The year 2008 was an interesting one for the international community of music fans. Not only did U2’s The Joshua Tree come out in mid-April, but it ended up being one of the best selling albums of the year. In fact, it went on to become the best-selling album of all-time, with over 13 million units sold worldwide. The month of August also saw the release of a pair of blockbuster albums: Bon Jovi’s Lost Highway and Metallica’s Death Magnetic. The year also marked the 25th anniversary of Guns N’ Roses’ notorious “n’rosity” Tour, which wrapped up at the end of August with a very entertaining show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

U2’s Joshua Tree

On April 15, about a month after its release, U2’s The Joshua Tree went on sale in the United States, and it went on to become one of the best-selling albums of the year. The album is the follow-up to U2’s 2007 release, Songs for Pope Clement VII, which was a return to form for the popular band. Songs for Pope Clement VII was released less than a year before Joshua Tree, and the two albums served as a sort of musical merger between U2 and the Vatican.

One of the reasons why Joshua Tree was so successful is because it was a cohesive and organic collection of songs that flowed easily as a complete unit. It also helped that the album was available in a handy pocket-sized format: the CD. Lastly, U2’s popularity is undeniable, and with over 60 million records sold worldwide, the band has definitely earned its spot as one of the biggest and most successful rock acts ever.

Bon Jovi’s Lost Highway

Bon Jovi’s Lost Highway was also a huge success in 2008. The album went on to become the best-selling album of the year in the U.S., with over 320,000 units sold. It follows Bon Jovi’s 2007 album, Lost Highway, which was his best performance in years. The album marked a return to form for the legendary rock band, who have sold over 15 million records worldwide, earning them the title of one of the most successful rock bands ever.

Lost Highway was a critical and commercial success, scoring 89 on the Billboard magazine metacritic scale, earning it a spot on their top 10 albums of 2008 list. Rolling Stone also named it the third best album of 2008. As with most Bon Jovi releases, the album’s title was an allusion to the criminal underworld of Los Angeles: the city of Hollywood and its notorious “Hollywood” sign are often used as a metonym for the entire city, and the music video for the album’s third single, “Lost Highway,” was a take on the LA City Council hearings on the city’s contract with the film industry.

Metallica’s Death Magnetic

Metallica’s Death Magnetic was also a big success in 2008. The album went on to become the best-selling album of the year in the U.S., with over 400,000 units sold. It also scored a global sales figure of over 1.3 million, which makes it Metallica’s third album to reach 1 million units sold worldwide. However, Death Magnetic is the first to do so in 16 years.

Death Magnetic was a fitting title for Metallica’s eighth album, as it was recorded over a protracted 28-day period in the band’s studio in Los Angeles, California. It was named after the album’s lead single, “Death Magnetic,” which spent 12 weeks at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, and eventually won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance. The album also features a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” which became a surprise hit, peaking at number 2 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and spending 8 weeks on the Top 10.

Guns N’ Roses’ “n’rosity” Tour

Finally, we arrive at Guns N’ Roses’ “n’rosity” Tour, which wrapped up at the end of August with a very entertaining show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. The last show of the tour was part of a two-night stand and marked the grand finale of the evening. It was an emotional day for both fans and musicians alike, as the show was essentially a goodbye to the fans who attended the shows over the past month and a half, as well as a thank you to the city of Los Angeles for hosting such an amazing celebration of rock ‘n’ roll.

What made this finale so special is that it was the first time Guns N’ Roses had played together in nearly two decades. It was originally going to be the final show of the year, but due to Rosevelt Bautista’s health issues (he suffered from diabetes), the group decided to extend the tour one more show in his honor.

The extended “n’rosity” Tour won’t officially be over until November 18, 2009, when the members of Guns N’ Roses will be playing three shows in New York City. These three shows will be the final leg of the current North American tour, which began in Seattle, Washington on April 1 and will conclude in New York City on November 18.

Final Takeaway

Overall, 2008 was a big year for rock music, as two of the biggest names in the industry went on to produce some of the best-selling albums of the year. The success of these three albums is a testament to the fact that there is still a place for classic rock songs in today’s musical landscape. In fact, the popularity of these three albums shows how much the audience still values these memorable songs that were originally written decades ago.