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U2 => General U2 Discussion => Topic started by: boom boom on March 08, 2017, 03:47:39 AM

Title: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: boom boom on March 08, 2017, 03:47:39 AM
According to this article in the observer: http://observer.com/2017/03/u2-joshua-tree-album-30th-anniversary/

The writer questions is the JT really a masterpiece of just half a masterpiece.
To paraphrase this article he suggests that side 2 is just U2 coasting and dialing it in and very underwhelming with the best track being Mothers of the Disappeared on side 2.
While my first reaction to the article is what the hell is this guy on, not that I agree with him but I can see his point of view.
While most of us on this forum (or at least me) are going to JT30 to finally hear side 2 the writer says that most only recognize the first 6 songs and don't care about the rest.
Now originally when the album came out, I thought the whole album was great and not just side 1 and loved hearing the side 2 songs live at least the ones that were played.
I guess now because I have been listening to U2 so long and seen them so many times live that they have continuously played side 1 songs live to death that I am actually sick of them and mainly going for this tour specifically to hear the side 2 songs.
But to play devils advocate the average fan most likely will be going to hear side 1 and not side 2 as most will probably tune out or go to beer stands or bathroom break at this stage. I will take the opportunity to hit the beer stands during side 1, as I heard these songs so many times.
Also again to play devils advocate, if U2 thought side 2 was soo great, why the absence of these songs for so long, really since the original JT tour in '87.
What are your thoughts?
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Blueyedboy on March 08, 2017, 03:57:23 AM
The problem with the article is that it tries to break the album down into songs rather than taking the album as an entity.
The Joshua Tree paints scenery in its sonics and can only be appreciated if you see the whole picture. Trip through your wires is as important as Streets in achieving this goal. The only alteration I would make to this album would be to add Heartland somewhere in the second half.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: briscoetheque on March 08, 2017, 04:15:56 AM
It's not in my top 5 U2 albums to be honest but I do agree on the brilliance of it capturing a place and soundscape. I listened to the whole thing growing up in Australia on a cassette deck. In 2009 I listened to it driving through death valley. It was better than I remembered it...
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: riffraff on March 08, 2017, 04:24:58 AM
The entire album is a masterpiece. Both sides. Each and every song...well, except Mothers...I appreciate the idea behind it, but just never really liked the song itself.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: eddyjedi on March 08, 2017, 06:42:54 AM
Stupid article.
U2 phoning it in on side two is a ridiculous assessment.
Kudos to the patti smith reference, Exit is very similar.
It's a great great album, incredibly cohesive.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: lucas.homem on March 08, 2017, 06:54:47 AM
To be fair, I was thought it was weird that people don't say of TJT the same people always say about ATYCLB.

However, I do think the second half of TJT is gorgeous, with the exception of Red Hill.

They expand a lot the atmosphere of the album in those last songs, keeping the main concept, but making it deeper. For me, IGC and OTH are the most important tracks for the (concept of the) album as a whole, because they are the soul of that journay. TTYW is like a stop in that journay, when you rent a hotel room and enjoy that countryside town before keep going. At last, Exit is the personal ending of your journay, when you... die. MOTD is the grief after death.

I don't know if the lyrics agree with my interpretation, but that is my feelings while listening to the album.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: aviastar on March 08, 2017, 07:16:15 AM
I agree with him that TUF is the better album of the two.  But that doesn't make TJT any less great.

I disagree with him on several points.  First, he makes a case that many of TJT songs are just rip-offs - I think you could probably do that with any great rock album.  There are only so many chord combinations in western music, and rock music is particularly limited to forms (nobody is going to make a rock album with Coltrane Giant Steps changes).  There's only so many places you can go - it's in the formulation and nuances that rock songs shine.  Second, he cherrypicks the one real weakness of Side 2 (Trip Through Your Wires) - where they are clearly coasting through (the song is decent, but nothing to rave about) - and makes the case that it's emblematic of the whole side.  No mention of One Tree Hill, which I think is a fantastic track.  He discounts Exit pretty quickly, but it's as moody and thematic as anything on TUF.  Red Hill Mining Town may have been ruined by the cheesy video, because on the whole the song is pretty darned good IMO.

The editorial just reads like an overblown sports "hawt take", but instead for music.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: an tha on March 08, 2017, 07:32:30 AM
Have long maintained it is the most overrated album in u2's cannon and one of the most overrated albums of all time by anybody.

I can appreciate that a lot of people disagree with my view on it and I can see the records attraction - but as I say for me it is massively overrated.

I don't personally own a copy of it and I don't consider that fact as meaning I am missing out.

The only song on it I would call a masterpiece is Mothers - yet again u2 at their best for me when being understated....RTSS would be up there as well if the album version was in same vein as the zoo tour version - Exit is OK as well.

Of course on this upcoming tour in enormodomes it will be the obvious hits that receive the most rapturous receptions from Joe Public and songs like those mentioned above will largely receive muted receptions/see exoduses to the bars.

Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: U2_One on March 08, 2017, 09:09:37 AM
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According to this article in the observer: http://observer.com/2017/03/u2-joshua-tree-album-30th-anniversary/

The writer questions is the JT really a masterpiece of just half a masterpiece.
To paraphrase this article he suggests that side 2 is just U2 coasting and dialing it in and very underwhelming with the best track being Mothers of the Disappeared on side 2.
While my first reaction to the article is what the hell is this guy on, not that I agree with him but I can see his point of view.
While most of us on this forum (or at least me) are going to JT30 to finally hear side 2 the writer says that most only recognize the first 6 songs and don't care about the rest.
Now originally when the album came out, I thought the whole album was great and not just side 1 and loved hearing the side 2 songs live at least the ones that were played.
I guess now because I have been listening to U2 so long and seen them so many times live that they have continuously played side 1 songs live to death that I am actually sick of them and mainly going for this tour specifically to hear the side 2 songs.
But to play devils advocate the average fan most likely will be going to hear side 1 and not side 2 as most will probably tune out or go to beer stands or bathroom break at this stage. I will take the opportunity to hit the beer stands during side 1, as I heard these songs so many times.
Also again to play devils advocate, if U2 thought side 2 was soo great, why the absence of these songs for so long, really since the original JT tour in '87.
What are your thoughts?

Good post. In the context of TJT 2017 tour, I think it might work well for those who don't follow setlists as they'll be guaranteed to hear the songs that made the album a big seller. It also might work well for some because within the last six songs on the album, there's one that's never been played at all, and others that either haven't been a staple since the original tour, or at any point.

Can't ever really appeal to everyone with everything, but I think the appeal of this tour should be fairly wide ranging.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Smee on March 08, 2017, 09:42:44 AM
Simply Put, The Joshua Tree album is as good an album as any ever put out. It is right up there with all the classics
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Canadanne on March 08, 2017, 09:50:13 AM
It was hearing the strength of the non-singles (especially RHMT) that persuaded me to buy TJT in the first place, instead of just sticking with the Best Of. That decision in turn led to me buying all their other albums and becoming the mega-fan I am now. So I definitely disagree that side 2 is "underwhelming" - in fact I listen to it far more often than side 1! (The only track I find somewhat weaker is Mothers Of The Disappeared, so I'm even more puzzled that he considers that to be the sole highlight.)

Obviously a lot of people at the shows will only be familiar with the singles/warhorses, but that says nothing about the quality of the other tracks.

