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Hot Press - - 30Joshuatree - BY JOE O’CON­NOR

I am a big U2 fan and The Joshua Tree is, nar­rowly, my favourite of their al­bums. There is a magic, a quiet power, to all of the songs, and a mus­cu­lar­ity and yet a nu­ance to all of the mu­si­cian­ship – Larry’s drums are just ab­so­lutely im­mense, The Edge’s shafts of colour and light are some of the most beau­ti­ful gui­tar work that’s ever been put on a record, and Adam’s thunk­ing bass re­ver­ber­ates like some­thing wicked and, I dunno, down­right dirty.

There’s also a par­tic­u­lar strength to Bono’s evocative lyrics that makes the record un­for­get­table.

Ev­ery­one knows the ma­jor songs that this record in­cludes, but it also con­tains my own per­sonal favourite U2 track, ‘Exit’. Ev­ery time I hear this song, I re­mem­ber where I was in my life the first time I was nailed to the floor by it. I love these words. They touch some­thing in me, some sort of recog­ni­tion. To me, this is writ­ing that mat­ters be­cause it is real and truth­ful. There is pas­sion and raw emo­tion on this gor­geous record but there is also some­thing that breaks through into higher ground. All we have, in the end, is the heal­ing hands of love. ‘Exit’ glimpses that mag­nif­i­cently. An ab­so­lute, ut­ter knock­out of a song. “He went deeper into black Deeper into white

Could see the stars shin­ing Like nails in the night He felt the heal­ing

Heal­ing, heal­ing

Heal­ing hands of love

Like the stars shiny shiny From above

Hand in the pocket

Finger on the steel

The pis­tol weighed heavy His heart he could feel Was beat­ing, beat­ing Beat­ing, beat­ing oh my love

Oh my love, oh my love Oh my love

My love

Saw the hands that build Can also pull down

The hands of love”

Joe O'Con­nor is a writer. Best known for the won­der­ful Star Of the Sea, he has writ­ten ten nov­els. His lat­est work The Thrill Of It All (2014) is based in the mu­sic scene in Dublin.

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