"New Year's Day" is a song by rock band U2. It is on their 1983 album War and it was released as the album's lead single in January 1983. Written about the Polish Solidarity movement, "New Year's Day" is driven by Adam Clayton's distinctive bassline and The Edge's keyboard playing. It was the band's first UK hit single, peaking at #10 on the singles chart, #11 on the Dutch Top 40 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". This song was also included in the Pitchfork 500.
The lyric had its origins in a love song from Bono to his wife, but was subsequently reshaped and inspired by the Polish Solidarity movement. The bass part stemmed from bassist Adam Clayton trying to figure out what the chords to the Visage song "Fade to Grey" were.
In 1983, Bono said of the song, "It would be stupid to start drawing up battle lines, but I think the fact that 'New Year's Day' made the Top Ten indicated a disillusionment among record buyers. I don't think 'New Year's Day' was a pop single, certainly not in the way that Mickie Most might define a pop single as something that lasts three minutes and three weeks in the chart. I don't think we could have written that kind of song."