One of the many albums celebrating milestones this year is U2’s The Joshua Tree. The album was released thirty years ago. My, how time flies. Doesn’t seem like all that long ago, I was listening to the songs from this album in college. But yes, it has been thirty years.
While I was on Facebook last night, one of my friends happened to mention that the local rock station (WIYY-FM, 98 Rock out of Baltimore) was playing The Joshua Tree from start to finish. Since I was having trouble coming up with a song for today’s 80’s Mania Monday post, that post was welcome to my sights. One of my favorites from the album is today’s song, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”
My sister isn’t what I would call a U2 superfan, but even she knows this song pretty well. Easy to see how she would know—the second single release from The Joshua Tree followed the first (“With Or Without You”) in its march to #1 on the pop chart in the summer of 1987. The song is inspired by gospel music; the theme of spiritual searching and doubt in the lyrics was created by Bono after listening to gospel acts The Swan Silvertones, The Staple Singers and Blind Willie Johnson. Coupled with producer Brian Eno’s love of the music, the theme of making this their version of a gospel song took root. In addition to being a top pop hit, it was nominated for Record and Song of the Year at the Grammys in 1988, and was considered by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 500 greatest songs of all time, checking in at #93.
All I know is it’s one of my favorite U2 songs through the years, and it still sticks with me even today. When I hear it on the radio station I hear at work, I almost never forget to hum along and even sing some of the lyrics. Yes, even at work. Not very loudly though; I’m not that great of a singer. It’s a song that continued the path U2 had traveled to superstardom; that album thirty years ago helped put them in the pantheon of the greats.
I hope you enjoy today’s 80’s Mania Mondays song, and thanks for reading and listening.