U2

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Composed by Adam Clayton / Bono / Larry Mullen, Jr. / The Edge

Song Review by

An ambitious undertaking, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" set the tone for War, a breakthrough album for U2 on the U.K. charts. At the top, Larry Mullens counts off the song with a restrictive, martial beat which carries over throughout the take-no-prisoners theme of the album. The Edge lets out a foreboding guitar feedback sound, signalling a warning for the doom at hand. Though Bono claims he wrote the song quickly, explaining away any arguable lyrical naïveté, he stands firmly behind the passion harnessed in each verse. His idea was to compare and contrast the troubles in Northern Ireland and a particularly bloody massacre there with the religious significance of Easter Sunday. More so than perhaps any of U2's many peace anthems, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is the blueprint for the strident cause-orientated songs that would become the band's stock-in-trade throughout its long career as a politically charged and humanist rock band.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
War 1983
U2
War
Island / Def Jam / Universal 4:37
Sunday Bloody Sunday 1983
U2
Island
Under a Blood Red Sky 1983
U2
Island 5:18
No Image 1984
U2
Import
Rock's Hottest Ticket [Disc 1+2] 1987
U2
Red Phantom 6:10
No Image 1991
U2
RP
No Image 1992
U2
Pluto Records
No Image 1993
U2
Sounds of the Eighties: The Rolling Stone Collection, 1982-1983 1995
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:41
Popmart 98: Santiago 1998
U2
Thunderball 4:10
If God Will Send His Angels 1998
U2
Island 3:51
The Best of 1980-1990/The B-Sides 1998
U2
Island / Island/Def Jam / Universal 4:42
The Best of 1980-1990 1998
U2
Island / Mercury 4:42
No Image 1998
U2
Popmart 3:45
Elevation Tour 2001: Live from Boston [Video/DVD] 2001
U2
Interscope
U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle [DVD] 2003
U2
Interscope
Carved In Stone: Live At Red Rocks, Vol. ll 2004
Various Artists
Outlook 5:25
Vertigo 05 Live from Chicago 2005
U2
Interscope
The U2 Phenomenon: The Independent Review 2006
U2
Classic Rock Legends
U218 Singles 2006
U2
Interscope / Island/Def Jam / Universal / Universal Distribution 4:40
Popmart: Live from Mexico City [Video] 2007
U2
Island
U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle 2007
U2
U2 Dot Com 7:14
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:40
Live from Paris 2008
U2
Universal / Universal Distribution 5:33
Live at Red Rocks [DVD] 2008
U2
Island
1977-1984 [Collector's Box Set] 2009
U2
Island / Universal Island Records 4:39
The Best of 1980-2000 2009
U2
Island 4:41
360 at the Rose Bowl 2010
U2
Mercury / Universal
No Image 2013
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 4:53
Innocence + Experience Live in Paris [Video] 2016
U2
Interscope / Island
Zoo TV Tour: Texas 1992
U2
Not Guilty 4:46
blue highlight denotes editor's pick