As consummate workaholics, U2 had been building its story since the end of 1980 in America. Five years later, the Irish quartet had achieved three Platinum albums ("War," "Under A Blood Red Sky," and "The Unforgettable Fire"), amassed a pair of mid-charting hit singles ("New Year's Day" and "Pride (In the Name of Love)"), and could fill most of the hockey arenas in the land of the free. But, U2 hadn't seen anything yet.
Island Records released the band's latest album "The Joshua Tree" and a single "With or Without You" in March 1987 and soon, both were sprinting up the charts. The album got to #1 on April 25th as a major U.S. tour began in Tempe, Arizona. The worlds aligned for U2 as concerts sold out and "With or Without You" reached #1 in May. A second single "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" would also hit the top of the chart in August.
'Time' was right on top of it, the mainstream news magazine recognizing U2's gathering momentum as a dominating presence in 1987 and its position as the latest guiding motivator of rock music's progress. The group's star eclipsed even that of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who peered down on their photo from the upper right corner of the magazine cover as if in reproach.
Three weeks earlier, Carter Alan was on the road with U2, joining the band at it's opening tour date at Arizona State University and interviewing Bono and The Edge in Houston in-between a pair of shows at The Summit. Here's some words from the pair as they stood on the cusp of ascending rock's Mount Olympus to become one of the world's most famous and long-lived groups.
(Photo: Getty Images)