Sunday, July 3, 2011

The #38 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era--"The Joshua Tree" by U2

The album at #38 for All-Time thoroughly established this band as superstars.  Thousands if not millions of people already knew they were great before this, but they hadn't really been discovered by the masses until this album.  The Joshua Tree from U2 is #38.

The album debuted at #7 on the album chart as the lead single, "With or Without You", quickly hit airwaves and had music listeners scrambling to buy the album.  Within four weeks, the album reached #1 (on April 25, 1987).  The Joshua Tree was the top album in the land for nine weeks, but it also spent five at #2 and two at #3.  U2 spent 35 weeks in the Top 10 and 103 on the album chart.  To date, the album has sold 10 million copies (pretty outstanding for a 24-year old album).  The Joshua Tree has a good but not excellent Track Record* of 8.86.

The album was recorded with the United States in mind, in particular they wanted to feature the open spaces of America as well as explore the politics.  Specifically, as Hot Press editor Niall Stokes wrote, Bono wanted to understand "those on the fringes of the promised land, cut off from the American dream".   In addition to being #1 in the United States, The Joshua Tree reached #1 in over 20 countries.  The classic "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", "In God's Country" and "Where the Streets Have No Name" were also released as singles.

The album won Grammies for Album of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Group with Vocal. The group was nominated for Song and Record of the Year for "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For". U2 was named Best International Group at the BRIT Awards and won an MTV Award for Viewer's Choice ("With or Without You"). They were also nominated both for Best Group Video and Video of the Year at the MTV Awards for both "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and "Where the Streets Have No Name" and for Best Stage Performance in a Video for "Where the Streets...". "With or Without You" was also nominated for Best Group Video, Best Editing Best Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Overall Performance in a Video.

U2 also received nominations for The Joshua Tree for Best International Album and for Producer of the Year at the Juno Awards and the group was nominated for Favorite Group and Favorite Album at the American Music Awards. U2 became only the fourth rock band to be featured on the cover of Time magazine. All of the above helped the group place at #38 All-Time.

The Joshua Tree:
(All songs by U2, all lyrics by Bono

Side one
1. "Where the Streets Have No Name" --5:38
2. "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" --4:38
3. "With or Without You" --4:56
4. "Bullet the Blue Sky" --4:32
5. "Running To Stand Still" --4:18

Side two
1.  "Red Hill Mining Town" --4:54
2.  "In God's Country" --2:57
3.  "Trip Through Your Wires" --3:33
4.  "One Tree Hill" --5:23
5.  "Exit" --4:13
6.  "Mothers of the Disappeared" --5:12

U2 consists of Bono on lead vocals and harmonica, great guitar player "The Edge", Adam Clayton on bass and drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. 

Brian Eno played keyboards and contributed backing vocals, Daniel Lanois played tambourine, Omnichord, guitar and also sang backing vocals, the Armin Family provided strings and the Arklow Silver Band played brass.

U2 recorded this album between January of 1986 and January of 1987 at STS Studios, Danemoate House, Melbeach and Windmill Lane Studios.  Lanois and Eno produced the album and Flood did the recording.  Steve Lillywhite mixed the album.  The Joshua Tree was released March 9, 1987 on Island Records.

The Joshua Tree from U2 is honored today as the #38 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era.

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