Saturday 13 October 2012
U2 - The Joshua Tree (1987)
The Joshua Tree was their fifth studio album. It was also their biggest selling album and perhaps also their downfall.
Their previous album The Unforgettable Fire was a brilliant album which elevated U2 to the status as the best band in the world. A status cemented by the follow up album, The Joshua Tree. The album was announced by their first single and video; With Or Without You. A revolutionary video and song back then. A song that has survived the test of time. Not every song on this album has survived the test of time.
The next thing to appear was the epic cover artwork. A new standards setting artwork and one of the icons from the 1980s. Then we got the music itself. O boy were we in for a treat. U2 and their producer had ditched the remaining art bits from the previous album and gone commercial. Commercial on U2s own terms. Many hit singles followed. Side 1 of this LP/cassette, that is the five first songs on the CD/MP3 file, is a hit parade. It is also their creative peak. A peak they did not climb on side 2 and on the following albums.
Side 1 is U2, full frontal and in your face. Side 2 is much more withdrawn and pastoral. Much more like the previous album The Unforgettable Fire.
The Joshua Tree was hyped up and the band was hailed as the second coming of Jesus Christ. Unfortunate, the band started to believe the hype. Their following album, a semi live album called Rattle And Hum had some severe messiah complexes. It was not a good album either. Neither was their following albums. The duo The Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree was U2s finest hours. A band who still release albums and does extensive tours. I highly recommend The Joshua Tree as it is a great album. One of the best albums from the 1980s, no less.