U2 – The Joshua Tree
I love this CD.* Every song is pop rock perfection. Seriously, try and top the monster that is this album. Few could do it. Even if you think the general music listening audience is a twat that gets what it deserves (ahem! Scott! Dammit I love that line), you at least have to admit that this was a huge record that was everywhere and was filled with earworm hooks that were undeniably catchy.
The first three songs are all K.O. punches: Where The Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, and With Or Without You. Seriously? Jeez, guys!
Follow that up with the politically angry Bullet the Blue Sky, then my favourite on the record, Running To Stand Still. It’s an acoustic velvet glove wrapped around an iron fist of drug addiction. We’re back to politics on Red Hill Mining Town, then U2’s fixation with America on In God’s Country. Trip Through Your Wires is brilliant, One Tree Hill is a sad tune as eulogy for a friend, Exit is about a serial killer, and back to politics again with Mothers Of The Disappeared.
Throughout, the music is perfect to match the lyrics. It may be U2’s finest achievement. It did, in fact, ship crates of units to everywhere that had electricity, just millions and millions of copies. It’s hugely influential, it’s a beautiful record.
I do often take issue with how political Bono has been, at times, but on this record a good balance is struck. I also find him strident and over the top, but here it’s still got enough of a heartfelt feel to it that it works perfectly.
* I also own it on cassette and LP, natch.