Banned Biographies

Banned Biographies is an audio documentary series charting the careers of some of the most notorious bands ever to grace the world’s stages.

Permanent Record Podcast and Banned Biographies Discuss and Dissect The Joshua Tree by U2

September 24th, 2021

Due to what's been going on behind the scenes here at Banned Biographies (listen to Monday's James Cruttwell Interview Review episode), this episode is all four of the appearance I made on the Permanent Record Podcast to discuss and dissect U2's iconic 1987 album, The Joshua Tree.

The hosts of the Permanent Record Podcast, Brian and Sarah, usually concentrate on synth pop albums, but have been known to dip their toes into the world of guitar bands. This was an education for all three of us because, despite the fact we've all listened to this album before but none of us was a particular fan of it or the band. As we go on we realise why The Joshua Tree is considered the classic it is and have garnered a newfound respect for U2.

In part one we start off by talking about the recording of "The Joshua Tree", which took place over the course of a year, but was interrupted by some rather life-changing events, which in turn shaped the lyrical/thematic content and sound of the album. They then spend time talking about the worldwide chart and sales success of the record, both immediate and lasting, and its ranking on various lists of albums over the years. Brian and Sarah can't help but bring up the cover art as well, as it allows them the opportunity to mention Anton Corbijn, who of course also works with their favourite band, Depeche Mode.

After a very long lead-up, Tom, Brian and Sarah finally get around to the song discussion. But the first song of the album is so massive, and has such a memorable video, that the trio decide to end the episode after wrapping up their look at "Where The Streets Have No Name."

If you want to hear conversation on such diverse topics as Lou Reed, chalkboards, Mission: Impossible, the vocabulary of Smash Hits writers, and Where's Waldo/Where's Wally-- oh, and a band from Ireland called U2-- this is the episode for you!

Part two finds them talking about three more songs and two more videos. They also end up talking about Las Vegas, oversized slot machines, the TV show Friends, Thomas Dolby, and some differences in American English versus British English.

Songs discussed in this episode:
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
With Or Without You
Bullet the Blue Sky

Part three covers five songs:
Running to Stand Still
Red Hill Mining Town
In God's Country
Trip Through Your Wires
One Tree Hill

A lot of facts, opinions, and laughs are shared in this episode as Tom, Brian, and Sarah finish talking about Side One and head over to the tracks on Side Two. Some topics that came up during this discussion were: the differences between the punk movement in the US compared to the UK; Lou Reed; Bob Dylan; "People Are People"; and hootenannies!

Finally, in part four the trio shoot the breeze about the darkest moments on the album: "Exit" and "Mothers of the Disappeared."  But in case you think this episode is all doom and gloom, they also talk about ice cream trucks, all the U2 back-catalogue Brian has been acquiring, the return of the live music scene around South London, and, of course, they finally get around to ranking the record as a whole on a scale of 1 to 100 record adapters.

There's also a surprise EXTRA extra-credit segment at the conclusion of the episode, just in case you needed just a tad more U2 chat!!

I'd like to thank Brian and Sarah once more for being such gracious hosts, putting up with various trans-Atlantic audio issues, having me on for such a long time and for allowing me to post these episode on my feed. Please do go follow Permanent Record Podcast on the following social media platforms:

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You can even leave a voicemail for Brian & Sarah at (724) 490-8324 or

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Thanks for listening, stay safe and take care.


Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

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