In their offtime between the 'War Tour' and the recording of "The Unforgettable Fire", U2 saw an exhibit in Japan about Hiroshima, which subsequently led to many of the ideas and images throughout this album. For this album, U2 let go of producer Steve Lillywhite, who had been at the helm of the group's first three records, and hired duo Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois(pronounced Len-Wa), a move that would pay off in more ways than U2 ever could have imagined when they made it. Eno and Lanios created a much more polished, atmospheric sound for and with the band, and it was quite apparent right from the opening chords of the record. To quote bassist Adam Clayton, on the transition between the end of the previous tour and this record, "It was either the end of something, or the beginning of something else...and The Unforgettable Fire was that new beginning".
The castle on the record's cover(NOT, contrary to popular belief, Slane Castle) is very indicitive of the relaxed and wintry feel of this record. It's very quiet yet very loud at the same time. Highlights include anthem classic "Pride(In The Name Of Love)", the title track(which also happens to be one of the more orchestral tracks in U2's catalog), "The Unforgettable Fire", live classic "Bad", the opener, "A Sort Of Homecoming", "Indian Summer Sky", and the closer, "MLK", which is a rather comforting yet heartbreaking song about death(MLK's in particular). This is a great and even magical record in its own right, it went perhaps deeper musically, it was perhaps more sophisticated, than anything U2 had done before it, U2's second masterpiece if you ask me, yet it is still only a prelude, by most standards, to what comes next.