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.