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Bono was embarrassed by his lack of familiarity with the genres, as most of U2's musical knowledge began with punk rock in their youth in the mids. He realised that U2 "had no tradition" and felt as if they "were from outer space". I wrote words on the microphone. For The Joshua Tree , I felt the time had come to write words that meant something, out of my experience.

The band wanted to build on the textures of The Unforgettable Fire , but in contrast to that record's often out-of-focus experimentation, they sought a harder-hitting sound within the limitations of conventional song structures. The Edge recalled it as a difficult period with a sense of "going nowhere", although Bono was set on America as a theme for the album. Intending to release an album in late , U2 set up a studio in January of that year in Danesmoate House , a Georgian house in Rathfarnham , Ireland, in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains.

A makeshift control room with tape machines, a mixing console , and other outboard equipment was set up in Danesmoate's dining room, with the adjacent drawing room used for recording and performing. To aid in sound isolation, gobos were built in the drawing room, although the production staff still faced issues with audio spill from the monitor speakers. Lanois said that due to the setup, "you have to make a commitment to what you put down and either use it or throw it all away. U2's initial time at Danesmoate was spent recording and refining "extensive demos" that the Edge anticipated could turn into final backing tracks.

Meegan said of Eno's involvement: "Usually he was in first every morning and he'd start some dodgy sequence on his DX-7 [synthesiser]—it would be just like a cello line with no intentions of ever staying forever, just something to inspire people when they walked into the room.

The producers encouraged an interest in older songs, especially American roots music. More contemporary references included the textural guitar work of the Smiths and My Bloody Valentine. The band's musical vocabulary had improved after their previous album, facilitating communication and collaboration with the production team.


The band found Danesmoate to have a very creative atmosphere, but according to the Edge, they "just couldn't settle in". The large drawing room, with a tall ceiling and wooden floors, created an "ear-splitting" drum sound that caused issues for the group. In my opinion it was the most rock and roll room of the lot. Over the course of recording The Joshua Tree , the band twice paused to participate in benefit concerts. The band in particular were labelled hypocrites for their participation. On 3 July, the band experienced a tragedy when Greg Carroll, their roadie and Bono's personal assistant, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Dublin.

I think there were a lot of headaches, isolating people and having to build baffles around the place. Lanois said that most of the record was done there, [16] and that it was the preferred location for mixing. Robertson was in Ireland to complete his self-titled debut solo album that he had begun with Lanois. As the sessions progressed, U2 attempted to record a suitable take of the song " Where the Streets Have No Name ", which began as a demo that the Edge had composed by himself.

However, the group struggled with the chord and time signature shifts, [32] forcing significant "screwdriver work" to fix a recorded version of the song. Ultimately, the erasure never occurred. The vocalist had another set of lyrics for most of the record, but the other group members were dissatisfied with them, forcing rewrites. After a creative spurt in October resulted in new song ideas, [35] Bono proposed that the group release a double album.

There was this one album, the 'blues' album that Bono was talking about, and another, much more 'European', which is kind of the way I was led. If we even consider any of them we'll still be here in three months time. Rough mixes had been created throughout the sessions after each song was recorded to, in Lanois' words, take "snapshots along the way The final weeks were a frantic rush to finish, with the band and production crew all suffering from exhaustion.

Eno and Flood had minimal involvement with the final mixes, [16] as they had other commitments. Facing understaffing, [18] in late December, U2 hired Steve Lillywhite , producer of their first three albums, to remix the potential singles and make them more appealing to commercial radio. On the night before the 15 January deadline set by Island Records to complete the record, the band and the crew completed mixing.

The band told her to put "Where the Streets Have No Name" first and "Mothers of the Disappeared" last, with the rest sequenced according to her preference.

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It wasn't happening for The Joshua Tree and she came in and she organized it and it worked as an old-fashioned album: a beginning, middle and end. In the morning, Meegan and Lillywhite flew with the album's tapes to Island's offices in Hammersmith , London. Following the completion of the album proper, U2 returned to the studio with Meegan and McCarthy to complete the new material they had shelved in October. The track was re-recorded as a single for the group's compilation The Best of — After completing The Joshua Tree , Bono said that he was "as pleased with the record as I can ever be pleased with a record", calling The Joshua Tree their most complete album since their debut.

