New Year's Day (5:35)

Cover of The Best of 1980-1990

From The Best of 1980-1990 and 468 other releases

“New Year’s Day” is the third song and lead single from U2’s 1983 album, War. The song is driven by Adam Clayton’s distinctive bassline and The Edge’s keyboard. It was the band’s first hit single, breaking the top ten in the UK, peaking at #10 on the singles chart, and charting on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time in their career. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine placed the single at #427 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

History

The lyric had its origins in a love song from Bono to his wife, but then was reshaped and inspired by the Polish Solidarity movement.

The video was their first to see heavy rotation on MTV. It was filmed in Sweden in December 1982 and directed by Meiert Avis. The band only appeared in the performance scenes of the video as it was filmed in the dead of the Swedish winter. U2 guitarist Edge revealed in the official U2 biography that the four people riding on horseback in the video that appeared to be the four U2 members were in fact four Swedish teenage girls disguised as the members of U2 riding on horseback with masks over their faces. This was done as the band were frozen from shooting the video in sub-freezing temperatures the day before. Their biography states that Bono refused to wear any headgear despite the cold weather and had a lot of trouble mouthing the lyrics. The video also features footage of Soviet troops advancing in winter during the second world war.

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