- 03 Mar 17
Day 2 of our countdown to the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree, where we bring you some key tracks that didn't make it onto the final cut of the album.
This week, we'll be counting down the seven days to March 9 – the date when The Joshua Tree was launched, all of 30 years ago, in 1987. It was the album that fired U2 into the stratosphere, reaching No.1 all over the world and going on to sell 25 million copies.
To mark the occasion, Hot Press has selected for your delectation seven of the less familiar tracks from the recording sessions that generated The Joshua Tree – one every day from now till March 9th. Some of our choices were never intended for a U2 record. Others might arguably have made the album even stronger. And more again just didn’t fit the flow, in an era when artists were far more limited by a requirement to come in at or under the 40 minutes you could fit comfortably onto a vinyl record.
There are any of a dozen reasons why decisions can be made to include or exclude tracks. But what we can say is that herein is an even greater abundance of U2 gold. Here's our second installment, with your guide: Valentina Magli.
(2) DESERT OF OUR LOVE
‘Desert of Love' is the direct result of improvisation, spontaneity, and a little bit of ‘Bongolese’*. According to The Edge, this track was crucial to the evolution of one of the iconic tracks on The Joshua Tree, 'I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’.
"'Desert Of Our Love’, which ultimately became 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' was the first breakthrough of the record,” Edge explained. "A mix of reggae and gospel rhythms, it was never going to be an ordinary song. This is its earliest incarnation, still showing its traditional roots. I played piano for the backing track. We held onto the drums, and maybe the bass, but everything else got replaced."
The song is a joyful celebration of the desert, that once again has the aura of a spiritual quest. It is a kind of musical prayer that derives from a spontaneous act of creation. The ‘ nd' result still has the flavour of jam session and the language used makes little sense! There is a feeling too that the track is incomplete – but the result is hugely enjoyable nonetheless. It offers an insight into the band's extraordinary working methods – and confirms their ability to always reinvent themselves.
*Bongolese is the name given to the ‘language’ that Bono uses, when U2 are feeling their way towards a new song or songs. He improvises on the mic, in a mix of words, noises and sounds that probably usually don’t make any coherent sense, but are a vital element in the seeds of creation.
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