On March 9th 1987, U2's fifth studio album was released. Eleven songs. Fifty minutes. (Eleven seconds). The Joshua Tree.
Is there an album which opens with three more powerful tracks? 'Where The Streets Have No Name', I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' and 'With Or Without You', soundtracked an era, ensuring The Joshua Tree would become one of the biggest albums of all time.
But the numbers don't tell the real story.
The real story is what the record meant to people who queued up late to buy it, shops opening specially at midnight. Or to people delicately setting down that new vinyl disc on a turntable for the first time. Or hearing it on the radio... wondering who that band was.
The real story is how some songs or albums conjure up a certain period in your life - taking you back to who you were and where you were, when you used to play it all the time.
The real story is what an album like The Joshua Tree can mean to someone at a key moment in their life - growing up, leaving home, finding someone... losing someone.
Got a story about The Joshua Tree from your life? Maybe it's the album - maybe it's just one song.
Perhaps it takes you all the way back to when you first heard it, like John Noble, who wrote on Zootopia, that 'I cannot imagine my life without it.'
'Back in my bedroom, on my own, on the floor, on headphones, on a record player. The opening atmospheric anthem organ drone setting the scene… transporting me to the desert landscape perfectly portrayed on the album sleeve. Its like it was all designed this way, just for me, just for this moment…
'Beaten and blown by the wind… and when I go there, I go there with you. It's all I can do'.'
Or perhaps it's a story about how this album was part of an unforgettable moment in your life.
Tell us your stories about what The Joshua Tree means to you - add them in the comments below. (There might even be a prize or two.)
(By the way, the photo is from U2tapecollector, responding to John's article in Zootopia by explaining how his local record store in Austria had a problem getting copies of The Joshua Tree in 1987… which seems to have inspired a certain subsequent passion.)