U2 is credited with composing all of The Joshua Tree ' s music. The Edge's guitar playing on The Joshua Tree is characteristic of what came to be his trademark sound. His minimalist style sharply contrasted with the emphasis placed on virtuosity and speed by heavy metal in the s. The Edge views musical notes as "expensive", preferring to play as few of them as possible and to instead focus on simpler parts that serve the moods of the songs.

The Edge continued to employ the ambient techniques of guitar playing that he used on The Unforgettable Fire ; for "With or Without You", he used a prototype of the Infinite Guitar to add layers of sustained notes, an approach he first took on his solo album, the Captive soundtrack. Much like on past records, Bono exhibits an expressive, open-throated vocal delivery, [58] which many critics described as "passionate".

Bono is credited as the album's sole lyricist. Anger is directed particularly at the perceived greed of the Ronald Reagan administration and its foreign policy in Central America. As such, the desert, rain, dust, and water appear as lyrical motifs throughout the record. Most people would take the desert on face value and think it's some kind of barren place, which of course is true.

But in the right frame of mind, it's also a very positive image, because you can actually do something with blank canvas, which is effectively what the desert is. Political and social concerns were the basis for several tracks. Bono wrote the lyrics for "Bullet the Blue Sky" after visiting El Salvador during the Salvadoran Civil War and witnessing how the conflict between rebels and the US-backed government affected local civilians.

The story of a heroin -addicted couple was the basis for "Running to Stand Still", which Bono set in the Ballymun Flats residential towers in Dublin near which he was raised. Bono described as "an incredibly bad year" for him, [14] which was reflected in the lyrics. His marriage was under strain, in part due to the album's long gestation period, the band were criticised by the Irish media for their involvement in Self Aid, and his personal assistant Greg Carroll was killed in a motorcycle accident. That year was really a desert for us.

The group's religious faith was a source of inspiration for many lyrics. Designed by Steve Averill , [51] the album sleeve was based on U2's request to depict the record's "imagery, and cinematic location" in the desert. Over several days in December , [35] [80] U2 travelled with Corbijn and Averill on a bus around the Mojave Desert for a photo shoot. This led to him focusing on the background and leaving the band slightly out of focus.

Corbijn said, "Fortunately there was a lot of light. The photo shoots took place in the mornings and evenings, with mid-days spent travelling and on preparation. On the evening after the first day's shooting, Corbijn told the band about Joshua trees Yucca brevifolia , hardy and twisted plants in the deserts of the American Southwest , and he suggested their use on the sleeve.

Bono explained, "it was freezing and we had to take our coats off so it would at least look like a desert. That's one of the reasons we look so grim. It was definitely the most serious, I think, that you can photograph a band. You couldn't go any further down that line unless you start photographing graves. For the vinyl record release, Corbijn originally wanted to have a shot of the Joshua tree on the front of the sleeve, with U2 in a continuation of the photograph on the back. The center gatefold showed an image of U2 with the Joshua tree in the center; a mirror used by them to check their appearance was mistakenly left in frame.

Since the compact disc was a relatively new format at the time, the creative team decided to experiment with the album cover, selecting different cover images for each format on which the album was released; early pressings on compact disc and cassette tape used a blurry, distorted photo of the band. The tree photographed for the sleeve fell around , [88] yet the site remains a popular tourist attraction for U2 fans.

Just prior to the release of The Joshua Tree , Bono was stricken with a sudden panic about the quality of the completed album. He said that he contemplated calling the production plants to order a halt of the record's pressing, but he ultimately held off. This edition rectified the incorrect track splitting between "One Tree Hill" and "Exit" that affected some CD releases; the quiet coda that concludes "One Tree Hill" had previously been included in the same track as "Exit". Following its 30th anniversary reissue, The Joshua Tree re-entered the Billboard chart the week of 8 June , climbing to number 16—its highest position on the chart since 13 February That week, it shifted 27, album-equivalent units , 23, of which were sales, making it the album's highest-selling week in the US since 3 January The Joshua Tree received critical acclaim, and the best reviews of U2's career to that point.