To answer the question in the subject line, I don't really see TJT as a "masterpiece" - it's a middle-ranking album for me - but it's still pretty great!
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: acrobat62 on March 08, 2017, 09:59:19 AM
Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/masterpiece

    1    :  a work done with extraordinary skill; especially :  a supreme intellectual or artistic achievement


It qualifies!  ;)
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Spacejunk69 on March 08, 2017, 11:30:56 AM
No, its not. A great album yes, but very overrated. I like Exit, Trip Through Your Wires, Running To Standstill and Mothers Of The Disappeared - that's it.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: The Exile on March 08, 2017, 12:16:37 PM
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Stupid article.
U2 phoning it in on side two is a ridiculous assessment.
Kudos to the patti smith reference, Exit is very similar.
It's a great great album, incredibly cohesive.

It's a masterpiece, whether we personally enjoy it or not. It just is.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: il_capo on March 08, 2017, 01:44:15 PM
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Stupid article.
U2 phoning it in on side two is a ridiculous assessment.
Kudos to the patti smith reference, Exit is very similar.
It's a great great album, incredibly cohesive.

It's a masterpiece, whether we personally enjoy it or not. It just is.

I agree with this.  It may not be our favourite U2 album but it is perfectly executed, a musically and lyrically rich and dense record, with so much high quality material on it (compare it to Zooropa, which is a critically-acclaimed album but feels a bit sparse when compared to the weight of material on AB, TJT, or Pop). 

The writer of the piece dismisses side 2 as derivative of other artists, but pretty much anything can be defined as derivative if you want to look at things genealogically, and this writer seems obsessed with demonstrating his rich knowledge of rock music by listing antecedents.  Anyone else listened to With or Without You and thought of Talking Heads’ Once in a Lifetime?

As for side 2, the writer fails to mention One Tree Hill, and whilst I agree with him that In God’s Country is not the most original song and Trip Through Your Wires is weak, it’s overall a dark, powerful and political set of songs, not the treading-water exercise the writer suggests.  When the album came out vinyl was still the predominant format in Europe at least, and if U2 wanted some more “big tunes” on side 2 they’d have sequenced the album differently.  That they did not tells me that side 2 is precisely what they wanted it to be.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: riffraff on March 08, 2017, 02:01:10 PM
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Stupid article.
U2 phoning it in on side two is a ridiculous assessment.
Kudos to the patti smith reference, Exit is very similar.
It's a great great album, incredibly cohesive.

It's a masterpiece, whether we personally enjoy it or not. It just is.

I agree with this.  It may not be our favourite U2 album but it is perfectly executed, a musically and lyrically rich and dense record, with so much high quality material on it (compare it to Zooropa, which is a critically-acclaimed album but feels a bit sparse when compared to the weight of material on AB, TJT, or Pop). 

The writer of the piece dismisses side 2 as derivative of other artists, but pretty much anything can be defined as derivative if you want to look at things genealogically, and this writer seems obsessed with demonstrating his rich knowledge of rock music by listing antecedents.  Anyone else listened to With or Without You and thought of Talking Heads’ Once in a Lifetime?

As for side 2, the writer fails to mention One Tree Hill, and whilst I agree with him that In God’s Country is not the most original song and Trip Through Your Wires is weak, it’s overall a dark, powerful and political set of songs, not the treading-water exercise the writer suggests.  When the album came out vinyl was still the predominant format in Europe at least, and if U2 wanted some more “big tunes” on side 2 they’d have sequenced the album differently.  That they did not tells me that side 2 is precisely what they wanted it to be.
I appreciate your use of the word "dense" in describing TJT. It IS dense...thick and dark, with that desperate sound that I love.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: bass slap on March 08, 2017, 02:28:12 PM
Kristy maccoll sequenced the songs in order of her preference, with streets being her number one and motd being her least favourite. At least that's the rock and roll legend.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: RathfarnhamU2Fan on March 08, 2017, 02:35:56 PM
There are 9 outstanding songs on there, one "mood" piece and another lighter moment to pace the album a bit (Exit & TTYW).
As a collection of songs it simply doesn't get any better.There isn't even a Beatles album with such a solid collection of songs.

It's the greatest album of all time in my opinion.Ignore this bo****ks, U2 can't catch a break anymore.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: achtung child on March 08, 2017, 02:40:41 PM
I always think it's hilarious when bitter, old men try to re-envision a significant contribution to the zeitgeist simply because they've smudged their favorite (insert obscure band) t-shirt with bags of Cheetos for twenty years and have nothing better to do than ponder if the earth really is indeed round.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: DoYouFeelLoved on March 08, 2017, 03:10:56 PM
I've always thought that (even if it is undeniably a great record, perhaps a masterpiece) it's a bit overrated.

Bear in mind:

Streets and WOWY alone brought significative innovations to music, perhaps we could say they pioneered a whole new genre of rock.

They're the sole responsible for the origin of the classic "U2 sound" if you like, and their influence in rock and pop songwriting it's still very strong and present in today's music.

I think it's overrated in the sense that musically U2 has done at least 3-4 much more interesting records than TJT, but the fact that it's the record that sold the most and made them superstars it's often hailed as their true "masterpiece".

Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: georgemccauley on March 08, 2017, 05:36:37 PM
Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby are their masterpieces, no question


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: WookieeWarrior10 on March 08, 2017, 05:59:43 PM
Not by any stretch of the imagination is The Joshua Tree a masterpiece. Achtung Baby is a masterpiece. Pop is a masterpiece. Zooropa is a masterpiece. Masterpieces typically don't have weak songs on them, but The Joshua Tree is saturated with them.

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, for example, is probably U2's most overrated song. It may be my least favorite on the album. Throwaway tracks such as In God's Country and Trip Through Your Wires are unmemorable and boring.

With Or Without You, as tired and overplayed as it is, is a great song. Not one I listen to often, if ever, but it's there.

Streets is an average song but it isn't awful enough for me to critique.

Bullet is a solid track and I'll listen to it sometimes...

Overall, the only tracks that I really enjoy are Bullet, Running to Stand Still,  Exit, and Mothers of the Disappeared.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: mofospacejunk on March 08, 2017, 07:15:51 PM
I love watching the 33 1/3rd docs on the making of the JT. Eno, and to a greater extent, Lanois have just as much DNA in this album as the rest of the band.

Take Lanios off of ISHFWILF, and it's a really, really ordinary song. Impressive vocal by Bono.

Musically, it's not even '3 chords and the truth'.

It's their most overrated album. Not even in my top 5, which is:

Pop
UF
AB
Zooropa
War

So short answer is NO!!
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: mofospacejunk on March 08, 2017, 07:17:16 PM
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Have long maintained it is the most overrated album in u2's cannon and one of the most overrated albums of all time by anybody.

I can appreciate that a lot of people disagree with my view on it and I can see the records attraction - but as I say for me it is massively overrated.

I don't personally own a copy of it and I don't consider that fact as meaning I am missing out.

The only song on it I would call a masterpiece is Mothers - yet again u2 at their best for me when being understated....RTSS would be up there as well if the album version was in same vein as the zoo tour version - Exit is OK as well.

Of course on this upcoming tour in enormodomes it will be the obvious hits that receive the most rapturous receptions from Joe Public and songs like those mentioned above will largely receive muted receptions/see exoduses to the bars.

agree 100%
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: mofospacejunk on March 08, 2017, 07:19:00 PM
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I always think it's hilarious when bitter, old men try to re-envision a significant contribution to the zeitgeist simply because they've smudged their favorite (insert obscure band) t-shirt with bags of Cheetos for twenty years and have nothing better to do than ponder if the earth really is indeed round.

