Poll

What are your three favorite songs off the album October, and how do you feel about the album in 2018?

Gloria
45 (27.4%)
I Fall Down
15 (9.1%)
I Threw a Brick Through a Window
13 (7.9%)
Rejoice
12 (7.3%)
Fire
5 (3%)
Tomorrow
28 (17.1%)
October
19 (11.6%)
With a Shout (Jerusalem)
7 (4.3%)
Stranger in a Strange Land
5 (3%)
Scarlet
10 (6.1%)
Is That All?
5 (3%)

Total Members Voted: 56

Author Topic: October: Retrospecitve  (Read 1803 times)

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Offline Vox

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October: Retrospecitve
« on: May 15, 2018, 08:47:04 AM »
This is the second part of the U2: Retrospective.  You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login 

After listening to the album now, in the present day, the main part of each post will be to vote for your three favorite songs from each album.  The next parts can be optional (well, the whole thing is “optional”), but I’ll structure my posts like this:
•   When did I first listen to that album?  What is my history with the album?   
•   How do I feel about the album when I listen to it today, versus how I’ve felt about the album in the past?

Top three songs:  “Gloria,” “Tomorrow, and “Is That All?” 

I can begin all of my retrospectives for the first few albums the same way…  Ahem… Soooo…  I initially heard October sometime in 1989-1990, after I started to become a bigfanTM and was going through U2’s back catalogue.  When I was doing this (what a great time! hearing a “new” U2 album every couple of months in less than a year’s span!), what I remember most about October is that I listened to it incessantly after I bought it.  Then it just sort of faded away.  This is in contrast to the other U2 albums from that time, where I’d listen to them, and then they’d keep growing and growing on me.  I’ve historically listed October as my least favorite U2 album.  That being said, I like all U2 albums… 

Hearing the album again this week, after recently listening to Boy I was struck by how “Gloria” and other songs on the album are more evolutionary steps than I give them credit for.  Every member of the band plays a vital role.  I’ve always loved that song quite a bit.  Other things I noticed…  I’ve NEVER been a fan of “I Threw a Brick Through a Window.”  But listening again, there are a lot of interesting things going on that I couldn’t remember.  I’ll revisit that one.  On the flip side, if I don’t hear “I Fall Down” or “Fire” again for ten years, I think I’d be “okay.”  On the flip-flip side, I forget how special of a song “Scarlet” is, and I’ve always been in the minority around here to like “Is That All?”   

On October, The Edge starts to mess around on some keyboards and seems to have upped his level of “echo” on the guitar a couple notches.  Adam got a bit more funky.  Larry is on the cusp of coming into his own signature sound.  Vocally, Bono delivers with increased passion from the previous album.  Lyrically he’s not quite as sharp, but we all know about the briefcase full of lyrics story…  He sings about adolescence on the first album, then God on the second.  Directly and without allusion.  I saw this album at a Christian book store in the early ‘90s and thought it was bizarre (both myself being in the store and the album, actually).  But then again, not really. 

I remember sitting in my room after I first became a fan, listening to concert bootlegs…  Listening to some of these songs being performed live and thought of them as weighty classics…  As U2 were making a name for themselves as a live band in the mid ‘80s, these songs were essential.  To me, U2 music doesn’t typically sound as dated as some other bands songs do.  I always presumed it was because their sound is so unique.  But this album might actually sound a bit dated, in parts, for me.  And though it’s not my favorite, there’s still plenty to like. 



Offline dirtdrybonesandstone

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Re: October: Retrospecitve
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2018, 03:01:19 PM »
Hard to not pick Gloria out of this list.   I still regularly listen to I Fall Down so that one is a no-brainer for me as well.    I might have put several of the others into the third spot including Tomorrow or the title track but the vocal performance alone in With A Shout makes it one of their finest IMO, and certainly worthy of being the first in a long line of exceptional location-related songs.   Would have loved to have heard that one live back in the day. 
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 05:20:36 PM by dirtdrybonesandstone »

Offline Argo

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Re: October: Retrospecitve
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2018, 07:37:23 PM »
This is probably, no actually definitely, the least played U2 album by me. I love Gloria but to pick 3 songs am going to have to go back and listen to the album, which is never a bad thing. It definitely seemed to be a case of 2nd album blues for U2 with limited preparation time for them to head into the studio. It is great that 3 songs off this album (Gloria, Scarlet and October) have been played in the last 2 tours. I do remember being at a friend's house a few years back and he put this album on (perhaps knowing I was a U2 fan and that being the only CD he had of U2) and thinking more fondly of the songs than I often do. Time to give it more of a go.

Offline pan360

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Re: October: Retrospecitve
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 07:05:29 AM »
October belongs to my bottom layer of U2 albums ranking but I still love it. My favorite tracks are Gloria, October and Tomorrow. I have started appreciating songs like “With a Shout” and “I Threw a Brick” that I didn’t like so much after listening again to the BBC recordings.

Online laoghaire

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Re: October: Retrospecitve
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2018, 10:19:29 AM »
Is That All?
I Threw a Brick
Tomorrow

I first listened to October in the fall of 1990, and listening to it still svokes snatches of sights, smells, feelings of being 13 and going to a new school (boarding school) - good memories. I had already worked through TJT, R&H, TUF, and Boy, in that order. I loved the color picture on the cover - so much imagery I had seen up until that point was black and white.

