Song of the Day #5,123: ‘Where the Streets Have No Name (Live)’ – U2

If there’s a song that gives ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ a run for its money as one of the greatest openings of all time, it’s U2’s ‘Where the Streets Have No Name.’ This song kicks off 1987’s The Joshua Tree in epic fashion, stately organs giving way to one of The Edge’s iconic guitar licks.

This song would be a brilliant choice for the beginning of a Stranger Things episode, or as the backdrop to a particularly gripping sequence. Or, as I suggested for ‘Welcome to the Jungle,’ it could score an early trailer for the next season, setting the table with a nostalgic jolt. The current season used a haunting remix of Journey’s ‘Separate Ways’ in similar fashion.

While I think ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’ is the best fit here, the whole Joshua Tree album offers excellent cinematic fodder. ‘With Or Without You,’ ‘Bullet the Blue Sky,’ Red Hill Mining Town,’ you name it… they all could work.

[Note: Happy Birthday to my father!]

I want to run
I want to hide
I want to tear down the walls
That hold me inside
I want to reach out
And touch the flame
Where the streets have no name
I want to feel, sunlight on my face
See that dust cloud disappear without a trace
I want to take shelter from the poison rain
Where the streets have no name

Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
Were still building
Then burning down love, burning down love
And when I go there
I go there with you…
(Its all I can do)

The cities a flood
And our love turns to rust
Were beaten and blown by the wind
Trampled into dust
Ill show you a place
High on the desert plain
Where the streets have no name

Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
Still building
Then burning down love
Burning down love
And when I go there
I go there with you
(Its all I can do)

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,123: ‘Where the Streets Have No Name (Live)’ – U2

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I think in this exercise you might be skewing a bit too much into songs and artists that particularly defined YOUR 80s experience, rather than those that had broader appeal and better represent/embody the decade.

    • Clay says:

      U2 was the biggest rock band of the era, and this album sold more than 20 million copies in the U.S. alone. I think they had pretty broad appeal!

      • Dana Gallup says:

        True, but you’ve identified 2 possible U2 songs already, and, while the band and album were popular, there were other songs that I think more clearly reflect the 80s.

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