Man, that second side is almost perfect. It doesn't contain any of the anthems that side 1 does, and that makes the success of The Joshua Tree all that more remarkable. New fans of the band may have expected a full album of rousing songs that shook the rafters of baseball stadiums. Instead, beginning with the last track on side 1, the heroin tragedy, "Running to Stand Still," the rest of the songs have a shade of darkness to them, especially the closing tracks, "Exit" (which was one of my late friend Matt's favorites) and the heartbreaking "Mothers of the Disappeared."
I'm listening to The Joshua Tree, as I write this and wait for the nebulizer cups to boil. I wonder what kind of dreams I'll have tonight. Will the ghosts of my dead friends dance with the memories of the friends I've lost touch with? The Joshua Tree was such a high school album, but most of the album has transcended that era. Perhaps someday my kids will discover it and fall in love with the music. One can only hope that such bright, smart and empathetic children will discover this haunting, spiritual record and claim it as their own.