The single appeared on The Joshua Tree album and Best of 1980-1990/B-sides compilation. Originally the song Red Hill Mining Town was to be the third single off the album but U2 decided to release Streets instead. The single version has a shorter intro and ending than on the album. The rarest format is the 12" version which includes a lyric sheet to the b-side Silver and Gold.
The single peaked at No. 4 on the UK singles chart and came second in the 1987 Rolling Stone Magazine Readers Picks for Best Single. Prior to the start of The Joshua Tree tour, U2 filmed a video for the single on top of the Republic Liquor store located at 7th and Main in Los Angeles, California. A live version of Streets performed on July 18, 1997 at the Rotterdam PopMart concert appeared on the EP PopHeart Live.
Fredrich Wallin has covered the song live on a Swedish television show Sikta Mot Stjarnorna in 1997. Signal Hill also covered the song on their 1999 album Genuine. Fallout performed the song live in concert in a style similar to the way U2 played it on the PopMart tour. The track was covered live by the Pet Shop Boys, who released a hit single cover version which included lyrics from Franki Valli's I Can't Take My Eyes Off You during the chorus. According to liner notes for their album Discography, the Pet Shop Boys wanted to turn 'a mythic rock song into a stomping disco record.'
The following artists are among those who recorded the song: Silverbeam with Ann Louise on We Will Follow: A Tribute To U2; Studio 99 on The Best Of U2-A Tribute; The Section on Strung Out On U2; Tom Nordahl on Zoovenir-A Tribute To U2; and The Joshua Trio on their Fly single. Streets is also featured in the movie Fearless and is sampled by Harmonix on Landslide.
Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno
'Where the Streets Have No Name is more like the U2 of old than any of the other songs on the LP, because it's a sketch - I was just trying to sketch a location, maybe a spiritual location, maybe a romantic location. I was trying to sketch a feeling. I often feel very claustrophic in a city, a feeling of wanting to break out of that city and a feeling of wanting to go somewhere where the values of the city and the values of our society don't hold you down.
'An interesting story that someone told me once is that in Belfast, by what street someone lives on you can tell not only their religion but tell how much money they're making - literally by which side of the road they live on, because the further up the hill the more expensive the houses become. You can almost tell what the people are earning by the name of the street they live on and what side ot that street they live on. That said something to me, and so I started writing about a place where the streets have no name....'