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The lyrics refer to the movement for solidarity lead by Lech Walesa in Poland. After this was recorded, Poland announced they would abolish martial law, coincidentally, on New Year's Day, 1983.
This was U2's first UK Top 10 and their first single to chart in America.
This almost didn't make the album because Bono was having fits writing the lyrics.
The Edge played piano on this as well as guitar. In concert, he played the song on the piano with his guitar in his lap. For his guitar solo, he would get up and go to the front of the stage as the crowd cheered wildly.
This was the first U2 video to get heavy airplay on MTV, and it was by far their most ambitious video to that point. It was directed by Meiert Avis, who worked on U2's previous videos, including "Gloria
" and "I Will Follow
." They planned to shoot the video in Sweden, but when the mountains and snow they hoped for didn't materialize, they tried Norway. They got the majestic mountains and tight shots of the band performing the song, which was more than adequate for MTV in 1983.
We also see what is supposed to be the band riding horses, which were actually four teenaged girls covered in winter clothes. The guys in U2 weren't experienced riders, and since they were in the middle of a tour during the shoot, it wasn't worth the risk.
The themes of understanding in a time of global unrest were a focal point for the album War, whose title was inspired by the various worldwide conflicts of 1982.
The line "Under a blood red sky" was used as the title for a video and live album U2 released in 1983. The video was recorded at Red Rocks, Colorado, June 5, 1982. The album contains performances from that show as well as 2 others.
Bono considers this a love song. While it is about war, it deals with "The struggle for love."
Bono wrote this shortly after he married his childhood sweetheart, Ali.
This song was recorded at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin, which is where U2 recorded their first three albums. The studio had a stone stairway where Larry Mullen played his drums for this track.
This is commonly played at bars every New Year's Day for lack of something more appropriate.
This is a popular song for other artists to sample or cover. With It Guys used the piano line as a sample in the song "Let The Music Take Control," Manchester rappers Kiss AMC sampled the intro for their song "A Bit Of U2," the group Dynamic Base used the sample on their "Africa" single and Bacon Popper did the same on "Free." Hyper Logic also used a sample in "Only Me." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
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In the name of song explanation, Al talks about scoring heroin for William Burroughs, and that's not even the most shocking story in this one.