'These songs have a new meaning and resonance today,' he says
U2 guitarist The Edge has claimed that recent world events – the Brexit vote and the election of Donald J. Trump – gave U2 a reason to play ‘The Joshua Tree’ in full for their anniversary tour.
Released in 1987, the group’s iconic album took aim at the Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher era of politics. In a new interview with Rolling Stone’s Music Now podcast, The Edge claims events have come “full circle,” saying: “The Trump election, it’s like a pendulum has suddenly taken a huge swing in the other direction.”
He went on to say that ‘The Joshua Tree’ resonated with events in the UK, citing “industrial action breaking out for the first time in generations.” Speaking to Andy Greene, he explained: “It’s not exactly a repeat of the winter of discontent, but it’s wild that those issues are coming back. It does feel like politics is polarising so many parts of the developed world, to an extent that I find worrying. I’m sure most people do. Those dates were difficult, dark times. Personally, we really would hate to go back there.”
The Edge also revealed that work on U2’s new album, ‘Songs of Experience’, was put on hold after the election of Trump. “We just went, ‘Hold on a second!’ Give us a moment to think about this record, to how it relates to what’s going on in the world. Most of it was written in the early part of 2006. Now the world’s a different place,” he said. “We want to take this opportunity to think about it, whether it’s something we really want to put out. Maybe little will change, but we want to take that chance to reconsider everything.”
The group’s most recent album, 2014’s ‘Songs of Innocence’, was given a divisive release when it was installed on iPhone users’ devices without permission, something Apple CEO then called “the largest album release of all time”. Asked how ‘Songs of Experience’ would be released, The Edge joked: “My plan is that Bono and I would sneak into everyone’s house and put a CD under their pillow,” adding: “It’s quite interesting the way music distribution and promotion and the marketing has been thrown into turmoil in the last number of years. What seems like the most cutting edge and innovative idea, within six months is old hat.”
Supported by Noel Gallagher, U2’s full upcoming UK and Ireland ‘Joshua Tree’ anniversary tour dates are below.
Sat July 08 2017 – LONDON Twickenham Stadium
Sun July 09 2017 – LONDON Twickenham Stadium
Sat July 22 2017 – DUBLIN Croke Park