U2’s The Joshua Tree is named the best album of the 1980s

The Joshua Tree

U2’s classic album The Joshua Tree has been named as the best album of the 1980s by UK music fans.

The 1987 album features several of the band’s most enduring hits including With or Without you, Where the Streets Have No Name, and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.

Now the listeners of BBC Radio 2’s Sounds of the 80s show have voted for their favourite albums of the decade.

The Joshua Tree finished above other classic albums including Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen, Hounds of Love by Kate Bush, Prince’s Purple Rain and Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits.

U2 guitarist The Edge said: “The Joshua Tree changed everything for us as a band. It was written in the mid-80s, during the Reagan-Thatcher era of British and US politics, a period when there was a lot of unrest. And it feels like we’re right back there in a way, politics are still so polarised.”

“We’ve had the privilege of playing The Joshua Tree live all over the world in the last few years and it’s almost like the album has come full circle. We’re just thrilled that people are still connecting with these songs, night after night, year after year. Huge thanks to Radio 2 and everyone who voted!

The Joshua Tree has sold over 25 million copies worldwide and following its release, it became the fasting selling album in UK history.

It was critically acclaimed by the music writers of the day.

Paul Du Noyer of Q Magazine said: “(the album’s) potency lies in a kind of spiritual frustration – a sense of hunger and tension which roams its every track in search of some climactic moment of release, of fulfilment, that never arrives.”

The NME called it: “a better and braver record than anything else that’s likely to appear in 1987.”

Top 20 albums of the 1980s

1 – U2, The Joshua Tree

2 – Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms

3 – The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses

4 – Michael Jackson, Thriller

5 – Guns ‘n’ Roses, Appetite for Destruction

6 – The Human League, Dare

7 – The Smiths, The Queen Is Dead

8 – Paul Simon, Graceland

9 – ABC, The Lexicon of Love

10 – Prince, Purple Rain

11 – Kate Bush, Hounds of Love

12 – Duran Duran, Rio

13 – Tears for Fears, Songs From the Big Chair

14 – Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA

15 – AC/DC, Back In Black

16 – Deacon Blue, Raintown

17 – Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Welcome to the Pleasuredome

18 – INXS, Kick

19 – George Michael, Faith

20 – Pet Shop Boys, Actually

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By Michael Kehoe

Michael Kehoe is a writer for Irish Music Daily and Ireland Calling. His favourite Irish Music bands are Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys.