Friday, December 03, 2010

The Joshua Tree

I caught a bit of a Sky Arts Classic Albums documentary about the making of U2’s The Joshua Tree the other night. It was nicely done and Bono even said some interesting things.

I’m not sure that The Joshua Tree is in the very top rank of great albums but it has probably the best opening Crash Bang Wallop I can think of.

When that lovely understated jingle-jangle outro of track three fades out, weirdo fourth track Bullet the Blue Sky more-or-less says: “Ok, that was what you bought it for, you can turn this album off now if you want.”

Overfamiliarity with Where the Streets Have No Name (crash), I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (bang) and - the wallop - With or Without You has dulled the structural strangeness of those songs, but there’s none better for howling in strained falsetto, the nostalgic tears bulging in their ducts, as one drives one’s Ford through the frosted fields and thin sunshine of this bleak, ageing planet.

10 comments:

Gaw said...

Though I don't like U2 in general, In God's Country is one of my favourite songs. Seems to fit the wide open spaces very well.

Brit said...

One Tree Hill is good too, had the same mood. The only other U2 album I really like is Achtung Baby.

worm said...

picturing you on a road trip. A lone maverick gunning down the highway in a ford focus. At one point the music becomes all too much and you pull over into the Welcome Break at Gordano and buy a Ginsters Buffet Bar. Would make a good film

Brit said...

Then as I pull away again with new resolve, the crashing opening bars of A Man's Gotta Do A Dirty Job Sometimes...

Sean said...

How did you know Brit, one tree hill is to be played at my departing this physical world :0)

I remember it well, me and my new 17 year old bride on our honeymoon in a Ute, Melbourne to Adelaide across to Sydney then all the way up to Cairns stopping off at the whitsundays. It was mainly Talking heads remain in light on the way up, but then we went across to Alice Springs, thru Longreach and back down it was Joshua tree all the way

And of course our first born son is called Joshua and he is currently over the Indian ocean on his way back to us, not sure How I am going to get to the airport tomorrow morning but I will give it go.

Nothing beats a good road trip with a few good sounds acting as the soundtrack.

Brain Eno hey? genius.

worm said...

I did a similar trip to you sean, in a white Plymouth Valiant, all around australia with only one tape (it was stuck in the player) - best of Otis Redding

Brit said...

How many years before you were able to stop whistling Sittin on the Dock of the Bay, Worm?

worm said...

10 years later and I still can't listen to a single note of any of his songs without feeling the urge to shave my head and sit in a clock tower picking off innocent members of the public with a high powered sniper rifle

ghostofelberry said...

One Tree Hill is the daddy.

martpol said...

Bit too late for me to come in on this one, but for my money there are at least a couple of filler tracks on The Joshua Tree. I hereby name it as U2's third or fourth best album, after Achtung Baby, Zooropa and possibly The Unforgettable Fire. Of course, you can't argue with those first four tracks though.