4/25/2012

The Joshua Tree At 25.


It was 25 years ago today, on April 25, 1987, that The Joshua Tree went to #1 in the U.S. and as I am listening to it right now I have drifted back to that sunny day somewhere around that time in Fresno, California when I first purchased it. A 19-year-old not yet embittered by the realities of life.

As the 19-year-old, I twisted each song in my mind to make them be about love, broken hearts, and longing, which is what I did with most songs at the time. The 44-year-old listening now recognizes the songs were about much more important matters like civil war in South America, wanderlust, and drug addiction.

The sounds of "Mothers of the Disappeared" are filling my home right now on this dreary Portland, Oregon day and I am thankful for 25 years of wisdom.

The best judgement on The Joshua Tree that I have ever read comes from 2004 and it is this:


"There is within music an ability to tap into the raw, revelatory power of beauty; music can give itself to the unknown whisper of the eternal in ways that other forms of art only hint at. The collage of sounds communicates something deep to the heart and, when combined with the presence of the voice, can be downright liberating. Few individuals, let alone bands, ever really reach a point where they are that open to the Unknown that it can give itself so freely through their music. U2 has done so time and again, but never with the level of directness and sincerity as they accomplished on The Joshua Tree."


Photo: The Waist High Collection
Quote: Benjamin via amazon.com