U2's The Joshua Tree Gets Deluxe Multi-Media Treatment in 2007
The Joshua Tree
Eagle Vision USA
What can you really say about U2's The Joshua Tree that hasn't already been said? Released in 1987, Joshua Tree propelled the band to international stardom and saw the band move further away from their post-punk roots by introducing blues, R&B, gospel and soul to their sound. Joshua Tree is arguably the most quintessentially American rock album ever recorded, full of adoration as well as antipathy toward the great nation that birthed the Irishman's main influences.
Joshua Tree, as testified by this deluxe 2007 remastering, has stood the test of time, often cited as one of the Top Ten albums of the past quarter-century. The Grammy-Award winning album not only contains some of the most arresting opening tracks of any pop album ("Where the Streets Have No Name, "Still Haven't Found... "With or Without You, and "Bullet the Blue Sky ) but is a veritable exploration of Americana via the blues-rock "Trip Through Your Wires, gospel-infused "One Tree Hill, and countrified "Running to Stand Still. As a bonus, the program includes one of the more honest Christian rock songs, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.
The 2007 re-issue of The Joshua Tree arrives just in time for the holiday season and is available in four different formats: the original album, remastered to the highest degree; a "deluxe format containing a bonus CD with B-sides and rarities from The Joshua Tree sessions and a 36-page booklet; the box set edition, which adds a bonus DVD with a concert from the Joshua Tree Tour and other videos; and a 56-page hardback book; finally, for audiophiles and adoring fans only, a double vinyl edition.
Several tracks stand-out on the bonus CD: "Luminous Times (Hold on to Love) is an emotional performance that leaves the listener wondering why this song wasn't included in the original release; "Walk to the Water finds Bono reciting his vocals over a beatific, smokey groove while "Silver and Gold pairs the enigmatic frontman with Rolling Stones' legends Keith Richards and Ron Wood.
Collectively, the 13 B-sides included in this reissue remind listeners that U2 was absolutely at the pinnacle of their creative output during the year-long writing and recording of The Joshua Tree.
U2 Live From Paris captures a July 4, 1987 performance at the Hippodrome de Vincennes. Routinely releasing live performances on DVD (at the pace of one per year since 2001), Live From Paris is another great addition to the band's video catalog. All of the group's hits, up to that time, are performed, with several new twists added to classic cuts ("Still Haven't Found closes with an interpolation of Bob Marley's "Exodus; "Sunday Bloody Sunday is augmented with a touch of Van Morrison's "Gloria, and "With or Without You finds Bono referencing Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart. )
Outside It's America is a 40-minute documentary, filmed during the band's legendary Joshua Tree tour. Less of a talking-heads style video document and more fly-on-the-well, Outside is a compelling watch but hardly groundbreaking. Enjoy the showdown with police and city officials as U2 attempt to film the guerilla-style "Where the Streets Have No Name music video.
Twenty years after its original release, The Joshua Tree still sounds like music ahead of its time. Lyrically, the album cuts to the root of everything positive and negative embodied by the America myth; musically, the work shows what a band can accomplish given the time to nurture a vision over the course of year, producing one of the truly distinguished rock 'n' roll albums of all time. Pick your poison - all four formats have something entertaining to offer.
The CD format features remastered audio, liner notes by Bill Flanagan (author of "U2 At The End Of The World ) and previously unseen Anton Corbijn photos.
Tracklist: Where The Streets Have No Name / I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / With Or Without You / Bullet The Blue Sky / Running To Stand Still / Red Hill Mining Town / In God's Country / Trip Through Your Wires / One Tree Hill / Exit / Mothers Of The Disappeared
The deluxe package comprises The Joshua Tree CD (as above), and a Bonus Audio CD. The bonus audio CD features b-sides and rarities from the Joshua Tree sessions. The 2-CD format also includes a 36 page bound book, featuring liner notes by Bill Flanagan with a special essay by The Edge, previously unseen photos by Anton Corbijn and handwritten lyrics by Bono.
Tracklist: Luminous Times (Hold On To Love) / Walk To The Water / Spanish Eyes / Deep In The Heart / Silver And Gold / Sweetest Thing / Race Against Time / Where The Streets Have No Name (Single edit) / Silver And Gold (Sun City) / Beautiful Ghost/Introduction to Songs of Experience / Wave Of Sorrow (Birdland) / Desert Of Our Love / Rise Up / Drunk Chicken/America