Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Silver and Gold

The last album I bought in 2007 was the first one I bought in 1987. I suppose I dwell on 'classic rock' a little too much here, and it's a little depressing that The Joshua Tree, at 20 years old, is now in the same category. Oddly, it was also the first CD I bought that sounded like crap. Like the other early U2 CDs (debut through Unforgettable Fire), the sound quality was muffled and lifeless, which is exactly why I bought this remastered version. The good news is that there's a dramatic improvement in the sound quality and a second disc of rarities that is an essential CD on it's own.

Arguably the greatest album of the 1980s, the Joshua Tree is one of three tremendous musical peaks in U2's work (the other two being Actung Baby and All That You Can't Leave Behind). If you have to choose one U2 album to take to that desert island, this has to be the one. The mere fact that there is an album's worth of unused music from this period is testament to this creative peak. The bonus tracks range from more experimental material to very strong compositions that could have easily fit on the album (the Joshua Tree clocks in at 50 minutes, part of its strength, in my opinion). I always liked the live take of Silver and Gold from the Rattle and Hum disc, and on this bonus disc, we get a studio version and the Sun City version, with Bono, Keith Richards and Ron Wood.

Silver and Gold (Studio)

Silver and Gold (Sun City)

More remastered U2 album releases are promised, and hopefully we will get an equal share of bonus tracks.

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