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The Joshua Tree

U2

1987

The Joshua Tree

Album Summary

The Joshua Tree is the fifth studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 9 March 1987 on Island Records. In contrast to the ambient experimentation of their 1984 release, The Unforgettable Fire, the band aimed for a harder-hitting sound within the limitation of conventional song structures on The Joshua Tree. The album is influenced by American and Irish roots music, and through sociopolitically conscious lyrics embellished with spiritual imagery, it contrasts the group's antipathy for the "real America" with their fascination with the "mythical America". Inspired by American experiences, literature, and politics, U2 chose America as a theme for the album. Recording began in January 1986 in Ireland, and to foster a relaxed, creative atmosphere, the group primarily recorded in two houses. Several events during the sessions helped shape the conscious tone of the album, including the band's participation in the Conspiracy of Hope benefit concerts for Amnesty International, the death of roadie Greg Carroll, and lead vocalist Bono's travels to Central America. Recording was completed in November 1986; additional production continued into January 1987. Throughout the sessions, U2 sought a "cinematic" quality for the record, one that would evoke a sense of location, in particular, the open spaces of the United States. They represented this in the sleeve photography depicting them in American desert landscapes. The Joshua Tree received critical acclaim, topped the charts in over 20 countries, and became the fastest-selling album in British history. According to Rolling Stone, the album increased the band's stature "from heroes to superstars". It produced the hit singles "With or Without You", "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", and "Where the Streets Have No Name", the first two of which became the group's only number-one singles in the US. The album won Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1988. The group supported the record with the Joshua Tree Tour throughout 1987, during which they began to perform in stadiums for the first time in their career. Frequently listed among the greatest albums of all time, The Joshua Tree is one of the world's best-selling albums, with over 25 million copies sold. U2 commemorated the record's 20th anniversary with a remastered re-release, and its 30th anniversary with concert tours and a reissue. In 2014, The Joshua Tree was selected for preservation in the US National Recording Registry, having been deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.63

Votes

5464

Genres

  • Rock
Reviews
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Tue Mar 09 2021
5

I needed exactly this album today. I mean, this is one of those all-time-great albums anyway but there's nothing like listening to the perfect album for a particular time. This morning, this is the album I needed and I'm not even a U2 fan. But these tracks are undeniable monsters.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

When I grabbed The Joshua Tree on cassette when dropped my senior year of high school, it was exactly what I needed and solidified that U2 was my favorite band. There was no album I knew better that year. Its symbolic and poetic lyrics are rich with very human truths and contradictions, as well as spiritual longings. I could write on and on about how each song has influenced my own writing, spirituality, and outlook on life, and how the musicianship from Bono, Edge, Adam and Larry in this piece of art framed a sound that I gravitated towards back in '87 as well as inspired my search for more of the same moving into college and beyond. There isn't 1 of the 11 songs that I don't love and that doesn't spark contemplation and joy in me. I know each one personally and have meditated on each with endless hours and emotional intention. Initially One Tree Hill was not a popular song, but it made it onto several mix tapes that Scott and I made. One of my Top 10 albums of all time, The Joshua Tree is one of my favorite representations of why an album is greater than the sum of its parts, even though each individual song is so powerful!

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Fri Aug 20 2021
5

Seventeen year old me chalks this up as an easy 5. And upon listening again, 51-year old me is pleased to agree with my younger self. Bono can get on my nerves pretty fast, but I have to think even his harshest critics have to give him props for a lot here, especially With Or Without You and my favorite track on the album, Running To Stand Still. This was the moment for U2 when everything fell together, and they finally reached an audience who somehow missed their landmark performance at Live Aid two years earlier. The three hit songs from this album are arguably the three most popular of the band's career. It's almost the definition of a quintessential album. It's worth listening to the 30th anniversary edition, as not only is the entire original album remastered, but you get a great concert from this album's tour in 1987. For anyone tired of "With Or Without You", go watch how it was used in the final episode of The Americans. It'll make you appreciate the song all over again. As much as I cherish The Joshua Tree, it's my third favorite U2 album. Quick research tells me the other two will be coming up on this list.....

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Thu Apr 08 2021
2

I'm not a fan of U2, and this is a great representation of their sound.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
1

I think this is the worst thing I've listened to yet. I tried. Honest. It was really a struggle to power through this. Every song was exactly the same. At its best, I found some of these songs to be somewhere between "Gen X Easy Listening" and "Songs to hear when you're in the dental chair". If you found a Gen Z kid who had never heard U2 and then played this album for them while saying "These guys sell out stadiums", they straight up wouldn't believe you

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Mon Feb 28 2022
5

As someone who grew up surrounded by desert but didn't appreciate the landscape until I grew up and moved away, I connect with U2's desire to build an album around their desert inspiration. The album builds up and opens with so much excitement and energy. That energy builds and is held throughout the entire album. This album marries unique rock instrumentation with Bono's soaring, ethereal voice to make every track something interesting, unique, and a little bit mysterious. Everything about Bono's voice seems deliberate; you can feel the emotion behind the way he sings, artistic and full of emotion, but in full command of his vocals. Bono's lyrics, inspired by political and world events, are also deliberate and done incredibly artfully, as if writing a poem. This album caught my attention and didn't let go until it was finished. Every song was strongly written, sung, and performed. This has definitely inspired me to dig further into U2's discography.

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Sat Apr 10 2021
5

My first 5* new discovery (although hardly a hidden gem) and of all the artists for it to be... not a weak song in sight though and there's just a weird kind of atmosphere throughout which I can't pinpoint but I'm all in for. Best track: I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

Hard to think of an album with a stronger opening three songs. This album turned U2 into global superstars and rightly so. It’s not just the anthemic Where the Streets have no name, Still haven’t found what I’m looking for or With or without you that make this such a good album, it is consistently excellent all the way through. Blues and Country influences add light and shade throughout as U2 tap into their American influences and the result is a near flawless record with some epic track that have more than stood the test of time.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
5

Gran disco, la verdad. Quizá hoy en día, U2 ha perdido vigencia, pero sin duda, tuvieron lo suyo. No sé bien cómo explicarlo, pero creo que es un álbum grandilocuente: en su conjunto, las melodías con las letras, la voz de Bono, tranquila en ocasiones, en otras, más bien hasta desgarradora. Creo que todas las canciones me gustan, la triada del principio está muy bien, pero quizá mi fav esta vez sea "Mothers of the Disappeared". Un cierre genial. Finalmente, un pensamiento random: ¿le debe mucho Muse —con sus atributos y carencias— a U2? 9.5/10.

