On Second Thought: U2 – The Joshua Tree (1987)

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Back then, all I wanted was for people to just stop talking about U2. Oh my God, they were everywhere.

My best friend, he’d been brainwashed, plastering his room with posters and hand-drawn replicas of their albums. The song he and his girlfriend called “theirs” was “With or Without You.” I couldn’t bring myself to tell them it wasn’t really all that happy of a song, kind of like how people dedicate the Police’s “Every Breath You Take” to loved ones not realizing it’s actually about an obsessive stalker. People don’t want to hear that, they have to learn some things on their own. But I digress.

Back then, all I wanted to do was ignore U2. I let the band click with Achtung Baby and it’s been a slow climb ever since then. I’m thoroughly in the “fan” category now, and I fully acknowledge that The Joshua Tree absolutely is one of the best albums of the ’80s, if not the best.

I’m obviously not alone, hence 2007’s two-disc Joshua Tree Magical Ultra Super Special Deluxe! Edition — the remastered album on one, non-album tracks on the other; and one DVD with a full concert, a documentary, and a couple videos, packaged in a very elaborate box with a 56-page hardback book.

Oh, and my friend? He married that girl — and their song changed to Tracy Chapman’s “The Promise.” Much better choice.

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Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson has contributed to Blogcritics, and maintained a series of stand-alone sites including Known Johnson, Everything is a Mess and others. He studied both creative writing and then studio art at Arizona State. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Tom Johnson
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