"I love being there, I love America, I love the feeling of the wide open spaces, I love the deserts, I love the mountain ranges, I even love the cities. So having fallen in love with America over the years that we've been there on tour, I then had to 'deal with' America and the way it was affecting me, because America's having such an effect on the world at the moment. On this record I had to deal with it on a political level for the first time, if in a subtle way."
- Bono, on the Joshua Tree's thematic inspirations
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The Popmart stage design, which looked like a supermarket, appealed to Bono as a supermarket, with its myriad choices and temptations, could function as a metaphor for U2's songs, as they often deal with the struggle between desire and faith.