On This Day – March 9, 1987: U2 releases their fifth studio album, ‘The Joshua Tree’

On This Day, March 9, 1987…

U2 released their fifth studio album, The Joshua Tree, which went on to be one of the world’s best-selling albums. It was the Irish rockers’ first number-one album in the U.S. and spent nine weeks in the top spot on the Billboard 200, the longest reign at number one for the band.

The record included future U2 classics “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” which remain U2’s only number-one singles in the U.S., as well as “Where the Streets Have No Name.”

The Joshua Tree sold over 25 million copies and won two Grammys, including Album of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group. In 2014, it was selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion in the U.S. National Recording Registry, a distinction that body reserves for sound recordings that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

In 2017, U2 celebrated The Joshua Tree’s 30th anniversary with a tour of North America, Europe and Latin America, playing the album in order, in its entirety. The tour grossed more than $316 million, making it the highest-grossing tour of the year worldwide. They then added more dates through 2019, bringing in another $390.8 million.

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