This was U2’s first album after their electrifying breakout performance during the 1985 Live Aid concert. It very much reflects U2’s fascination with America culturally, politically, and ideologically.
The cover photo was taken in Zabriskie’s point in Death Valley Nevada. In fact, the album was initially going to be called The two Americas but was changed to its current name after the group came across a single Joshua Tree in the middle of the dessert in Death Valley. The group believed it to be a better title after they learned about the origins of the tree’s name coming from Mormon Settlers as the tree’s branches resemble prophet Joshua’s arms stretched out in prayer.