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Tue May 18 2021
5

Beautiful album. The opening three songs are probably the best album opener of all time. The rest of the album is filled with mysterious atmospheric songs about American desert, which are not standout hits, however give a great vibe.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

Perhapss the most important Irish rock album of all time and certainly the album that turned U2 into the biggest band in the world. It is both a political and religious album and makes no apology for it; ground well covered by U2 prior to Joshua Tree. On this record however there is a power and conviction in the songs as well as a confidence in the presentation and imagery of Americana, despite most of the songs not being directly about America. ‘WTSHNN’, inspired by Belfast, is as good an opener as you’ll hear on any album whilst the soaring ‘Red Hill Mining Town’ is about the UK miners strike of 1984. Although the second half of the album cannot match its powerful opening run of anthems The Joshua Tree is a triumph.

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Tue Jul 27 2021
5

Classic! Everyone needs to hear these songs

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Fri Aug 20 2021
5

Greatest three-song stretch opener of all time. These songs are loud and orchestral, carrying New Wave into a more alt rock direction in the late 80s. This is an album hard for me to describe why it deserves all 5 stars, but it's intelligent and hardly possesses any negative characteristics. Between the lyrics and choice of instruments like the harmonica, the songs reflect strongly of American folk culture, speaking of the vast open space and American ideals. The gospel-like orchestral sound puts you in that environment, feeling insignificant yet open to opportunities. Did I mention Eno helped produce this piece? Explains a lot considering he invented the ambient genre. There is hope and optimism in these songs (also religiously influenced). This is U2's most impressive record yet and got me into plenty of their singles.

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Sun Aug 22 2021
5

Hard to think of an album with a stronger opening three songs. This album turned U2 into global superstars and rightly so. It’s not just the anthemic Where the Streets have no name, Still haven’t found what I’m looking for or With or without you that make this such a good album, it is consistently excellent all the way through. Blues and Country influences add light and shade throughout as U2 tap into their American influences and the result is a near flawless record with some epic track that have more than stood the test of time.

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Mon May 03 2021
3

I do not love U2 and would go so far to say that they get a big eye roll from me, but I like the more muted rock from this album compared to their hits from the aughts.

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Sun Jan 31 2021
3

Some of the tracks on the second half of this album are a bit boring/naff but the first 4-5 really make up for it. Bullet the Blue Sky is slammin'

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Tue Jun 08 2021
3

Never been a huge U2 fan. Not bad, but pretty generic and samey sounding.

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Thu Nov 04 2021
2

I still haven't found what I'm looking for, but I know it's definitely not U2.

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Mon Aug 22 2022
2

I've written and deleted the word "bloviated" at least five times. Thing is, despite each song being a short walk up a small hill stretched out to feel like an ironman challenge courtesy of those neverending synth lines, marching drums, and Bono's mouthful of cotton wool, these songs move at some kind of clip. Right, they spend longer in each section of the song than most artists would, but within their clearly defined aesthetic, they don't spend longer than they should. So I'm happy to call it a formal achievment, even if I found virtually nothing that made me want to come back.

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Fri May 07 2021
1

U2 fucking sucks

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Fri Feb 05 2021
5

Love

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Sun Jun 27 2021
5

A perfect classic.

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Tue May 25 2021
5

Incredible. Epic. Interesting. Lyrically diverse. An all time classic.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
5

U2 gran clásico!

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Sat Mar 20 2021
5

Un classique. Le debut est incroya le 5*

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Thu May 13 2021
5

Obra maestra de éxito comercial. Prácticamente todas y cada una de las canciones son de 5 estrellas, desde las más conocidas: Where the streets have no name, I still haven't found what I'm looking for, With or without you hasta Running to stand still, In god's country y One tree hill. Imprescindible de verdad.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

a classic

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Tue Feb 09 2021
5

Perro discazo 9/10

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

Good Classic

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Mon May 03 2021
5

don't LOVE U2 but this album is pretty damn good

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Tue May 25 2021
5

Not much to say, really.

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Sat Feb 13 2021
5

Está fuera de lugar oiga

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Mon Jan 25 2021
5

very good album, all songs were amazing but not all like each other, creating a very nice listen. very good vocals and very nice accompaniment

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Mon May 03 2021
5

Can still always listen to it, even though it's become pretty basic.

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Mon May 03 2021
5

I love when they stack the hits up front. Even better, this really is a strong & varied album throughout, hard & soft. Vocals & lyrics are great.

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Tue Feb 23 2021
5

Classic U2 album. Probably their best with some of their most well-known and best loved songs. Probably a band at their peak on this.

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Thu Feb 25 2021
5

Great album

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Mon Mar 29 2021
5

Que recuerdos.....

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Sun Jul 04 2021
5

Epic Es bleibt genau meine Mischung aus Folk, Rock, Hymne, Druck, Pathos, Einfachheit und einem Schuss Selbstgerechtigkeit. Klappt bei keinem anderen U2 albbb I’llm in der Form

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Tue May 11 2021
5

love this album!

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Tue May 25 2021
5

4 1/2

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Tue May 25 2021
5

Absolute class

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Fri Jul 23 2021
5

One of the best ever!

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Mon Jul 26 2021
5

Loved it

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Wed Aug 11 2021
5

Fantastic album front to back

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Fri Aug 13 2021
5

Capolavoro

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Sun Aug 22 2021
5

I struggle to think of a better opening three tracks of any other album - it’s quite something and nearly 35 years later the 3 tracks remain as iconic as ever. The rest of the album can’t cope to keep up but still holds some of U2’s best work by a distance. I debated a four but felt I would be doing this album a disservice so I listened again - it’s gets the five it deserves

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Tue Aug 24 2021
5

The greatest rock album of all time.

