"Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky" - U2


Track Listing (VHS / Laser Disc):

Track Listing (DVD):

Other Tracks:

  • Intro (02:33)
  • Outro (02:05)

The DVD and the VHS both contain the introduction to the concert, where “Harry’s Game” by Clannad plays and members of the crowd are interviewed. The same song appears at the end over the credits.

Background Information

“Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky” is a video documenting U2’s June 1983 at Denver Colorado’s famous Red Rocks Ampitheatre. Unlike the live album of a similar name, all of the tracks featuring in the video came from the June 6, 1983 show. The album that accompanied the release of the film was instead made up from three separate concerts edited together. The video was directed by Gavin Taylor, a British film and television director who had worked on the television series The Tube. Indeed, the entire project began with Paul McGuinness contacting Malcolm Gerrie, producer of The Tube with an offer to feature the show at Red Rocks on that show, and Gerry was listed as a production associate on the release.

The concert was first broadcast in audio format in July 1983 on NBC radio, distributed to radio under the title “War is Declared”. Throughout 1983 a number of broadcasts of the video material was done, including nine songs being shown on MTV, and a fall broadcast of the performance on The Tube in the UK.

The first release of the concert on videocassette was in VHS and Betamax format by MCA Home Video. The release date of the video was in early July of 1984. In 1988 the first digital release of this video was done in laserdisc. It was September of 2008 when the material was finally released in DVD format.

The initial release was a shortened version of the show. The MCA home video release listed a run time of 55 minutes, and listed the songs “Surrender”, “Seconds,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “October,” “New Year’s Day”, “I Threw a Brick Through a Window,” “A Day Without Me,” “Gloria,” “Party Girl,” “11 O’Clock Tick Tock,” “I Will Follow” and “40” as being included on the video. Due to Bono singing a bit of “Send in the Clowns” and the legal issues surrounding that, the video as released in the USA did not contain “The Electric Co.” However, some copies on VHS did contain “The Electric Co.” but without listing it on the back cover of the release. The UK release on video did not have “The Electric Co.”, but copies on Laserdisc from Japan, and Canadian releases all contained the song. On the copies with “The Electric Co.” the snippet of “Send in the Clowns” is also included, and the track falls between “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “October” in the play list. Copies with “The Electric Co.” included run 61 minutes due to the extra song, and not 55 minutes as printed on the back of the case.

The DVD release in 2008 was a remastered version of the video, and returned all of the missing tracks that had been cut from the VHS and Laserdisc release. However “The Electric Co.” is a shortened version with the snippet of “Send in the Clowns” now removed and the song edited so it does not appear. “Two Hearts Beat as One” is also edited to remove a snippet of “Let’s Twist Again”. The DVD also features an intro track of about 2.5 minutes containing music from Clannad, which is also heard over the crowd noise / credits which make up the last two minutes of the DVD release. The additional included footage takes the concert to 82 minutes.

“Sunday Bloody Sunday” was also issued as a stand alone video to promote the release, and was regularly viewed on music television.

The concert itself is a incredible moment in U2 history caught on video. The film had been arranged for promotion, yet the weather did not co-operate with the young band at the venue that night. The night was filled with rain and there were flood warnings issued for the area. Both The Alarm and Divinyls who were due to open for U2 cancelled their sets in the rain, and fans thought the entire concert was cancelled, resulting in less than a full crowd. Another concert (indoors!) was planned for the following night for fans who were unable to attend. The whole venue was lit by pyres to provide not only additional light, but some much needed heat for the fans and crew.

Liner Notes

Related Promotional Videos

Related News

Catalog of Releases