Customer Review

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive live versions of several songs: ONLY on this film, April 29, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: U2 - Rattle & Hum [VHS] (VHS Tape)
. The BEST REASON TO GET THIS VIDEO is that there are versions of several songs that are arguably definitive live works by the band. It defies all logic that they didn't make it onto the album--or anywhere else for that matter. I would think that these songs warrant a "More Rattle & Hum" album, or at least a DVD version of the movie. For U2 fans, whether veteran or newly discovering the band, this video is a MUST HAVE.
The opening in the studio version of "WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME" has some of Edge's most recognized guitar work. In the movie they surprise us by leading in with organ music taken from the song, yet not immediately recognizable, crescendoing into reinterpreted guitar licks by Edge. It works magic by improving an already classic lead-in to a classic tune. The same can be said for "WITH OR WITHOUT YOU." Bono sings, lower and more intensely than in the studio version and ads new lyrics that really speak to the band's essence-"...like stars in the summer night, one heart, one hope, one love"
The "Wide Awake in America" album has an incredible version of "BAD" but the version in the movie, surprisingly breaks new ground. Bono shifts in to an impromptu chorus of "Goodbye Ruby Tuesday" with bits of "Sympathy for the Devil" sprinkled in. The net effect is definitely more than the sum of its parts--at once a tribute to the Rolling Stones and fresh perspective on what is already one of U2s most stirring and emotional songs.
Another song that the band mixes up to excellent effect is "EXIT." In the middle of the song Bono throws in references to "Gloria" and whips the audience into a frenzy of singing along. This is absolutely the best version of the song available.
"RUNNING TO STAND STILL" also improves upon the studio version with improvised lyrics and increased intensity. The band, true to form, has the audience eating out of its hands as they sing the new lyrics "still runnin" repeatedly.
Another treat is the story of the song they wrote for BB King, "WHEN LOVE COMES TO TOWN." BB King makes a series of observations about Bono that really sum up the spirit of U2 in a way that has yet to be matched. When Bono asks if he likes the song BB says, " I love the song... the lyrics is real heavy... (long pause) you're mighty young to write such heavy lyrics." Cut to an auditorium rehearsal of the song after which B.B. says, "Lotta emotion right there young man... that's alright... that's alright! The movie immediately cuts to the brooding chords of "HEARTLAND" with images of the "sunrise over her skin...burning bright and violent, freeway like a river cuts through this land," which having followed B.B. King's comments about Bono's lyrics create a new appreciation for this poetic song.
"SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY" also, surprisingly, graces the film, and fans will appreciate the new insight concerning the song's origin that Bono delivers like a minister preaching hell-fire and brimstone.
This movie is artsy, arguably pretentious, and often preachy (Bono is younger and more idealistic here) but for me B.B. King sums it all up: "Lotta emotion there young man...and THAT'S ALL RIGHT."
[...]
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