You got that from reading this review? If you find it sooooooooooooooo funny, then why do you come across sooooooooooooooooo grumpy?
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: tigerfan41 on March 08, 2017, 09:23:48 PM
It depends on what you judge a masterpiece by. Is it an album with every song being good or great? An album with many great songs, some good songs, and a couple duds? Some other standard?

I judge the masterpieces by that first criteria. "Achtung Baby" meets it as I can't think of a single below-good song on it. Good tracks = "Tryin'" and "Zoo Station". Great tracks = everything else. If there was only one album I could listen to on a desert island, that would be the one.

As far as TJT is concerned, it is the album that made me a U2 fan. AB is the album that made U2 one of my favorite bands, though. TJT has three of the greatest songs that U2 ever produced, a few that are in the higher echelon of U2 tracks, a couple that are good, and a couple that are sort of meh. Obviously, it has the strongest 4 consecutive tracks of any U2 album, but I don't think that is enough to make it a masterpiece.

When I first heard about U2 playing the album in its entirety for an entire tour, I was not in love with the idea. The reason why is because of 3 of the last 4 tracks of the album. They're not exactly interesting tracks. I mean, each are decent in their own way, but they're not tracks that enthuse the crowd the way the first 7 tracks and OTH likely will. You could play an album like AB in its entirety, do a Zoo TV-type concert throwback and you'd have crowds singing along/excited about every single one of those songs. I can't see people reacting in a similar way to "Exit" or "Mothers".

So to sum it up, no, I don't view TJT as a masterpiece. I love the album and it is one of my favorites, but very, very few albums are masterpieces to me.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Blueyedboy on March 08, 2017, 10:13:23 PM
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Not by any stretch of the imagination is The Joshua Tree a masterpiece. Achtung Baby is a masterpiece. Pop is a masterpiece. Zooropa is a masterpiece. Masterpieces typically don't have weak songs on them, but The Joshua Tree is saturated with them.

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, for example, is probably U2's most overrated song. It may be my least favorite on the album. Throwaway tracks such as In God's Country and Trip Through Your Wires are unmemorable and boring.

With Or Without You, as tired and overplayed as it is, is a great song. Not one I listen to often, if ever, but it's there.

Streets is an average song but it isn't awful enough for me to critique.

Bullet is a solid track and I'll listen to it sometimes...

Overall, the only tracks that I really enjoy are Running to Stand Still,  Exit, and Mothers of the Disappeared.

I get where your coming from but you've got to apply the "of its time" factor into the mix.  The Joshua Tree is not even in my top ten albums of all time but I appreciate the effect it had on the music world at the time.  There's no official metric of Masterpieceness of course, but U2 at their best were capable of producing a masterpiece or two, I believe Achtung Baby is one, The Joshua Tree is the other.
As for Pop, I'm more than happy for this album to remain a dirty secret  ;D
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Chip on March 08, 2017, 10:28:03 PM
I don't consider TJT a masterpiece, but it's nearly one and is very ambitious. One thing I've seen few people comment about over the years is how the album opener contains just about all of the album's themes and imagery in miniature; trace the imagery from WTSHNN throughout the album and it's hard not to appreciate Bono's consistency and obvious care thematically. Side two gets a lot of flack and always has, but OTH is the best song on the album, IMHO, and is the song most worthy to be called a "masterpiece." TTYW has always been underrated: it only seems light and inconsequential, for if you look at the imagery and biblical allusions therein, you'll find a lot of depth. Save MOTD for a later album (R&H would have been just fine) and put "Heartland" between TTYW and OTH, and you really do have a masterpiece.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: clydefrog on March 08, 2017, 11:12:19 PM
Surprised to see so much bashing about this album. Especially on a U2 "FAN SITE"

I consider myself a die-hard U2 fan. Meaning I tend to love everything they release. It's very rare I don't like something and if I do dislike a U2 song I can guarantee I like it better than any other bands best song. With all that said I judge this album as a whole: b-sides and all. There are some amazing b-sides to TJT: silver and gold, sweetest thing, walk to the water, dancing barefoot, spanish eyes... so it's very hard to argue against this album being a masterpiece. If I were to play devils advocate I would have a hard time. Mothers is weak, Trip is not my favorite either but to say Exit, Red Hill, In Gods Country are bad songs..? I dunno you guys might just be too cynical and have to critique everything.

In conclusion this album contains U2's only #1 hits and arguably their best live song and the staple of every U2 concert. I will say I am a bigger Achtung Baby fan since my all time favorite song is on that album BUT TJT is most definitely a masterpiece and to say otherwise is almost sacrilegious in here of all places.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: DGordon1 on March 09, 2017, 02:10:38 AM
This is all very typical fansite reaction to a question like this.

Of course it's a masterpiece. Whether or not it's your favourite is irrelevant - it's the legacy of the record that defines whether or not it's a masterpiece.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: an tha on March 09, 2017, 02:33:04 AM
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Surprised to see so much bashing about this album. Especially on a U2 "FAN SITE"

Here we are again....accusations of 'bashing'...

Why is it some people continually call any opinion however well put together that isn't praising u2 as 'bashing'

This is for me equally as anti the spirit of here as the well documented perceived 'negativity' but it is never picked up on in the same way - seems that you can accuse people of bashing and it is ok even when they are just making their point and doing so reasonably.....and to top it off put 'it is a FAN SITE' in bold to play another over used card....

For me this shuts down conversation just as badly as what people accuse others of doing - yet it never gets picked up - seems a very one way street

I remember site admin using an example of how stating things as 'fact' shuts down conversation and rubbishes people - so for example 'ATYCLB is rubbish, no question' is considered an unaccpetable way to post as it shuts down the person who likes ATYCLB (site sdmin used exactly that example to describe problems here)

But it seems 'TJT is a masterpiece, no question' is perfectly acceptable.....(not what you posted but it was posted)

That isn't fair in my eyes.

People can rubbish the writer of an article and call him bitter etc and it is seemingly ok...

It is all a bit 'tolerant liberal' really...
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Blueyedboy on March 09, 2017, 02:43:57 AM
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This is all very typical fansite reaction to a question like this.

Of course it's a masterpiece. Whether or not it's your favourite is irrelevant - it's the legacy of the record that defines whether or not it's a masterpiece.

That's what I've been trying to say haha.

Exile on main Street is a masterpiece apparently, doesn't float my boat but who am I (and my questionable taste in music) to argue.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: soloyan on March 09, 2017, 05:37:57 AM
I may be wrong but I think it's possible many people here see the album as "overrated" because it got so much damn airplay. For many years it was everywhere and, even today, if a U2 song pops up on the radio, you have a 70% chance it'll be a tune from the Joshua Tree.
So, in many ways, we, as fans, don't "own" the album anymore. We're definitely not the only ones to perceive its brilliance. It's interesting to put that in perspective and compare with "Pop" for which the exact opposite occurs. Since the album was scrapped by the media and the band themselves, we feel like it's a precious object. That we are the only ones "getting it".
We've heard the Joshua Tree so much by accident that it holds no mystery anymore. With Pop we can live under the illusion that there are still some gems to find, buried under layers of heavy production.

Back to the article : I think that guy analyses a 1987 album as if it was a 2017 album. In 2017 you can totally isolate the songs from the album. You can even buy the songs without purchasing the whole album. It's also clear that today most artists do their track lists so that the tunes with the most commercial impact come first. Seeing it this way, it's perfectly understandable why he praises the A side and doesn't get the B-side.

Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Chip on March 09, 2017, 07:17:09 AM
Assessment of a work as a masterpiece isn't determined by public sales or love, nor does a large professional critical consensus (which does have more weight than the former) mean that every professional critic agrees. Some of us fans think TJT is a masterpiece; others of us don't. That's just fine. Diversity of opinion is a good thing.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Vox on March 09, 2017, 07:53:27 AM
I believe it is.  Sure, there are one or two weaker songs on “side B,” but albums such as Sgt. Peppers or The Wall also have one or two weaker songs.   The Joshua Tree has withstood the test of time, was commercially successful, and is critically acclaimed.  Throw that in with some pretty iconic album art and a legendary band who are entering their prime, and it’s a masterpiece.

I personally think Achtung Baby is a stronger album and I connect with that one more.  I’d also say that I play The Unforgettable Fire and Zooropa more that the Joshua Tree, but that’s more of a function of hearing The Joshua Tree out-and-about more. 

Yes – it’s a masterpiece and deserving of the title.  The first five songs alone are quite amazing for their quality, diversity, and sound.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: WookieeWarrior10 on March 09, 2017, 11:46:15 AM
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I may be wrong but I think it's possible many people here see the album as "overrated" because it got so much damn airplay. For many years it was everywhere and, even today, if a U2 song pops up on the radio, you have a 70% chance it'll be a tune from the Joshua Tree.
So, in many ways, we, as fans, don't "own" the album anymore. We're definitely not the only ones to perceive its brilliance. It's interesting to put that in perspective and compare with "Pop" for which the exact opposite occurs. Since the album was scrapped by the media and the band themselves, we feel like it's a precious object. That we are the only ones "getting it".
We've heard the Joshua Tree so much by accident that it holds no mystery anymore. With Pop we can live under the illusion that there are still some gems to find, buried under layers of heavy production.

Back to the article : I think that guy analyses a 1987 album as if it was a 2017 album. In 2017 you can totally isolate the songs from the album. You can even buy the songs without purchasing the whole album. It's also clear that today most artists do their track lists so that the tunes with the most commercial impact come first. Seeing it this way, it's perfectly understandable why he praises the A side and doesn't get the B-side.
Part of what makes a song overrated is how much airplay it gets; it is a form of praise. Does the fact that Streets is overplayed diminish the quality of the song? Of course not. Does the fact that Streets is overplayed make it overrated? Not necessarily, but to the degree that the song is heralded and loved... it does.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: PopMart_1997 on March 09, 2017, 06:47:41 PM
Good lord, this guy wrote a troll piece! 🙄

Of course The Joshua Tree is a masterpiece, its right up there with Achtung Baby!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: mofospacejunk on March 09, 2017, 08:13:12 PM
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Good lord, this guy wrote a troll piece! 🙄

Of course The Joshua Tree is a masterpiece, its right up there with Achtung Baby!!!!!!!

According to you.

And I guess everyone who has replied in this post saying it's over rated, its flawed, its not a master piece must be a troll as well.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: tigerfan41 on March 09, 2017, 08:34:47 PM
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Surprised to see so much bashing about this album. Especially on a U2 "FAN SITE"

Here we are again....accusations of 'bashing'...

Why is it some people continually call any opinion however well put together that isn't praising u2 as 'bashing'

This is for me equally as anti the spirit of here as the well documented perceived 'negativity' but it is never picked up on in the same way - seems that you can accuse people of bashing and it is ok even when they are just making their point and doing so reasonably.....and to top it off put 'it is a FAN SITE' in bold to play another over used card....

For me this shuts down conversation just as badly as what people accuse others of doing - yet it never gets picked up - seems a very one way street

I remember site admin using an example of how stating things as 'fact' shuts down conversation and rubbishes people - so for example 'ATYCLB is rubbish, no question' is considered an unaccpetable way to post as it shuts down the person who likes ATYCLB (site sdmin used exactly that example to describe problems here)

But it seems 'TJT is a masterpiece, no question' is perfectly acceptable.....(not what you posted but it was posted)

That isn't fair in my eyes.

People can rubbish the writer of an article and call him bitter etc and it is seemingly ok...

It is all a bit 'tolerant liberal' really...

To add to this, just because you are a fan of a band, it shouldn't/doesn't mean that they're infallible in your eyes. In my case, I'm a huge fan of U2, but above that I'm a music fan. When they release a garbage song or album, I'm going to call them out on it. When they say or do something stupid, I'm not going to defend that. That's not U2 bashing, that's trying to be objective about things and admitting when something isn't good.

Call me crazy, but I don't put any artist I like on a pedestal. When there's unfair criticism of an artist's music, I'll defend them, but when it's deserved criticism...well, I'm not going to blindly defend them.

People who don't consider TJT to be a masterpiece album have their reasons for that. Everyone here who has said as such has given a reason--so I'm not seeing how this is bashing or trolling or what have you.

Ultimately, music is a very subjective thing. There are some albums which critics and fans alike seem to universally agree on as masterpieces. Then there are albums like TJT where the opinion is more split. Nothing wrong with that or healthy debate on that taking place on a fan forum like this.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: PopMart_1997 on March 09, 2017, 08:46:22 PM
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Good lord, this guy wrote a troll piece! 🙄

Of course The Joshua Tree is a masterpiece, its right up there with Achtung Baby!!!!!!!

According to you.

And I guess everyone who has replied in this post saying it's over rated, its flawed, its not a master piece must be a troll as well.
If it wasn't, the band wouldn't be celebrating it by doing a special run of shows playing the album in its entirety, would they?
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: PopMart_1997 on March 09, 2017, 08:53:25 PM
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Stupid article.
U2 phoning it in on side two is a ridiculous assessment.
Kudos to the patti smith reference, Exit is very similar.
It's a great great album, incredibly cohesive.

It's a masterpiece, whether we personally enjoy it or not. It just is.
if U2 wanted some more “big tunes” on side 2 they’d have sequenced the album differently.  That they did not tells me that side 2 is precisely what they wanted it to be.
If I remember correctly, U2 didn't sequence the entire album, just the first and last track. Steve Lillywhite's late wife Kirsty MacColl was hanging round at the studio and offered to sequence the album, so the band let her do it.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: tigerfan41 on March 09, 2017, 08:54:26 PM
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Good lord, this guy wrote a troll piece! 🙄

Of course The Joshua Tree is a masterpiece, its right up there with Achtung Baby!!!!!!!

According to you.

And I guess everyone who has replied in this post saying it's over rated, its flawed, its not a master piece must be a troll as well.
If it wasn't, the band wouldn't be celebrating it by doing a special run of shows playing the album in its entirety, would they?

Depends on how you define a masterpiece. To me, there is a difference between a masterpiece album and a classic album from a band. TJT is a classic U2 album, so it follows that they would celebrate it with this tour. That doesn't mean that the album is a musical masterpiece, though.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: WookieeWarrior10 on March 09, 2017, 09:59:41 PM
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Good lord, this guy wrote a troll piece! 🙄

Of course The Joshua Tree is a masterpiece, its right up there with Achtung Baby!!!!!!!

According to you.

And I guess everyone who has replied in this post saying it's over rated, its flawed, its not a master piece must be a troll as well.
If it wasn't, the band wouldn't be celebrating it by doing a special run of shows playing the album in its entirety, would they?

Depends on how you define a masterpiece. To me, there is a difference between a masterpiece album and a classic album from a band. TJT is a classic U2 album, so it follows that they would celebrate it with this tour. That doesn't mean that the album is a musical masterpiece, though.
This puts it best.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: lucas.homem on March 10, 2017, 04:38:36 AM
I'm reading through the comments and I see people arguing as if they are bringing concrete evidence to the table or an objective analysis. However, there's not much explanation in the arguments that we can make reason about (music theory, sonics and timbre, performance, emotional delivery, originality, innovation, musical and lyrical concepts etc), only adjectives thrown here and there.

Of course, nobody is obliged to think that TJT is or is not a masterpiece, and that music's technical language is obscure to most, but if we're coming from personal feelings and taste (adjectives), we should be more relative in our opinions and more open to accept that TJT is what people want it to be, a masterpiece or not.

I'm not saying people are being agressive or rude here, because they are not, but there's a lot of groundless intransigence. IT IS A MASTERPIECE!! IT IS NOT A MASTERPIECE!! I'M OBVIOUSLY RIGHT!!
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: briscoetheque on March 10, 2017, 05:01:56 AM
This thread is the @u2 forum in a nutshell. A microcosm. A beautifully distilled version of an entire message board.

Well done us.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: riffraff on March 10, 2017, 05:16:04 AM
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This thread is the @u2 forum in a nutshell. A microcosm. A beautifully distilled version of an entire message board.

Well done us.
YAY!
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: an tha on March 10, 2017, 05:19:07 AM
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I'm reading through the comments and I see people arguing as if they are bringing concrete evidence to the table or an objective analysis. However, there's not much explanation in the arguments that we can make reason about (music theory, sonics and timbre, performance, emotional delivery, originality, innovation, musical and lyrical concepts etc), only adjectives thrown here and there.

Of course, nobody is obliged to think that TJT is or is not a masterpiece, and that music's technical language is obscure to most, but if we're coming from personal feelings and taste (adjectives), we should be more relative in our opinions and more open to accept that TJT is what people want it to be, a masterpiece or not.

I'm not saying people are being agressive or rude here, because they are not, but there's a lot of groundless intransigence. IT IS A MASTERPIECE!! IT IS NOT A MASTERPIECE!! I'M OBVIOUSLY RIGHT!!

Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, isn't it.

Nobody is right, nobody is wrong - just differing opinions.

As Brisco alludes to above it is what here is all about - and why we love the place.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: riffraff on March 10, 2017, 05:26:42 AM
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I'm reading through the comments and I see people arguing as if they are bringing concrete evidence to the table or an objective analysis. However, there's not much explanation in the arguments that we can make reason about (music theory, sonics and timbre, performance, emotional delivery, originality, innovation, musical and lyrical concepts etc), only adjectives thrown here and there.

Of course, nobody is obliged to think that TJT is or is not a masterpiece, and that music's technical language is obscure to most, but if we're coming from personal feelings and taste (adjectives), we should be more relative in our opinions and more open to accept that TJT is what people want it to be, a masterpiece or not.

I'm not saying people are being agressive or rude here, because they are not, but there's a lot of groundless intransigence. IT IS A MASTERPIECE!! IT IS NOT A MASTERPIECE!! I'M OBVIOUSLY RIGHT!!

Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, isn't it.

Nobody is right, nobody is wrong - just differing opinions.

As Brisco alludes to above it is what here is all about - and why we love the place.
Exactly right, an tha...so it's my opinion that you should leave Elevation alone!!!  :P
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: lucas.homem on March 10, 2017, 05:58:09 AM
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I'm reading through the comments and I see people arguing as if they are bringing concrete evidence to the table or an objective analysis. However, there's not much explanation in the arguments that we can make reason about (music theory, sonics and timbre, performance, emotional delivery, originality, innovation, musical and lyrical concepts etc), only adjectives thrown here and there.

Of course, nobody is obliged to think that TJT is or is not a masterpiece, and that music's technical language is obscure to most, but if we're coming from personal feelings and taste (adjectives), we should be more relative in our opinions and more open to accept that TJT is what people want it to be, a masterpiece or not.

I'm not saying people are being agressive or rude here, because they are not, but there's a lot of groundless intransigence. IT IS A MASTERPIECE!! IT IS NOT A MASTERPIECE!! I'M OBVIOUSLY RIGHT!!

Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, isn't it.

Nobody is right, nobody is wrong - just differing opinions.

As Brisco alludes to above it is what here is all about - and why we love the place.

Yes, and I'm a forum addict because I love discussion. I'm just pointing out that, even if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, arguments need to have more base in order to cultivate fruits. Otherwise, it is an angry battle of "yes, because it is" and "no, because it is not". 
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: an tha on March 10, 2017, 07:07:10 AM
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I'm reading through the comments and I see people arguing as if they are bringing concrete evidence to the table or an objective analysis. However, there's not much explanation in the arguments that we can make reason about (music theory, sonics and timbre, performance, emotional delivery, originality, innovation, musical and lyrical concepts etc), only adjectives thrown here and there.

Of course, nobody is obliged to think that TJT is or is not a masterpiece, and that music's technical language is obscure to most, but if we're coming from personal feelings and taste (adjectives), we should be more relative in our opinions and more open to accept that TJT is what people want it to be, a masterpiece or not.

I'm not saying people are being agressive or rude here, because they are not, but there's a lot of groundless intransigence. IT IS A MASTERPIECE!! IT IS NOT A MASTERPIECE!! I'M OBVIOUSLY RIGHT!!

Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, isn't it.

Nobody is right, nobody is wrong - just differing opinions.

As Brisco alludes to above it is what here is all about - and why we love the place.
Exactly right, an tha...so it's my opinion that you should leave Elevation alone!!!  :P

Ha! ah come on - a man needs some pleasures in life!!
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: eddyjedi on March 10, 2017, 07:15:35 AM
It's the album that all future U2 albums are judged against so even for that reason alone it must be special.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: an tha on March 10, 2017, 07:16:41 AM
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I'm reading through the comments and I see people arguing as if they are bringing concrete evidence to the table or an objective analysis. However, there's not much explanation in the arguments that we can make reason about (music theory, sonics and timbre, performance, emotional delivery, originality, innovation, musical and lyrical concepts etc), only adjectives thrown here and there.

Of course, nobody is obliged to think that TJT is or is not a masterpiece, and that music's technical language is obscure to most, but if we're coming from personal feelings and taste (adjectives), we should be more relative in our opinions and more open to accept that TJT is what people want it to be, a masterpiece or not.

I'm not saying people are being agressive or rude here, because they are not, but there's a lot of groundless intransigence. IT IS A MASTERPIECE!! IT IS NOT A MASTERPIECE!! I'M OBVIOUSLY RIGHT!!

Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, isn't it.

Nobody is right, nobody is wrong - just differing opinions.

As Brisco alludes to above it is what here is all about - and why we love the place.

Yes, and I'm a forum addict because I love discussion. I'm just pointing out that, even if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, arguments need to have more base in order to cultivate fruits. Otherwise, it is an angry battle of "yes, because it is" and "no, because it is not".

agreed 100%...personally believe that opinions should be backed up with as much detail as possible - it makes for better discourse.

music though can be a difficult one to articulate as for me anyway it is often just instinctive to what is pleasing to the ear.....and of course is highly subjective - if we are discussing the merits of a footballer for example we can use stats like goals scored/assists/tackles won/pass competion etc etc...objective things - when i say i don't like the sonic landscape of ISHFWILF for example it is much more difficult to do....

