War (Deluxe Edition)

Like Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, War was U2’s crucial third album. Before the 1983 release, Bono and company were an arena band only in their minds. Afterward, their audience swelled to match the group’s expansive sonic attack. Key tracks such as “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “New Year’s Day” throb with anger, hope, rebellion and a passion that bursts out of radios with speaker-melting intensity. The new deluxe reissue boasts remixed sound (by the Edge) that captures the nuances and shadows, making it a pivotal ingredient in the quartet’s trajectory toward biggest-band-in-the-world status. The lavish package includes a classy 20-page book along with a second disc of associated rarities. But it’s the sound that remains startling as U2, with its back against the commercial wall, finally justifies the hype. 4 stars