U2’s “Where The Streets Have No Name” – Inside Story

U2 JoshuaBono has always openly professed his Christian faith and views in his music.   Quoting Psalms in “4o”, the hopeful chant in “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, and even his Jesus Christ poses on stage.    To kick off their legendary Joshua Tree album, track 1 is another  inspirational classic with heavenly imagery called “Where The Streets Have No Name”.     Lead guitarist, The Edge, wanted the song to become the ultimate live song for any U2 fan.   The band was so obsessed over making this song legendary that they reportedly spent half of their total Joshua Tree studio time recording just this one song.   In fact, the final album version used pieces of eight different recordings before co-producer Daniel Lanois approved it. He called it their “science project song” as everyone obsessed over every intricate detail of the recording.


U2 Where The StreetsU2’s lyrics have often been interpreted in multiple ways.   Many believe “Where The Streets Have No Name” as a metaphor for heaven, where everyone is free and equal.  “I believe in Kingdom Come where all the roads run into one”  The song was written when Bono was in Ethopia.   He noticed that the Ethopian people didn’t have the same social and economic divisions when compared to his native Ireland.   In Ireland, Bono wrote that you can tell what religion (Protestant or Catholic) someone is, what their income class is, and a lot about their personality simply by knowing what street they live on and even what side of the road they’re on.    Bono imagined what would happen if we didn’t have these barriers.    Bono believed that heaven would be the great equalizer for all of us and the epic Edge solo, along with Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton’s multiple chord changes make this song one of the cherished singles in U2’s amazing catalog. 2 Cellos do an incredible cover and Bruce Springsteen joins the Irish rockers for an intense version where Bono sneaks in Bruce’s “Promised Land” into the closing minute.