10 things you don’t know about The Joshua Tree by u2
1. U2 began recording “The Joshua Tree” in January, 1986, in a Georgian mansion just outside of Dublin and wouldn’t finish until a full year later.
2. The album was co-produced by longtime collaborator Brian Eno, who came to prominence as a member of the groundbreaking British rock act Roxy Music in the early ‘70s. That’s a nice twist of fate, given that Roxy Music was one of Bono’s early influences.
3. Amazingly, almost half of the time in the studio was reportedly spent on just one song – “Where the Streets Have No Name,” which, with its time-signature and chord changes, made it difficult for the musicians to nail down a recorded version they were happy with.
4. Eno was so frustrated with how long it was taking to record “Where the Streets Have No Name” that he nearly erased the tapes of the song.
5. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” was born from a reggae-rock-flavored jam known as “The Weather Girls”/”Under the Weather,” according to Rolling Stone.
6. The album, of course, takes its name from the amazing Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), which is a member of the Agave family. It is native to the American Southwest, found mostly in the Mojave Desert.
7. As legend has it, these trees were named by a group of 19th-century Mormon travelers, who saw their shape and were reminded of the Biblical story of Joshua reaching his hands up in prayer.
8. Other album titles considered reportedly included “The Desert Songs” and “The Two Americas.”
9. The album artwork was shot by famed photographer Anton Corbijn, who later went on to direct the great Ian Curtis biography “Control” (2007) and other films.
10. Many incorrectly assume that Corbijn’s iconic photo of the lone Joshua tree, shown on the gatefold sleeve, was taken at Joshua Tree National Park. As a result, many fans flocked to the park to see the tree and desert visages captured in Corbijn’s evocative album photo shoot. Tragically, a married couple was found dead in a remote part of the national park in 2011, felled by heatstroke after trying, in vain, to find the site of the album photo shoot.