The Joshua Tree
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The Joshua Tree by U2 ranked # 26 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums list.
The Joshua Tree was released in 1987 and was produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. It won the Album of the Year award from the Grammy Awards of 1988.
It continues the sonic experimentation of The Unforgettable Fire. "Where the Streets Have No Name", begins with a soft organ fade-in over which The Edge plays a simple echo-laden arpeggio, ringing each note out twice, an elegant effect that gives the band a deceptively detailed sound. "With or Without You", the album's first single and one of the band's most well known songs, uses a technique called "infinite guitar", developed by Michael Brook, to distort the notes into an eerie wail.
It also picks up where the political themes of War left off. "Bullet the Blue Sky" is a fierce attack on the United States' policy of arming rebels in El Salvador. The song has a martial drum beat, thundering bassline, and wailing guitar reminiscent of falling bombs. Bono reportedly told Edge to "put El Salvador through your amplifier".
In addition to the political matter, there are many personal songs, including "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", a song about Bono's inner struggles with faith and temptation, and "One Tree Hill", an elegy written for a friend of the band, Greg Caroll (for whom the album is dedicated), who was killed in a motorcycle accident while running errands for the band 1986.
Musically, the band began to incorporate American folk and blues influences into their songwriting, most evident on "Running To Stand Still", a rustic ballad about heroin addiction, and "Trip Through Your Wires", a harmonica-filled blues romp.
The Joshua Tree is not only widely considered one of the band's best albums, it is often considered one of the greatest albums ever recorded. It was named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the band's "three masterpieces" (alongside Achtung Baby and All That You Can't Leave Behind). The album has sold over
10 million copies in the USA alone and remains the band's best-selling album.
- Where The Streets Have No Name
- I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
- With Or Without You
- Bullet The Blue Sky
- Running To Stand Still
- Red Hill Mining Town
- In God's Country
- Trip Through Your Wires
- One Tree Hill
- Mothers Of The Disappeared
100 Greatest Albums of All Time
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