March 9th, 2017 marks 30 years of The Joshua Tree, U2’s magnum opus. A critical favourite, The Joshua Tree is U2’s best-selling album and is completely full of hits. 30 years later it still resonates, so much so that the band will be revisiting the album in its entirety during their 2017 Joshua Tree Tour (which starts in Vancouver @ BC Place on Friday, May 12th). In honour of this rock ‘n roll landmark and the continued strength of The Joshua Tree, we put together a list of 9 things you didn’t know about U2’s The Joshua Tree. Sláinte!


  • The Joshua Tree is one of the world’s best-selling albums, with over 25 million copies sold! Within 14 days of release, it had sold 300,000 units in Canada alone!! And it became the first album by any artist to sell one million copies on CD in the US!!!
  • Producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois worked with the band on The Joshua Tree, rekindling the magic of their previous work together, U2’s 1984 album The Unforgettable Fire.
  • Remember the U2 song “Sweetest Thing” from the group’s 1998 compilation The Best of 1980–1990? The track was initially recorded for The Joshua Tree but was left off the album and released later as a B-side, as the group felt it did not fit with the other songs.
  • The band chose to record in Danesmoate, a Georgian mansion in Rathfarnham, Ireland in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains. The house, a local landmark, was across from St. Columba’s College, Adam Clayton’s former school. Adam fell in love with the house during the recording sessions and later bought it for use as his own home!
  • The album is named after the Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia). The actual tree the band was photographed in front of for the album was located in Darwin, California, about 200 miles from Joshua Tree National Park. Unfortunately the tree has died, but the site is marked with a plaque.
  • Friend of the band Kirsty MacColl, who died in 2000, chose the order of tracklisting for the album, apparently based on her order of preference.
  • It was the first album to be made available on CD, vinyl and cassette formats on its release date!
  • In 2014, The Joshua Tree was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the US Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry.
  • Their original worldwide Joshua Tree Tour lasted from April to December 1987, was comprised of 109 shows over three legs and its estimated the band played for over 3 million fans!


30 years of the Joshua Tree

Filed under: 1987, jack-likes-lists, the-joshua-tree, u2