War (Deluxe Edition)
Though it lacked the insouciant charm of their debut Boy and much of the angular adventure of the brilliant follow-up October, U2's third album both distilled their sonic intrigues (nurtured by producer Steve Lillywhite) and infused their songs with fresh anthemic muscle. Given the concurrent rise of MTV, their timing couldn't have been better; both thrived on a symbiotic relationship forged by the heavy rotation of videos for "New Years Day" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday." The often opaque politics of those tracks contrasted sharply with Bono's muscular romanticism on "Two Hearts Beat As One," yet formed a shrewd musical template that would help make them one of the rock's perennial top acts for the next two decades. Less overt anthems like "40" and "Seconds" proved there was more to U2 than the formula of Bono's bluster and Edge's haunting, fragmentary guitar work — a restless tack that would carry them forward to the triumphs of The Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree.