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).