A memorable song from the late ’80s was an Irish band’s foray into incorporating American music styles with the single I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For by U2.
The second single released from the band’s 1987 album The Joshua Tree, the song was a demo which initially was only liked by the band because of Larry Mullen Jr.’s drum patterns.
Working with producer Daniel Lanois, the band focused on the drumming and used American gospel as an influence to develop the song, which became the song that any visitor would be played when visiting the band during recording sessions at the studio in Dublin.
Released in May 1987, the song wasn’t the first choice to follow With or Without You, the first single from The Joshua Tree. The band had chosen Red Hill Mining Town, but didn’t like the music video created by Irish director Neil Jordan.
While on tour for The Joshua Tree, U2 recorded the music video for the song on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, following their concert in the city. Debuting at number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June, the song hit number one by mid-August, buoyed by music video and radio airplay.
Nominated for the Grammy for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1988, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For is one of the band’s most popular songs, and one that the band regularly performs on tour.
And the song’s legacy continues, chosen in 2001 as one of the RIAA’s list of the 365 songs of the century and one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s The 500 greatest songs of all time.