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  • Writer's pictureBridget Buckley

13 Days of U2: Day 5

The Joshua Tree (1987)

Could have been called “The Song That Almost Never Was,” but now it seems impossible to imagine a U2 show without it. Born out of Edge’s attempt to make something while everyone else in the band went on a break from recording for a few weeks, he fiddled with a bunch of different instruments alone in his house and basically created a demo that no one in the band could recreate. In frustration, the producer tried to erase all the recordings so they could start fresh. Thankfully he was stopped. Larry has said that the song didn’t really reach its full potential until they started playing it live. The iconic video was shot as a surprise show on top of a building in downtown Los Angeles.

Some critics claim the song proves Bono doesn’t believe in God. They are idiots.

"He broke the bounds, he loose the chains

Carried the cross of my shame

Broke my shame

You know I believed it."

Written as a gospel song, some of the best versions include an entire gospel choir belting out the phrase “And I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”

The third consecutive hit song on the album, it’s no surprise The Joshua Tree is considered one of the best albums of all time. A heartwarming/heartbreaking love song, Bono’s gut wrenching voice shares his biggest fears of balancing his life as an artist and a married man, “I thought these tensions were going to destroy me but actually, in truth, it is me…Loyal, but in my imagination filled with wanderlust, a heart to know God, a head to know the world, rock star who likes to run amok and sinner who knows he needs to repent.” (U2 by U2)

Starts off like country western song about to be sung in a dirty bar, but develops into an epic call to what Dublin was becoming as drugs continued to creep into the low incomes areas of Ballymun. Some of my favorites lyrics are from this haunting song, “You got to cry without weeping, talk without speaking, scream without raising your voice.”

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