You might be wondering why I am stating something that is very obvious. The reason is because there is a pretty large swathe of younger post-punk fans who throw a fit when you post early U2 songs in online post-punk communities. In fact I have had posts taken down in such communities when I have shared early U2 songs or videos, or my posts have been downvoted to oblivion.
Boy(1980), October(1981), War(1983), and The Unforgettable Fire(1984) are all solidly great 80’s post-punk albums. To think otherwise is just living in a state of ignorance, because most of these said people have never actually listened to these albums. They are judging their opinion on what the more modern U2 albums sound like and consider them to be a ‘dad rock’ band. I personally only like their post-punk albums because I don’t like the direction they started to take with The Joshua Tree. I like some of the songs off of that album, but it was their transition from post-punk to a different sounding kind of band. In fact they have completely changed their sound multiple times through the years, but in my opinion those early post-punk albums contain their best songs.
The really sad thing about this whole state of affairs are the bands that these same people will post and praise; the Smiths and PiL being the most controversial. I actually was a fan of The Smiths before they broke up, but after that happened I totally stopped supporting the band and Morrissey because he treated other musicians like crap and was a raging piece of shit. Through the years it has been shown time and time again that he is a racist and classist twat burger and yet these people still happily support him time and time again. John Lydon within the past few years has shown himself to be a Trump supporting right wing moron who believes that he is still a part of the working class even though he owns multiple homes and is married to a wealthy heiress. Yes his wife has alzheimers, but that is no excuse. I was a HUGE PiL fan in the 80’s right up until recently when that whole shitshow happened. Some people claim that you have to separate the art from the artist, but when racism and right wing crap is put into the equation that train of thought should be thrown out of the window like a pot of piss.
I think part of the issue as to why all of this is happening is that the term ‘post-punk’ has become a very trendy and popular music genre. It all started with hipsters popularizing Joy Division and it is currently being used by bands today because they know it will bring them a larger audience than just calling themselves goth or alternative. As I said in my last post there were many post-punk bands back in the 80’s that didn’t sound exactly like The Cure or Joy Division; U2 was one of those bands and they had their own unique style that didn’t sound exactly like other post-punk bands of the time. U2 had the common characteristics of the genre but made it their own. In fact they were copied by some other bands at the time such as Skeletal Family, who are now considered to be goth in nature. Listen to the song below. It is very obvious that the guitar player was heavily influenced by Edge’s playing style. In fact if Bono’s vocals were on it you would think it was a song by U2.
Hating on a band without actually listening to them is never a good look. The only positive thing to come out of all of this is that you can still buy 80’s U2 albums and singles for fairly cheap. I have actually purchased some lately that are cheaper now than they were in the US during the 80’s due to the heavy import costs back then. Below are some more early U2 songs that are my personal favourites. Give them a listen because you might actually like them and find out that your assumptions about their early 80’s albums have been wrong.