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Released: October 11, 1988

Rating: 3.797 (average of 21 ratings)

Genre: alternative rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Helter Skelter (live) (Lennon/McCartney) [3:07]
  2. Van Diemen’s Land [3:05]
  3. Desire [2:59]
  4. Hawkmoon 269 [6:22]
  5. All Along the Watchtower (live) (Dylan) [4:24]
  6. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (live) [5:53]
  7. Freedom for My People (Mabins/Robinson) [0:38]
  8. Silver and Gold (live) [5:49]
  9. Pride (In the Name of Love) (live) [4:27]
  10. Angel of Harlem [3:48]
  11. Love Rescue Me (Dylan/U2) [6:24]
  12. When Love Comes to Town (with B.B. King) [4:15]
  13. Heartland [5:03]
  14. God, Part 2 [3:15]
  15. The Star Spangled Banner (Key/Smith) [0:43]
  16. Bullet the Blue Sky (live) [5:36]
  17. All I Want Is You [6:30]
Songs written by U2 unless indicated otherwise.

Total Running Time: 72:27


sales in U.S. only 5 million
sales in U.K. only - estimated 1.2 million
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 14.5 million


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 1 6
peak on U.K. album chart 1 1

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Desire (10/1/88) #3 US, #1 UK, #1 AR, #1 MR. Gold single.
  • Angel of Harlem (10/22/88) #14 US, #9 UK, #1 AR, #3 MR, #38 AC
  • When Love Comes to Town (with B.B. King) (10/22/88) #68 US, #6 UK, #2 AR, #10 MR
  • God, Part 2 (10/22/88) #8 AR, #28 MR
  • All I Want Is You (7/1/89) #50a US, #4 UK, #13 AR


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. One of my personal top 100 albums of all time. Click to learn more.

Rattle and Hum
“Functioning as both the soundtrack to the group's disastrous feature-film documentary and as a tentative follow-up to their career-making blockbuster, Rattle and Hum is all over the place. The live cuts lack the revelatory power of Under a Blood Red Sky and are undercut by heavy-handed performances and Bono's embarrassing stage patter; prefacing a leaden cover of Helter Skelter with ‘This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles, and now we're stealing it back’ is bad enough, but it pales next to Bono's exhortation ‘OK, Edge, play the blues!’ on the worthy, decidedly unbluesy Silver and Gold. Both comments reveal more than they intend — throughout the album, U2 sound paralyzed by their new status as ‘rock's most important band.’ They react by attempting to boost their classic rock credibility. They embrace American roots rock, something they ignored before. Occasionally, these experiments 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. However, these get swallowed up in the bluster of the live tracks, the misguided gospel interpretation of I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and the shameful answer to John Lennon's searing confession God," "God, Pt. 2. A couple of affecting laments — the cascading All I Want Is You and Heartland, which sounds like a Joshua Tree outtake — do slip out underneath the posturing, but Rattle and Hum is by far the least-focused record U2 ever made, and it's little wonder that they retreated for three years after its release to rethink their whole approach” (Erlewine).

Review Source(s):

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Previous Album: The Joshua Tree (1987) U2’s DMDB page Next Album: The Best of 1980-1990 (compilation: 1979-1989)

Last updated March 27, 2008.