Rolling Stone3.5 Stars
- Very Good
CMJ - 1/5/04, p.26Ranked #7
in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1989"
U2: The Edge (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Bono (vocals, guitar); Adam Clayton (bass); Larry Mullen Jr. (drums).
Additional personnel: B.B. King (vocals, guitar); Brian Eno (keyboards); Tom Petty, Benmont Tench, The Memphis Horns, Bob Dylan, The New Voices Of Freedom.
Recorded live during the Joshua Tree Tour in the U.S. and Europe in 1987.
Personnel: Bono (vocals, guitar, harmonica); The Edge (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Sterling Magee (vocals, guitar, percussion); B.B. King (vocals, guitar); Bob Dylan (vocals, organ, background vocals); Brian Eno (vocals, keyboards); Carolyn Willis, Edna Wright, Phyllis Duncan, Rebecca Evans Russell, Helen Duncan, Billie Barnum (vocals, background vocals); George Pendergrass, New Voice of Freedom, Dorothy Terrell (vocals); Adam Gussow (harmonica); The Memphis Horns (horns); Joey Miskulin (organ); Benmont Tench (keyboards); Adam Clayton (bass guitar); Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums); Larry Bunker (timpani, percussion); Alex Acu¤a (percussion); New Voices of Freedom (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Shelly Yakus; David Tickle; Don Smith ; Mark McKenna; Rob Jacobs; Thom Panunzio; Brian Reeves .
Recording information: A&M Studios, Hollywood, CA (09/28/1987-12/20/1987); Danesmoate, Dublin, Ireland (09/28/1987-12/20/1987); Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco, CA (09/28/1987-12/20/1987); Madison Square Gardens, NY (09/28/1987-12/20/1987); Madison, Square Ga (09/28/1987-12/20/1987); McNichols Arena, Denver, CO (09/28/1987-12/20/1987); ocean way (09/28/1987-12/20/1987); Point Depot, Dublin, Ireland (09/28/1987-12/20/1987); STS Studio, Dublin, Ireland (09/28/1987-12/20/1987); Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ (09/28/1987-12/20/1987); Sun Studio, Memphis, TN (09/28/1987-12/20/1987); The Point Depot, Dublin, Ireland (09/28/1987-12/20/1987).
Photographers: Bill Rubinstein; Colm Henry; Anton Corbijn.
Unknown Contributor Role: Bruce Cockburn.
Functioning as both the soundtrack to U2's feature film documentary and as a tentative follow-up to their career-making blockbuster, Rattle and Hum is a bit messy. A mix of live cuts and new studio tracks, the album finds U2 running wild in the aftermath of The Joshua Tree, continuing their embrace of America to the point that they adopt several classic rock moves. Specifically, they dabble in American roots rock, something they ignored before. These experiments sometimes work: "Desire" has an intoxicating Bo Diddley beat, "Angel of Harlem" is a punchy, sunny Stax soul tribute, "When Loves Come to Town" is an endearingly awkward blues duet with B.B. King, and the Dylan collaboration "Love Rescue Me" is an overlooked minor bluesy gem. These are paired with some affecting laments -- the cascading "All I Want Is You" and "Heartland," which sounds like a Joshua Tree outtake -- but Rattle and Hum is by far the least-focused record U2 ever made, leaving it to the listener to mine for the Silver & Gold within its sprawl. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine