February 28, 1983 was the official release date of U2’s third studio album, WAR. It was the first time I remember ever being exposed to U2. The cool guys at church camp were listening to it sitting on a concrete stoop outside of the boy’s dorm. I was 12, so by “cool” I mean they were a few years older than me, they rode skateboards, had “rebellious” haircuts, cut the sleeves off of their t-shirts, and had pretty girlfriends. Plus they listened to new cassettes that I hadn’t heard before, like War. I was probably initially interested in it because I too wanted to be cool, but it started my long, deep relationship with the band from Ireland that hasn’t cooled off to this day.
War will always hold a special place in my heart for that reason. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s full of politically charged, socially aware, even deeply spiritual music that stands the test of time, even 25 years later.