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Tue Aug 24 2021
5

In contrast to the ambient experimentation of their 1984 release, The Unforgettable Fire, the band aimed for a harder-hitting sound within the limitation of conventional song structures on The Joshua Tree. The album is influenced by American and Irish roots music, and through sociopolitically conscious lyrics embellished with spiritual imagery, it contrasts the group's antipathy for the "real America" with their fascination with the "mythical America". Throughout the sessions, U2 sought a "cinematic" quality for the record, one that would evoke a sense of location, in particular, the open spaces of the United States. They represented this in the sleeve photography depicting them in American desert landscapes.

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Mon Aug 30 2021
5

Amazing

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Mon Aug 30 2021
5

Get some stick but this is actually an unbelievable album!

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Tue Aug 31 2021
5

The best album opening ever and one of the best albums ever made; should be played through high-quality speakers for maximum effect...

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Tue Sep 14 2021
5

You can tell that U2 knew what album they wanted to make, and they succeeded on all fronts. All the singles are frontloaded but you never want to stop listening because every track could’ve been a single. Another example of albums as art.

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Tue Sep 21 2021
5

5/5 One of the best albums of all time.

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Tue Sep 28 2021
5

Amazing, not listened to this in a very long time. Forgot how brilliant U2 are, when they are just being brilliant. I was back in the car with my Dad listening to this on cassette during the drive to school.

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Sat Oct 16 2021
5

The Joshua Tree by U2 (1987) The American spy plane with the designation “U-2” is an instrument of war designed to peer surreptitiously (from 70,000 feet) into things the enemy doesn’t want you to see. As the name of an Irish rock band, U2 is potently and multi-valently symbolic of what they’re trying to do. From the high altitude of their aesthetic perception, they endeavor to make these things seen by ‘you too’. And boy, do they succeed. When I first listened to this album at the time of its 1987 release, I concluded immediately that it was one of the greatest recordings I had ever heard. My judgment hasn’t changed in 34 years. Lead singer/lyricist Bono’s words stand as poetry on their own. Technical innovation by guitarist The Edge more than compensates for any deficiency in virtuosity. Adam Clayton on bass and Larry Mullen, Jr. on drums/percussion together provide a rhythm section that goes far beyond foundation, making compositional contributions that round out the near-symphonic sound. And Bono’s vocal delivery is infused with passion, sincerity, dynamism, and color. When one focuses all this Irish talent toward a not-so-surreptitious gaze at “God’s Country” (that would be the USA), guided by producer Brian Eno, the result is high art. What makes the sound so great on this record is the subtle use of silence. It creates distance, scope, and room for the reverberations and echoes. The Edge finds a way to make a guitar sound like chimes, church-bells, and pipe organ, all of which require sonic space. And Eno gives us plenty of it. Longing for a transcendence that leaves linguistic tags behind, the first-person opening track (“Where the Streets Have No Name”) summons the listener to join in an adventure of seeing—together. “When I go there I go there with you .” It’s part of what makes us human. But we’ve not yet seen clearly (“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”), even if we’ve gazed intently into the Paschal Mystery. There are lots of angels and demons on this trip, helping us to see what some say ain’t even there. Plenty of metaphysical strife. And we’re caught right up in it. The beginning of the bridge at (1:47) on “With Or Without You” produces a shiver, as even the first-time listener knows what’s coming. And the gradual buildup in the dirge for a junkie “Running to Stand Still” (2:14 to 3:04) resolving in the hushed climax is powerfully poignant. Bono’s wailing lead vocal on the chorus of “Red Hill Mining Town” leaves one cold. And the screaming lament over Chilean singer/songwriter Victor Jara (at 4:09 on “One Tree Hill”) fires our passions. Jara was one of the “poets [who] speak their heart then bleed for it” (actually the bleeding wasn’t the worst part—he was tortured before being shot). These are musical moments of naked drama. And there are so many more on this record. How many tears ya got? In terms of socio-political outlook, this album gives unreconstructed Reaganites something to think about whenever America considers the use of lethal force to confront undoubted evils in places like Nicaragua and El Salvador (“Bullet the Blue Sky”, “Mothers of the Disappeared”). While such force may have produced measurable gains for good in Berlin, Moscow, Warsaw, and Prague, what would be the effect in Kosovo, Baghdad, and Kabul? And what lessons can be applied today in response to injustices in Xingjian and Addis Ababa? Do we “stoop so low” in order to “reach so high”? One should always listen to this record immediately after reading George W. Bush’s Second Inaugural Address. Because of The Joshua Tree, this U2 will persistently be there to help us see the innocent human element and “hear their heartbeat” (in “Mothers of the Disappeared”), even if the enemy prefers we look (and listen) elsewhere. This not just great music. It is has a cultural, political, and spiritual potency that gives voice to the world-soul. 5/5

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Sun Oct 17 2021
5

Awesome

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Tue Oct 19 2021
5

This is my favorite album of all time with my favorite song of all time, "Where The Streets Have No Name." It's excellent in every way and all songs, save for Exit and Mothers of the Disappeared" are absolutely excellent. Incredible start to the album and the middle through the near-end parts are massively underrated compared to the rest of U2's catalog. 10/10.

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Sun Oct 24 2021
5

In just one word: Beautiful

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Tue Oct 26 2021
5

Stunning album. First three songs set the mood perfectly. Love the soft/ poetic like acoustics and lyrics. I'd say this album, U2 found their sound. Despite their 1984 album, with their single "Sunday Bloody Sunday", all eleven tracks are monsters! Although they're a rock band, their music is light. You're able to appreciate it more, since the instrumentals arn't dominating your attention. Defiently reccomend. Total stand out is "The Streets Have No Name" excellent opening. Although "Bullet The Blue Sky" gets an honourable mention, as I haven't heard it before and my god it's brilliant!

