Noel Gallagher's favourite U2 album
Despite their mammoth success, loving U2 is still slightly frowned upon in some quarters of the musical world, but Noel Gallagher is an unashamed superfan of the group. Since a young age, Gallagher has seen them as the benchmark for stadium rock and aimed to emulate their path with Oasis.
Without the influence of U2 and witnessing how any creative dream could be achievable, perhaps Gallagher wouldn’t have gone on to achieve such greatness during his career. In recent years, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds have toured extensively with the legendary Irish act, including when they celebrated the 30th anniversary of their iconic album The Joshua Tree.
For Gallagher, the LP represents the pinnacle of U2, and the opportunity to hear one of his favourite albums of all time nightly likely swayed his decision to support the group. Although Gallagher doesn’t need to open for anybody else, when U2 made the call, he couldn’t resist accepting the opportunity to join The Joshua Tree tour.
Speaking ahead of their show at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Gallagher said of the tour: “I’ve been touring in one form or another for over 25 years and this is the most fun I’ve ever had. We’re playing in all the great cities in Europe. My family are on the road with me [and] my friends. It’s been amazing. [U2] have been absolutely brilliant every night. They’re one of my favourite bands ever.”
Gallagher had previously named The Joshua Tree as one of his favourite albums of all time on iTunes in 2015. Explaining the reasoning behind his choice, he said: “There’s not a lot you can say about it really. ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’, ‘Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’, ‘With Or Without You, ‘Running To Stand Still’. If you haven’t got a copy you’re a knob… The end.”
The feeling between Gallagher and the U2 camp is mutual, with Bono naming ‘Live Forever’ by Oasis as one of his favourite songs of all time in 2020. In an open letter on his group’s website, the Irish singer claimed the uplifting track now “belongs to me” and “anyone who was ever in a band”, even though Noel wrote it.
Noel has been fortunate enough to share a stage with his heroes, including for a performance of ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ at London’s Twickenham Stadium in 2017. Additionally, the former Oasis member had the privilege of becoming an honorary member of U2 at the O2 Arena in 2015, joining the band for a rendition of The Joshua Tree track ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’.
When Gallagher fell in love with The Joshua Tree as an aspirational musician in Manchester, performing with the band at a sold-out arena would have seemed far-fetched, even for Noel, who has never been short of self-belief.
Listen to The Joshua Tree below.