From the Vault...


"Rattle And Hum"

© Island Records

Year of Release: 1988

track listing
  • Helter Skelter
  • Van Diemen's Land
  • Desire
  • Hawkmoon 269
  • All Along The Watchtower
  • I Still Haven't Found
    What I'm Looking For
  • Freedom For My People
  • Silver And Gold
  • Pride
    (In The Name Of Love)
  • Angel Of Harlem
  • Love Rescue Me
  • When Love Comes To Town
  • Heartland
  • God Part II
  • The Star Spangled Banner
  • Bullet The Blue Sky
  • All I Want Is You

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    "Rattle And Hum"

    If there is one group that stood out in the 1980s, it would have to be Ireland's own, U2. By 1988 they have had three albums and an EP released. They were just getting recognition with 1983's War, with the unforgettable tunes New Year's Day and Sunday Bloody Sunday. 1984's Unforgettable Fire finally broke the ground, and 1987's Joshua Tree featured two number one hits, finally putting U2 on the map, and they've been unstoppable since.

    With emphasis on lead singer Bono, and the excellent musical talents of guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton, and drummer Larry Mullen Jr., their songs consisted more on social and political themes. 1988's Rattle And Hum has these themes; as it mixed live recordings from the Joshua Tree tour, and also features some well done new studio tracks. Despite critics' undesire for this album, it was well received by many of U2's fans.

    Originally released as a double album, it's highlights are many. Their live version of The Beatles' Helter Skelter starts out the album with a great kick. The studio track, Desire, is probably considered the biggest hit off the album, and it is a great, great tune. Another remake is their live version of All Along The Watchtower, originally written and recorded by Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix's version is the one people would relate to as the best. U2's live version is exceptionally well; almost as good as Hendrix's.

    Rattle And Hum contains I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. Originally from the Joshua Tree, it was recorded with the New Voices of Freedom church vocal choir. The Voices' vocals gives this song a true quality touch. Angel Of Harlem was another radio favorite. God Part II is U2's answer to John Lennon's God (considered Part I), from Lennon's first solo album, Plastic Ono Band. Lennon originally stated that he pretty much didn't believe in the many things that were considered major parts in his life anymore. U2 turned around and stated that they were believers, saying they believed in love.

    But probably the best highlight I enjoyed from this album, is where U2 teams up with the legendary B.B. King on When Love Comes To Town, another live track. If this song doesn't get up and groovin', I don't know what else will. B.B King is a true giant in the blues field. It was just grand that U2 wanted to do a duet. Not just any duet; a duet with a legendary musical artist and influence.

    And lastly, many of the studio tracks for this album were recorded at Memphis' Sun Records Studio, where in the early Fifties, owner Sam Phillips was trying to discover a new talent for his record label. At the right place, and the right time, a young man by the name of Elvis Presley walked in and asked to record a single for his mother. After playing around with That's All Right Mama, Sam Phillips was astounded by what he had heard. It was the sound he was looking for, and he found it by accident. The year was 1954, and the rest, well, you know, is musical history.

    The remaining songs on the U2 album are exceptionally done. And, there are some live tracks of studio songs that were originally recorded from previous U2 albums: (Pride) In The Name Of Love, and Bullet The Blue Sky, which opening music features Jimi Hendrix's Woodstock version of The Star Spangled Banner. All I Want Is You, sounds so similar to the Unforgettable Fire's Bad. Love Rescues Me is a nice, slow blues tune. Even The Edge participates on lead vocal on a tune he wrote, Van Diemen's Land.

    Rattle And Hum is an album well enjoyed for the U2 fan. It's concert/studio video is also excellent to watch. It was great to see the band working in the studio, and their performances on the stage were astounding. U2 is another band where you're better off getting their original albums rather than a greatest hits/box set package. There isn't such a package out yet, but they do have enough material for one or two.

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    Previous Review: #558
    Eric Burdon & The Animals--Winds Of Change
    Next Review: #560
    Steppenwolf--Steppenwolf 7