Steve Pond of Rolling Stone wrote, "For a band that's always specialized in inspirational, larger-than-life gestures—a band utterly determined to be Important— The Joshua Tree could be the big one, and that's precisely what it sounds like. It's the sound of people still trying, still looking He praised the musicianship of the group members, calling Bono's vocals "wrenching", the rhythm section of Mullen and Clayton "razor-sharp", and the Edge's guitar playing "never It judged that the record's "power lies in its restraint" and that there is an "urgency underlying virtually all of the 11 songs".

The review praised U2 for maturing and expanding their musical range, yet "retain[ing] their sense of power" and the "brave passion and emotion" of Bono's vocals. Q ' s Paul Du Noyer said that the source of The Joshua Tree ' s "potency lies in a kind of spiritual frustration — a sense of hunger and tension which roams its every track in search of some climactic moment of release, of fulfilment, that never arrives.

The review stated, "There isn't a bad song on the record" and that "every one has a hook". The magazine praised U2 for eschewing ambient experimentation in favour of uncomplicated but layered arrangements. Hilburn noted that the band showed "sometimes breathtaking signs of growth" and played more "tailored and assured" music. Racine, however, believed the group took itself too seriously, resulting in a record that is "not a whole lot of fun, bordering on the pretentious", which caused him to lose interest by the second side. In a retrospective review, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic said "their focus has never been clearer, nor has their music been catchier".

His review concluded, "Never before have U2's big messages sounded so direct and personal. DeCurtis summarized The Joshua Tree ' s examination of America both lyrically and musically as such: [5]. The wild beauty, cultural richness, spiritual vacancy and ferocious violence of America are explored to compelling effect in virtually every aspect of The Joshua Tree —in the title and the cover art, the blues and country borrowings evident in the music Indeed, Bono says that 'dismantling the mythology of America' is an important part of The Joshua Tree ' s artistic objective.

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Following the album's release, U2 embarked on a worldwide concert tour , the Joshua Tree Tour. Lasting from April to December , it comprised shows over three legs. Like their previous tours, the Joshua Tree Tour was a minimalistic, austere production, [] and U2 used this outlet for addressing political and social concerns. The band hinted that the stresses of touring led them to enjoy the "rock and roll lifestyle" they previously avoided.

It ranks as one of the best-selling albums in the US. The Joshua Tree has been acclaimed by writers and music critics as one of the greatest albums of all time; according to Acclaimed Music , it is the 40th-highest-ranked record on critics' lists. The publication said, "The band's fifth album spit out hits like crazy, and they were unusually searching hits, each with a pointed political edge. It was U2's best position on the list. The band's penchant for addressing political and social issues, as well as their staid depiction in Corbijn's black-and-white sleeve photographs, contributed to the group's earnest and serious image as "stone-faced pilgrim[s]".

This image became a target for derision after the band's critically maligned Rattle and Hum project in They incorporated alternative rock , electronic dance music , and industrial music into their sound, and adopted a more ironic, flippant image by which they embraced the "rock star" identity they struggled with in the s. All editions included liner notes by author Bill Flanagan and previously unseen photographs by Anton Corbijn. As always, the band had to make sure it was right, and now it is. The bonus DVD includes live concert footage, a documentary, and two music videos.

Footage of U2's alter ego country band, the Dalton Brothers, is included on the disc as an Easter egg. For the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree , U2 staged a concert tour in North America, Europe, and Latin America, on which they played the album in its entirety at each show.

It was a period when there was a lot of unrest. Thatcher was in the throes of trying to put down the miners' strike ; there was all kinds of shenanigans going on in Central America. It feels like we're right back there in a way It just felt like, 'Wow, these songs have a new meaning and a new resonance today that they didn't have three years ago, four years ago. On 2 June , the album was reissued in several formats in commemoration of its 30th anniversary. U2 [51] [nb 2]. Can you have a greater and lesser perfection?

