November 04, 1988
Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Post-Punk, Alternative Pop/Rock, Rock & Roll, Album Rock, College Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock

Album Review

Functioning as both the soundtrack to U2's feature film documentary and as a tentative follow-up to their career-making blockbuster, Rattle and Hum is a bit messy. A mix of live cuts and new studio tracks, the album finds U2 running wild in the aftermath of The Joshua Tree, continuing their embrace of America to the point that they adopt several classic rock moves. Specifically, they dabble in American roots rock, something they ignored before. These experiments sometimes work: "Desire" has an intoxicating Bo Diddley beat, "Angel of Harlem" is a punchy, sunny Stax soul tribute, "When Loves Come to Town" is an endearingly awkward blues duet with B.B. King, and the Dylan collaboration "Love Rescue Me" is an overlooked minor bluesy gem. These are paired with some affecting laments -- the cascading "All I Want Is You" and "Heartland," which sounds like a Joshua Tree outtake -- but Rattle and Hum is by far the least-focused record U2 ever made, leaving it to the listener to mine for the Silver & Gold within its sprawl.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Helter Skelter [Live]
  2. Van Diemen's Land
  3. Desire
  4. Hawkmoon 269
  5. All Along the Watchtower [Live]
  6. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For [Live]
  7. Freedom for My People
  8. Silver and Gold [Live]
  9. Pride (In the Name of Love) [Live]
  10. Angel of Harlem
  11. Love Rescue Me
  12. When Love Comes to Town
  13. Heartland
  14. God Part II
  15. The Star Spangled Banner
  16. Bullet the Blue Sky [Live]
  17. All I Want Is You
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