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Tue Oct 26 2021
5

A must

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Thu Oct 28 2021
5

This is a forever album. I was 10 when this album came out... Still a great listen, 35 years later. I'm surprised tracks like Exit and Bullet the Blue Sky don't get more love.

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Tue Nov 16 2021
5

I was already mad crazy on U2 when this album debuted and it's one of the few musical moments for me where I have a sharp, distinct memory of counting down and listening when my local station broadcast With or Without You for the first time. The album is truly All Killer No Filler, and probably my vote for Brian Eno's peak production effort. It's hard for me to separate this album from all the personal moments it had for me at the right time of my life. But listening fresh years later, it's only gotten more monumental .

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Sat Nov 20 2021
5

1. Fixed drum fill 2. Ambient sound 3. Periodic guitar riff 4. Single lead voice 5. No instrument follows lead. 6. Great lyrics 7. Occasional chois by single person. 8. Pannned guitars

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Tue Nov 30 2021
5

Loved this when it first came out and it’s still an impressive piece of work

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Sat Dec 11 2021
5

I listened to The Joshua Tree a lot when I was in high school. Everyone seems to agree the first three tracks are all monster hits. I also really like Bullet the Blue Sky and Running to Stand Still. It's just a great fucking album.

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Fri Dec 17 2021
5

Great album. Seems ahead of its time. Classic U2 stadium sound.

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Sun Jan 09 2022
5

112. The Joshua Tree - U2 11 tracks. Running to Stand Still was played at my mate Tommy's funeral.... The album has always been important to me & it's a hugely emotional listen for loads of different reasons. I'm enormously biased though. 5/5

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Mon Jan 10 2022
5

Where do I even start? Or end? The band and album that changed everything. From hearing 'With Or Without You' in the car on the drive back from school, seeing them on Whistle Test the week the album came out playing 'Exit' and 'In God's Country', buying the 12 inches for the extra tracks, my first concert at Cardiff Arms, buying the program full of Anton Corbijn photos which really kicked off my interest in photography. All of it. Seeing them in pre-COVID play the album in full, going with low expectations and being completely blown away at how stunning it was. However annoying Bono might have become, however patchy the band might have been over the last 20+ years, this album is still pretty perfect. It not be quite as beautiful sounding as 'The Unforgettable Fire' (being more of a Lanois album than an Eno album) but it's the band at the peak of their powers. There's so much on here that still floors me for a band in their mid-twenties on their fifth album. Bono's voice when it was still beautiful, before age, drink and smoking wrecked it. the minute and three quarters at the start before you hear a voice. 'Bullet The Blue Sky', still probably their best song even if there's plenty of live versions on YouTube that surpass the album version. The B-side of non-singles that are better than the singles - 'Red Hill Mining Town', 'In God's Country' (I think it might have been a US single), 'Exit', 'One Tree Hill'. An album that always makes me wants U2 to rediscover themselves and realise they can make an album like this if they choose to. The band is still pretty good, Bono needs to pull his finger out and remember how he used to write lyrics.

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Tue Jan 11 2022
5

U2's finest moment. One of the great rock records.

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Thu Jan 13 2022
5

L'èpica en la seva expressió més colpidora. Grandiositat, estat de plenitud d'uns músics consumits per la musa. Una producció increïble per uns temes que han marcat més d'una década. La primera cara, per emmarcar con una de les millors de la història del rock, està ja tant assumida que es fa difícil valorar com es mereix. Ens queda la segona per anar-la redescobrint i saborejant amb els anys

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Fri Jan 14 2022
5

Banger. Their best album- 5 of the first 6 songs are fire and the closers have grown on me too.

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Wed Jan 19 2022
5

What an album. It’s pretty flawless in every way, and an easy 5. I was 16 when this album came out. Joshua Tree felt timeless then and still does, so many years later. It was U2’s fourth album, but really different than anything else they had put out at that point. It was a continuation of the band’s relationship with Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois that began with The Unforgettable Fire, but in a far more mature and carefully crafted work, their most perfectly realized album. Joshua Tree marks a turning point for U2, after which they were simply the most important band in the world. No one makes albums like this anymore. From that first slowly unfolding open in “Where the Streets Have No Name,” you know you’re in for something special, something monumental. It really does have a cinematic quality to it. This is mature, thoughtful music, beautifully written and expertly played. In 1987 it stood out starkly in a landscape full of spandex and hair, of glossy, gimmicky songs. It was also their most focused work to date as a band. Bono’s ode to/critique of “America” is palpable here, but not at all overwrought. I often think of this U2’s Springsteen album, which I mean as a giant compliment to both of them. The earthiness of these songs, the warm and resonant arrangements, the full throated expressions of emotion, the sense of spiritual longing, the images of a promised land out of reach… it all comes from the same musical place. Lyrically, Bono has matured tremendously on these songs. The lyrics reflect the band’s lived experiences at that time, like the death of band roadie and friend Greg Carroll (One Tree Hill) and Bono’s growing interest of global social and political issues (“Bullet the Blue Sky" and "Mothers of the Disappeared"). U2 was always an openly political band, but these songs just feel much more personal, more passionate, more spiritual. Still, he’s also able to address his own demons, with the stunningly lovely, slow burning “With You or With or Without You,” which pulls away from the political to look inward and face his own frustrations and anguish. The emotion feels real because it is real, simply put. Bono’s delivery of course is captivating. He sings with an urgency and an earnestness that I think a lot of people don't understand, but he makes you feel these songs in your bones. As for the Edge, I mean, come on. Here is one of the greatest guitarists of his generation, making some of his best music ever. There is a texture and a resonance to the Edge's playing that no one really can touch. I mean, he's painting with sound here, showcasing that signature chiming style through an adept use of studio effects. Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. are also in top form, one of the tightest rhythm sections in rock. Clayton and Mullen’s ability to intuit just the right amount of intensity to serve each particular song is an underappreciated talent and really the backbone of the band’s entire sound. Individually these songs are all exceptional. Taken together, they’re nothing short of a masterpiece. Fave Songs (All songs, in order from most to least favorite): Where the Streets Have No Name, With or Without You, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, In God's Country, Red Hill Mining Town, Bullet the Blue Sky, Mothers of the Disappeared, Exit, Running to Stand Still, One Tree Hill, Trip Through Your Wires

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Mon Jan 24 2022
5

Killer intros, great textures.

