Nothing changes on New Year’s Day

“New Year’s Day” was released in the winter of 1983 on U2’s third album, War. This has always been my favorite U2 song and I wanted it to be my first video of 2014 (though technically uploaded and shared in 2013).

I used to repeat this song endlessly at some parties, road-trips, etc….and when I was making the video I was thinking of some of my old friends that were subjected to the obsession. I say two things to them now; 1.) Sorry I made you listen to “New Year’s Day” so many times; and 2.) be glad it wasn’t “Maniac” or “Pass The Doutchie”….actually never-mind, it’s really they who should be thanking me! 😉

(and yeah, this video is way more “new year’s EVE” and the girl than new year’s DAY and the Polish solidarity movement…hope any hardcore U2 fans will forgive the transgression? 😉

As always HUGE THANKS to everyone who’s art made this new art possible….THANK YOU!!!

Thanks to everyone for watching….wishing you a great New Year’s Day, and an even better rest of the year! 😉

The album has come to be regarded as U2’s first overtly political album, in part because of songs like “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, “New Year’s Day”, as well as the title, which stems from the band’s perception of the world at the time; Bono stated that “war seemed to be the motif for 1982.”

While the central themes of their earlier albums Boy and October focused on adolescence and spirituality, respectively, War focused on both the physical aspects of warfare, and the emotional after-effects. Musically, it is also harsher than the band’s previous releases. The album has been described as the record where the band “turned pacifism itself into a crusade.”

War was a commercial success for the band, knocking Michael Jackson’s Thriller from the top of the charts to become the band’s first #1 album in the UK. It reached #12 in the U.S. and became their first Gold-certified album there. While poorly received by British critics at the time of release, War has since gained critical acclaim. In 2012, the album was ranked number 223 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.

Upon its release, several reviews were negative in the UK. NME made a parallel between 1980’s Boy and War, saying “where Boy shone and flowed War is dull and static, and where Boy propelled lucid pellets of fire and imagination War cranks out blank liberal awareness.” Critic Gavin Martin wrote that after the single “New Year’s Day” (that he considered as “their finest single since “I Will Follow”), “the album declines quite dramatically”. Martin concluded: War is “another example of rock music’s impotence and decay”. Sounds shared a similar point of view, recognizing that the two singles were “by far the strongest tracks” on War. “For the remainder, they are a (dejected sounding) mixture of the incomplete, the experimental (in the simplest sense) and the plain sub-standard.” At the opposite in the USA, Rolling Stone published a favorable review. Critic J.D. Considine said: “Generally, the album’s musical strengths are largely the product of well-honed arrangements and carefully balanced dynamics. Even as the Edge spins increasingly sophisticated guitar lines, he maintains the minimalist bluntness that sparked Boy. And while bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. have swung to more dance-oriented rhythms, their songs hurtle along with the sort of brusque purposefulness more frequently associated with punk.” Considine pursued: “the songs here stand up against anything on the Clash’s London Calling in terms of sheer impact, and the fact that U2 can sweep the listener up in the same sort of enthusiastic romanticism that fuels the band’s grand gestures is an impressive feat. For once, not having all the answers seems a bonus.”

The album finished in 6th place on the “Best Albums” list from The Village Voice’s 1983 Pazz & Jop critics’ poll. In 1989, War was ranked number 40 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 100 Greatest Albums of the ’80s”. In 2012, the album was ranked number 223 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. That same year, the album was listed at number 94 on Slant Magazine’s “Best Albums of the 1980s.”


All is quiet on New Year’s Day
A world in white gets underway
I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes on New Year’s Day
On New Year’s Day

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

Under a blood red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspapers says, says
Say it’s true it’s true…
And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one

I…I will begin again
I…I will begin again

Maybe the time is right
Oh…maybe tonight…

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

And so we’re told this is the golden age
And gold is the reason for the wars we wage
Though I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes
On New Year’s Day

And some alternate thumb captures:

Thumb1 Thumb2 Thumb3 Thumb4 Thumb5 Thumb6 Thumb7 Thumb8 Thumb9


7 comments on “Nothing changes on New Year’s Day

  1. Pingback: On New Year’s Day… | I Want Ice Water!

  2. Pingback: “I will be with you again, I…I will begin again!” – U2, “New Year’s Day,” mean speed=133.4 bpm | meanspeed® 2014

  3. Pingback: “I will be with you again, I…I will begin again!” – U2, "New Year’s Day," mean speed=133.4 bpm | Meanspeed® Post

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