If you missed last week’s blog post, Amazon has graciously discounted select albums each week down to $5 dollars. My goal is to inform you of good, can’t miss music that you make your 8-hour day feel like minutes. (Neither I nor the TDS blog offers any satisfaction guarantees.)
In this weekly installment of Cheap Tunes Tuesday, we move to another very famous band—this one hailing from Dublin, Ireland. Some of you may only know the lead singer for his humanitarian efforts around the world, others may only know him and his band for their pretty epic tunes from the mid-70s to today.
I am talking about Bono, U2, and their 1987 effort, The Joshua Tree. This happens to be one of maybe a few dozen or so albums I actually own in vinyl, and it’s very worth the listen. From the get-go, you open with “Where the Streets Have No Name” which has one of the better openings in music history. Very smart of them to open the album with it, as many bands bury their great songs later in the playing order. That particular song will always have sentimental value to me too, since the UW Badger football team uses it as their opening sequence at home games. I cannot watch that without getting goose bumps, no matter how many times I see it.
I think this record is a small step up for them in terms of a rock sound. A little more heavy on the guitar and drums compared especially to their previous record . It has influences from American rock, as well as some Irish roots music. The lyrics on this album reflect the band’s love-hate relationship with the USA, with some socially and politically-charged lines and songs.
To me, this album start to finish almost feels like a movie. It has ups and downs, tempo changes and varying degrees of emotions. I’ve heard it’s supposed to take you through a journey of touring the United States, and that you’re supposed to get a sense of the open spaces and desert landscapes of the country. Not sure that’s what is evoked for me, but it certainly has a story feel to it.
This album has all the critical acclaim and sales you’d expect to be called a classic. With over 25 million sold worldwide, it is U2’s best-selling record by quite a large margin. Spawning 5 singles that got solid radio play, odds are you’ve heard a few tracks in your lifetime. They remastered the album in 2007 to commemorate the 20th anniversary and in 2014 it was selected for preservation in the US Library of Congress National Recording Registry. That’s some pretty high praise—and a good deal to pick up for only $5.
All in all, this feels like it was a very personal recording for the band, or at least Bono who wrote it, and maybe no one will ever truly know what this record means to him. But you can listen to it, and get taken on the journey. Come up with your own interpretation.