Release date: 17 March 1987
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) Where the Streets Have No Name (4/4/87, #13 US, #4 UK, #11 AR) / I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (3/28/87, #1 US, #6 UK, #2 AR, #16 AC) / With or Without You (3/21/87, #1 US, #4 UK, #1 AR, #23 AC) / Bullet the Blue Sky (4/4/87, #14 AR) / Running to Stand Still / Red Hill Mining Town / In God’s Country (4/11/87, #44 US, #48 UK, #6 AR) / Trip Through Your Wires / One Tree Hill / Exit / Mothers of the Disappeared
Sales (in millions): 10.0 US, 2.67 UK, 30.0 world (includes US and UK)
Peak: 19 US, 12 UK
Review: U2’s blockbuster album The Joshua Tree was released on St. Patrick’s Day in 1987. It spent 9 weeks at #1 in the U.S. and went on to sell 10 million copies. It sold another 20 million worldwide. The album also ranks high on the list of The Top 100 Albums of All Time.
In the early 1980s, U2 built a following first with college radio and then album rock. By 1984’s “Pride (In the Name of Love)”, they’d even hit the top 40 of the pop charts. The band “were now spending more and more time with rock legends like Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan” QM and were, as Rolling Stone magazine declared, “a band utterly determined to be Important.” RS With its “inspirational, larger-than-life gestures...that’s precisely what [The Joshua Tree] sounds like.” RS
The Joshua Tree was “U2’s most varied, subtle and accessible album” RS as the group learned “to combine their multi-textured sound with the kind of melodies that fans could sing as well as sway along to.” QM Their “sonic trademarks are here: the monumental angst of Bono’s voice, the driving pulse of Adam Clayton’s bass and Larry Mullen Jr.’s drums and the careening wail of the Edge’s guitar.” RS
Resources and Related Links:
- DMDB page for The Joshua Tree
- U2’s DMDB Music Maker Encyclopedia entry
- AMG All Music Guide review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
- JA John Alroy, Wilson & Alroy’s Record Reviews
- AZ1 Amazon.com review by Daniel Durchholz
- AZ2 Amazon.com> review by Rob O’Connor
- BN Barnes & Noble review by Lisa Zhito
- AD Adrian Denning
- Q4 Q4music.com review by Mark Cooper. No longer online.
- RV The Review. “The 100 Greatest Albums of All Time.” (Vol. 128; Numbers 12-23: October-November 2001). By Clarke Speicher.
- RS RollingStone.com review by Steve Pond, originally in print issue 497
- TL Josh Tyrangiel and Alan Light, Time Magazine’s “All-TIME 100 Albums” (11/13/06)