Album Challenge – Day 1 U2 Joshua Tree

You know the album cover challenge that has infected Facebook like a virus? Well, I’ve been infected. Thanks Jeff. I do enjoy seeing friends’ 10 essential albums in the development of their musical taste. It’s like a poorly developed pop culture personality test. However, find it frustrating that part of the challenge is to not post any explanation of why that album was important to him or her. That’s the interesting part. I also like that it brings back the notion of an album as a whole being a piece of art, and not just a song. Context matters.

So, I’m going to break the rules. If you don’t like it, get your own blog. I actually posted day 1 on my Facebook feed yesterday, but then decided this morning (day 2) that this might be more interesting and engaging. Plus this is a hell of a lot more fun to think about than, well, everything else right now. I’m not going to plan out a list of my top 10 and put them in any sequence. Just whatever album comes to me the next day. I also decided I needed to learn how to play and record at least one song from each album. That should make it interesting. I’m not sure what the 10 albums will be. I hope I don’t wake up Queen on the brain one morning. That would be rough for everyone involved.

Day 1 is Joshua Tree by U2. This album was really my (like much of America) introduction to U2. I was familiar with their earlier work, but I didn’t own any of it. This album was released the spring of 1987, my freshman year in college. This was the first album I bought in CD format. It was ubiquitous that year to hear songs from this album thoughout the dorm.

The crescendo introduction to the first song “Where the Streets Have no Name” is one of the strongest introductions to a rock album I can think of. It’s one of those introductions that when you hear it, you immediately know, “this shit’s gonna be good.” It was. I think this album is damn near perfect. Every song works, and as a body of work, it works. Here’s m yrecording. Not perfect. And definitely not Bono. He’s tough to cover as a bass/baritone singer.

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