the real deal.