Monday, December 21, 2020

"In God's Country" by U2

Song#:  3354
Date:  12/05/1987
Debut:  84
Peak:  44
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  By this point in time, U2's The Joshua Tree had already spent 9 weeks at #1 and had sold over 4 million copies. Two of its singles hit #1 while a third, "Where the Streets Have No Name," just missed the Top 10 peaking at #13. For most markets, the three singles would be it. However, for the US and Canada, the band's label decided to take a chance on a fourth single and released this track. The song would do well at Rock reaching #6, but it couldn't fully catch on at Pop and missed making the Top 40. The results didn't really matter as the album had already sold millions and in March of '88 it would win the Grammy for Album of the Year, which boosted sales. By the fall of '88 it would go 5x platinum. The LP would continue to sell over the years and in 1995 it would reach the diamond mark (10+million). Worldwide sales stand at 25 million making one of the best-selling albums of all-time.

ReduxReview:  This jangly upbeat track was probably the best choice for a fourth single, but it didn't have the same mainstream/pop appeal as the band's previous singles. With the band's popularity sky high at the time, it wasn't a bad choice to push this out as a single. Odds were 50/50 that it would do anything. The fact it nearly made the Top 40 wasn't too bad. Apparently, a video for the song was made but it wasn't serviced to MTV. An assist there might have helped get the single a bit further up the chart, but it still wasn't destined to be a hit. The song still works best as an album track.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  In addition to the four singles released from the album, two other tracks from The Joshua Tree album and sessions would reach the Rock chart. The caustic LP track "Bullet the Blue Sky" received enough airplay to reach #14 at Rock. Another song from the recording sessions, "Spanish Eyes," also made the Rock chart at #11. "Spanish Eyes" was initially developed during The Joshua Tree sessions and a cassette tape of the idea/song was created. Somehow the tape got set aside and lost, so the song was not revisited. As the recording of the album was coming to a close, the cassette was found. The band thought the tune had potential, but by that point it was too late to get it done in time to be a possible candidate for the LP and had to set it aside. Later, they picked back up on the song and got it recorded with a couple of other leftover tracks. These would be used for b-sides to upcoming singles. "Spanish Eyes" was used for the b-side to "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." Not long after that song peaked at #1, "Spanish Eyes" began to pickup some airplay on rock radio stations. By the first week in August of '87, it would nearly make the Rock Top 10 stopping at #11.


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