So …. This blog is called U2ism. Ever wonder that there is not much U2 stuff put up over here, considering i am a self confessed U2 nut, a U2 freak, anything thats U2 and my friend ring/sms me and tell me about it and are surprised if i actually dont know the news already. Well … considering i have THAT kind of love for U2, its a bit weird that i dont have regular posts on U2 on my blog.
Well, i am going to put it right today. For the fact that today was the day when 20 years ago U2 came out with their first Master Piece – THE JOSHUA TREE
This album, to me, represents what U2 is all about. This is the album that contains three of my MOST FAVOURITE U2 songs. This is the album, that has the most single most iconic cover. This is the album that surpassed all other U2 albums ever released before or after in terms of popularity and sales. This is the album that created plethora of records for. This is the fastest selling album in U2’s history. This is the album which makes up for 20 % sales of U2 albums in America till date (More than 10 million copies of this album sold out of 50 million of all U2 albums in USA).This album won U2 their first grammy awards. This album brought U2 to America. This album helped U2 achieve whatever they have in their almost 30 year career. This is the album that made people realize what U2 is all about. This is the album which actually converted people into U2ism. This is the album that converted ME into a U2ist. This is the album that people recognize U2 with. This is the album that made U2, U2 . This album is U2’s legacy. There would be NO Achtung Baby if there was no Joshua Tree. This album is history in itself. This album is for the ages.This album has the song which i love more than ANY OTHER SONG in the world. This album … for me … IS THE SINGLE BEST COMPILATION OF SONGS …. EVER !
I could keep on going, i could cite figures and statistics and polls and votes, which place Joshua Tree in the top echelons of music history in terms of finesse and quality and their impact on music over course of time. Rolling Stones magazine is considered the single biggest authority over Music – they rate Joshua Tree as the fourth best album of all time.
I am not well aware of the technology and skills which are needed to call an album good. I dont have such knowledge, nor do i really care – for Joshua Tree is an album that connects with me in every way. I cant really articualte it in words as to how or why, but really, i have heard alot of songs, alot of music over the course of time but for some reason – nothing can ever come close to what i feel when i hear this album. My most emotional, most energized, most dark, most sobering – this album has the power to bring out so much into me it surprises even. You know, the kind where words really fail to do justice and its the feeling that is all you have.
And if there is one song that makes me feel – its for me the greatest song EVER written. The greatest song ever performed. The song that is just simply … beyond believe. Beyond any imagination of how good a song can be. That song is MY SONG. and that song is WITH OR WITHOUT YOU – the song that makes me cry, the song that can bring me to tears in no time, let me say it again , this has to be the greatest song ever.
Well – now that i am somewhat done with the emotional outburst for JT due to my extreme attachment to this album – i can now move forward and break down a bit more about it and write about it.
Released on 9th March 1987, Joshua Tree (JT) became an instant hit among fans all over the world. It was recorded in a mansion called Danesmoate House , Dublin in 1986 ( which is now owned by U2 Bassist Adam Clayton who bought it for 380,000 euros). It followed U2’s previous album Unforgettable Fire which had classics like Bad and Pride. U2’s previous two albums (War and Unforgettable Fire ) were overtly political in nature and they had a social theme going in them. With JT, they shifted a gear and moved into the self realization, self discovery mode and most of the lyrics on this album represents such mood of the band. More introspective, more brooding and occasional protests against political injustice, JT became the biggest achievement of U2 till then. Times Magazine placed U2 on their cover calling them ROCK’S HOTTEST TICKET after the release of JT.
Joshua Tree has 11 songs in all and first three songs are often recalled as the most powerful 1-2-3 songs in an album. Who can argue with that claim – the rebellious Where the Streets, the soulful gospel I Still Havent Found , The ambiguous With or Without you
They were followed by the most open denouncement of USA in form of Bullet the Blue Sky, the first song where Edge REALLY unleashed his axe wielding wizardry and skills that changed into the mournful yet most hauntingly melodic Running to Stand still, among the most underrated U2 songs. That had to be most powerful top 5 anyone could come up with. You`d give this album the title of Best of U2 and nobody would argue. It was that kind of album. Lyrically it ventured into places where U2 never went before – it was a journey of self discovery and it was a most passionate one. It was a journey to discover faith and it was a most spiritual one. The discovered all.
One can just keep on writing about Joshua tree and then never run out of things to say, or otherwise one feels that its plain useless to write anything about an album like Joshua Tree for it wont be able to do justice. As i mentioned previously .. Joshua Tree is not just a mere compilation of songs, its an experience in itself. This album needs to be heard, in one go and given proper attention and only then someone will be able to find whats hidden inside this gem. and then they ll find themselves addicted to it. I have often been in debate with people who argue if Joshua Tree is better or Achtung Baby. I have almost similar emotions and attachment towards AB and at times, with some songs AB almost seem to take the edge but then primarily for loyalty reasons – JT was my first U2 album i heard and ofcourse – because of three songs – JT remains MY all time favourite album among all that i ve heard. With or Without You, Where the Streets and Running to Stand Still. And there are another 8 most brilliant songs that i chose not to name.
Happy Birthday – Joshua Tree ! =)
…… nothing to win and nothing left to loose / and you give yourself away … I cant live – With or Without You …