AlbumsPosted: November 10, 2017
This album was recorded in Ireland:
Although the band liked the demo, it was difficult for them to record the song. Bassist Adam Clayton said, “At the time it sounded like a foreign language, whereas now we understand how it works”. The arrangement, with two time signature shifts and frequent chord changes, was rehearsed many times, but the group struggled to get a performance they liked. According to co-producer Daniel Lanois, “that was the science project song. I remember having this massive schoolhouse blackboard, as we call them. I was holding a pointer, like a college professor, walking the band through the chord changes like a fucking nerd. It was ridiculous.” Co-producer Brian Eno estimates that half of the album sessions were spent trying to record a suitable version of “Where the Streets Have No Name”. The band worked on a single take for weeks, but as Eno explained, that particular version had a lot of problems with it and the group continued trying to fix it up. Through all of their work, they had gradually replaced each instrument take until nothing remained from the original performance.
So much time had been spent on “screwdriver work” that Eno thought it would be best to start from scratch. His idea was to “stage an accident” and have the song’s tapes erased. He said that this was not to force abandonment of the song, but rather that it would be more effective to start again with a fresh performance. At one point, Eno had the tapes cued up and ready to be recorded over, but this erasure never took place; according to engineer Flood, fellow engineer Pat McCarthy returned to the control room and upon seeing Eno ready to erase the tapes, dropped the tray of tea he was carrying and physically restrained Eno.
This album was recored in Joshua Tree, CA: