Monday, January 15, 2007

Movie Review: Classic Albums: U2 The Joshua Tree 3 Stars

This isn’t Rattle and Hum, but it’s a pretty damn good low-rent documentary on the making of one of the most influential rock albums of all time.

Featuring rare archival footage, music video clips, concert performances and interviews with lead singer Bono Vox, guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen, Jr, this nifty little doc mostly eschews talking head pontificating in favor of a rare glimpse into the studio with producers Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno and engineer Flood.

While discussing the spirit behind the overall albums, the influences and inspirations behind individual songs and the alchemy that produced this magical LP, bandmates and producers fiddle around with the knobs, levers and buttons on the 24-track studio. Not only do we get a chance to hear the isolated elements of the songs and the process of how each cut was mixed, but we are also privy to the tracks that weren’t included in the final mix, the weird noises, keyboard washes and drum beats that didn’t make it on record and demo recordings from The Edge’s home four-track.

Finally, the hilarious video for “The Sweetest Thing,”an outtake that was released as a single years later, is included in its entirety, a nice coda for a loving tribute to a phenomenal album.

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