I like October quite a bit more than the average fan. I did my homework for this retrospective on a plane yesterday; amazingly I had the row to myself and I found it hard to entirely contain myself from moving my head or tapping my foot. A flight attendent tapped me halfway through Brick because she couldn't get my attention for drinks service, lol.

During I Fall Down, I noticed a soul style of building tension in the prechorus - hadn't noticed before and would not have thought to attach the "soul" label to anything in this album.

Brick, I love how all four guys are just blazing in this one. Rejoice, same comment. Larry has a hell of a drum solo - man, it hits the spot for me. MONSTER bass. Edge is running all over the place. Bono's energy just insane. I should not have listened on a damn airplane.

Got the same chills as I remembered with Tomorrow. I can't believe Bono didn't know what he was writing - that's just crazy. (I can believe it but it's crazy all the same). The emotion in his singing, it's a masterpiece. In 1987, the band was asked for their individual favorites (at the time) and I was surprised Larry chose Tomorrow. Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised but I don't have much sense of the guy except I hear he embraces the macho and that song ain't macho.

That brings me to another observation about the album as a whole. I listen now as a 41 year old mom, and I think, these kids are special, I'd like to know more. They do still feel like kids here, and they ARE macho - just listen to the noise they produce! - and yet, they also have enough balls to put out something as tender and vulnerable as Tomorrow. Bono's heart is on his sleeve, hell, served up on a platter.

October and Scarlet are for me welcome interludes to all the joyful noise. They, and especially Scarlet, are favorites of my mom's. (No, she wasn't into the rest of this album, just those two).

Shout is joyful, and Stranger has that "sound of drum and bass."

Is That All? is the perfect way to end all this emotion, to me. Everything is here - again all four lads have their spotlight moment, and they don't get lost in a sound soup. The lyrics are simple but meaningful and relevant. The last part is a freaking eargasm. It's like a revival. I know I'm unusual but I'm happy with my happiness with the album.


Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: October: Retrospecitve
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 07:18:27 PM »
I love "October".  Larry really gives it on this album.  Love the raw and unpolished sound with a strong back beat.

Offline Boba Fett

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Re: October: Retrospecitve
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2018, 08:03:10 PM »
Gloria
I Threw a Brick...
Is That All?

Gloria was the song that first really hooked me into U2 as a kid. I loved the unusual volume fade in, and then the band kicks in with "two, three, four..."

I Threw a Brick... - oh my goodness, what a guitar sound. And the restraint in this song gives it a wonderful tension.

Is That All? - it's sheer energy is what carries this song. Classic Edge arpeggios drenched in delay and reverb.

Honorable mentions to the stark beauty of October and slow burn of Tomorrow...

Online JTNash

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Re: October: Retrospecitve
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2018, 08:23:16 PM »
So my Name is Julie so what did I choose? Lol

Online laoghaire

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Re: October: Retrospecitve
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2018, 06:01:58 AM »
Julie, tell the story.

Online JTNash

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Re: October: Retrospecitve
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2018, 08:01:23 AM »
I Fall Down
U2
Julie says
John I'm getting nowhere
I wrote this letter
Hope to get to someplace soon
I want to get up
When I wake up
But when I get up
I fall down
Julie wake up
Julie tell the story
You wrote the letter
Said you were gonna get there someday
Gonna walk in the sun
And the wind and the rain
Never walk back again
Now you fall down
You're falling down
You fall down
You fall down
Julie say something
Julie say you're sorry
You're gonna get better
You better not leave me here anyway
I want to get up
When you wake up
When I get up
I fall down
When I'm falling down
I fall down
I broke myself
I fall
I fall down
I'm falling down
I fall down
When you fall down
When I'm falling down
Is when you're falling down
When you fall down
I fall down
I fall down

Online JTNash

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Re: October: Retrospecitve
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2018, 08:10:13 AM »
So besides my only other Job being selling cowboy boots like my spirt animal Bono I was also in a Church youth group like he was.  Mine was called Teen Encounter.  We had a part of our program that was Called wheat, which was letter writing basically.  It was a sign of charity and love.  So we wrote letters to each other and they would be delivered during our retreats. It was part of the process of sharing God’s love.

So back to I fall Down I always just thought the letter in this song was referring to those types of letters.  I guess we will never know?  But funny how you interject your own life experience into lyrics.  Our Youth Group LOVED U2.  I used Mysterious Ways in my confirmation retreats when talking about the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirt

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: October: Retrospecitve
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2018, 03:48:02 PM »
I always thought the lyric was "Judas say something, Judas say you're sorry".

Online JTNash

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Re: October: Retrospecitve
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2018, 05:17:06 PM »
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I always thought the lyric was "Judas say something, Judas say you're sorry".
no it’s me!  Lol or my name

Offline dirtdrybonesandstone

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Re: October: Retrospecitve
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2018, 09:27:00 PM »
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I used Mysterious Ways in my confirmation retreats when talking about the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirt
Good stuff. 

Offline dirtdrybonesandstone

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Re: October: Retrospecitve
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2018, 09:32:03 PM »
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So my Name is Julie so what did I choose? Lol
The opening sequence to this song is relatively easy to learn on the keyboard.   The opening line is a classic.