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The Joshua Tree is the fifth studio album by Irish rock band U2.
It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 9 March 1987 on Island Records.
Throughout the sessions, U2 sought a "cinematic" quality for the record, one that would evoke a sense of location, in particular, the open spaces of the United States.
They represented this in the sleeve photography depicting them in American desert landscapes.
And so we decided to work within the limitations of the song as a starting point. We wanted the record to be less vague, open-ended, atmospheric and impressionistic.
To make it more straightforward, focused and concise." The band wanted to build on the textures of The Unforgettable Fire, but in contrast to that record's often out-of-focus experimentation, they sought a harder-hitting sound within the limitations of conventional song structures.
According to Rolling Stone, the album increased the band's stature "from heroes to superstars".
U2 commemorated the record's 20th anniversary with a remastered re-release, and its 30th anniversary with a concert tour and reissue.
In 2014, it was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the US Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry.
The Edge was eventually convinced after discovering blues and country artists such as Howlin' Wolf, Robert Johnson, Hank Williams, and Lefty Frizzell on American public radio stations during the Unforgettable Fire Tour.
Despite lacking a consensus on musical direction, the group members agreed that they felt disconnected from the dominant synthpop and new wave music of the time, and they wanted to continue making music that contrasted with these genres.