Thursday, May 14, 2015

bus vibes #15 - the joshua tree

hi there

yes, a return to bus vibes and, most decidedly, one that i suspect will be the least read one that i ever do. it's the title; look you see. today it still remains terribly trendy and with it to dismiss the band U2, and these days you don't actually have to watch, look or listen to something to be dismissive of it and somehow gain credibility via a virtual network. hey ho.

what, regular readers may ask, happened to a return to reading? well i finished a novel this morning, and don't fancy starting a new one with one day of the week at verk left, so some vibes it was to be this afternoon, and shall be tomorrow.

if that's why i was on the vibes this afternoon, why exactly would i go with The Joshua Tree, probably the most played album by me in the last year or so, instead of something new? just felt like it.

i'm not going to bother trying to convince anyone that is determined they hate U2 - Bono in particular - to give them another go, or make any effort to explain that they are wrong. there is every chance, of course, that they are not wrong - dig what you dig, skip what you don't.

so,with that out of the way, i can go off and admire some 9 of the 11 tracks on here. which two tracks do i skip? for the benefit of the haters, so that they may feel that they have had a worthwhile experience reading this, i find Bullet The Blue Sky dull, unimaginative, monotonous and, at its conclusion, cringeworthy. alsoTrip Through Your Wires is just one bloody horrible noise, in which the band seem to pretend to be rednecks.

the album, i think it is fair to say, is best and perhaps most fondly remembered for the first three tracks on it. three astonishing, incredible, brilliant and arguably career defining songs. they would be Where The Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and With Or Without You. seldom, i think, has a concert been played in the last 28 years by the band that did not feature at least two of those.

all three songs, as is the case with most of the stuff on the album, are astonishing, soul searching and soul bearing statements, touching - for me at the least - nerves which are raw and emotions which are safe, secure perhaps even. damned be this modern world that does not allow musicians the freedom, the backing and the support to be able to craft anything quite like this anymore.

a standout moment for me, however, would be Red Hill Mining Town. and it's that song that i have selected for a somewhat poor quality sample for you to partially enjoy here. recorded off of my ipod touch, no less. yes, i have The Joshua Tree available to me to hear on every device i have.

Bono, or whoever does the lyrics, is my definition, or if you like personification of an exceptional, gifted writer. if for you he is talentless, then how sorely i wish i was nearly as talentless as he is. in a song already rich with vivid, rich and amazing images, he drops this :

i'm hanging on
you're all that's left to hold on to

that's an entire story right there, in a handful of words (give or take). as per my discussions of Accidentally Like A Martyr by Warren Zevon, i am in awe of that genius like ability some writers seem to have to tell so much with so few words. my understanding is that Bono was never able to carry the high notes of this song off live when they worked on sets, and so - somewhat frustratingly - the band has never played this amazing song at a gig. our loss, i say.

tempted to purchase the album to give it another try? good. although i would suggest you be wary of getting anything beyond just the standard version of the record.

the deluxe edition, pictured here, is interesting but far from essential. the interesting part is the DVD of them live in Paris. it was, i believe, recorded only a few months, if not weeks, after the album was released. which is to say U2 were not the biggest thing in the world. it's kind of strange, considering how flamboyant everything got, to watch four lads take to the stage with no props and no expectations from a distinctly indifferent crowd.

also on the DVD is the video for Red Hill Mining Town. it was intended as a single, but apparently the band ditched it because they didn't like this video. oh. 

CD 2 of the deluxe edition, the so-called "bonus disc", holds no lost, previously unknown gems. the best of the b-sides featured long ago on the 2CD set Best 1980-1990, the rest did not for good reason. so yeah, as has been widely reported, Adam, Larry, Bono and Edge really don't need your money enough to justify paying all that much to get this deluxe version. i got it for £15 i think; if you see it at that price go for it, any more rather not.

what will i be giving a listen to tomorrow? no idea. if it's of any consequence i am sure i will make a post of it here for you to enjoy, get angry about, ignore or be indifferent to. whichever it is, with the exception of the ignore one many thanks for reading all the same.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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