808s / The UK's Greatest Hits

The UK’s Greatest Hits: 36. The Joshua Tree – U2


The Joshua Tree – U2 – 1987

First listen?: Yes

U2 are one of those bands that I know are super popular, in fact I like quite a few of their songs, but I could never be bothered to give them a decent amount of my time. When you’re dealing with the sort of band that can sell nearly 100,000 tickets a night they probably deserve more respect than a listen of one or two of their songs, so I’ve just avoided them entirely. Along the same lines of why I started this series in the first place, actually sitting down and listening to a U2 album in full was something I don’t think I’ve ever done before. As openings go, you’d be hard pressed to find a better trio of U2 songs. The trio of singles from The Joshua Tree are the purest form of U2’s take on Pop Rock that you can find, there’s a reason why nearly 30 years on people are still belting out With Or Without You and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For on a certain Saturday night primetime show. These songs, along with opener Where The Streets Have No Name are so massive that it would be easy to say that the rest doesn’t hold up as well, but there’s still plenty I enjoyed here. Bullet The Blue Sky sees Bono deliver a soaring vocal once again, while second to last track Exit devolves into a grinding guitar instrumental halfway through. Looking back on The Joshua Tree in 2015 is interesting the classic U2 sound we think of now was created and perfected here in 1987. The album that allowed them to become the biggest band in the world, it’s obvious why The Joshua Tree lands U2 in the best sellers of all time.

Rating: 7/10

Will I listen again?: Probably not, though the main three singles will probably make their way into my iTunes library very soon.

Best Track: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For


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