Today it can be easy to forget just how popular and respected U2 was in the late 1980s and throughout the 90s. Even though, from the start, Bono drew a lot of derision for his messianic posturing, there’s no denying that early U2 rocked. Even a song like Red Hill Mining Town, which was probably the weakest song on Joshua Tree, holds up over thirty years later.
The song was inspired by an actual UK miner’s strike and lyrically, it’s a good example of how U2’s good intentions were sometimes obscured by a heavy-handed approach. (Bono later said that, when he heard the song, he realized that he sounded like a rich man singing about someone else’s unemployment.) The video, though, captures the feeling of despair that the song was going for. This video is memorable for being directed by Neil Jordan, who has since gone on to become one of Ireland’s most important filmmakers.