Rattle and Hum
Rattle and Hum represents a modest stroke for U2, which, true to the Irish band’s enormous ego and ambition, means it’s still a sprawling, overwhelming piece of work. A double album and the soundtrack to the film, Rattle and Hum features guest spots from Bob Dylan (who co-wrote “Love Rescue Me”), B.B. King (at Sun Studios in Memphis for “When Loves Comes to Town”), the Memphis horns (for “Angel of Harlem,” a tribute to Billie Holiday), a series of covers (the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter,” John Lennon’s “God” updated as “God Part II,” Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”) and essential U2 tracks cut live (“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” “Pride (In the Name of Love)”) during The Joshua Tree tour that make this a potpourri of rock history updated as the band sees fit. The best moments, however, are often the simplest. The Edge’s unexpected turn at the mic for “Van Diemen’s Land,” the Brian-Eno keyboard-led impressionism of “Heartland,” Van Dyke Parks’ string arrangement finishing off “All I Want Is You” represent U2’s greatest strengths of love, inclusion and empathy.