U2 - Giving Pleasure
‘Rattle and Hum’ was released in worldwide on 10th October 1983, and it made number 1 in both the UK and USA. The album wasn’t well received by the music press, but many fans love the album all the same. Again, there is a heavy American influence throughout the album, and is a mixture of live and recorded songs, some of which were new and some that were covers. Jimmy Iovine, who had produced the previous live album, ‘Under A Blood Red Sky’, produced the album.
‘Rattle and Hum’ was both a soundtrack and an album that was recorded during the Joshua Tree Tour and shortly after as well as being the soundtrack to the much hyped ‘Rattle and Hum Film’.
‘Helter Skelter’ is the first cover on the album and a Beatles tune off ‘The White Album’. Bono opens the album with the famous preface, “This is a song Charles Manson stole from The Beatles. We’re stealing it back!” This harks to the trail of Charles Manson who sited during his trial that this song influenced him and his followers during the murder of the actress of Sharon Tate.
‘Van Diemen’s Land’ was an ode to John Boyle O’Reilly, who had been one of the leaders of the Irish uprising against the British in 1848, during the Irish Potato famine. The British Government transported him down to Tasmania as his punishment. The Edge, who sings and plays the acoustic guitar on the track, wrote the song.
‘Desire’ was released as a single, which went to number 1 in the UK and their first UK number at that. The track starts with a sharp chord, from The Edge on guitar, and uses three chords throughout that dominate the song. The riff came from The Stooges song ‘1969’, but the song is very much influenced by the guitar style of Bo Diddley.
‘Hawkmoon 269’ is one of the studio recorded tracks, recorded during the summer of 1988. Bob Dylan plays the Hammond organ on this track. The 269 is meant to refer to the number of times they remixed the track before they the band were happy.
‘All Along The Watchtower’ is a cover of Bob Dylan’s song, made famous by Jimi Hendrix.
‘I Still Haven’t Found What I am Looking For’ has a vocal arrangement by “The New Voices of Freedom Choir” from Harlem. It was recorded at Madison Square Garden on 28th September 1987.
‘Freedom For My People’ is just a snippet of a track by Sterling Magee, Bobby Robinson and Macie Mabins. This track was performed by Sterling Magee and Adam Gussow. In the film it shows the band watching two street performers playing this before the band enter a church to practice ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I am Looking For’.
‘Silver and Gold’ is a fantastic version of a non-album track, seethingly delivered by Bono towards an apathetic American audience, with the famous line “Am I bugging ya? I don’t mean to bug ya! Ok Edge play the blues!” This was recorded at the McNichol’s Arena in Denver on 8th November 1987.
‘Pride’… this live version was recorded at McNichol’s Arena in Denver 8th November 1987, and also appeared on the video. This is the consummate U2 anthem, and always a favourite at live performances.
‘Angel of Harlem’ is a tribute to the jazz/blues singer Billie Holiday. This track was recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis.
The lyrics to ‘Love Rescue Me’ were written by Bono and Bob Dylan, though his vocals were not added until after the recording. This song was recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis in November 1987.
‘When Love comes To Town’ this song was especially written to BB King, and was recorded at the Sun Studios in November 1987. The first live performance of this song was 24th November 1987, at the Tarrant County Convention Centre, in Fort Worth, Texas, when BB king joined them on stage.
‘Heartland’ this is one of the songs that has never been performed live. This was originally written to be included on “The Joshua Tree”, but never made it onto that album. It had been recorded at Danesmoat Studios (Adam’s House), during 1986, and it was a picture of America through the eyes of Bono.
‘God Part II’ was recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles. It is the most aggressive track on the album. It was written as a reaction to John Lennon’s “God”. Like the original there is a list which Bono recites.
‘Bullet The Blue Sky’ is a live version recorded at the final date of The Joshua Tree tour in 1987, at Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona. The intro is a recording of Jimi Hendrix playing ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ at Woodstock in 1969. The irony is that both songs were about the unacceptable face of America.
‘All I Want Is You’ this is a love song written by Bono to his wife Ali. It is a simple song played with an acoustic guitar, and probably one of the best ballads U2 have ever written.