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U2 - Rattle And Hum

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Rattle And Hum

U2

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Functioning as both the soundtrack to the group's disastrous feature-film documentary and as a tentative follow-up to their career-making blockbuster, Rattle and Hum is all over the place. The live cuts lack the revelatory power of Under a Blood Red Sky and are undercut by heavy-handed performances and Bono's embarrassing stage patter; prefacing a leaden cover of "Helter Skelter" with "This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles, and now we're stealing it back" is bad enough, but it pales next to Bono's exhortation "OK, Edge, play the blues!" on the worthy, decidedly unbluesy "Silver and Gold." Both comments reveal more than they intend -- throughout the album, U2 sound paralyzed by their new status as "rock's most important band." They react by attempting to boost their classic rock credibility. They embrace American roots rock, something they ignored before. Occasionally, these experiments work: "Desire" has an intoxicating Bo Diddley beat, "Angel of Harlem" is a punchy, sunny Stax-soul tribute, "When Loves Come to Town" is an endearingly awkward blues duet with B.B. King, and the Dylan collaboration "Love Rescue Me" is an overlooked minor bluesy gem. However, these get swallowed up in the bluster of the live tracks, the misguided gospel interpretation of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and the shameful answer to John Lennon's searing confession "God," "God, Pt. 2." A couple of affecting laments -- the cascading "All I Want Is You" and "Heartland," which sounds like a Joshua Tree outtake -- do slip out underneath the posturing, but Rattle and Hum is by far the least-focused record U2 ever made, and it's little wonder that they retreated for three years after its release to rethink their whole approach.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Rattle And Hum

U2

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1
Helter Skelter (Live)
U2
00:03:08

John Lennon, ComposerLyricist - Paul Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - U2, MainArtist - Shelly Yakus, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Jacobs, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jimmy Iovine, Producer

℗ 1988 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

2
Van Diemen's Land (Live - Rattle & Hum Version)
U2
00:03:04

Bono, Composer - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer - THOM PANUNZIO, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jimmy Iovine, Producer - Mark McKenna, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - The Edge, ComposerLyricist - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer

℗ 1988 Universal-Island Records Ltd., under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

3
Desire
U2
00:02:59

Paul Barrett, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bono, Author, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Shelly Yakus, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Jacobs, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jimmy Iovine, Producer - The Edge, Composer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Bryan, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1988 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

4
Hawkmoon 269
U2
00:06:22

Don Smith, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bono, Author - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer - Jimmy Iovine, Producer - David Tickle, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - The Edge, Composer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer

℗ 1988 Universal-Island Records Ltd., under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

5
All Along The Watchtower (Live - Rattle & Hum Version)
U2
00:04:24

James Devlin, ComposerLyricist - Bob Dylan, ComposerLyricist - U2, MainArtist - Shelly Yakus, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Jacobs, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jimmy Iovine, Producer

℗ 1988 Universal-Island Records Ltd., under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

6
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (Live - Rattle & Hum Version)
U2
00:05:55

Bono, ComposerLyricist - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer - Shelly Yakus, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Jacobs, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jimmy Iovine, Producer - The Edge, Composer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer

℗ 1988 Universal-Island Records Ltd., under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

7
Freedom For My People (Excerpt)
Adam Gussow
00:00:35

Bobby Robinson, ComposerLyricist - Sterling Magee, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Adam Gussow, MainArtist - Macie Ophelia Mabins, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1988 Universal-Island Records Ltd., under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

8
Silver And Gold (Live - Rattle & Hum Version)
U2
00:05:50

Bono, ComposerLyricist - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer - Shelly Yakus, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Jacobs, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jimmy Iovine, Producer - The Edge, Composer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer

℗ 1988 Universal-Island Records Ltd., under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

9
Pride (In The Name Of Love) (Live - Rattle & Hum Version)
U2
00:04:27

Bono, ComposerLyricist - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer - Shelly Yakus, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Jacobs, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jimmy Iovine, Producer - The Edge, Composer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer

℗ 1988 Universal-Island Records Ltd., under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

10
Angel Of Harlem
U2
00:03:49

Joey Miskulin, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - The Memphis Horns, Horn Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Bono, Author, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Shelly Yakus, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Jacobs, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jimmy Iovine, Producer - Dave Ferguson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Edge, Composer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Cowboy Jack Clement, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Wine, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1988 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

11
Love Rescue Me
U2
00:06:24

Bob Dylan, Author - Bono, Composer - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer - THOM PANUNZIO, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jimmy Iovine, Producer - Larry Mullen, Composer - The Edge, Composer

℗ 1988 Universal-Island Records Ltd., under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

12
When Love Comes To Town (Album Version)
U2
00:04:14

B.B. King, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Bobbye Hall, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Bono, Author, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Shelly Yakus, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rob Jacobs, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Randy Wine, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jimmy Iovine, Producer - Dave Ferguson, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Edge, Composer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Cowboy Jack Clement, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phyllis Duncan, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Fergusson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Helen Duncan, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Rebecca Russell, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1988 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

13
Heartland
U2
00:05:03

Bono, Author - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer - THOM PANUNZIO, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jimmy Iovine, Producer - The Edge, Composer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer

℗ 1988 Universal-Island Records Ltd., under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

14
God Part II
U2
00:03:15

Bono, Author - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer - Jimmy Iovine, Producer - David Tickle, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - The Edge, Composer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer

℗ 1988 Universal-Island Records Ltd., under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

15
The Star Spangled Banner (Woodstock Festival Excerpt)
Jimi Hendrix
00:00:42

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - Jimi Hendrix, Arranger, Work Arranger, MainArtist

℗ 1988 Experience Hendrix L.L.C.

16
Bullet The Blue Sky (Live - Rattle & Hum Version)
U2
00:05:36

Bono, ComposerLyricist - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer - Jimmy Iovine, Producer - The Edge, Composer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer - Brian Reeve, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1988 Universal-Island Records Ltd., under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

17
All I Want Is You
U2
00:06:29

Van Dyke Parks, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Benmont Tench, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Bono, Author, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - U2, MainArtist - Adam Clayton, Composer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Rob Jacobs, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jimmy Iovine, Producer - David Tickle, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Edge, Composer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Mullen, Jr., Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1988 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

Album Description

Functioning as both the soundtrack to the group's disastrous feature-film documentary and as a tentative follow-up to their career-making blockbuster, Rattle and Hum is all over the place. The live cuts lack the revelatory power of Under a Blood Red Sky and are undercut by heavy-handed performances and Bono's embarrassing stage patter; prefacing a leaden cover of "Helter Skelter" with "This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles, and now we're stealing it back" is bad enough, but it pales next to Bono's exhortation "OK, Edge, play the blues!" on the worthy, decidedly unbluesy "Silver and Gold." Both comments reveal more than they intend -- throughout the album, U2 sound paralyzed by their new status as "rock's most important band." They react by attempting to boost their classic rock credibility. They embrace American roots rock, something they ignored before. Occasionally, these experiments work: "Desire" has an intoxicating Bo Diddley beat, "Angel of Harlem" is a punchy, sunny Stax-soul tribute, "When Loves Come to Town" is an endearingly awkward blues duet with B.B. King, and the Dylan collaboration "Love Rescue Me" is an overlooked minor bluesy gem. However, these get swallowed up in the bluster of the live tracks, the misguided gospel interpretation of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and the shameful answer to John Lennon's searing confession "God," "God, Pt. 2." A couple of affecting laments -- the cascading "All I Want Is You" and "Heartland," which sounds like a Joshua Tree outtake -- do slip out underneath the posturing, but Rattle and Hum is by far the least-focused record U2 ever made, and it's little wonder that they retreated for three years after its release to rethink their whole approach.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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