We try though and largely do ok!

My posts are boring and long and rambling enough as it is...!
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: xy on March 10, 2017, 07:18:42 AM
It is a top heavy album, so the article is right in that, yes. The first half is stronger (as could be said for many, many other U2 albums anyway). No mention of One tree hill though...

That said, I always viewed Trip and IGC as something of a breather after the massive first 6 songs and before the dive back into more heavy material with the last three songs. Thematically it is tight and the songs held up over time, so yes, it is a masterpiece.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: rlabs19 on March 10, 2017, 09:48:17 AM
I just listened to it all the way through. Yes, it is a masterpiece. Not much else to say.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Droo on March 10, 2017, 12:29:31 PM
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Have long maintained it is the most overrated album in u2's cannon and one of the most overrated albums of all time by anybody.

I can appreciate that a lot of people disagree with my view on it and I can see the records attraction - but as I say for me it is massively overrated.

I don't personally own a copy of it and I don't consider that fact as meaning I am missing out.

The only song on it I would call a masterpiece is Mothers - yet again u2 at their best for me when being understated....RTSS would be up there as well if the album version was in same vein as the zoo tour version - Exit is OK as well.

Of course on this upcoming tour in enormodomes it will be the obvious hits that receive the most rapturous receptions from Joe Public and songs like those mentioned above will largely receive muted receptions/see exoduses to the bars.



I agree with you, an tha! I don't recall the last time we agreed on something! haha

Besides the Big Singles and maybe Bullet I feel like the general public probably doesn't know the rest of the album despite the praise and hype heaped upon it compared to other U2 records.

I think this tour will be interesting as I anticipate a massive drop in the mood of the crowd after Bullet since I suspect most of them won't have any idea what the next seven songs are.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: lucas.homem on March 10, 2017, 12:36:01 PM
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Have long maintained it is the most overrated album in u2's cannon and one of the most overrated albums of all time by anybody.

I can appreciate that a lot of people disagree with my view on it and I can see the records attraction - but as I say for me it is massively overrated.

I don't personally own a copy of it and I don't consider that fact as meaning I am missing out.

The only song on it I would call a masterpiece is Mothers - yet again u2 at their best for me when being understated....RTSS would be up there as well if the album version was in same vein as the zoo tour version - Exit is OK as well.

Of course on this upcoming tour in enormodomes it will be the obvious hits that receive the most rapturous receptions from Joe Public and songs like those mentioned above will largely receive muted receptions/see exoduses to the bars.



I agree with you, an tha! I don't recall the last time we agreed on something! haha

Besides the Big Singles and maybe Bullet I feel like the general public probably doesn't know the rest of the album despite the praise and hype heaped upon it compared to other U2 records.

I think this tour will be interesting as I anticipate a massive drop in the mood of the crowd after Bullet since I suspect most of them won't have any idea what the next seven songs are.

That's true, but the same could be said of any U2 album, even Achtung Baby (though the hits are better distributed throughout the album in this one).
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Droo on March 10, 2017, 12:42:58 PM
I am pondering the article's comments on the back half of U2 albums being fairly weak compared to the first. What do we think about that here?

With the exception of Achtung Baby, Zooropa,  and Songs of Innocence, I think the author may be on to something.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: an tha on March 10, 2017, 12:48:43 PM
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Have long maintained it is the most overrated album in u2's cannon and one of the most overrated albums of all time by anybody.

I can appreciate that a lot of people disagree with my view on it and I can see the records attraction - but as I say for me it is massively overrated.

I don't personally own a copy of it and I don't consider that fact as meaning I am missing out.

The only song on it I would call a masterpiece is Mothers - yet again u2 at their best for me when being understated....RTSS would be up there as well if the album version was in same vein as the zoo tour version - Exit is OK as well.

Of course on this upcoming tour in enormodomes it will be the obvious hits that receive the most rapturous receptions from Joe Public and songs like those mentioned above will largely receive muted receptions/see exoduses to the bars.



I agree with you, an tha! I don't recall the last time we agreed on something! haha

Besides the Big Singles and maybe Bullet I feel like the general public probably doesn't know the rest of the album despite the praise and hype heaped upon it compared to other U2 records.

I think this tour will be interesting as I anticipate a massive drop in the mood of the crowd after Bullet since I suspect most of them won't have any idea what the next seven songs are.

Careful you'll get a bad rep agreeing with me, sir...
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: PopMart_1997 on March 10, 2017, 02:25:25 PM
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It's the album that all future U2 albums are judged against so even for that reason alone it must be special.
What would that say about The Unforgettable Fire prior to the release of The Joshua Tree?
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: eddyjedi on March 10, 2017, 02:35:42 PM
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It's the album that all future U2 albums are judged against so even for that reason alone it must be special.
What would that say about The Unforgettable Fire prior to the release of The Joshua Tree?

That it shaped them for the breakthrough that was TJT
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: PopMart_1997 on March 10, 2017, 02:37:36 PM
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It's the album that all future U2 albums are judged against so even for that reason alone it must be special.
What would that say about The Unforgettable Fire prior to the release of The Joshua Tree?
I thought War was the breakthrough album for them, thanks in part to MTV?

That it shaped them for the breakthrough that was TJT
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: eddyjedi on March 10, 2017, 02:49:43 PM
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It's the album that all future U2 albums are judged against so even for that reason alone it must be special.
What would that say about The Unforgettable Fire prior to the release of The Joshua Tree?
I thought War was the breakthrough album for them, thanks in part to MTV?

That it shaped them for the breakthrough that was TJT

I never said it wasn't. TJT was a breakthrough and game changer though.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: an tha on March 10, 2017, 03:09:24 PM
Might be a minority view but i consider TUF to be superior to TJT
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: riffraff on March 10, 2017, 03:13:18 PM
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Might be a minority view but i consider TUF to be superior to TJT
Ya know, I have to admit, I listen to TUF a LOT more than I do to TJT. TUF has a lot more depth to it, and more songs that I can work out to. But, I still have such a big soft spot in my heart for TJT. It gave me Streets...and to me, that's major.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Spacejunk69 on March 10, 2017, 03:23:43 PM
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Might be a minority view but i consider TUF to be superior to TJT

I actually prefer it to TUF, which I feel is a little disjointed. Some great ideas, but somethings just not quite right with it. However, it produced Bad and Wire, so its great  ;)

I rank Boy, War, Achtung Baby, Pop and Zooropa higher than The Joshua Tree.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: an tha on March 10, 2017, 03:25:40 PM
Could be a good thread (although been done before i would imagine) TJT v TUF....
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Blueyedboy on March 10, 2017, 06:19:24 PM
The case for the album to be classed as a masterpiece can never deliver the definitive answer that is going to align with everyone's opinion and that's what makes discussions like this so cool.

Opinion is key to how you see the album, but looking back at it thirty years after the event seems to have removed the clarity of how the songs stood up against what had gone before and those which were of the time.

It seems that its difficult for some people to differentiate between being over familiar with songs and actually thinking that they are average. (Streets, along with Pride probably suffer from this more than any other songs). It's long been the case that the unreleased U2 song is always seen as better than the released version when, in fact, it's just different and hasn't been listened to death. Even Mofo, a song that is seen as being the best on the excellent Pop, has suffered from this in recent times and the alternative has never been heard in full!!

