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Monday, 10 October 2016

Rewind: Rattle and Hum - U2 (1988)

Dedicated to my friend Skinny Crimmings who is twice as cool as Larry Mullen Jr.
 Rattle and Hum - U2
Island Records
Produced by Jimmy Iovene
Released 10th October 1988
UK Chart #1
US Chart #1
and #1 in many other Countries
    Bono – lead vocals, additional guitar, harmonica
    The Edge – guitar, keyboards, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Van Diemen's Land"
    Adam Clayton – bass guitar
    Larry Mullen Jr. – drums, percussion

Guest performers
    Bob Dylan – Hammond organ on "Hawkmoon 269", backing vocals on "Love Rescue Me"
    The New Voices of Freedom – gospel choir on "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
    George Pendergrass, Dorothy Terrell – vocal soloists on "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
    Joey Miskulin – organ on "Angel of Harlem"
    The Memphis Horns – horns on "Angel of Harlem" and "Love Rescue Me"
    B.B. King – guest vocals & lead guitar on "When Love Comes to Town"
    Rebecca Evans Russell, Phyllis Duncan, Helen Duncan – backing vocals on "When Love Comes to Town"
    Brian Eno – keyboards on "Heartland"
    Benmont Tench – Hammond organ on "All I Want Is You"
    Van Dyke Parks – string arrangement on "All I Want Is You"

Side A
1.Helter Skelter (live)
2.Van Diemen's Land
4.Hawkmoon 269

Side B
1.All Along the Watchtower (live)
2.I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (live)
3.Freedom for My People
4.Silver and Gold (live)
5.Pride (In the Name of Love) (live)

Side C
1.Angel of Harlem
2.Love Rescue Me
3.When Love Comes to Town

Side D
1.God, Part II
2.The Star Spangled Banner
3.Bullet the Blue Sky (live)
4.All I Want Is You

Singles on Rattle and Hum

    Desire / Hallelujah Here She Comes / Desire (Hollywood Remix)
    Released: September 1988
UK Chart #1
US Chart #3

UK Chart #9
US Chart #14

   Released: April 1989
UK Chart #6
US Chart #68

    All I Want Is You / Unchained Melody / Everlasting Love
    Released: June 1989
UK Chart #4
US Chart #83


On release Rattle and Hum (the 6th Studio Album from U2) encountered a lot of hostility from some quarters of the music press and other critics. Jon Pareles in The New York Times, found each song genuinely egotistical and "embarrassing in a different way", while Tom Carson from The Village Voice said the band suffered from profound ignorance rather than pretension on an album that was terrible "by almost any rock-and-roll fan's standards". Whenever I read such reviews I often wonder if they were actually listening to the same album I was! 

It seems almost customary to slate U2 for one reason or another and I know loads of people who do. Despite the critical backlash directed toward the band and the album & film it went to #1 in a number of countries around the world (it spent 6 weeks at the top spot in the USA). For an album that was so panned on release it has gone on to sell more than 14 million copies worldwide, so obviously there are people outside of the pages of a music paper or magazine who hold the album with some sort of affection (I am one of those people). There's way too much musical snobbery around these days!

Rattle and Hum contains a number of songs that are particular favourites of mine (Angel of Harlem, Love Rescue Me, All I Want Is You, Hawkmoon 269 and God Part II). It's an album I still like to play every now and again as well.

For all those who love it also, give it a blast today in celebration.
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