Video Roundup: The Joshua Tree 20 years later

Last week marked the release of a specially packaged 20th anniversary re-issue of one of the most loved and well-received albums of the 21st Century. On March, 9 1987, U2 first handed over The Joshua Tree to the world. The album became an instant classic among the contemporary rock crowd and was considered an international milestone by critics worldwide. Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr. took their second adventure with the production genius team of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois (after 1984’s The Unforgettable Fire) into the musical and political landscape of America. The four brash blokes from Ireland took cues from an American tradition in the blues and reconstituted it in the form of anthemic criticism of American foreign policy and spiritual exploration. In a dramatic shift from the regionalism of Ireland’s history and politics to the wild and working class landscapes of the U.S., U2 captured the dreams of America — broken, unrealized or idealized — like no other band of their generation. Over the years, the band embraced their international popularity and stardom but have never lost sight of those dreams, the ones shared world-wide, as you’ll see in this series of videos, presenting each song on this formative album performed live over the last 20 years:

1. Where the Streets Have No Name (2002 Super Bowl)

2. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (2005, Milan, Vertigo tour)

3. With or Without You (1987, Syracuse, NY, Joshua Tree tour)

click here for more:
4. Bullet the Blue Sky (1994, Sydney, Zoo TV tour)

5. Running to Stand Still (1994, Sydney, Zoo TV tour)

6. Red Hill Mining Town (official video — have they ever played this live?)

7. In God’s Country (2001, Miami, Elevation tour)

8. Trip Through Your Wires (1987, Paris, Joshua Tree tour)

9. One Tree Hill (2006, Aukland, Vertigo tour)

10. Exit (1987, Belfast, Balmoral TV studios)

11. Mothers of the Disappeared (1998, Popmart, Santiago)

Promo reel from 1987:

Since the re-released album contains a bonus disc of outtakes, b-sides and rarities, here’s our own “bonus” — though the kittens in the video have nothing to do with the album, the band, or the song, it’s the music itself, an early recording of “Sweetest Thing,” supposedly performed for the first time, while the band was testing equipment before recording The Joshua Tree:

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