So I ordered the 20th anniversary special box-set reissue of the Joshua Tree. I had to, for many reasons. 1987 was a very important year for me and my tastes in music. Several of the bands I was into at the time, U2 and REM primarily, released stunning new albums. And Guns ‘n Roses came out with Appetite for Destruction, completely rewriting the rules for hard rock. But The Joshua Tree stood out from all of the new releases of 1987 as an accomplishment both musically and emotionally.

Sadly, life has been quite busy and I haven’t had time to listen to the CD or watch the concert and other footage on the DVD. I’m very interested in the changes remastering brings to the table. I was never thrilled with the overall production of some of the songs. Streets sounded murky on the original version, the drum mix on In God’s Country was very weak (in contrast to the powerful pattern Larry plays live), same for One Tree Hill. I’m hoping that the gentle scrape guitar in Running to Stand Still becomes more musical in nature, rather than percussive. I hope the “fly over” in Bullet the Blue Sky between the two recorded takes of the song is less apparent. It’s not like I know anything about sound engineering or production, but I do have discerning ears that are quite sensitive.

Once I get a chance to listen to the CD (with two kids in the house, I just have to figure out when and how I can sit down and listen to the whole thing) I’ll post my thoughts here.