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30 Years Ago Today, U2 Released The Joshua Tree

After four albums, there was a sense that U2 was on the verge of Something Big. Having developed from a semi-punky Joy Division-obsessed New Wave-y band over their first three albums and into an arena-filler with their fourth, Bono and Co. seemed ready to enter their Imperial Phase, that glorious time in the careers of a few lucky bands where they seemed incapable of doing anything wrong. And that’s exactly what happened.

The Toronto press preview for the album took place in the (now closed) McLaughlin Planetarium. The lights went down and the stars came out to the opening synth drone of “Where the Streets Had No Name.” When The Edge’s guitar started to chime and the rhythm section came in, the sky started to spin. And we were off.

Since March 8, 1987, The Joshua Tree has sold somewhere north of 25 million copies worldwide. Not only did it win a bunch of Grammys, but it holds a special place in the US Library of Congress as an artifact that is “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

I just checked my personal library and I seem to have multiple editions of the record

  1. The original vinyl
  2. The original CD
  3. A British import of the original CD
  4. A Swedish copy on yellow vinyl
  5. A Joshua Tree cassette
  6. A remastered edition (1990)
  7. A 20th anniversary remastered edition (2007)

And now, I’ll have to add this new box set when it comes out on June 2.

So what do you get for $169.99 USD?

Super Deluxe 7LP Box Set

Bespoke boxset. Cover features a textured embossed gold foiled Joshua tree icon.

This collector’s boxset includes:

7 pieces of original, live and unreleased recordings on 12” 180gsm vinyl.
3.5hrs of audio content / 49 tracks (25x unreleased tracks: 17x live, 7x new mixes, 1x archive track)

• The Joshua Tree double album (gatefold)
• The Joshua Tree Live at Madison Square Garden double album 1987 (gatefold)
• The Joshua Tree Remixes
• The Joshua Tree Outtakes
• The Joshua Tree B-Sides

• The Joshua Tree – Photographs by The Edge. An 84-page hardback book of personal never-before seen photography by The Edge, taken during the original Mojave Desert Joshua Tree shoot, 1986

• A folio of 8 rare 12” Anton Corbijn colour prints

The Joshua Tree
Side 1
Where The Streets Have No Name
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
With Or Without You

Side 2
Bullet The Blue Sky
Running To Stand Still

Side 3
Red Hill Mining Town
In God’s Country
Trip Through Your Wires

Side 4
One Tree Hill
Mothers Of The Disappeared

The Joshua Tree Live at Madison Square Garden 1987
Side 1
Where The Streets Have No Name
I Will Follow
Trip Through Your Wires
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

Side 2
Bullet The Blue Sky
Running To Stand Still
In God’s Country
Sunday Bloody Sunday

Side 3
New Year’s Day
Pride (In The Name Of Love)

Side 4
With Or Without You
Party Girl
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

The Joshua Tree Remixes, Outakes & B-Sides
Remixes Side 1
One Tree Hill (St Francis Hotel Remix)
Bullet The Blue Sky (Jacknife Lee Remix)
Running To Stand Still (Daniel Lanois Remix)

Remixes Side 2
Red Hill Mining Town (Steve Lillywhite 2017 Mix)
With Or Without You (Daniel Lanois Remix)
Where The Streets Have No Name (Flood Remix)

Outtakes Side 3
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (Lillywhite Alternative Mix ’87)
One Tree Hill Reprise (Brian Eno 2017 Mix)
Silver and Gold (Sun City)
Beautiful Ghost/Introduction To Songs Of Experience

Outtakes Side 4
Wave Of Sorrow (Birdland)
Desert Of Our Love
Rise Up
Drunk Chicken/America

B-Sides Side 5
Luminous Times (Hold On To Love)
Walk To The Water
Spanish Eyes

B-Sides Side 6
Deep In The Heart
Silver And Gold
Sweetest Thing
Race Against Time

*Pre-Order: Release Date June 2nd

Boxset dimensions: 320mm x 332mm x 75mm

There are more purchasing options (including plenty of cheaper ones) here.





Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38011 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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