The 1987 U2 album, “The Joshua Tree,” remains one of
their top-selling albums to this day. I recently watched a
Classic Albums 59-minute DVD about the making of this disc.
It also had limited bonus features, including a printed
biography of the group and a discography.
From his seat at the mixing console, producer Daniel Lanois
discussed the general approach to this album, while Bono
also provided his input and recollections. Mega producer and
recording artist, Brian Eno, shared production duties with
Lanois and together, they created a “soundscape” for
“The Joshua Tree” album which was very open, in contrast
with most Rock albums.
The three other band members and U2 manager,
Paul McGuinness, were also interviewed, along with other
engineers, such as Steve Lillywhite. This DVD included
numerous live performance clips interspersed throughout,
as well as a discussion with the album cover artist.
In addition, Bono’s involvement in the promotion of
World Peace was mentioned. When you combine his
humanitarian activities with the U2 songs, which are
heartfelt and filled with inspirational lyrics, it’s easy to see
why TIME magazine chose to put the band on its cover.
No doubt, U2’s popularity and record sales were
contributing factors, as well.
Despite numerous artistic and stylistic changes since their
first album release in 1981, U2 remains one of the most
successful Rock bands. For many people, “The Joshua Tree”
album was a high-water mark for the group. This 1999
Classic Albums DVD illustrates some of the reasons why
this is true, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.