U2’s ‘The Joshua Tree’ has been named the greatest 80s album for National Album Day.
The legendary Irish rock group – comprised of Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. – beat the likes of Dire Straits’ ‘Brothers In Arms’, The Stone Roses’ self-titled debut and Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ to the title with their seminal 1987 LP.
Listeners of BBC Radio 2’s Sounds of the 80s show chose the record – which topped the charts in over 20 countries, and became the fastest-selling album in British history – to take the crown.
Guitarist The Edge admitted it feels like the record – which presents two sides of the American dream – has come “full circle” with the current state of politics and unrest in the world just as there was when the band wrote the songs.
He said: “‘The Joshua Tree’ changed everything for us as a band. It was written in the mid-Eighties, 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’ won Album of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 1988 Grammys, and sold more than 25 million copies.
Jeff Smith, Radio 2’s Head of Music, said: “The 80s saw the introduction of the CD and a renaissance for the album format but now in pristine digital audio. Our listeners have picked some of the best examples of that and the result of their choices will make a great listen as Radio 2 celebrates National Album Day with this show on Friday night and great 80s album music across programmes on Saturday.”
Tune into the show, presented by Gary Davies, to hear the full top 40 countdown tonight (09.10.20) between 8 and 10pm, on Radio 2 and BBC Sounds ahead of National Album Day this Saturday (09.10.20).
The Top 20 greatest 80s album as voted for by listeners to Sounds of the 80s:
U2 – ‘The Joshua Tree’
Dire Straits – ‘Brothers In Arms’
The Stone Roses – ‘The Stone Roses’
Michael Jackson – ‘Thriller’
Guns N’ Roses – ‘Appetite For Destruction’
The Human League – ‘Dare’
The Smiths – ‘The Queen Is Dead’
Paul Simon – ‘Graceland’
ABC – ‘The Lexicon Of Love’
Prince – ‘Purple Rain’
Kate Bush – ‘Hounds Of Love’
Duran Duran – ‘Rio’
Tears for Fears – ‘Songs From The Big Chair’
Bruce Springsteen – ‘Born In The USA’
AC/DC – ‘Back In Black’
Deacon Blue – ‘Raintown’
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’
INXS – ‘Kick’
George Michael – ‘Faith’
Pet Shop Boys – ‘Actually’