Sunday, November 25, 2007

U2 - The Joshua Tree

U2 has celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of Grammy winning number one album, The Joshua Tree, by releasing a completely remastered version in four different formats just in time for the holidays. (Twenty years?!!! God, I feel so old...) Using the original analog tapes, the meticulous re-mastering was overseen by none other than The Edge and the result is available in:

  • A standard CD featuring liner notes from Bill Flanagan, lyrics and unseen photographs from long time collaborator Anton Corbijn.

  • A double 12" gatefold vinyl format, with the original album pressed across two 180 gram audiophile discs.

  • A deluxe edition including a second CD of b-sides and demos from the original album sessions.

  • A limited edition box set containing two CD's and a DVD featuring The Joshua Tree Tour live from the Hippodrome in Paris and other rare video footage.
I got to check out the 2 CD deluxe edition which was sleekly packaged in a 5 x 5.5" bound book inside a case. The book (sort of like a mini-coffee table book...maybe a demi-tasse book?) contained the two CDs, as well as photos of the band, lyrics, credits and the story of the recording sessions as told by the usually quiet The Edge. The album, which was inspired by the sights and sounds the band experienced while touring America, features some of U2's best known and most loved songs such as Where the Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, With or Without You and In God's Country--along with six other tracks. In addition, an entire album of B-sides and demos are included. Most of which are fairly amorphous and moody, but there are some nuggets--the single version of Where the Streets Have No Name and its B-side, Sweetest Thing and Wave of Sorrow (Birdland) which was an unfinished track until this year when Bono went back into the studio to record newly written lyrics.

I really liked how the material was showcased--it's beautifully packaged and presented. And of course, the music is gorgeous. It will make a great gift for a U2 fan. And it just might end up being a Christmas gift for someone I know--providing that they are nice and not naughty!

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