U2 – Rattle And Hum

This was my own personal Sunday morning church music for years. When it was released (1988), I owned this album on cassette and, over the course of all those weeks and years of play, I actually wore that cassette out. It finally stretched and went wonky. Alas.

When I saw it on CD in Taranna on my trip there with Mike this year, for $5 or so, I just had to replace my burnt out cassette copy. And you know something? After all this time, it has lost none of its glory.

They announce their ballsy presence with a Beatles tune (which they claim to be stealing back from Charles Manson), and then we’re off to the races. I won’t belabour all the songs – you know them well. Absolutely riddled with massive hit songs, plus a cover of Bob Dylan, the band’s love/hate thing with America, Bono’s politics, and the super-cool B.B. King… this record has it all. There truly isn’t a song here that even remotely approaches mediocre, be it studio track or live song. They are all unimpeachable.

I’ve loved this record for 26 years now, and I don’t foresee that changing any time soon. This is far more moving, to me, than any church service I’ve ever attended.

This was a pinnacle. It’s a big, bombastic religious experience captured on album. With this, and Joshua Tree, U2 was never at their most powerful or uplifting, and they haven’t been again (so far).


Posted on December 12, 2014, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I love this album. I remember seeing the film in the movie theatre with my aunt who had never heard of them but she even enjoyed it.


  2. Love the harp in Desire! I still think to this day it’s one of there best ever singles!


  3. Ah, cassette. This was considered a double album I think, was it not? A 2 record set? So the cassette would have been “double length” and more prone to stretching. Always broke my heart when that happened. Thank God for CD! Funny how you didn’t run into tape stretching problems when using good quality blank tapes from name brands like Maxell or TDK. You could go as long as 100 minutes without problems. Record companies were obviously using shit quality tapes. It always pissed me off that I could make a tape copy from CD that was better quality than store bought tapes.


  4. Love the part in Bullet In The Blue Sky when Bono sez”am I bugging Ya man,don’t mean to bug Ya!”
    Hahaha…me and Tbone have got more mileage out of that quote man…..


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