The Joshua tree was the 5th album that was released by the band U2 in the year 1987. The band has experimented with a lot of alternative rock, blues, folk rock and gospel music.
The lyrics of the songs in this album are all praise for the beautiful landscape of America but they condemn the foreign policies that are being implements by the USA on other countries.
With the release of the album the band was propelled from the stature of heroes to superstars. The album was one of the best selling albums of that time having sold over 25 million copies worldwide.
Why the album “The Joshua Tree” came about?
After the album The Unforgettable fire was released the band was hit with a stark realization that they had no sort of tradition in the way they played and put forth their songs to the public. It was at this time that they started experimenting with the blues, folk rock and gospel music. Time spent with fellow Irish bands encouraged the band to try out the new music implementing American folk music.
Recording, production and some of their best singles
The recording was carried out from June to November 1986 at windmill lane studios in Dublin. Though the band interrupted their album sessions in the year 1986 to join AI tour they found out that they had not made a bad choice as the tour helped them to work on their music and bring it out in a stronger way. On their travels they saw the hand of distress in the way of life of the peasants in Central America.
The interference of the US army in the affairs of Salvador angered some of the members and was the base of the song “BULLET THE SKY”. The song “Mothers of the Disappeared” was a tribute to the mothers of those people who had opposed the hand of the videla and the galteiri coup d’?tat that overtook the Argentinean Govt. in 1976.
The album though it criticizes the US in a subtle way it also praises the country for its vast and beautiful landscape. The music of the band for this album was basically based on the vast open areas and countryside that stood for freedom. The album was inspired more by the country’s scenery that by its people.
Where the streets have no name this song was conceived by guitarist The Edge. It told about how one could determine the income of a person on the basis of his religion and the place where he lived in Belfast. The recordings continued till November 1986.
The album was released on 9th march 1987. The album photo which was a Joshua tree was taken by a Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn in the Death Valley in California. The main theme behind the photo was: man and environment, the Irish in America.
The album The Joshua Tree won for U2 their first two awards when it was named as the “album of the year” and “the best rock performance by duo or group with vocal”