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Tue Jan 25 2022
5

These songs eahm saved my life. Eahm.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

5*

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Mon Feb 07 2022
5

I remember my older brother coming home really excited from a concert at a local community college on Long Island in the early 80s. "This band from Ireland is the next big thing, they're amazing!". While I was young and unable to go see them until the Achtung Baby tour, my fandom jumped onboard like any other impressionable early teenager's would when their mentor in all things music discovered a new gem. My love / hate relationship with the Dublin boys would swing both ways through the years, but you can never argue that Joshua Tree is an amazing album. Yes, Bono can be an irritating prick at times and The Edge's guitar stylings can be predictable and lazy, but this era of U2 that launched them beyond the stratosphere will always be peak. 5/5.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
5

5 stars. Classic album with brilliant songs.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
5

This was the first album I've heard before so far. U2 is a great band, and this album has one of their greatest hits. It's a very comfortable listen for me, because it seems to me that after a while we always go back to the songs and bands we used to listen as teenagers, like eating your favorite chocolate bar because, besides the flavor, it brings nice memories.

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Fri Feb 18 2022
5

10/10

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Tue Feb 22 2022
5

Fuck i love it

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Wed Feb 23 2022
5

Ah, U2. Such an interesting discography, and yet this album is probably still my favorite. Fun fact, I used to hate "With or Without You".

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Sun Feb 27 2022
5

Ambient perfection from beginning to end.

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Mon Feb 28 2022
5

i knew u2's hits and of bono's humanitarian work, but i was still taken aback when listening for the first time. this album, with lyrics written only by bono, covers so many topics and political themes. i love pop-y, mindless songs, but songs with great meaning? those are dynamite. bono's heart and compassion come through the lyrics so clearly. "mothers of the disappeared" in particular is going to stick with me for a long time--"we hear their heartbeat." i'm not sure if i've ever heard of a genre called "art rock," but as i listen to this album, really listen to it, i totally get it. all music is art, yes, but u2 takes it further, on all possible musical levels. every song has such beautiful instrumentation. definitely a concept album. i cannot wait to listen to this album again and grow to truly love it.

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Fri Mar 18 2022
5

Brilliant

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Sun Mar 20 2022
5

I had never really gotten U2. The songs when they came on the radio sounded samey, and I wasn't overly impressed with Bono's vocals. Because of this, I avoided listening to much of the band and skirted around challenging myself to listen to an album. Then 'The Joshua Tree' came up in this generator, and I put off listening to it for the longest time. What a mistake. Now I certainly understand why this album is on here. I gave Bono's vocals undue criticism, because I think they're perfectly fine here. It's the lyrics, the instrumentals, and the production that really blew me away, however. The album starts off super strong with 'Where The Streets Have No Name' and 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.' Apparently Brian Eno helped out with this album? For a guy I knew nothing about, he has a wide-ranging musical career and has done some really miraculous things. Anyways, I really felt like this album had some genuinely interesting things to say, and it said them in an musically entertaining, catchy way. I think I'm starting to 'get' U2.

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Mon Mar 21 2022
5

U2 was my first concert I grew up listening to them so I have entirely too much nostalgia. I know people hate them because of their album being downloaded onto everyone’s phone that one year… but imo that’s more of an Apple issue and this album specifically is so good man. Just classics.

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Mon Apr 04 2022
5

In college this was the default soundtrack for a year or two. I don’t listen to it a lot today, and for some reason haven’t been compelled to, but after listening again this time had a “why don’t I listen to this more?” thought cross my mind. I realized that I may have absorbed the backlash that people have to U2 and this album. Glad to be back. This is an amazing album and it is clear to see why it became one of the best selling albums of all time. It does belong on this list, no matter how played out you think it or U2 is. Incredible album.

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Mon Apr 04 2022
5

Another album that is church to me. If someone made me choose a favorite album, this might be it. Holy. Holy.

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Mon Apr 04 2022
5

I remember my introduction to this album was their concert. It touched me deeply!

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Mon Apr 04 2022
5

I don’t imagine I’m the only Gen Xer for whom this album is a touchstone of a specific time in life. This album is, for me, everything about being 19, second year of college…it all comes back so vividly. U2 was held in reverence by my peers. This was the soundtrack to my 1987 and everything I felt in that ridiculously serious transition to adulthood. This one is all about the memories, but the music is still great, too.

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Thu Apr 07 2022
5

Classic

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Fri Apr 08 2022
5

Rijedak album di je druga polovica albuma di nisu hitovi zapravo bolja. Jedina stvar koja mi je slabija je trip through your wires jer je prespringsteenovska

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Sun Apr 10 2022
5

This is the only U2 album I really like. I wish they kept with this style throughout their career, but I understand their need to adapt to pop trends. This is such an iconic 80s album; truly one of the bests of my not-so-favorite decade for music.

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Mon Apr 11 2022
5

Absolute classic, not bad for a small unknown Irish band

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Tue Apr 19 2022
5

Vinilo total.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
5

The first three songs are great, individually. But they are so similar that you can be excused for thinking that boredom is about to arrive. Then along comes Bullet The Blue Sky, a bolt out of the blue. The rest of the album shows a variety of songs, some that rock, some that sound like folk, and one that does both and is probably the best song on the album: Red Hill Mining Town. Yes, Bono is a douche, and they have become monstrously egotistical, and this album was the start of that. But it's still a great album.

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Thu Apr 28 2022
5

Kann þetta utanað. Mjög góð plata.

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Fri May 06 2022
5

I always thought U2 was a bit over-rated. I mean, people (still) treat them like they are the collective second coming of Christ. But - I can't deny the greatness of this album. It's enjoyable and unique in a variety of ways. There are only moments of it that left me bored or annoyed (and I'll blame those moments on Brain Eno's involvement). :) Are they a great band? Yes. Is this their best album? Probably. Should everyone hear it "before they die"? For sure.

