Blood Red

Under a Blood Red Sky

Under a Blood Red Sky is the name of both a live album and concert video recorded by the rock band U2, released in 1983. Both helped establish U2's reputation as a remarkable live band, and both were produced by Jimmy Iovine.


The album consists of live recordings from three shows on the band's War Tour. Album highlights include a fiery rendition of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (famously introduced by Bono with the words, "this is not a rebel song") and a jaunty run-through of the B-side "Party Girl".

An accompanying concert video of the same name was also released at the same time as the album, although many tracks performed at the concert (such as "Two Hearts Beat as One") were not included on the album or video. Unlike the album, it was recorded entirely at the dramatic outdoor Red Rocks Amphitheatre on 5 June 1983. Steady rain, large lighted torches surrounding the stage, and the natural cliffs of Red Rocks provided a dramatic context for the video. Segments of the video were frequently shown on MTV and helped expand U2's American following.

U2 recording at Red Rocks was subsequently selected in Rolling Stone's list of the "50 Moments that Changed Rock and Roll".

The phrase "Under a blood red sky" is taken from the lyrics of the song "New Year's Day", originally released on U2's War album.

The album was re-released as a remastered CD on September 29, 2008.


Track listing

During the recording of "The Electric Co.", Bono included a 27 second snippet of Stephen Sondheim's "Send In The Clowns". When the "Under A Blood Red Sky" LP was released, U2 failed to get permission and pay the appropriate licensing and royalty fees to include that piece of Sondheim's tune on the album. When Sondheim objected, U2 agreed to pay a $50,000 (US) penalty for the unauthorized use and to press all future releases with a new version that did not include the 27 seconds of "Send In The Clowns."

Essentially, there are now two versions of the vinyl album; the original with the full "The Electric Co." running 5:18 and the edited version which runs 4:51. However, the various CDs pressed around the world are a different story altogether.

  • the trifold digipack CD pressed in the U.S. correctly lists "The Electric Co." at 4:51 and contains the edited version of the song.
  • later U.S. CD pressings in the standard jewel box format incorrectly list "The Electric Co." at 5:18, but have the edited version of the song.
  • some, and perhaps all, European pressings of the CD correctly list "The Electric Co." at 5:18 and have the unedited version of the song (the same is likely true of other worldwide CD pressings).
  • an Australian pressing of the CD lists the track at 4:57, but the song actually runs the full 5:18.

Chart positions and sales

Country Peak position Certification Sales
Canada 2x Platinum 200,000+
France Platinum 300,000+
Germany Platinum 200,000+
United Kingdom 3x Platinum 900,000+

Concert video

  1. "Out of Control" (DVD only)
  2. "Twilight" (DVD only)
  3. "An Cat Dubh" (DVD only)
  4. "Into the Heart" (DVD only)
  5. "Surrender"
  6. "Two Hearts Beat As One" (DVD only)
  7. "Seconds"
  8. "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
  9. "Cry/The Electric Co."
  10. "October"
  11. "New Year's Day"
  12. "I Threw a Brick Through a Window"
  13. "A Day Without Me"
  14. "Gloria"
  15. "Party Girl"
  16. "11 O'Clock Tick Tock"
  17. "I Will Follow"
  18. "40"

All tracks recorded in Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Colorado on 5 June 1983.

Music by U2, words by Bono, except "Send in the Clowns", a showtune written by Stephen Sondheim.

For legal reasons, the snippet excerpt of "Send in the Clowns" in "The Electric Co." only appears on some editions of the album. Some versions of the video omit the song entirely.

This is the only official release which features all four members contributing vocals, although the film does not show Adam or Larry singing clear (Adam on "I Will Follow", Larry on "Surrender").

A DVD version was released on September 29, 2008 with all tracks from the concert except "I Fall Down" in the main feature. are releasing this as a cd for subscribers and resubscribers in November 2008.


  • Bono – lead vocals
  • The Edge – guitar, piano, backing vocals, lap steel on "Surrender", bass guitar on "40"
  • Adam Clayton – bass guitar, guitar on "40", backing vocals on "I Will Follow"
  • Larry Mullen Jr. – drums, backing vocals on "Surrender"

See also


Photos from the Red Rocks show can be seen at

External links

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