Author Topic: How does Boy compare with legendary debut albums ?  (Read 355 times)

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Offline zoo adam

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How does Boy compare with legendary debut albums ?
« on: November 20, 2018, 12:06:10 PM »
Three legendary debut albums I can think of are -

'Definately Maybe' -

NME ranked it the best album ever.


'The Stone Roses' -

Ranked the second best album ever on a top 100 albums of all time show.


'Whatever people say that's what I'm not'
-

Ranked the 5th best album of all time by NME.

----------

Feel free to add more.

Bono has said he believes 'Boy' is one of the top 10 debut albums ever. I agree with that.

I enjoy Boy as much as the above albums.

U2 didn't become huge & reach their creative & commercial peak on the back of their first two albums & self promotion. Then go on a long decline, as Oasis did.

Boy also didn't slowly pick up momentum over a long period. Eventually becoming a cult classic, which couldn't be repeated by 'The Stone Roses'.

Appreciate Boy will never reach iconic status. It is simply a U2 album. It's appreciated by fans, ignored by everyone else.

Forgetting everthing except the music, does 'Boy' stand up to the others ?
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 12:09:32 PM by zoo adam »



Offline TongueInMyEar

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Re: How does Boy compare with legendary debut albums ?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2018, 02:28:18 AM »
As much as I love Boy, I definitely don't think it'd be in the top 10 debut albums. Ones you mentioned all valid and I love them all.

Others that I'd consider legendary debuts:

The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico
The La's - The La's
Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced?
NWA - Straight Outta Compton
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy
Guns n Roses - Appetite for Destruction
Pearl Jam - Ten
The Sex Pistols - Never Mind The B*llocks....
De La Soul - 3 Feet High And Rising
Ride - Nowhere

I'd say those are all more fully formed albums than Boy. U2's greatness is in how they developed, which can't be said for most of those listed above.

Offline zoo adam

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Re: How does Boy compare with legendary debut albums ?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2018, 05:28:13 AM »
Some of those albums I have never heard of ! But if musically they are as good or better than 'Boy', I have some listening to do.

Only really aware of the Guns & Roses album. Although only heard the singles. There is no denying that album made them huge for a few years.

Thought The Sex Pistols album was more at the forefront of the punk movement, rather than a collection of great songs. Even their manager said they couldn't play any instruments. However it is an iconic album.

Hendrix is more of a legendary guitar player than song writer. But an album dominated by brilliant guitar player can make it great.

Boy is similar to The Arctic Monkees & Oasis debuts. Loud with some great songs, some fillers & some subtle moments. The Stone Roses is a much slower paced listen.

Boy seems fully formed to me. A straight forward rock album with some experimentation, mainly from Edge's guitar. The band were not trying to do anything more or less.



« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 05:44:14 AM by zoo adam »

Offline TongueInMyEar

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Re: How does Boy compare with legendary debut albums ?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2018, 08:25:06 AM »
I think it can be difficult to separate the cultural impact of some albums from the actual songs, Sex Pistols a prime example probably. The songs on there are very good, but more impressive when taken in context of when it was released and the impact it had.
I know your OP said to forget everything except the music, but I find it hard to.

Actually Hendrix was a great songwriter too, if you've not spent much time listening to him I highly recommend. Wind Cries Mary, Little Wing, May This Be Love, Castles Made of Sand all show the more tender side of his writing. But of course the guy could blast a guitar better than anyone in my opinion.

No doubt Boy is an excellent debut album (it's in my top 5 U2 albums) but I personally don't see it as one of the greatest debuts.

Offline zoo adam

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Re: How does Boy compare with legendary debut albums ?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2018, 05:04:05 PM »
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I think it can be difficult to separate the cultural impact of some albums from the actual songs, Sex Pistols a prime example probably. The songs on there are very good, but more impressive when taken in context of when it was released and the impact it had.
I know your OP said to forget everything except the music, but I find it hard to.

Actually Hendrix was a great songwriter too, if you've not spent much time listening to him I highly recommend. Wind Cries Mary, Little Wing, May This Be Love, Castles Made of Sand all show the more tender side of his writing. But of course the guy could blast a guitar better than anyone in my opinion.

No doubt Boy is an excellent debut album (it's in my top 5 U2 albums) but I personally don't see it as one of the greatest debuts.

I assume U2 are you're favourite or one of you're favourite bands. To have 'Boy' in you're U2 top 5 out of 14, but still consider the debut albums of 'De la Soul', 'DWA' & 'Ride' as better, is a surprise.

'Boy' would be high on my U2 list as well. Much better than the debut albums from rivals Radiohead, Muse & Coldplay as well as old favs The Beatles & Rolling Stones.  While as good as the official classic debut albums from Oasis etc.

Going into these debut albums cold, lots of listeners would be just as impressed with 'Boy', as they would with other debut albums. As I was.

'The Stone Roses' got average reviews when first released. It was a slow burner, helped by hit song 'Fools Gold' & Manchester becoming a trendy rave scene. A 5 year wait for a terrible 2nd album before a split just added to the album's legend.

Oasis at least had two classic albums before a decade of below par efforts just made the public pine for another 'Definately Maybe'. Which never arrived.

The 'Arctics' quickly settled into millionaire middle of the road territory & will never write another great & witty album singing about girls in nightclubs.

U2 didn't self destruct, become massive or settle into 'middle of the road', soon after 'Boy'. So the album is just one of 14 U2 albums. But songs wise, stands up well to all other debut albums I have heard.

« Last Edit: November 22, 2018, 01:19:55 AM by zoo adam »

Offline TongueInMyEar

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Re: How does Boy compare with legendary debut albums ?
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2018, 02:13:41 AM »
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I think it can be difficult to separate the cultural impact of some albums from the actual songs, Sex Pistols a prime example probably. The songs on there are very good, but more impressive when taken in context of when it was released and the impact it had.
I know your OP said to forget everything except the music, but I find it hard to.

Actually Hendrix was a great songwriter too, if you've not spent much time listening to him I highly recommend. Wind Cries Mary, Little Wing, May This Be Love, Castles Made of Sand all show the more tender side of his writing. But of course the guy could blast a guitar better than anyone in my opinion.

No doubt Boy is an excellent debut album (it's in my top 5 U2 albums) but I personally don't see it as one of the greatest debuts.

I assume U2 are you're favourite or one of you're favourite bands. To have 'Boy' in you're U2 top 5 out of 14, but still consider the debut albums of 'De la Soul', 'DWA' & 'Ride' as better, is a surprise.

'Boy' would be high on my U2 list as well. Much better than the debut albums from rivals Radiohead, Muse & Coldplay as well as old favs The Beatles & Rolling Stones.  While as good as the official classic debut albums from Oasis etc.

Going into these debut albums cold, lots of listeners would be just as impressed with 'Boy', as they would with other debut albums. As I was.

'The Stone Roses' got average reviews when first released. It was a slow burner, helped by hit song 'Fools Gold' & Manchester becoming a trendy rave scene. A 5 year wait for a terrible 2nd album before a split just added to the album's legend.

Oasis at least had two classic albums before a decade of below par efforts just made the public pine for another 'Definately Maybe'. Which never arrived.

The 'Arctics' quickly settled into millionaire middle of the road territory & will never write another great & witty album singing about girls in nightclubs.

U2 didn't self destruct, become massive or settle into 'middle of the road', soon after 'Boy'. So the album is just one of 14 U2 albums. But songs wise, stands up well to all other debut albums I have heard.

Yes U2 are my favourite band, but that's due to their incredible consistency in quality and diversity in styles across their career. Also Achtung Baby is probably my favourite album of all time.

Just because I prefer some of the albums I mentioned to Boy doesn't mean I like those bands/artists more than U2. Pretty much all of the bands I listed had one or 2 great albums but then done nothing else (hence why you've not heard of some of them).

u2music

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Re: How does Boy compare with legendary debut albums ?
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2018, 10:03:27 AM »
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I like Boy but it definitely isn't the greatest debut album, imho.  It ranks in my top ten of U2 albums.  There's a lot of other good music to explore from these lists.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2018, 03:59:54 PM by u2music »

Offline zoo adam

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Re: How does Boy compare with legendary debut albums ?
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2018, 01:54:05 PM »
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I like Boy but it definitely isn't the greatest debut album.  It ranks in my top ten of U2 albums.  There's a lot of other good music to explore from these lists.

Thanks. 'Boy' popped up at number 59 in one poll.

'Roxy Music' were in one. Thought that was a bland album. The exception song being the brilliant 'Ladytron'.

I rarely see U2 albums in top 100 polls. Apart from TJT.

It's all about opinions. Mine being that 'Boy' is up there with the best debuts. I am a U2 fan, but have no hesitation in saying I don't like a U2 song or album. I simply rate 'Boy'.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2018, 02:33:49 PM by zoo adam »

u2music

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Re: How does Boy compare with legendary debut albums ?
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2018, 02:43:19 PM »
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I like Boy but it definitely isn't the greatest debut album.  It ranks in my top ten of U2 albums.  There's a lot of other good music to explore from these lists.

Thanks. 'Boy' popped up at number 59 in one poll.

'Roxy Music' were in one. Thought that was a bland album. The exception song being the brilliant 'Ladytron'.

I rarely see U2 albums in top 100 polls. Apart from TJT.

It's all about opinions. Mine being that 'Boy' is up there with the best debuts. Partly because I am a U2 fan, but I have no hesitation in saying I don't like a U2 song or album.

When Boy came out in 1980, it was during the near later days of the punk revolution.  To me, its uniqueness is that it was a nuanced punk album, mainly due to Edge's excellent guitar.  It wasn't "in your face" punk but something with character and unique expression. So, I can see the merit of your opinion and I don't disagree.  Though, I don't know how to personally rate it against the glut of debut albums released in that timeframe or later.  There's just too much out there.  Sensory overload.  Hence the links to rated debut albums.  But, it definitely stands out among the better of them.

I will write more thoughts but Thanksgiving is getting in the way of my real pleasure of thinking about U2.  Definitely my favorite band of all time.


Offline zoo adam

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Re: How does Boy compare with legendary debut albums ?
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2018, 04:46:36 PM »
Yes there are new debut albums being released all the time.

I have heard no more than 30 debut albums. Mainly from the biggest bands in the last 30 years together with the famous  debuts.

U2, Oasis & The Arctics being my favourite debuts. 

Oasis, The Arctics & The Stone Roses top polls, partly for non musical reasons. While 'Boy' never gets a mention although musically I agree with Bono that it's a top ten debut album. 

Someone else may have heard 500 debut albums & put 'Boy' in 500th place.

It's all good opinion.

Offline zoo adam

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Re: How does Boy compare with legendary debut albums ?
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2018, 04:57:37 PM »
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Here is a good review of 'Boy' by 'Melody Maker'. Written in 1980.

It suggests the album sounds unique. This is mainly due to Edge's guitar. Everyone is used to it now, but it was quite new in 1980.

Didn't NME predict U2 would be the band of the 80's upon it's release ?
« Last Edit: November 22, 2018, 06:03:06 PM by zoo adam »

u2music

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Re: How does Boy compare with legendary debut albums ?
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2018, 06:38:05 AM »
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Here is a good review of 'Boy' by 'Melody Maker'. Written in 1980.

It suggests the album sounds unique. This is mainly due to Edge's guitar. Everyone is used to it now, but it was quite new in 1980.

Didn't NME predict U2 would be the band of the 80's upon it's release ?

Yes, it was definitely quite new in 1980 as I think I mentioned in my previous response.  I have no idea if NME predicted U2 would be the band of the 80's upon Boy's release.  Do you have an article noted for that?

Listen, I think your opinion is yours and I respect that. But are you comparing Boy's release in 1980 to other debut albums in 1980?  Or are you comparing it to a generic class of debut albums released during different decades?  I have no way to qualitatively judge it to any of those in other decades nor to 1980, except for my opinion.  I just provided the earlier links because you were looking for a list of debut albums. 

My personal opinion is that Boy was an excellent release in 1980.  I'm not sure whether it was a showstopper or just another excellent release.  I don't have that particular data at my hands.  I only have my personal opinions.  I do wonder about the reference that Bono claimed it was one of the top ten debuts albums ever.  If he truly said that than I think he may have been stretching for some reason or truly believes it.  Who knows?  Maybe he made the comment in jest.  I have no way to know where that quote came from.

Do I think it's one of the top ten debuts ever? Well, if you just want my opinion without supporting documentation/analysis, I would say no.  But, that's just one opinion from one guy engaging on a U2 forum. It doesn't hold any real weight other than it's just another opinion among thousands.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2018, 11:38:44 AM by u2music »

Offline zoo adam

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Re: How does Boy compare with legendary debut albums ?
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2018, 12:32:52 PM »
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Here is a good review of 'Boy' by 'Melody Maker'. Written in 1980.

It suggests the album sounds unique. This is mainly due to Edge's guitar. Everyone is used to it now, but it was quite new in 1980.

Didn't NME predict U2 would be the band of the 80's upon it's release ?

Yes, it was definitely quite new in 1980 as I think I mentioned in my previous response.  I have no idea if NME predicted U2 would be the band of the 80's upon Boy's release.  Do you have an article noted for that?

Listen, I think your opinion is yours and I respect that. But are you comparing Boy's release in 1980 to other debut albums in 1980?  Or are you comparing it to a generic class of debut albums released during different decades?  I have no way to qualitatively judge it to any of those in other decades nor to 1980, except for my opinion.  I just provided the earlier links because you were looking for a list of debut albums. 

My personal opinion is that Boy was an excellent release in 1980.  I'm not sure whether it was a showstopper or just another excellent release.  I don't have that particular data at my hands.  I only have my personal opinions.  I do wonder about the reference that Bono claimed it was one of the top ten debuts albums ever.  If he truly said that than I think he may have been stretching for some reason or truly believes it.  Who knows?  Maybe he made the comment in jest.  I have no way to know where that quote came from.

Do I think it's one of the top ten debuts ever? Well, if you just want my opinion without supporting documentation/analysis, I would say no.  But, that's just one opinion from one guy engaging on a U2 forum. It doesn't hold any real weight other than it's just another opinion among thousands.

Was comparing 'Boy' to all debut albums. Saying it's one of the best ever.

Debut albums I have heard are usually just that - a debut album. Sometimes to be sniggered at & then filed away, sometimes they have a couple of good songs on.

Nearly always debut albums are a band finding their feet who are years away from reaching their creative peak. Although Radiohead somehow went from 'Pablo Honey' to 'The Bends'.

The exceptions being the debut albums mentioned in my thread post, which the three bands never topped. As said, I like 'Boy' as much as those albums.

'Boy' is well liked on this forum, doing well in favouriite album polls. It will never become a legendary album or debut album. So my main question was do U2 fans believe that musically 'Boy' is as good as the famous, acclaimed & worshipped debuts from Oasis, Stone Roses etc ?
« Last Edit: November 23, 2018, 02:51:14 PM by zoo adam »