The Joshua Tree also suffers from the same problems as the band in general do:  it is deemed cool to vocalise dislike for the sole reason of elevating their own "eclectic" and "more interesting than yours" preference.

The lack of metrics makes it difficult for anyone to be wrong or right. So we're only left with opinions. My own is that TJT is a masterpiece. My reasoning is this.  U2 at their very best can be considered as good as any other band that has existed. They are more than capable of producing a masterpiece when performing at the top of their game. The Joshua Tree is U2 performing at the top of their game.
As good as TUF was, TJT is at another level, one that very few bands have ever reached. It was the soundtrack of 1987 the world over and has been held as the inspiration for other bands and musicians to exist. The quality of the best tracks is unquestionable, lesser ones more so. As a whole, the album is cohesive, inventive, thought provoking and paints scenery in a way no album should be able to. All qualities we would wish for the next album to possess.
It is so good, that U2 themselves were only able to better it once (AB) in terms of those qualities.
Although I prefer the high points of Pop and Passengers, I can't deny that those records would have been improved if the consistency matched TJT.
So, if there is such a thing as a masterpiece, then why shouldn't one of the best band's that ever existed be allowed to have one of their very best albums put in that bracket.

Yeah we can make a case for at least one other U2 album to be considered as a masterpiece, but that shouldn't take away the brilliance of this offering. As the saying goes, lighting other candles doesn't take the shine away from your own.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Clarky on March 11, 2017, 07:33:26 AM
I think the popularity and quality of the first 3 songs causes an imbalance in terms of thinking of it as a consistently good album from start to finish. Yes it is, but Streets, STHFWLF and WOWY are so prominent that its hard to judge the album in comparison. (not for me. I still think its a masterpiece regardless)
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: lucas.homem on March 11, 2017, 07:50:02 AM
The Joshua Tree is one of the most unique rock albums I've ever known. Really, the atmospheric quality of TUF apllied to the scenary of american folk music is enough to make TJT a masterpiece.

I think the greatest accomplishment of the album is the ability to make you visualize immense pictures of landscapes.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: riffraff on March 11, 2017, 08:07:32 AM
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The Joshua Tree is one of the most unique rock albums I've ever known. Really, the atmospheric quality of TUF apllied to the scenary of american folk music is enough to make TJT a masterpiece.

I think the greatest accomplishment of the album is the ability to make you visualize immense pictures of landscapes.
Unique is an excellent word for it...there was nothing else, at the time, that could compare.
The sounds were soooo different. Lovely.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Hawkmoon2e on March 12, 2017, 01:46:16 AM
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I'm not saying people are being agressive or rude here, because they are not, but there's a lot of groundless intransigence...

Did you actually just use the word 'Intransigence ?' That's awesome.

 Intransigence is all aroun
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: briscoetheque on March 12, 2017, 05:02:47 AM
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Might be a minority view but i consider TUF to be superior to TJT
I do too. TUF is less consistent but to me the highs are higher.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: briscoetheque on March 12, 2017, 05:05:24 AM
I also think the brilliance of Streets live colours the judgment of streets on the album. The recorded version is great, it's a great song no doubt, but live its something else.

On the flip side I think With or Without You is better on record.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: riffraff on March 12, 2017, 05:20:10 AM
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I also think the brilliance of Streets live colours the judgment of streets on the album. The recorded version is great, it's a great song no doubt, but live its something else.

On the flip side I think With or Without You is better on record.
Agree strongly on both points. I'm one of those who would want Streets to be included in the live shows forever, but would rather they skip WOWY live.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: PopMart_1997 on March 12, 2017, 05:52:27 AM
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I'm not saying people are being agressive or rude here, because they are not, but there's a lot of groundless intransigence...

Did you actually just use the word 'Intransigence ?' That's awesome.

 Intransigence is all around.
Military still in town.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: WookieeWarrior10 on March 12, 2017, 10:21:15 AM
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I'm not saying people are being agressive or rude here, because they are not, but there's a lot of groundless intransigence...

Did you actually just use the word 'Intransigence ?' That's awesome.

 Intransigence is all aroun
Oh, duh, intransigence! You mean the refusal to change one's views or to agree about something.

I don't use this forum for big words...
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: lucas.homem on March 12, 2017, 12:00:02 PM
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I'm not saying people are being agressive or rude here, because they are not, but there's a lot of groundless intransigence...

Did you actually just use the word 'Intransigence ?' That's awesome.

 Intransigence is all aroun

Well, I had to, since I don't know any other word in english close to the meaning of intrasigence (I'm not a native english speaker), so yea...
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: lucas.homem on March 12, 2017, 12:38:26 PM
Streets on record is just as good as live, but it is a different animal.

When live, they put the guitar riff loud as f*** and, well, loud is more exciting. Then we have that intense energy from the rhythmic section resonating throughout the crowd with Bono's emotional delivery, so it's a massive social experience. And, of course, there are mini improvements, like Adam's new bass line in the chorus.

On studio, everything is different. The famous guitar riff is NOT the main dish of the intro, but a quiet sparkle added to the the slow melody of the synth we've been hearing since the beginning of the track. This restrainment makes the whole intro have a much deeper sense of "crescendo", instead of just loud, and the first 30 seconds are pure Eno's genius (it's so beautiful!). Then we arrive at the verses, and Edge's work on studio is pretty interesting, with that helicopter sound and lots of guitar layers. Really, the amount of things vibrating and resonating simultaneously is unbelievable (of course, sound is vibration, but I mean in a broader sense of the word).

There is more. The amazing crescendo of the song goes through not only the intro, but to the very ending of the song, because the outro is the biggest sounding part of the track. Oh, and I love the outro of the studio version much more than the bridge they do live. I will never understang why they don't do the outro live. Bono singing "bloooow by the wiiiiind!" gives me shivers down my spine everytime. It goes without saying that all this superlative apotheosis makes the smooth comeback of the guitar riff much more nostalgic and beautiful.

Yes, I love this song.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: PopMart_1997 on March 12, 2017, 07:28:32 PM
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Streets on record is just as good as live, but it is a different animal.

When live, they put the guitar riff loud as f*** and, well, loud is more exciting. Then we have that intense energy from the rhythmic section resonating throughout the crowd with Bono's emotional delivery, so it's a massive social experience. And, of course, there are mini improvements, like Adam's new bass line in the chorus.

On studio, everything is different. The famous guitar riff is NOT the main dish of the intro, but a quiet sparkle added to the the slow melody of the synth we've been hearing since the beginning of the track. This restrainment makes the whole intro have a much deeper sense of "crescendo", instead of just loud, and the first 30 seconds are pure Eno's genius (it's so beautiful!). Then we arrive at the verses, and Edge's work on studio is pretty interesting, with that helicopter sound and lots of guitar layers. Really, the amount of things vibrating and resonating simultaneously is unbelievable (of course, sound is vibration, but I mean in a broader sense of the word).

There is more. The amazing crescendo of the song goes through not only the intro, but to the very ending of the song, because the outro is the biggest sounding part of the track. Oh, and I love the outro of the studio version much more than the bridge they do live. I will never understang why they don't do the outro live. Bono singing "bloooow by the wiiiiind!" gives me shivers down my spine everytime. It goes without saying that all this superlative apotheosis makes the smooth comeback of the guitar riff much more nostalgic and beautiful.

Yes, I love this song.
I love the way the band ended it (and the main set) on PopMart!
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Hawkmoon2e on March 12, 2017, 09:16:10 PM
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I'm not saying people are being agressive or rude here, because they are not, but there's a lot of groundless intransigence...

