Album Review: Rattle & Hum

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So Cruel

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Album Review: Rattle & Hum
« on: February 28, 2020, 05:54:32 PM »
Instead of politics letís argue U2 albums. Iíll start with an album I feel strongly about, the album that got me into this band...Rattle & Hum.

Rattle & Hum - 9/10



1. Helter Skelter - 8/10

A solid cover and good opener. Sets the tone that this wonít be an ambient, arty, or experimental album, but more in your face, harder, and passionate.

2. Van Diemenís Land - 8.5/10

Sits in between two big rock songs, showcasing the Edge. Fragile and sparse and feels like an old Dylan song.

3. Desire - 10/10

To this day their best rock single. 3 minute power pop in the same vein of those mid 60ís power pop rock songs by the Who, the Stones, the Kinks, etc...

4. Hawkmoon 269 - 10/10

My favourite U2 rock song. Primal and passionate, the tension buildup until Bono letís loose. Larry absolutely shines on this one. Itís really a shame they never made this a live staple.

5. All Along The Watchtower - 8/10

Songs been covered a million times, but I like this version. Bono really coming into his prime as a vocalist. He has a power and confidence in this period he didnít show before.

6. I Still Havenít Found What Iím Looking For - 7/10

Great song but donít really see why this version was included on the album. Should have left it for a b-side.

7. Silver & Gold - 7.5/10

I donít consider Freedom for my People a U2 song so Iím skipping to Silver and Gold. I like this version better then the studio and Bonoís lyrics are top notch, similar to Dylan protest songs. I graded a little lower because of the preaching which should have been cut out. It may work in the live setting in the moment, but after repeated listens it gets tiresome.

8. Pride - 8.5/10

My favourite version of this song, but much like I Still Havenít Found, I donít think songs that appeared on prior albums needed to be included.

9. Angel of Harlem - 10/10

One of my favourite pop/rock songs- by anybody. 60ís soul with a U2 twist. Great melody, lyric, and vocals from Bono. U2 has struggled with pure pop songs but in this era they were writing great ones: I still think if they had done a proper version of Sheís a Mystery for this album and released it they would have had another number 1. Angel of Harlem would have fit in well in Exile on Main St. era Stones. I bet they would have done a stellar version of it.

10. Love Rescue Me - 10/10

I know others donít, but I love this song and itís a style I wish they explored more. Bono once again with great lyrics and vocal. Itís to bad we never got to hear the version Bob Dylan sang, which Bono called ďastonishingĒ.

11. When Love Comes to Town - 8/10

Cool song with great lyrics. Not a style weíve really seen before or after from them, but it shows they can write a nice little bluesy rock song.

12. Heartland - 9.5/10

Simply gorgeous. A song that takes you on a trip through deserts dry and cool green valleys. Forgotten classic.

13. God Part 2 - 9/10

Another forgotten classic. One of U2ís better rock songs where the Edge, Adam, and Larry really shine. This song should have made an appearance on some subsequent tours.

14. Bullet the Blue Sky - 7.5/10

See I Still Havenít Found and Pride. Great version but doesnít need to be on the album.

15. All I Want Is You - 10/10

Probably U2ís best album closer and one of their great ballads. Bono with a great delivery and lyric. Edge with a nice melodic solo. Beautiful way to close a special album.

In terms of studio tracks, this is one of the bands best albums. Individually each member shines. Some great moments from the Edge and Adam,  Larry has never been better, and Bono is in peak form both lyrically and vocally which he would carry well into the 90ís.

Add Sheís A Mystery and take out the 3 tracks that had previously appeared on albums and Rattle & Hum is a 10/10.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2020, 05:56:10 PM by So Cruel »
Definitive U2 Top 10: 1. One, 2. Bad, 3. With Or Without You, 4. Running to Stand Still, 5. So Cruel, 6. Ultraviolet, 7. I Still Havenít Found What Iím Looking For, 8. Hawkmoon 269, 9. Red Hill Mining Town, 10. Luminous Times

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laoghaire

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Re: Album Review: Rattle & Hum
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2020, 06:10:11 PM »
10/10 thread, would read again.

Y'all are gonna get my response/review later on.

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riffraff

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Re: Album Review: Rattle & Hum
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2020, 06:14:28 PM »
HAWKMOON! That almost sums it all up for me. But, I also love God Part II, All I Want Is You, Heartland, I Still Haven't Found. But, HAWKMOON!
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Codeguy

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Re: Album Review: Rattle & Hum
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2020, 06:36:45 PM »
Like all U2 releases, R&H didn't immediately win me over. My first reaction to Desire was .... it was derivative. It was like the ugly stepchild of a hundred mediocre American rock bands. Then again, 1988 was the year of derivative music, with Van Halen, Bon Jovi and Guns N Roses topping charts with songs that sounded exactly like things that went before. Then came the album and the first song on the record is Helter Skelter. It doesn't get more copycat than that. Sure, the cover rocked. But it was a cover. For a band accused of being the next Beatles, here they were blatantly "stealing it back" on their behalf. I'm sure Paul McCartney was grateful. Then I heard Van Diemens land and was instantly reminded of every pub band I grew up listening to, blaming the English for sending us to foreign shores. Live versions of Pride, ISHFWILF, BTBS, Silver and Gold, All along the Watchtower did nothing for me. I had already overspent on low-quality cassette bootlegs of those songs on the Ha'penny bridge or under Merchants Arch.

