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There's little in U2's 1980 debut to suggest that this was a band bent on world domination. Indeed, there's a charming, if naive, coming-of-age urgency in songs such as "I Will Follow," "Stories for Boys" and "Out of Control" that may startle listeners more familiar with U2's latter-day bombast and stadium-scale theatrics. Bono's viewpoint, still tantalizingly vague and wide-eyed, showed that his penchant for strident polemics hadn't yet gotten the best of him; his anthems are those of a yearning Dubliner barely out of his teens rather than those of a world-weary multimillionaire. The band's sometimes-ragged musical chops work in its favor here, gently burnished to then-fresh new-wave sheen by producer Steve Lillywhite. If the Edge's dense, effects-laden guitar work seems overly familiar, it's only because this album was such a key influence on the whole "rock of the '80s" sound. Though not quite as moody or musically accomplished asOctober, arguably the band's first masterpiece,Boystill ranks as one of U2's best albums.--Jerry McCulley
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Label:  Island
Release Date:  April 30, 1990
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review by . September 10, 2006
posted in Music Matters
'Boy' is a beautiful, ground-breaking debut from one of the greatest rock bands ever. Immediately, they changed the landscape with their passionate and innovative guitar sound, given ably by the Edge. 'Boy' does follow it's title's concept. The energy and innovation are remarkable, but there are a few portions of their first able effort that linger on too long.    "I Will Follow" still is one of their very best songs. It is no coincidence that twenty-five years later they've …
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