Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary
We’re delighted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of U2’s Joshua Tree today. What an amazing and iconic album, that catapulted the further into the elite ranks. In celebration, we’re offering 20% off for anyone who comes to reception and sings us a line from their favourite Joshua Tree song from Thursday 9th of March to Sunday 12th of March. It’s as simple as that! What better time to come and check out our U2 exhibit and everything else we have to offer?
Interesting Facts About Joshua Tree
The 9th of March marks the 30th anniversary of one of U2’s iconic album Joshua Tree. As they embark on a celebratory tour, we took a look at the making of the album and found out some interesting facts that you may not (or may, I know there’s plenty of superfans out there!) know about the album. Enjoy!
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards Inspired the Album’s Direction
Coming from a punk background and influence, U2 to this point hadn’t really delved into the world of blues music. This lack of blues influence struck Bono when he was working on a project with Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, when the lads were jamming some blues music and he realised he had no familiarity with it. Along with spending some time with Bob Dylan and Van Morrison as well as the Waterboys and Hothouse Flowers, this inspired Bono to go back to a roots influenced style of writing for the album, drawing on both Irish and American culture and tradition.
All But Two Songs Were Recorded Live
On U2’s previous album The Unforgettable Fire, all tracks and instruments had been recorded separately, and layered into the mix. While this worked well with the textural experimentation of The Unforgettable Fire, the band wanted a more raw sound for Joshua Tree. The band had also found a recording space where they really enjoyed the sound, in a large Georgian house at the foothills of the Wicklow mountains. This resulted in all but two of the tracks on the album actually being recorded fully live in Danesmoate House.
Parts of the Album were Recorded Right Next to the Museum
While the majority of the recording was done in Danesmoate House, there was some recording done in other studios. One of the studios which was used was STS studios in Temple Bar, owned by Paul Barrett, and located just across the street from the museum. These sessions gave rise to the excellent “With Or Without You” and “Bullet in the Blue Sky”. STS Studios still stands today, but sadly is now a hostel. I wonder if tourists sleeping in their bunks realise the rock history that took place where they lie?
Joshua Tree Contains U2’s Only Number One Singles in the US
There’s no denying that U2 are one of the most globally successful bands of all time, but did you know they have only reached number one in the US singles charts twice? Shockingly the only two U2 songs to reach number one on the US singles charts are “With Or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, both from Joshua Tree. Just goes to show what a massive album it was for the lads!
Kirsty MacColl Chose the Running Order
Once the album was finished, the guys knew it was something special, however they also had many doubts. Bono even reportedly wanted to stop distribution because he thought it needed to be redone. Kirsty MacColl, wife of producer Steve Lilywhite and possibly most famous for “Fairytale of New York” volunteered to select the running order, as the band were finding it hard to come up with one themselves. They requested that she start the album with “Where the Streets Have No Name” and end with “mothers of the Disappeared” (both excellent choices) but left the rest up to her. I think we can all agree she did an excellent job!
The Album is Preserved in the US Library of Congress
Joshua Tree has gained many accolades, being listed on countless best albums of all time lists and winning many awards. However it also holds a more surprising accolade. In 2014, the album was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the US Library of Congress for being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. It is the only Irish album to ever receive this honour.
Adam Clayton Now Lives Where it All Began
Once all was said and done, the band were pretty delighted with the album. It had been a transformative experience for them and catapulted them even further into the realms of global superstardom. The place at the foot of the Wicklow Mountains, where the album was formulated, Danesmoate House, held a special place in their hearts. So much so for Adam Clayton, that he bought it shortly after the album’s release and lives there to this day.
So there you have it, our list of interesting facts about the making of one of the best albums ever made. Anything to add? Enjoyed the article? Just want to express your undying love for U2? Let us know in the comments section. Otherwise, go listen to the album! And hopefully we’ll see you at the museum soon.