Then I heard Hawkmoon 269. The brilliance of 80's U2 finally reaches the shores of Sun Studios. It needed a third chorus, and the odd circus music and chorus girl outro were offputting, but the song itself outshone all the pastiche excess. Nothing on side 2 appealed to me, and the gospel version of ISHFWILF was ....did I say derivative yet? Side 3. When love comes to town. BB King? DID I FUCKING SAY DERIVATIVE YET? Angel of Harlem?

Then, somehow, the album rescues itself. Love rescue me, Heartland and All I want is You are all classic U2.

Of course, the album went to number one in the USA and stayed there. However, it was totally outdone by the movie. And despite all its flaws, the movie is incredible despite itself and its pretensions. It's a musical journey. BAD - amazing. Exit - amazing. Pride - amazing. Streets - amazing. RTSS - amazing. The movie was everything I was hoping for, even if it pretended to be so much more.

And somehow, the album became larger than life because of the film. When I think of R&H, I don't remember the songs I dislike, like When love comes to town. I instead remember being there at the Point Depot the following year and the dreaming it all up again speech. I remember watching the movie in an Irish theater and hearing Sunday Bloody Sunday when the Milltown atrocity was fresh in the mind and hearing the words we were all thinking. Fuck the revolution

Fuck it indeed. Rattle and Hum, larger than life, greater than the sum of its parts, was the wheels coming off of 80's U2, and the catalyst to their great 90's re-invention. 30 years later, I'd say it's a hell of a transition album. Try telling that to my 16 year old disappointed self though.
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riffraff

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Re: Album Review: Rattle & Hum
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2020, 07:03:27 PM »
My only disappointment is that Hawkmoon was not included in the movie.
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Codeguy

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Re: Album Review: Rattle & Hum
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2020, 07:07:12 PM »
My only disappointment is that Hawkmoon was not included in the movie.
They hadn't played it live yet.....it totally rocked on the lovetown tour
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guest532

Re: Album Review: Rattle & Hum
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2020, 07:16:19 PM »
Not a great album but as Bono said: "there's some good chunes on that."

Desire, Heartland and Angel being the best.  If the Stones had done Angel it would have sounded raw and had more soul, but it's good to hear U2 trying something different. 

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Zeropartii

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Re: Album Review: Rattle & Hum
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2020, 07:41:19 PM »
Hawkmoon Sydney is sick


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riffraff

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Re: Album Review: Rattle & Hum
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2020, 07:44:36 PM »
Hawkmoon Sydney is sick


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So Cruel

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Re: Album Review: Rattle & Hum
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2020, 07:58:50 PM »
Not a great album but as Bono said: "there's some good chunes on that."

Desire, Heartland and Angel being the best.  If the Stones had done Angel it would have sounded raw and had more sound, but it's good to hear U2 trying something different.

I think the Stones in the Exile era would have made a killer version of Angel of Harlem. Like you said, they would have made it raw but it would really fit that album.

And speaking of another artist covering U2, I bet Elvis would have done something special with Love Rescue Me.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2020, 08:01:40 PM by So Cruel »
Definitive U2 Top 10: 1. One, 2. Bad, 3. With Or Without You, 4. Running to Stand Still, 5. So Cruel, 6. Ultraviolet, 7. I Still Havenít Found What Iím Looking For, 8. Hawkmoon 269, 9. Red Hill Mining Town, 10. Luminous Times

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MPare1966

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Re: Album Review: Rattle & Hum
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2020, 08:29:56 PM »
Not a great album but as Bono said: "there's some good chunes on that."

Desire, Heartland and Angel being the best.  If the Stones had done Angel it would have sounded raw and had more sound, but it's good to hear U2 trying something different.

Exactly what Iíve always thought. The live cuts are a drag, but most of the original material is a great coda to TJT.
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an tha

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Re: Album Review: Rattle & Hum
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2020, 08:37:53 PM »
The album isn't a favourite of mine -  but it might have fared better without stuff like that awful gospel choir, ridiculously pretentious version of ISHFWILF.

U2 IMO disappeared up their own arses for so much of this album.

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Zeropartii

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Re: Album Review: Rattle & Hum
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2020, 09:36:57 PM »
Iím skipping the live versions earlier album tracks


1. Helter Skelter - 7
2. Van Diemenís Land - 7
3. Desire - 10
4. Hawkmoon 269 - 8.5
5. All Along The Watchtower - 5
6.  Silver and Gold - 7.5
7. Angel of Harlem - 8.5
8. Love Rescue Me - 2
9. Heartland - 8
10. God Part II - 10
11. All I Want is You - 10


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guest532

Re: Album Review: Rattle & Hum
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2020, 09:52:06 PM »
The album isn't a favourite of mine -  but it might have fared better without stuff like that awful gospel choir, ridiculously pretentious version of ISHFWILF.

U2 IMO disappeared up their own arses for so much of this album.

It should be remembered this album is a soundtrack, not a proper studio album.

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Zeropartii

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Re: Album Review: Rattle & Hum
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2020, 10:18:52 PM »
The album isn't a favourite of mine -  but it might have fared better without stuff like that awful gospel choir, ridiculously pretentious version of ISHFWILF.


I hate that version


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