"The Joshua Tree" - U2

Remastered Album (20th Anniversary)

Track Listing (Disc One):

Track Listing (Disc Two):

Track Listing (DVD):

Background Information

The year 2007 marked the 20th anniversary of the release of U2’s landmark album The Joshua Tree. To celebrate the occasion, the band issued a remastered version of the album (sourced from the original analogue tapes), along with a host of associated bonus material. There were four different configurations: a single CD containing just the remastered album; a two-disc set containing the remastered album along with a CD of b-sides and rarities; a “super deluxe” box set that included both CDs as well as a DVD containing a full Joshua Tree-era live concert and documentary along with a hardcover book and art prints; and, finally, a vinyl edition, featuring the main album only, spread across two 180g vinyl records. Remastering of the audio was overseen by The Edge.

The second CD in the two-disc and super deluxe sets includes all of the b-sides from the original singles from 1987, plus a few rarities. Among these tracks is the 1987 “Single Edit” (actually a subtle remix) of “Where the Streets Have No Name;” the original version of “Silver and Gold,” which was recorded by Bono solo and released as part of the Sun City album by Artists Against Apartheid; and “Beautiful Ghost/Introduction to Songs of Experience” which was recorded during the Joshua Tree sessions but not released until 2004 as part of the iTunes-only The Complete U2. The remaining four songs on the second CD were previously unreleased recordings from the Joshua Tree sessions: “Wave of Sorrow (Birdland),” “Desert of Our Love,” “Rise Up,” and “Drunk Chicken/America.” The latter track features a psychedelic reading by controversial American poet Allen Ginsberg. A few of these tracks were “updated” from their rough, 1987 form. “Wave of Sorrow,” for instance, was little more than an instrumental piece called “Birdland” when the band abandoned it in 1987. For the Joshua Tree reissue, U2 recorded additional material for the song, including newly-written lyrics by Bono, with Carl Glanville. “Drunk Chicken/America” also incorporated new elements recorded with Glanville.

The DVD included with the super deluxe set features a previously unreleased live concert recorded July 4, 1987 in Paris. Although the concert on the DVD runs for 85 minutes, the track list excludes thee cover songs that the band performed that night: “Stand by Me,” “C’Mon Everybody,” and “Help.” Snippets of other cover songs are left intact, however, most notably “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and “Exodus.” The audio of the Paris concert was released digitally in the iTunes music store on July 21, 2008.The DVD also includes the 1987 MTV documentary Outside It’s America, chronicling the band’s arrival in the United States for The Joshua Tree Tour. Contained within the documentary itself are the familiar music videos for “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” along with comparatively rare clips for “In God’s Country” and b-side “Spanish Eyes.” The DVD also includes an alternative edit of the “With or Without You” video and the previously unreleased video for “Red Hill Mining Town.” Finally, the DVD features an “easter egg” in the form of footage of U2 performing as “The Dalton Brothers,” singing the songs “Lucille” and “Lost Highway.” To access this footage, viewers must go to the music video menu and click on the line above “U2,” then enter the password BETTY DALTON.

The single-disc remaster was issued in either a standard jewel case or a so-called “Super Jewel Box,” depending on the territory. The two-disc set was issued in a hardback book format, with card sleeves for the two CDs fixed inside the front and back covers of the book. An outer slipcase fits around the book to hold the package closed. The super-deluxe set was issued in a box, with the individual discs placed inside three separate “mini LP-style” gatefold picture sleeves within the box. This set also included a hardback book with additional liner notes, photos, and essays, along with a set of four art prints.

The remaster of The Joshua Tree marked the beginning of a U2 catalogue reissue program that would continue the following year with remasters of Boy, October, War, and Under a Blood Red Sky.

Liner Notes

Recognition and Awards

Awards may refer to the original release of the album:

  • #14, The 100 Greatest Albums of All Time (Absolute Radio, March 2016, voted by Listeners)
  • #6, 250 Best Albums of Q’s Lifetime (Q Magazine, February 2011)
  • #4, Top 20 Albums in the Lifetime of Q (Q Magazine, November 2006)
  • Q Magazines Top Ten Recordings of 1987
  • #1, Best Albums of the 1980s (out of 40) (Q Magazine, August 2006)
  • #15, 21 Albums that Changed Music (Q Magazine, November 2007)
  • Q Magazine, Top 100 Albums Readers Poll #23 (January 1998)
  • #3, 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s (Rolling Stone, 1990)
  • #4, Rolling Stone Readers Top 100 Albums (Rolling Stone, 2002)
  • #2, Best Album Critics Picks (out of 10) (Rolling Stone, 1987)
  • Listed on Rolling Stones Essential Rock Collection 1980s Era
  • #1, Best Album Readers Picks (out of 10) (Rolling Stone, 1987)
  • #26, Top 500 Albums (Rolling Stone, 2003)
  • #27, Top 500 Albums (Rolling Stone, 2012)
  • #4, Ten Best Albums of All Time (out of 10) (Spin Magazine, September 1991)
  • Listed in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (2005 and 2008ed) by Robert Dimery
  • #8, Best Albums of All Time [Listeners voted from a list of 50] (BBC Radio 6, UK, 2002)
  • #3, Top 100 Albums [Listeners voted] (BBC Radio 2, UK, August 2006)
  • #19, Albums of the Millennium [Survey] (Channel 4 / HMV / Guardian Newspaper, Autumn 1997)
  • #2, 100 Best Albums of All Time (Channel 4)
  • #15, VH1’s Rock N Roll Top 100 Albums (VH1 Television, 1999)
  • Nomination and Win, Album of the Year (Grammy Awards, 1988)
  • Nomination and Win, Best Rock Performance by a Duo / Group (Grammy Awards, 1988)
  • #3, Top 100 Albums of 1987 (Rolling Stone Magazine)
  • #57, Top 100 Albums of 1988 (Rolling Stone Magazine)
  • #3, Top 100 Albums of the 1980s (Rolling Stone Magazine, November 1989)
  • #1, Top 100 Albums of All Time (2FM, Listeners Poll, October 1995)

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