Apparently some can. Each of these numbers are open to interpretation. Were those not days of grace? But in addition to being days of grace , they were also days of testing, witness, terror and revelation. One day shortly after the first Passover in forty years what is the significance of that? He may have been trying to come up with a scheme to bring those walls down, but while doing so his eyes caught sight of a Stranger. Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. As difficult as it may be for some to understand, Jehovah is above taking sides in the squabbles between people and nations.

On the other hand, He is gracious towards some, and in this case it was towards Israel. And grace is based upon nothing but the magnificent heart of the Lord. It involved everyone in the camp of Israel. Four priests were to carry the Ark of the Covenant covered by its heavy protective tapestries. The armies of Israel were to precede the priests, probably marching in proper rank and file according to their tribes. And bringing up the rear were all the rest of Israel from the old men, to the ladies and children.

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The folk were probably not in any order , and they stretched away from the city many hundreds of yards. Joshua was told that every day for six days , the nation was to circle the city. I wonder if he asked , or if the Lord told him it would be all right to rotate the priests every day? That ark with all its gold was probably extremely heavy. He was told that the people were to be totally silent ; they were not to chat, to gossip, to slander the Canaanites, or even sing the songs of Zion. Then on the seventh day , the journey around the city was to be made seven times.

That might have been a logistical challenge, but obviously it could be done. Since several million people were involved, I am sure Jericho would have been completely surrounded. On that seventh day , when the seventh circle was complete , Joshua would give a command to shout. A tithe of sorts. Every man, woman and child therein belonged in one way or another to Him.

One foolish man disobeyed , but he must be left as the subject of another message. So this was the plan and these are the facts. Now lets consider those seven days from several different angles , beyond the simple days of the week. Yes, progressive revelation. Certainly others in Israel had hopes and even expectations about the fall of Jericho. But no one knew HOW it would be accomplished.

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Perhaps he told his good friend Caleb , and maybe the High Priest knew, but it is questionable whether they or anyone else were told about the seven days and the disintegration of the mighty walls of Jericho. There may have been others who imagined cracks forming in the wall then spreading apart until their warriors could go rushing in.

There may have others who pictured the city gates opening to reveal Canaanites under a white flag of truce, seeking peace. Maybe some calculating mind decided that all the stomping of Hebrew feet would topple the walls. But there was nothing of the kind.

There was nothing at all on that first day. On the second day Joshua again ordered the High Priest to arrange his priests and the generals to arrange their troops. And again Israel obeyed the Lord through Joshua, but again by the end of the day the walls did not fall.

The same took place on days 3, 4, 5, and 6. God had ordained a plan which he shared with the pastor of Israel, but to no other. This is the way God usually works — God initially makes His will known to one man. Did Shem or Ham understand what they were doing when Noah told them to start looking for tall, straight gopher trees? Did the sons or daughters-in-law instantly believe what the old man was saying? For some of them it probably took decades of development and progressive revelation before they saw the vision which God had given to Noah.

It was given to only Joseph — not to his father, his mother, or his older brothers.

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It took a lifetime of spiritual growth in those brothers before they would admit to the revelation of God. The Lord Jesus , of course is an extreme example , but He is still a good example. He had a vision of souls saved , of an evangelistic church , and of two centuries of Christian service. They fought against it , denying that Christ would be crucified.

This is still the way God operates. He may lay a burden , a vision , a plan upon the Joshua of His church , telling him to get started. He meets His chosen leader and gives to that man His will, telling him to put it into motion. It was not until six days had passed before Israel saw the plan, but Joshua had done so from the beginning. Those were seven days of progressive revelation. Right off the bat, Joshua confounds both Joshua and us with contradictory logic. But Christians are not supposed to look with physical eyes alone.

That man was being asked to look with faith, trusting God to keep His word. In the will of God , the city was as good as taken. Believe it! I personally think that Joshua had no problem in believing the Lord — even at this early point.

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He was the most spiritually mature man in the nation. He had seen God work from before the crossing of the Red Sea. If God now says that Jericho is defeated , then it is a defeated city as far as he was concerned. But not everyone has that same capacity for faith. And that is one reason the Lord leads the human leader. On Monday morning , or whatever the first day was, the order was given to the priests to take up the ark and the trumpets.