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Rattle and Hum: Retrospective

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This is the sixth part of the U2: Retrospective.  You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login 

After listening to the album now, in the present day, the main part of each post will be to vote for your three favorite songs from each album.  The next parts can be optional (well, the whole thing is “optional”), but I’ll structure my posts like this:
•   When did I first listen to that album?  What is my history with the album?   
•   How do I feel about the album when I listen to it today, versus how I’ve felt about the album in the past?

Top three songs (studio):  “God Part II,” “Desire,” and “Hawkmoon 269”  NOTE:  since this is a double, live/studio record, I’m going to refer to only the studio versions of songs.

Rattle and Hum was the first U2 album I picked up around the time of its release.  In the late ‘80s, my older sister was dating a super-cool guy.  He had the greatest mullet, wore the sweetest clothes, drove a Fiero…  He also listened to some cutting-edge music, and it was he who got me into the band U2.  I distinctly remember the first time I saw Rattle and Hum (the movie) with him.  I was mesmerized.  I must have watched my VHS copy of that movie once or twice every month for a couple of years before Achtung Baby was released.  And I loved this album back then.  But a strange thing happened in the ‘90s and ‘00s – I began to disregard it.  I’m not really sure why.  It’s not my favorite U2 sound…  Maybe I was swayed by public and band opinion of the album…  Since the early ‘90s, I’d list it as my 2nd or 3rd least favorite U2 album. 

But occasionally, in the past couple years, I’ve found myself going back to it.  And when I started to listen to it earlier this month, preparing for this retrospective, I found myself bringing up certain songs again and again.  “God Part II”…  wow…  I always understood how thematically this song is considered a herald to ’90s U2, but I never realized how much the Edge’s guitar squawks and “solo” (for lack of a better word) were such a genetic ancestor to the buzzy and clangy guitar sounds of Achtung Baby.  I loved “Desire” when it was released, but I really haven’t sought it out much for a couple decades.  Listening to it now, though – I’m very thankful that U2 went through a period like this.  It’s a solid, dirty little pop song.  I used to disregard “Hawkmoon 269” until a summer or two ago when it came up on the radio out of nowhere.  I was driving down into a valley with thunderclouds overhead and I had “one of those moments” while listening to it.  It’s a damn fine song…

I’ve never really cared for “Angel of Harlem,” or “When Love Comes to Town.”  Never really enjoyed “Love Rescue Me,” though listening to it again recently, Bono’s unrestrained part at the end is something to behold.  I’ve always loved “Van Diemen’s Land” and “Heartland.”  It seems that I should like “All I Want Is You” more than I do… 

Anyway, I feel that I’ve unfairly maligned this album, which is my wife’s favorite U2 album (though she’s not a U2 fan, by any stretch).  And though it’s not my favorite version of U2, in retrospect, I’m glad they went through this period and I have this collection of songs.  I have a feeling it’s going to get a lot more play than usual from me the rest of the summer. 

AIWIY, LRM and Heartland
Love this album and the film (and also the doc that came with the JT deluxe edition which i think is a companion piece to it).  Probably my 4th of 5th favorite album by them.

Heartland is so great.  Quite possibly Bono's best-ever lyric, and one of his best vocal performances, IMHO.  That song has such a great feel to it.  It would have fit right in on TJT.

Heartland by a long shot.   Too bad it didn’t get a deserving spot on TJT.    There are others that are first rate U2 (Desire, GP2, AOH).    Definitely didn’t care for Helter Skelter though, nor the live versions from TJT.   Makes it hard to listen to.

I love this album.  I said my bit here: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login


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