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Mon May 23 2022
5

close to the edge

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Mon May 23 2022
5

2 me. 2 U.

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Fri May 27 2022
5

I love this album, so much better than I thought 10/10. So good.

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Tue May 31 2022
5

An all-timer. This album is the reason I've given U2 a million and one chances over the years. Best track: Where the Streets Have No Name

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Sat Jun 11 2022
5

I’ve loved this album since I was a small child. My mom used to play it on road-trips. Automatic 5 stars lol, this was so refreshing to re-listen to

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Mon Jun 20 2022
5

One of the great American albums.....by an Irish band. Everything about this album is amazing. And the songs evoke images, and the hopes, of the frontier of the western U.S.: both modern and historical.

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Tue Jun 21 2022
5

The atmosphere, the theming, the songwriting, its all so fucking good here. I remember liking this album, but apparently it's only grown on me since my first listen. Congrats, U2, for being the first band to have both a 1 star and a 5 star album on here for me.

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Mon Jul 04 2022
5

Having never really been a fan of U2 when I was younger, and then witnessing them becoming stadium fillers with pretty generic dad rock songs (ironically partly due to the success of this album), I didn't really delve into their library until later in my life. I remember coming across this album and being blown away by the power of each song, not what I was expecting from the aforementioned band. Each song seems to grab from a different genre while still maintaining a pretty uniform sound throughout. There are the classics that everyone know but I think every song holds its own and could have been released as a single in its own right, with 'bullet the blue sky' being my personal favourite.

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Mon Jul 04 2022
5

Perfect album

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Sat Jul 09 2022
5

Was great, everything I knew

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Fri Jul 15 2022
5

Excellent monumental work. One of the best of all time

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Fri Jul 22 2022
5

Maybe my favorite album of theirs.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
5

Superb

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Sat Jul 23 2022
5

With or Without You is one of the most perfect songs and that's enough to give this album five stars.

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Tue Aug 09 2022
5

Banger after banger.

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Fri Aug 12 2022
5

There is no need to waste words here. This is an album that imprinted on childhood, defining what is beautiful and how much passion can be communicated through song. While not a rock opera, it seems that it could be, as the album is an entire experience. While certain songs stand out over time more than the others due to their prevalence in pop culture, this album is easily U2's most ubiquitous, and in this review's opinion, their best.

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Mon Aug 15 2022
5

I’m generally all hate/jeer/shout when it comes to U2, but this was pretty good. Bono’s still a bell-end, though

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Mon Aug 22 2022
5

I guess I get it now. This feels like an album I'd have in my car, if I had a car. I don't love U2, but this is a genuinely great album.

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Sun Aug 28 2022
5

Sounded pretty good.

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Thu Sep 01 2022
5

Not only one of the best albums of all time, but also one of the best opening stretches of songs on an album of all time.

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Mon Sep 05 2022
5

Somehow calming and energetic. No misses in vocals or instrumentation. I missed all of the lyrics, but the emotions came through anyway.

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Mon Sep 05 2022
5

The perfect album.. That is All

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Tue Sep 13 2022
5

Lush cinematic rock that is both political and spiritual. Timeless.

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Wed Sep 14 2022
5

I’ll go with 5, but would be a 4.25 if possible. This is a beautiful album lyrically, musically, and impeccably produced. It also puts U2 another step further away from the energy, urgency, and pathos of War which is probably their best album in my opinion.

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Wed Sep 14 2022
5

Always a 5 for me. Went to see them on this tour. I usually like things a bit different, but have consistently liked U2 up to and including this album. It was massive! Influenced so much in music at the time and still a seminal album

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Thu Sep 15 2022
5

The Joshua Tree is productioneel een grote stap, maar vooral ook qua thematiek en feel. The unforgettable fire is een fantastische plaat waar Eno en Lanois de Ierse rock in een stadiumgroot, ambient geluid verpakten. Met The Joshua Tree werd de muziek puntig, pakkend en zijn de laatste restjes new wave verruild voor Amerikaanse roots en southern rock en gospel. Sowieso is dit een Amerikaans album, de teksten, de thema’s en de inspiratie. De A kant bestaat uit sterke nummers, allemaal goed voor een single, hoewel ze niet allemaal zo zijn uitgebracht. De B kant is wat experimenteler (Trip through your wires en Mothers of the disappeared) maar blijft overeind. Revolutionair is het niet, toch is dit het U2 album waar je aan moet denken als bands stadionrock maken. Dé inspiratie en ook 35 jaar na dato nog steeds, samen met The unforgettable fire, het beste dat U2 heeft gemaakt.

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Thu Sep 22 2022
5

Algunos temarrales, aunque el final no me encanta. Pero merece el 5

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Fri Sep 30 2022
5

Better than I expected.

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Sat Oct 01 2022
5

This album has some of my favorite U2 songs-Bullet the Blue Sky, Red Hill Mining Town, One Tree Hill, and some songs that maybe I've heard too much-I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Where the Streets Have No Name, With or Without You. Great songs but played to death. Overall though, still one of the great albums of all time imo.

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Fri Sep 23 2022
5

I listened to this one far too many times throughout the years, It's full of nostalgia and moments reminding me of my folks and our lives. Full rose goggles on my rating, easy 5 :)

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Wed Oct 05 2022
5

The final brilliant album before they went all stadium and Bono wore sunglasses inside.

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Mon Oct 10 2022
5

Classic

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Mon Oct 17 2022
5

Haven't listened to this in a while, it's wonderful. Aside from the more recognizable front half of the album, the whole thing is great. Bullet The Blue Sky slaps.

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Tue Oct 18 2022
5

Top class era defining album Cover art 5***** iconic photos throughout

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Fri Oct 21 2022
5

Good album,

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Tue Oct 25 2022
5

I’m surprised at how much I liked this album. Really good album flow and songs. The three singles to open up the album are among the better of U2’s singles. This is added to my regular rotation to listen to again, which means 5 stars. Actually interested to check out other albums at some point.

