Boy (album)

1980 debut studio album by U2

Boy was Irish rock group U2's first album, from the year 1980.

Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 20, 1980 (1980-10-20)
RecordedWindmill Lane Studios, Dublin, March–September 1980
GenreRock, post-punk
ProducerSteve Lillywhite
U2 chronology
Boy 'October
Singles from Boy
  1. "A Day Without Me"
    Released: August 1980
  2. "I Will Follow"
    Released: October 1980


Before this album came a single, a song that is played on its own, called "I Will Follow". It became popular and was played on college radio stations and made people know who U2 were. "I Will Follow" was thought of as a Christian song. This was because most of the members of U2 were Christians. None of the band members has said that that is true. This album is somewhat about Bono's life as a child, and his mother's death when he was 14.

At first, the producer of band Joy Division, Martin Hannett, was supposed to produce (help record) the album, but he was sad about the suicide of Ian Curtis, so he did not help record the album. It was produced by Steve Lillywhite, and recorded in a Dublin studio called Windmill Lane Studios. Some songs were written in the studio, like "An Cat Dubh" and "The Ocean". Some other songs had already been written, and U2 were performing them often, like the songs "Stories for Boys", Out of Control", and "Twilight". The Edge, U2's guitarist, recorded all of the songs using his Gibson Explorer guitar and his Fender Stratocaster guitar.

Boy reached #63 on the Billboard album charts, a list of the most popular albums in the U.S., and was not on the popularity charts in the United Kingdom. The song "I Will Follow" reached #20 on a popularity chart called the Mainstream rock charts. People said that their live shows were too predictable and that Bono, the singer, used too much echo in his singing, but their playing showed that they could play very well. People also said that Bono was a "charismatic and passionate" singer, meaning that he sang very emotionally and that people could connect to him. Boy is the only U2 album that every song has been played live, including all of the b-sides (songs that are extra songs on a single). On the list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, made by the rock magazine Rolling Stone, Boy was 417th on the list.

Album coverEdit

The boy on the cover of the album is a boy named Peter Rowen. He is the brother of Bono's friend Guggi, and he is a famous Irish photographer. He has been on other U2 album covers, including Three and War. The person who took the picture has made other U2 covers, too. In case that the band could be blamed for pedophilia, they changed the cover to a stretched picture of the four band members.

Track listingEdit

All of the songs were written by U2, and all of the lyrics were written by Bono.

  1. I Will Follow - 3:36
  2. Twilight - 4:22
  3. An Cat Dubh - 6:21
  4. Into the Heart - 1:53
  5. Out of Control - 4:13
  6. Stories for Boys - 3:02
  7. The Ocean - 1:34
  8. A Day Without Me - 3:14
  9. Another Time, Another Place - 4:34
  10. The Electric Co. - 4:48
  11. Shadows and Tall Trees - 4:36

There were two singles released from this album. They were "I Will Follow" and "A Day Without Me". The album that came before "Boy" was called Three. On very early copies of Boy, there is a 30-second instrumental piece that is am early version of "Fire", which was on a later album called October.


Chart positions and salesEdit


Country Highest position Certification Sales
Canada Platinum [1] 100,000+
United Kingdom 52 Gold [2] 100,000+
United States 107 Platinum [3] 1,000,000+


Year Single Chart Position
1981 "I Will Follow" Billboard Mainstream Rock 20
1984 "I Will Follow" The Billboard Hot 100 81