May 6, 2014 by Welcome to the Jungle
The Joshua Tree
The Joshua Tree was released on March 9th, 1987. The album is U2’s fifth studio album, and by all accounts their best work.
U2 is a rock band that formed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1976. The band is made up of four men: Bono is the lead vocalist, The Edge on lead guitar, keyboards, and backup vocals, Adam Clayton playing bass, and Larry Mullen Jr. on the drums. They all met when they were in their late teens at Mount Temple Comprehensive School. In terms of genre, U2 typically plays rock or alternative music. Many of the songs played by U2 often contain references to spiritual allusions, as well as addressing sociopolitical issues around the world.
Work on The Joshua Tree began in 1986 in Dublin. Following their album The Unforgettable Fire, U2 aimed for a heavier and more intense sound rather than the more mellow sound of their previous work. One of U2’s more politically influenced albums, it covers a wide range of sociopolitical topics that were occurring in the world throughout the mid 1980’s such as National Union of Mineworkers strike in the UK and the United States’s intervention in El Salvador.
Many things make this album stand out as U2’s best. Like in many other albums by U2, music is made to sound a certain way to evoke the image of something related to the song. For example, in Bullet the Blue Sky, the guitar is used by The Edge in great effect to evoke the images of fighter jets, something that is referenced in the song lyrics. This section of the song stands out as one of the most memorable sections of the album. Other songs on The Joshua Tree that are excellent would be “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “With or Without You”, all of which sound completely different from one another. “Where the Streets Have No Name” as a much faster, more energetic beat to it, whereas “With or Without You” has a much more mellow, somber feel to it. This difference is something seen across the album as a whole, as no two songs on The Joshua Tree sound exactly alike. Many of the lyrics on the album have a crisp, clean feel to them that makes the song’s especially nice to listen to, aided in no small part by Bono’s excellent singing voice.
The Joshua Tree is an excellent album, one of the best ever recorded. I would give it a ten out of ten. An excellent combination of lyrics, singing and music, make this album a visceral symphony for the ears. The songs deep meanings only further the experience. In 2012, in their special collector’s issue “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”, Rolling Stone named The Joshua Tree the 27th greatest album of all time.
Rob H. is a Grade 12 student at FHS who enjoys Rock Music