'In the locust wind....'

1 Oct 201371

'And the fever, getting higher...'  It arrived a quarter of a century ago and here's some of the ways  Rattle And Hum was a special record. For starters... it's got Desire.

It's got The Memphis Horns on Love Rescue Me and Angel of Harlem.

It was a double album (remember them?) with nine new songs, only 18 months after The Joshua Tree.

It came with its own film.
 'If I had feet like that Lawrence, I wouldn't want them in the film.'
'If I had a head like yours, I'd bleedin' bury it.'

It's got the New Voices of Freedom. The church choir from Harlem found the gospel truth in I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, sent the band a tape and asked them to church. Next thing you know they were onstage at Madison Square Garden and pressed in vinyl on Rattle And Hum. Praise the Lord!

'When you get to the bottom/ You go back to the top of the slide...' It channels the spirit of rock'n'roll from Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles to Bo Diddley and Elvis.

It went into the past to find a way into the future - with thanks to Bob Dylan (Hammond Organ on Hawkmoon 269, backing vocals on When Love Comes To Town, co-writing lyrics Love Rescue Me). 'If I'm honest this was the end of a journey that Bob Dylan had sent us on.' explained Bono. 'In 1985, sitting backstage at his concert in Slane Castle, he said to me, 'You've got to look back. You've got to go back. You've got to understand the roots.'
'I think we wanted to ground all the electricity that was going through us and to understand the past better. And it really did help us. Listening to black music helped us get the groove ready for Achtung Baby. Listening to folk music helped me develop as a lyricist. But this was a work in progress; gauche and awkward as it might have been, I think it was a necessary part of our development.'

Some of it was written in the bath. The band had been to see BB King, with Bono promising to write him a song. But when BB came calling for When Love Comes To Town, it wasn't quite ready. 'I wrote the lyrics in the bath in about ten minutes, while he was waiting downstairs,' said Bono. 'Got out of bath, dressed, went down and gave him the song. He said to me, 'You're kind of young to write such heavy lyrics.'

It's got All I Want is You. 'Van Dyke Parks came into the studio,' recalled Edge. 'Listened to what we'd done, went off and wrote this absolutely gorgesous and incredibly haunting arrangement which lasted two and a half minutes. It was a great way to end the album in that it has a traditional basis but it was a truly U2 song.'

It's got 'a red guitar, 3 chords and the truth' from the day that All Along The Watchtower helped 'Save The Yuppies' in San Francisco.

It was the end of an era and cleared the way for the band to 'go away and dream it all up again'. 'The best live rock album ever made' announced Time Magazine, getting slightly carried away. Other reviews were distinctly less fulsome but as Larry pointed out, the criticism '... did inspire us to go and chop down The Joshua Tree.'

What does Rattle And Hum mean to you? Remember where you were when you first heard it? Is there a track that'll always have a special meaning for you? Where does it sit among the band's releases ?   Tell us below and check out the conversation already underway on the boards in the Zoo.

(If you're tweeting about the 25th anniversary, don't forget the hashtag #rattleandhum )

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My first idols
The U2 was the first band that I really became a fan. And it was wonderful to follow hard disk, fe real time.
R&H: Deluxe Edition
since R&H has not been remastered (yet) here's my take on what an expanded version would look like. I took out the live tracks and added in b-sides: 1. Desire 2. God Part II 3. When Love Comes to Town 4. Van Diemen's Land 5. Room at the Heartbreak Hotel 6. Angel of Harlem 7. Dancing Barefoot 8. All I Want is You 9. Jesus Christ 10. Love Rescue Me 11. Heartland 12. Everlasting Love 13. Hallelujah Here She Comes 14. Hawkmoon 269
What do R&H and Zooropa have in common?
Two great U2 albumns that haven't gotten delux edition treatment. :( Sad, just sad.
makes my cry
i love u2 ever 25 years pass but this is 4 ever the best band all time,,the people dont understand what u2 fans fel for this boys for me its my life and of corse when i see this u2 times my tears comes,,and all u2 fans of corse in my opinion..love you boys,,best band ever of corse,,u2 u2 ratlle and hum ever
To Be, or Not To Be, Selfish?
When can I buy the R&H digital remaster... oh, oh, and with a bonus unreleased track or two. Ugh, I know, selfish and greedy... Cheers!
It was my introduction to U2. I fell in love instantly... and still do, again and again.
I remember my girlfriend of the time had just started university....It was the one and only time I ever went to a cinema on my own to watch a movie! It did feel kinda strange. As for the album, God Pt II, and Hawkmoon269 are unsung classics, but All I want Is You and Heartland are absolutely sublime U2 tunes for me.
Ooops, I was ten!!!
25 years ago I was 10. U2 was not in my horizon but now I'm grateful for that. Some things written in Rattle and Hum I guess are better for a grown up to be understood deeply. Desire, Angel of Harlem are my best. The video? Obviously the part where Adam and Larry are having a great time on the avenue. Edge, my guitar man. Now, at 35 Rattle and Hum has got a special part of my heart, my mind and my experience. Having listened to Angel of Harlem in 360degrees in Azteca Stadium, simply out-of-this-world-experience!!!! Thank you for being in these times with me U2!!! Thanks for existing and recording this awesome material!!!
I think Rattle and Hum is a very underated album and film. The problem i think was the fact it followed the Joshua Tree any album following that would have been slated. Rattle and Hum has some great tracks to rank alongside some of there best Desire Hawkmoon All I Want Is You Love Rescue Me as well as some great live tracks . The film gives us a different look at the band relaxing and working ect and who can forget that great version of Streets .Up there with there best.......
On My Birthday...
U2 had recorded and filmed "Bullet The Blue Sky" on December 20, 1987. I was alive and well back then, just as I am now.
Rattle and Hum, the beginning of the mad
The first time I heard it was when we got the promo copy at the movie theater I was working at at the time. We would listen to it on repeat every day. The CD and the movie blew me away. I would watch the movie every chance I got. I would show up to work early, just so I could go and watch part of it before my shift started. My breaks were always during "Bad" or "Streets." Up until this point, I had been a casual U2 fan, but with this album and movie, I fell head of heels madly in love with them. From the drumbeats of"Hawkmoon 269" that still make my heart beat faster to the beginning bass lines of "Heartland" that still give me chills down my spine to the beautiful lyrics of "All I Want Is You," Rattle and Hum will always have a special place in my heart.
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