On this day in music history: March 9, 1987 - “The Joshua Tree”, the fifth studio album by U2 is released. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, it is recorded at STS, Danesmoate House, Melbeach and Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin, Ireland from January 1986 - January 1987. After the release of U2’s previous album “The Unforgettable Fire” and the extensive world they undertake in support of it, the band take their first extended break from the road, sitting out much of 1985 to rest and begin writing material for their next album. Many of the albums songs are influenced by the bands travels while touring the US in 1984-85, as well as their participation in the Amnesty International “Conspiracy Of Hope” tour in mid 1986. The albums cover photos are taken by photographer Anton Corbjin at the Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave Desert in California. Corbijn tells the band about the trees, which are named (according Mormon legend) after the prophet Joshua (in the Old Testament in the Bible), as the trees reminded them of the prophet with his hands raised in prayer. Out in the park, they find one tree by itself (unusual since they normally grow in groups), and take several pictures standing next to the lone tree. Intrigued by the underlying religious significance, Bono decides to name the album after the tree. The album is an immediately huge critical and commercial success, cementing the bands fame on a worldwide basis. It breaks sales records in the UK, selling over 300,000 copies in just two days. In the US, it enters the Top 200 at #7 on April 4, 1987, making it the highest chart album debut since the Eagles’ “The Long Run” in 1979. It spins off four singles including the chart toppers “With Or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. U2 tours extensively in support of “Joshua”, with it being documented in the film and album “Rattle And Hum” issued in late 1988. In February of 1988, it wins two Grammy Awards including Album Of The Year in 1988. The album is remastered and reissued on vinyl and CD in 2007 to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of its release. For its thirtieth anniversary, it is announced that a new reissue is scheduled for June of 2017, including a Super Deluxe box set featuring extensive bonus tracks including a full live concert recording.  "The Joshua Tree" spends nine weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 10x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, receiving a Diamond Certification.

La mia fame non é da intendersi nel senso più ampio: se fosse stata solo fame di alimenti forse non sarebbe stata così grave.
Ma esiste una fame che è solo di cibo?
Esiste una fame del ventre che non sia inizio di una fame più generalizzata?
Per fame, intendo quel buco spaventoso di tutto l’essere, quel vuoto che attanaglia, quell’aspirazione non tanto all’utopica pienezza quanto alla semplice realtà: là dove non c’è niente, imploro che vi sia qualcosa.

- Amélie Nothomb, “Biografia della fame”

immagine Anton Corbjin