Music Friday: Joshua Tree Anniversary

April 27, 2012

Twenty-five years ago this week, U2's Joshua Tree album hit #1 on the US charts. To celebrate, I listened to the album from the first low rumbling of "Where the Streets Have No Name" to the kind of weird, Beatle-esque ending of "Mothers of the Disappeared" straight through, for the 1367th time. There aren't many albums that are in my regular rotation after so many years, but I've never gotten tired of The Joshua Tree

The album's opening is arguably one of the best ever recorded. To this day, when I get a new speaker, piece of stereo equipment, car, or pair of headphones, the first test listen is to "Where the Streets Have No Name." The song us ushered in with a low rumble that will be background noise in most settings, but can be floor to jaw rattling bass if played properly. Then, the quick high notes of the guitar get added, letting you hear whether your new setup will play them crisply, or whether the sounds sort of bleed into a poppy mess (like they do in my kitchen, unfortunately).

The opening isn't as audibly pleasing in the video, as voices and crowd noise lay on top of the original music, but it's a great video; it's one that I distinctly remember watching on MTV in those lazy summer days when MTV played videos all day long, and I was still a year or two too young for the freedom afforded by a driver's license.