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Wed Nov 02 2022
5

Despite this being one of the few albums I've actually owned and therefore easy for me to rate, I still feel that it's objectively a jewel in music history. The sound achieved in this collection is unique yet at the same time generic enough (at least as far as rock goes) that almost anyone can enjoy it. And the tracks! Almost every one a winner, but no one sounding too much like another. Putting a 5 on this one feels like putting a 5 on the world.

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Thu Nov 10 2022
5

5.0 + A masterpiece of epic sweep that sounds just as good as ever.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
4

Peak U2 and prolly peak ‘stadium’ rock

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Wed Jan 20 2021
4

Best band i won't waste my time listening to on purpose that's for sure

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

Classic

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

An undisputed classic. 5/5 quality, 4/5 for music i want in my rotation

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Fri Feb 05 2021
4

Not too bad. Bullet the Blue Sky (sp) was my favorite track. I remember this album from childhood, and didn't like it then, but I have a much better appreciation.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

Timeless

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Thu Feb 11 2021
4

Nice. Couple of the favorites are on this album. The rest felt closer to good then great though

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Sun Jan 31 2021
4

Quite something this ay?

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Tue Feb 23 2021
4

U2 as a band still annoy me. I wish I could hear this as if for the first time.

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Sat Feb 13 2021
4

Sonic beauty

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

THE EDGE

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Tue Jun 01 2021
4

They’re okay. Not bad considering the vintage and general popularity

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Sat Feb 27 2021
4

real good

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Thu Feb 11 2021
4

It's got the hits. Fun to listen to.

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Tue Feb 23 2021
4

Very good album.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

This album. This was a really important one for me. I listened to it A LOT. I still have my original vinyl. I also remember searching for the 12" of Where the Streets Have No Name because Sweetest Thing was on the B Side. This was my first concert where no parents were involved. This was my first BIG concert. We left early in the morning and sight seed our way to the Oakland Coliseum, with lots of time to hang out in the parking lot. Rating this is hard. I want to give it a 4 because there are other albums that are probably better, but in revisiting it for the first time in a long time I can't believe how good it still is, how much I love it, and I want to give it a 5. But I'm going with 4.

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Thu Apr 22 2021
4

Wenn man ein Album mit einem solchen Openern beginnt, ist die Fallhöhe vorprogrammiert, denn der schöne Gleitflug ist mangels konstanten Auftriebs ein kurzer, dafür aber schön heftiger; hab ab der Hälfte gemerkt, wie wenig Aufmerksamkeit übrig blieb, die erst ganz zum Schluss, nach einer Reise durchs Tal wieder sanft wachgeküsst wurde. Vielleicht hätte eine andere Abfolge der anfänglichen Über-Verwöhnung entgegen gewirkt. Mir neue Erkenntnis: U2 müssten wohl stark Eindruck auf Arcade Fire in puncto leidenschaftlich treibenden Pathos gemacht haben. Nichtkleinzuredende 3.6

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Wed May 19 2021
4

With or without. Some good songs. Structure. "Bullets.." Intro

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

Pues creo que nunca había escuchado un disco de U2 porque siempre que he intentado escuchar alguno de ellos me terminan dando hueva. No por ello daré una mala calificación a este disco, ya que entiendo que es de agradable escucha, sobre todo el tono melódico y amable de las guitarras y una batería catchy. Como de costumbre no le puse atención a las letras de las canciones así que no sabría qué comentar de estas. Canción favorita: Bullet in the sky está seductorsilla por las distorsiones y los soniditos de interferencia, me parece una buena producción i suppose... Mood: fumando un porro con gente básica y privilegiada que se siente muy edgy.

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Mon Apr 12 2021
4

Undeniably confident and charismatic, soars when it should, whispers when it must

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Excellent album. Some really great songs.

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Mon Apr 26 2021
4

Beter dan ik verwacht had. Heeft uiteindelijk een paar uur opgestaan.

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Thu Feb 11 2021
4

Not my favorite U2 album, but this really is the peak of good U2 before they became the most pretentious band of all time. Only songs I don’t like on this album are One Tree Hill and Exit. I could take or leave Running to Stand Still, Red Hill Mining Town, and Mothers of the Disappeared, but they aren’t bad. Overall, this album is great and doesn't deserve the disrespect.

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Sun Feb 28 2021
4

Hay canciones eternas, con mensajes super sólidos y una emoción innegable. El trabajo de Lanois en la producción con Eno también es encomiable, con unas atmósferas preciosas. Sin embargo, hay temas vagos que bajan el nivel. Aun así, muy bien disco.

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Tue Jun 08 2021
4

Not a big U2 fan but this is a pretty good album

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Mon Mar 22 2021
4

U2 are a band I blacklisted for arseholiness and haven't listened to for 25 years. But I used to like them, and before Rattle & Hum they were good. This is a good album.

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Sat Apr 10 2021
4

This was a surprise to me. Cool as fuck. Who knew?!

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Sat Apr 10 2021
4

Love the grandiosity which captures the immigrant spirit of the American dream. The first half is close to perfect but cannot be sustained. It's a shame the U2 sound has become a bit of a joke as it's epic. I listened to it walking around Sheffield at twilight, the vistas were different but the feelings were the same.