Did you actually just use the word 'Intransigence ?' That's awesome.

 Intransigence is all aroun

Well, I had to, since I don't know any other word in english close to the meaning of intrasigence (I'm not a native english speaker), so yea...

No, lucas.homem, it's all good. That word always just reminds me of Staring At The Sun.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Kmama07 on March 14, 2017, 07:34:32 PM
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I'm reading through the comments and I see people arguing as if they are bringing concrete evidence to the table or an objective analysis. However, there's not much explanation in the arguments that we can make reason about (music theory, sonics and timbre, performance, emotional delivery, originality, innovation, musical and lyrical concepts etc), only adjectives thrown here and there.

Of course, nobody is obliged to think that TJT is or is not a masterpiece, and that music's technical language is obscure to most, but if we're coming from personal feelings and taste (adjectives), we should be more relative in our opinions and more open to accept that TJT is what people want it to be, a masterpiece or not.

I'm not saying people are being agressive or rude here, because they are not, but there's a lot of groundless intransigence. IT IS A MASTERPIECE!! IT IS NOT A MASTERPIECE!! I'M OBVIOUSLY RIGHT!!

Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, isn't it.

Nobody is right, nobody is wrong - just differing opinions.

As Brisco alludes to above it is what here is all about - and why we love the place.

Yes, and I'm a forum addict because I love discussion. I'm just pointing out that, even if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, arguments need to have more base in order to cultivate fruits. Otherwise, it is an angry battle of "yes, because it is" and "no, because it is not".

agreed 100%...personally believe that opinions should be backed up with as much detail as possible - it makes for better discourse.

music though can be a difficult one to articulate as for me anyway it is often just instinctive to what is pleasing to the ear.....and of course is highly subjective - if we are discussing the merits of a footballer for example we can use stats like goals scored/assists/tackles won/pass competion etc etc...objective things - when i say i don't like the sonic landscape of ISHFWILF for example it is much more difficult to do....

We try though and largely do ok!

My posts are boring and long and rambling enough as it is...!
Yes, but your posts include words like "enormodomes"!  Well worth the ramble to me!
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: an tha on March 15, 2017, 02:21:01 AM
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I'm reading through the comments and I see people arguing as if they are bringing concrete evidence to the table or an objective analysis. However, there's not much explanation in the arguments that we can make reason about (music theory, sonics and timbre, performance, emotional delivery, originality, innovation, musical and lyrical concepts etc), only adjectives thrown here and there.

Of course, nobody is obliged to think that TJT is or is not a masterpiece, and that music's technical language is obscure to most, but if we're coming from personal feelings and taste (adjectives), we should be more relative in our opinions and more open to accept that TJT is what people want it to be, a masterpiece or not.

I'm not saying people are being agressive or rude here, because they are not, but there's a lot of groundless intransigence. IT IS A MASTERPIECE!! IT IS NOT A MASTERPIECE!! I'M OBVIOUSLY RIGHT!!

Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, isn't it.

Nobody is right, nobody is wrong - just differing opinions.

As Brisco alludes to above it is what here is all about - and why we love the place.

Yes, and I'm a forum addict because I love discussion. I'm just pointing out that, even if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, arguments need to have more base in order to cultivate fruits. Otherwise, it is an angry battle of "yes, because it is" and "no, because it is not".

agreed 100%...personally believe that opinions should be backed up with as much detail as possible - it makes for better discourse.

music though can be a difficult one to articulate as for me anyway it is often just instinctive to what is pleasing to the ear.....and of course is highly subjective - if we are discussing the merits of a footballer for example we can use stats like goals scored/assists/tackles won/pass competion etc etc...objective things - when i say i don't like the sonic landscape of ISHFWILF for example it is much more difficult to do....

We try though and largely do ok!

My posts are boring and long and rambling enough as it is...!
Yes, but your posts include words like "enormodomes"!  Well worth the ramble to me!

One of many Spinal Tap moments!
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Clarky on March 16, 2017, 01:18:17 AM
Alright, I've got to make a confession and I wonder if I'm alone in this or not...

While I do generally consider my affection and underlying appreciation for TJT to be of a richer and more fulfilling quality, I do in some way find myself just a little more excited to listen to AB if given the choice.

I don't know what to say. I believe that if I had to choose one album to live with for the rest of my life if would be TJT, but the allure of that slightly twisted, sonically vibrant, subversive, turned in on itself, experimental and distorted album makes the choice between the two very difficult at times. Sometimes I feel like the decision to say JT is out of some kind of self-imposed obligation (not really, but there's just a hint of that sometimes).

I know, I know....why not have both. But it's fun to play the game.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: riffraff on March 16, 2017, 05:00:45 AM
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Alright, I've got to make a concession and I wonder if I'm alone in this or not...

While I do generally consider my affection and underlying appreciation for TJT to be of a richer and more fulfilling quality, I do in some way find myself just a little more excited to listen to AB if given the choice.

I don't know what to say. I believe that if I had to choose one album to live with for the rest of my life if would be TJT, but the allure of that slightly twisted, sonically vibrant, subversive, turned in on itself, experimental and distorted album makes the choice between the two very difficult at times. Sometimes I feel like the decision to say JT is out of some kind of self-imposed obligation (not really, but there's just a hint of that sometimes).

I know, I know....why not have both. But it's fun to play the game.
Wow...to have to make a choice...I play AB more, because I work out to it a lot. But, I love TJT so much...I don't think I could choose between the two if I could only keep one of them!
I think, I THINK I'd keep OH NO I CAN'T DO THIS! I REFUSE TO CHOOSE!  :-[
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Kmama07 on March 16, 2017, 05:20:36 AM
Achtung Baby
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Clarky on March 16, 2017, 07:45:45 AM
A small part of me wonders if Joshua Tree was recorded using more modern equipment so the sounds were crisper and louder whether that would make a difference. Part of the issue with JT is that it sounds a little muffled and at the mercy of older recording devices. Streets for example could have an even more epic intro if it weren't quite so faint and obscured (that's part of its charm, sure....but using it's live setting proves that it still works, it not more so, when it's completely audible and more distinct)
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: WookieeWarrior10 on March 16, 2017, 08:41:54 AM
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A small part of me wonders if Joshua Tree was recorded using more modern equipment so the sounds were crisper and louder whether that would make a difference. Part of the issue with JT is that it sounds a little muffled and at the mercy of older recording devices. Streets for example could have an even more epic intro if it weren't quite so faint and obscured (that's part of its charm, sure....but using it's live setting proves that it still works, it not more so, when it's completely audible and more distinct)
That's these new remixes come into play. Excited to hear some of these.
Title: Re: Is the Joshua Tree really a Masterpiece?
Post by: Blueyedboy on March 17, 2017, 01:49:20 AM
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A small part of me wonders if Joshua Tree was recorded using more modern equipment so the sounds were crisper and louder whether that would make a difference. Part of the issue with JT is that it sounds a little muffled and at the mercy of older recording devices. Streets for example could have an even more epic intro if it weren't quite so faint and obscured (that's part of its charm, sure....but using it's live setting proves that it still works, it not more so, when it's completely audible and more distinct)
That's these new remixes come into play. Excited to hear some of these.

I wouldn't hold your breath, they had the technology to sort it out on the 20 yr remixes but choice not too. Exit was still as frustratingly up and down as it has always been