InterviewOngoing History of New Music

The Ongoing History of New Music, Episode 788: U2 and The Joshua Tree, 30 Years Later (Part 2) [Music and Podcast Embedded]

Whenever an artist goes into the studio, they hope for the best but expect the worst. You want the resulting album to sell and turn you into (or keep you as) a global superstar with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. But there is no way to predict how the public will react to what you release.

You can throw all the money you want at a song, an album or an act and there is zero guarantee that it will be successful. Yet people will always try because of the faint, faint hope that ever once in a while, something remarkable happens. An album is a critical success. It turns into a commercial smash. And everyone once in a long, long while, it turns into a cultural phenomenon with an impact that last years, maybe decades.

This is exactly what happened to U2 and The Joshua Tree.

Before the record came out, everyone expected the band was going to deliver the goods with a solid album. They did that. But then the album went nuclear, selling somewhere beyond 25 million units and is now considered to be one of the most significant rock releases of all time.

This is beyond just lightning in a bottle. But how did they do it?

For some of the answers, I turned to Daniel Lanois, one of the people who co-produced the album. This show features part two of our examination of The Joshua Tree, 30 years later.

Songs included in this show:

In God’s Country

Trip Through Your Wires

One Tree Hill


Mothers of the Disappeared

Sweetest Thing (original recording)

Luminous Times (Hold On to Love)

Silver and Gold

Official playlistist Eric Wilhite has created a master playlist for both parts 1 and 2.

Don’t forget that you can get the podcast version of this podcast through iTunes or wherever you get your on-demand audio.

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.

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 38542 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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