Author Topic: The Case for Rattle and Hum  (Read 2785 times)

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Offline benpoke

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The Case for Rattle and Hum
« on: December 14, 2016, 11:49:01 PM »
I've never quite understood the hatred for Rattle and Hum.  If you take away the context and listen to it as an album with no preconceptions, it's an absolute blinder.

Yes, it's very much a hotch-potch of an album, but they were going for a "scrapbook" kind of feel and it makes the album interesting for me. 

Yes, there are slightly preposterous moments, but you kind of expect that when you sign up as a U2 fan!

And yes, it was definitely a bad idea to open with the Charles Manson statement and the rubbish cover of Helter Skelter, but I think everything else on the album is truly excellent.  Here's why I think it needs reappraisal:

* The production on that album is better than any other U2 album.  Jimmy Iovine and his team got a powerful, punchy and atmospheric sound that just works for U2.

* Bono's voice is at its absolute peak after ten years of constant touring and recording.  Listen to the three-octave range range of Hawkmoon for evidence.

* It contains some of their all-time best songs in Desire, Heartland, Angel of Harlem and All I Want is You.  If these had been brought out on an EP it would have been heralded a classic.

* The live tracks are well-performed, strong, atmospheric, three-dimensional.  Listen to the start of Bullet The Blue Sky or the sheer power of Pride.

* Even the trio of Sun tracks (When Love Comes To Town, Love Rescue Me) contain their own curiously little atmosphere and it was the band being adventurous and trying something different - which we don't get much of these days!

* It's the last album where they truly sounded like a band playing together, without clicks tracks, overdubs etc.

* The final two minutes of All I Want Is You has to be the best (and most heart-breaking) album ending of all all time.

I prefer it to the Joshua Tree, War and anything they've done this century. 



Offline SlyDanner

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Re: The Case for Rattle and Hum
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2016, 12:05:17 AM »
This may be the best quote I have read in a while - hilarious!  And I agree...

Yes, there are slightly preposterous moments, but you kind of expect that when you sign up as a U2 fan!

Offline John Galt

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Re: The Case for Rattle and Hum
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2016, 12:51:03 AM »
The 9 studio tracks + Mystery Girl + another song and it would have been a creditable album. 

Mixing in the live tracks was one of their daftest mistakes and one they didn't make again.

Offline riffraff

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Re: The Case for Rattle and Hum
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2016, 04:27:26 AM »
Love R&H. It has Hawkmoon on it...'nuff said.

Offline zoo adam

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Re: The Case for Rattle and Hum
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2016, 07:43:27 AM »
At the time, critics seemed to not like R & H. However fans have nothing to complain about.

It was released only a year after TJT. For fans who like U2 live, it had live versions of U2 songs, together with live cover versions of the Beatles and Hendrix. The new version of ISHFWILF was nice as well.

The new songs were a mixed bag. Some great ones and some duds. Which is the case with most of their albums. The accompanying feature lenght film fans would have enjoyed.

Offline Thunder Peel

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Re: The Case for Rattle and Hum
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2016, 08:26:56 AM »
I quite like the album myself, and always have. Sure, having a full studio or live album probably would have worked better, but there's something about the haphazard nature of it that appeals to me. It's an album I always take on road trips and it continues to reveal some interesting surprises. Love Rescue Me is one of the band's most underrated gems and I can't say enough great things about Heartland, Hawkmoon 269, Angel of Harlem and Desire. All I Want Is You is so special to me, as it was the first dance at my wedding and my wife surprised me with a ring that has the notes to the chorus engraved on the front and "All I Want Is You" engraved on the inside. To this day I've never seen another just like it and the song has become so important to both of us.

It's not a perfect album but I love it for what it is. :)

Offline Dali

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Re: The Case for Rattle and Hum
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2016, 10:09:57 AM »
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I've never quite understood the hatred for Rattle and Hum.  If you take away the context and listen to it as an album with no preconceptions, it's an absolute blinder.

I agree.

1) Van Diemen's Land
2) Desire
3) Hawkmoon 269
4) A Room At the Heartbreak Hotel
5) Silver And Gold
6) Hallelujah Here She Comes
7) Angel Of Harlem
8) Love Rescue Me
9) When Love Comes To Town (w/ B. B. King)
10) Heartland
11) God Part II
12) All I Want Is You

This is a big album.

Offline ShankAsu

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Re: The Case for Rattle and Hum
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2016, 11:53:08 AM »
This album has always been in my top 5 for U2.  Tend to watch the DVD a few times a year as well.  The movie along with the JT deluxe edition bonus DVD are a great pairing.

Offline Thunder Peel

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Re: The Case for Rattle and Hum
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2016, 11:53:24 AM »
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I've never quite understood the hatred for Rattle and Hum.  If you take away the context and listen to it as an album with no preconceptions, it's an absolute blinder.

I agree.

1) Van Diemen's Land
2) Desire
3) Hawkmoon 269
4) A Room At the Heartbreak Hotel
5) Silver And Gold
6) Hallelujah Here She Comes
7) Angel Of Harlem
8) Love Rescue Me
9) When Love Comes To Town (w/ B. B. King)
10) Heartland
11) God Part II
12) All I Want Is You

This is a big album.

I agree that A Room at the Heartbreak Hotel should have been on the album. That's one of my favorite B-sides.

Offline SlyDanner

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Re: The Case for Rattle and Hum
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2016, 12:12:25 PM »
R&H was smashed because of the overly pretentious, self-important train wreck that was the movie. 

I love some of the live footage, but there were more cringe-worthy, staged moments in that film than a Madonna speech.

Larry crying at Graceland.  Oh my.  Not the right way to segue into Bad.

Offline Smee

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Re: The Case for Rattle and Hum
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2016, 03:14:08 AM »
I love the Album. I love the Movie (my fave u2 Dvd)

Offline U2_One

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Re: The Case for Rattle and Hum
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2016, 07:00:15 AM »
Have always been a big fan of R&H.

Offline an tha

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Re: The Case for Rattle and Hum
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2016, 08:19:47 AM »
Only redeeming feature of Rattle and Hum for me was that it marked pretty much the point where u2 disappeared so far up their own ar**s that their only escape route was thankfully the re-invention that followed.

Offline imaginary friend

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Re: The Case for Rattle and Hum
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2016, 11:37:09 AM »
Always hated Iovine's production work on this album. Overdriving the guitars after the fact on the live stuff (same thing he did to UABRS, just less of it) and emptying out the contents of the bombast closet all over the studio tracks he produced. Basically, he tried to make Springsteen songs out of them, which was a massive mistake.

The live tracks are what they are - no complaints there. I just wish the band had hired someone like Joe Boyd or Jim Dickinson to handle the studio work.

Offline tigerfan41

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Re: The Case for Rattle and Hum
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2016, 08:07:58 PM »
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R&H was smashed because of the overly pretentious, self-important train wreck that was the movie. 

I love some of the live footage, but there were more cringe-worthy, staged moments in that film than a Madonna speech.

Larry crying at Graceland.  Oh my.  Not the right way to segue into Bad.

I've never watched R&H all the way through. Now I kind of want to.