Is The Joshua Tree... any good?

Go on then.

Is it?


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Seemed like it was back then; but has not weathered the passing of time well, and so not so much now. So, yes and no.

I would agree with this…

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Pretty boring. Unforgettable Fire is better, but really, Achtung Baby is the good one.


I’d say a 7 is fair. It has 1/3 really good tracks (immortalised by use on TV / ads / films). 1/3 good tracks and the remainder is a bit fillery. That said, I find most albums DiS gives 8 feel like 7s. What criteria do you have for say an 8 (4 stars) or a 10 (5 stars)?

I’d say a 10 is:

  • every track individually represents brilliant songwriting (either in melody or lyrics)
  • the tracks are perfectly sequenced
  • there are no tracks you could consider dropping (i.e. the album is just the right length)
  • the album does something ‘new’ for music

I’d have a 9 as all of the above, but without being original.

I’d have an 8 as 80% of the album being very good or good (e.g. the XX’s debut, which for me fell off at the end).

A 7 has a noticeable dip over a few tracks, despite being generally really good. I think there are a lot of 7s on DiS that get 8s. There are far too many 8s.

Too many 8s, right?!

Achtung Baby and Zooropa are both great. Shouldn’t be underestimated just how much of a shift it was for the biggest band in the world at the time to ditch their more MOR stylings and fully embrace industrial/sequencing/mixed media. The Passengers album they did with Brian Eno is really good too,…


I know they’re massive hits but those three songs being next to each other at the beginning are just far too samey for me. Plus it’s U2, plus it’s Bono. 6/10.

Horrible record.

Hated it when it came out as it marked the band’s ascent into pompous stadium superstardom. First came across U2 around 1981 and whilst never really being a fan would usually give their stuff a listen but the likes gradually diminished as the 80s wore on and this album stank of everything I loathed about corporate rock during that decade. What stank even more was the band’s kowtowing to the industry whilst trying to project an image of being risky and alternative. There is a cynicism within the group towards the stuff they produce, you are never quite certain if they are doing it for artistic purposes or just to increase their bank balances (See all the underhandedness regarding their last album and its ‘free’ giveaway on iTunes).

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Yeah it is. It gets better with more listens, weirdly.

You need to be a fan of them to like it though. People are very divided on U2, it’s like Brexit or something.

The Joshua Tree’s pretty good. I was never especially into U2 until I realised that The Edge is actually a genius.

Where The Streets Have No Name for instance. He plays so few notes during the song but a) the way it builds and b) the way it sounds fucking huge are remarkable really. If you’re into that sort of thing.

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U2 = shit.


I also really like Pop. More than Zooropa, tbh.

Controversial, I know.


I could happily listen to Pop as well I reckon :+1:

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For me, everything between War and Zooropa is top notch (not counting Rattle N Hum). Zooropa is my favourite, but Joshua Tree was my first. So for me, loads of gold on there. ‘Running to Stand Still’ particularly has always been a personal favourite.

I think they have spent the last 20 odd years absolutely shitting on their own reputation by creating immensely mediocre and bland music, but for me between mid-80s to early 90s they produced some phenomenal music. Compared to the other big mainstream rock acts of the time, they really were pushing their own boundaries out a lot further than others were willing to do.

I also really like Passengers, too.

Best U2 ever got was this


Is it any good? Yes.

I think there are a couple things going on with it, that happen to a lot of classic albums:

First, when an album is new, you can’t compare to what is yet to come, you compare to what is and what has been. Which is to say, if Blonde on Blonde was new today, it wouldn’t break any new ground, it would be pretty boring where it was once mind blowing. Joshua Tree wasn’t nearly as groundbreaking, but it is an early, influential alternative rock album. Re-rating is fine when it remembers historical context. I might not give it a 9.5 today, but I think it’s still a high eight.

The other thing about it just that some people hate the band for goody-goody charity work, and for being Irish people getting lots of attention for too long.

It’s a banger. Stop trying to fight it. It’s only lost its shine due to the ensuing years of mediocrity and Bono.

I usually like three tracks off every U2 album.
Moment Of Surrender off their last but one album is one of the best songs they’ve ever done.
Achtung Baby is easily my favourite U2 album.