Under a Blood Red Sky

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Under a Blood Red Sky
Live album by U2
Released 7 November 1983 (1983-11-07)
Recorded 6 May 1983 – 20 August 1983, Effanel Mobile
Genre Rock, post-punk
Length 35:29
Label Island
Producer Jimmy Iovine
U2 chronology
War
(1983)
Under a Blood Red Sky
(1983)
The Unforgettable Fire
(1984)
Singles from Under a Blood Red Sky
  1. "I Will Follow"
    Released:
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media 9.0/10[2]
Robert Christgau A-[3]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[4]

Under a Blood Red Sky is a mini-LP live album by Irish rock band U2, produced by Jimmy Iovine and released in 1983. Along with its companion concert film, U2 Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky, the release helped establish U2's reputation as a live band, making the band a popular live college rock act.

History[edit]

The album consists of live recordings from three shows on the band's War Tour from Colorado, Boston in the US and 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 Amphitheatre 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.[5]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by U2, with lyrics by Bono. 

Side one
No. Title Recording location/date Length
1. "Gloria"   Red Rocks Amphitheatre on 5 June 1983 4:32
2. "11 O'Clock Tick Tock"   Boston, Massachusetts on 6 May 1983 4:34
3. "I Will Follow"   Sankt Goarshausen, Germany on 20 August 1983 3:36
4. "Party Girl"   Red Rocks Amphitheatre on 5 June 1983 2:52
Side two
No. Title Recording location/date Length
1. "Sunday Bloody Sunday"   Sankt Goarshausen, Germany on 20 August 1983 4:55
2. "The Electric Co."   Sankt Goarshausen, Germany on 20 August 1983 5:18
3. "New Year's Day"   Sankt Goarshausen, Germany on 20 August 1983 4:29
4. "40"   Sankt Goarshausen, Germany on 20 August 1983 3:36

During the performance of "The Electric Co.", Bono included a 27 second snippet of Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns". When Under a Blood Red Sky was released, U2 failed to get permission and pay the appropriate licensing and royalty fees to include that piece of Sondheim's tune on the album. When Sondheim objected, U2 agreed to pay a $50,000 (US) penalty for the unauthorized use and to press all future releases with a new version that did not include the snippet.

Essentially, there are now two versions of the vinyl album: the original with the full "The Electric Co." running 5:18 and the edited version which runs 4:51. However, the various CDs pressed around the world all vary in the versions of the song that are included.

  • The trifold digipack CD pressed in the U.S. correctly lists "The Electric Co." at 4:51 and contains the edited version of the song.
  • Later U.S. CD pressings in the standard jewel box format incorrectly list "The Electric Co." at 5:18, but have the edited version of the song.
  • Some, and perhaps all, European pressings of the CD correctly list "The Electric Co." at 5:18 and have the unedited version of the song (the same is likely true of other worldwide CD pressings).
  • An Australian pressing of the CD lists the track at 4:57, but the song actually runs the full 5:18.
  • The remastered editions all contain the edited version of the song.

Chart positions and sales[edit]

Country Peak position Certification Sales
Canada 2× Platinum[6] 200,000+[6]
France Platinum[7] 300,000+
Germany Platinum[8] 500,000+
United Kingdom 2[9] 3× Platinum[10] 900,000+
United States 28 3× Platinum 3,000,000+

Personnel[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Under a Blood Red Sky - U2". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  2. ^ Plagenhoef, Scott (2008-09-29). "Album Reviews: U2: Under a Blood Red Sky". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert. "U2 – Consumer Guide Reviews". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 2009-10-13. 
  4. ^ Connelly, Christopher (1984-01-19). "Music Review: Under a Blood Red Sky". Rolling Stone (413). Archived from the original on 2008-04-01. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  5. ^ "LIVE AT RED ROCKS AND UNDER A BLOOD RED SKY". U2.com. Live Nation. 2008-08-11. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  6. ^ a b "CRIA Certification Results: U2". Canadian Recording Industry Association. 1988-05-17. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  7. ^ "Certifications Albums Platine – année 1995". Disque en France (in French). Syndicat National de l'Edition Phonographique. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  8. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (U2; 'Under%a%Blood%Red%Sky')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  9. ^ "TOP 40 OFFICIAL UK ALBUMS ARCHIVE – 3rd December 1983". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  10. ^ "Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2009-11-25.  Note: U2 must be searched manually.

External links[edit]