Credit: Anton CorbijnU2‘s classic album The Joshua Tree was released March 9, 1987 — 30 years ago today. With over 25 million copies sold worldwide, The Joshua Tree is U2’s best-selling album, and one of the best-selling albums of all time.
The Joshua Tree arrived three years after U2’s 1984 album The Unforgettable Fire, which saw the band experiment with ambient music and boasted their biggest hit to date, “Pride (In the Name of Love).” With The Joshua Tree, U2 instead explored Americana and Irish roots music for influences, while also diving more into the anthemic sound of “Pride.”
Beginning with the opening track “Where the Streets Have No Name,” U2 made their stadium aspirations clear. The song takes a long, fade-in intro as The Edge‘s main riff builds up to Bono‘s triumphant first lyrics: “I wanna run.”
Following “Where the Streets Have No Name” on The Joshua Tree track listing are two of U2’s biggest hits: “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “With or Without You.” Both tracks reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and remain the only U2 songs to have achieved that feat.
To mark the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree, U2 will embark on a North American tour this spring and summer, during which they’ll be performing the album in its entirety. The tour, which kicks off May 12 in Vancouver, will make a stop at Bonnaroo, marking the first time U2 has headlined the Tennessee festival.
U2 will also be celebrating 30 years of The Joshua Tree today with an online Q&A session on their Facebook starting at 3 p.m. ET.
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