U2: Rattle and Hum (1988)

Genres - Music  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Concerts, Vocal Music  |   Release Date - Nov 4, 1988 (USA)  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Synopsis by Dan Pavlides

This excellent documentary follows the Irish group U2 on their concert tour of the United States in support of their seventh album Joshua Tree. The politically involved rock quartet sets their sights on American musical influences, previously ignored. They quickly immerse themselves in the musical culture with a recording session at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis. Four tracks were recorded that ended up on their next record appropriately called Rattle And Hum. Blues Legend B.B.King adds his vocals and guitar work to Love Comes To Town, and Angel Of Harlem is a passionate tribute to the late Billie Holiday. In addition to their original material, the band covers gems from The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix. Director Phil Joanou combines black-and-white with color photography to capture the band on and off the stage. Only the band's visit to Elvis Presley's Graceland seems out of context with the rest of the feature. Although the band's reverence for Elvis and his music is evident, they are merely tourists standing on the other side of a velvet rope. Spinal Tap had a more poignant visit to the king's palace, but Rattle And Hum is still one of the best musical documentaries of all time. Both the musical and political passion of U2 is evident in every frame.




concert, music, performer, band [music group], Ireland, tourist