Originally intended to be the second single released
from the smash hit The Joshua Tree, Red Hill Mining Town had to be replaced by I
Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For as the second single, as Bono couldn’t
hit the high notes consistently every night to perform the song.
Therefore, this was never played live until 2017’s Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary
tour in a different arrangement.
Red Hill Mining Town is about the miner’s strike in the United
Kingdom in 1984, and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s policy of closing down
mines that were considered unprofitable. Bono wanted to explore the impact the
strike had on the miner’s themselves and their friends and families, which the band does with a timeless sense of emotion and instrumentation.