Title: Under A Blood Red Sky
Label: Island Records
Musicians:David “The Edge” Evans-guitar, Adam Clayton-Bass, Larry Mullen Jr.– drums, Paul “Bono” Hewson– vocals
Recording Engineer: Steve Lilywhite
Mastering Engineer:Stephen Marcussen at Precision Lacquer L.A (for the vinyl version) and Barry Diament at Atlantic Studios for the CD.
Under a Blood Red Sky is a live album by Irish rock band U2. Along with its companion concert film, U2 Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky, helped establish U2’s reputation as a live band, making the band a popular live rock act.
The album consists of live recordings from three shows on the band’s War Tour, from Colorado and Boston in the US and from Germany. Album highlights include a fiery rendition of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (famously introduced by Bono with the words, “this song is not a rebel song”), and a jaunty run-through of the B-side “Party Girl”.
An accompanying concert video entitled U2 Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky was released the following year. Unlike the album, the film was recorded entirely at the dramatic outdoor Red Rocks Amphitheater on 5 June 1983. The band’s performance of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” from the film has been cited as one of Rolling Stone’s “50 Moments that Changed the History of Rock and Roll.”
The title is taken from the lyrics of the song “New Year’s Day”, originally released on U2’s War album.
The album was re-released as a remastered CD with a DVD of the complete concert on 29 September 2008. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under_a_Blood_Red_Sky
(I only have the 1983 release. I had the VHS of the concert, but it failed to yield to my digitizing efforts. I should look for the remastered release to get the video again).
The CD I have states that “The music on this Compact Disc was originally recorded on analog equipment. We have attempted to preserve as closely as possible, the sound of the original recording, Because of high-resolution however, the Compact Disc can reveal limitations of the source tape.” Ah, the ol’ honest 80s right there. So I guess that makes this disc an AAD.
Would the vinyl sound better? Yes it would, considering the source. I had this on vinyl once, but gave it up for some reason. The CD is actually not too bad, but it does sound subtly thinner.
This album is far shorter than the video and as mentioned is not taken entirely from it. That said though they managed somehow to make this album feel like a complete live concert. It doesn’t have obvious cuts between tracks and no canned audience, which no live LP should ever have. One does get a better feel additionally if one watches the concert first.
The album starts strong with lots of energy with Gloria at the best I’ve ever heard it done. It’s followed by 11 O’Clock Tick Tock that is a favorite of mine. (If you see the concert there is a special moment during this song. I’m not telling what it is, you have to see it).
The Electric Co is another highlight favorite of mine. If memory serves, there is another moment in the concert footage where Bono climbs up scaffolding and ends up high above the crowd on a big rock ledge where he sings the snippet of “send in the clowns”. The problem I have with this album is that the song is edited way down to where it’s only 4 minutes and 51 seconds and cuts at least two minutes making the obvious sudden jump to that moment. Lastly, the version they do of New Years day is at it’s finest.
Here’s the high energy Gloria footage (If this doesn’t get you pumped up, check your pulse)
Here is 11 O’ Clock Tick Tock (The special moment):
Here’s the full version of Electric Co with the “snippet”: