36. New year's day (U2)

It is difficult to imagine that there was a time when U2 (image credit) was struggling for success, but they actually had to wait for their fourth album to make it big. Their first album (Boy) was a good collection of straightforward rock songs, but it gave no indication yet of things to come. The second album (October) was a bit mixed, with some questionable tracks, and some great songs, in particular the title track. Their third album (War) from 1983 was their artistic breakthrough, helped to a large extent by the success of the single New year's day, the best U2 song of all time to my taste. It is one of a number of great songs inspired by the continued violence in Northern Ireland.

Other songs by this act that would have qualified: With or without you, Pride (In the name of love).


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