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Sat Apr 10 2021
4

Brilliant album. 'I still haven't found what I'm looking for' is such a powerhouse vocal performance from Bono and I love the sound of the overall album, credit for this must be given to producer Daniel Lanois (he also produced Dylan's 1997 masterpiece Time out of Mind which shares the same swampy 'wall of sound' style production)

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Wed Jun 23 2021
4

Joshua Tree sounds like the culmination and refinement of U2's sound, as they move away from their punk roots and into a more radio friendly pop. Almost like REM's Automatic For The People and Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA. For better or worse, it ended up sending them into stardom, and potentially inflated their egos a bit. There's a subtlety to the arrangements and lyrics that are lost in the broader modern U2 songs. While "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" unwittingly provided the blueprint to 2000s Christian worship music, there's a good balance of personal lyrics by Bono with broader themes that deal with real world issues. Fav Tracks: Red Hill Mining Town and Mothers of the Disappeared Rating: 3.5/5

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Sat Apr 10 2021
4

Favourite Song: With or Without You

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Sun Jul 04 2021
4

Tolles und historisches Album! Memory man sei dank

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Tue Mar 16 2021
4

First three songs are amazing and classics! Rest are not memorable. 4/5

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Sat May 01 2021
4

4/5

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Thu Apr 08 2021
4

вполне, радио по альбому хорошее получилось

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Mon Mar 29 2021
4

D: 5/5. Rock tranquilo, para relajarse. Canción favorita: With or without you. R: 4/5. Relajante. Ideal para estudiar. Canción favorita: I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

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Mon May 17 2021
4

I had a real “U2 sucks” phase when I was younger, and I think it kept me from realizing that this is a truly great album. True, half of the tracks (the singles) sound like the exact same song and I still think U2 straddles that terminally uncool line between dad rock and mom rock, but the sound is so good; I love Bono’s voice and The Edge’s guitar work so much. Favourite track: “Trip through Your Wires”

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Mon May 24 2021
4

I had a moment while listening to this album yesterday where I thought to myself, 'oh, maybe I am a U2 fan.' I have a hard time articulating exactly what was so appealing about their anthem level soft rock. Maybe it was Bono's performance which howls. Maybe the never overbearing but huge, uplifting swell of guitars that make up much of the background. It's hard for me to say exactly why, but the album is endlessly appealing. Something I wouldn't have thought to say after growing up with the more laborious older albums that U2 has recently produced.

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Fri May 07 2021
4

Better than I expected! Doesn't sound as dated as I thought it would.

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Sun Jun 13 2021
4

Really good album The end it gets a little less 4/5

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Sat Jul 10 2021
4

This album needs to be looked at in isolation to their more recent albums. When this came out it was pure genius and that can’t be taken away from U2 despite their later stuff being pure barbage. Some seriously good songs on this and great for U2. This is them at their prime. Bullet the blue sky is my favourite U2 song but the album trails off toward the end.

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Fri Aug 06 2021
4

I rated the previous U2 album we got 2 stars and noted that I never understood the hype around them and find them pretty dull. I can understand this album's success a lot better. The songs have an undeniable grandness about them. Good album.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
4

Classic album that’s still stands up today

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Tue Aug 31 2021
4

I'm not a great U2 fan, but it was nice to listen to this album again, after so many years. It also reminded me of how excellent the first four songs are. The rest of the song did not capture me as much, but overall a very good album.

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Mon Sep 27 2021
4

Classic album with some great singles on it.

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Mon Sep 27 2021
4

Well it's got 3 fantastic songs - the rest are just OK. I'll probably never play it again though those 3 songs are regulars on my playlist already.

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Tue Sep 28 2021
4

Outside of the singles, some good songs and energy but not quite the polish of the big start

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Sat Oct 02 2021
4

WITH OR WITHOUT YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU. Decent album 3.75/5

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Thu Oct 07 2021
4

No soy muy fanático de U2 pero hay que reconocerles que este disco es muy bueno

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Mon Oct 11 2021
4

I’m mostly pro-U2, and I do think this is a good album, but I’m pretty sure half the tracks on this album are the exact same song just with slightly different delay setting on the edge’s guitar

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Fri Oct 15 2021
4

The record is characterised by a somewhat outdated realism, harking back to themes and moods of the 1930s, from Frank Capra to Ernest Hemingway. Where The Streets Have No Name marks a new peak of transcendental intensity, thanks to the frenzied, raga-sounding tones of the long instrumental overture and tribal beat. (7/10) Favourite Tracks: Where The Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven't Found, With Or Without You, Running To Stand Still

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Mon Oct 25 2021
4

Fantastic album

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Thu Oct 28 2021
4

Peak pompous u2 prior to their proper peak

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Sat Oct 30 2021
4

As I've mentioned with the other U2 albums, I run hot-and-cold with this band. I do remember this album pretty well because it got a lot air play and coverage at the time. I enjoyed listenting to it today quite a bit more than I expected. This album has a great sound to it (I don't know enough about music production, sound engineering, etc., to comment intelligently on it, so I'm not sure how much that work has to do with the "sound" I'm talking about) and the songwriting is overall excellent. Hard to separate Bono from the "Bono-ness" of his gargantuan image, so I really tried to just listen to the music and let that be it. It did help. His voice can be quite compelling and he's got killer range, and it fits this music perfectly. I still love The Edge as a guitar player and repeat what I've said before about he deserves to be mentioned in the same list of whoever gets put on the "great rock guitarists" list. He's a lot more innovative and interesting than people give him credit for. I can barely understand what the few pedals I have do, and he plays effects and alternate tunings like they are instruments of their own.

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Sat Nov 06 2021
4

Finally! I've found a U2 album that doesn't make me want to stab my ears out.

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Sat Nov 13 2021
4

A classic for a reason

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Sat Nov 13 2021
4

Really great. Vast. Forward moving.

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Mon Nov 15 2021
4

Hate that it's such a good album

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Tue Dec 07 2021
4

Peak U2 before it all went downhill

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Fri Dec 10 2021
4

The big hits off this still hold up for me. Its clearer from several decades on that the album benefited greatly from its venerable producers. All a bit portentous and self-important but that’s U2

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Fri Dec 17 2021
4

I know this album by its first three songs in addition to its own reputation as the best U2 album. It is a good u2 album and I love still haven’t found what I’m looking for but I think the last half of the album really doesn’t do the first half justice. Favs: streets have no name, still haven’t found what I’m looking for, with or without you

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Fri Dec 17 2021
4

I really disliked this album and U2 when it came out, primarily because U2 were/are so political within their music and that was something I have always felt should not happen. 35 years laters and I now listen to music in a different way and I have enjoyed this album, it has some great tracks on it

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Wed Dec 29 2021
4

Classic

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