If I were Paul McGuinness…

I recently watched U2’s concert film, “Rattle & Hum,” and it was better than I remember. Over the years, I’ve read several reviews that used words like “disastrous,” but I thought it was an interesting, if mostly staged, look at the group as they were evolving into the “Biggest Band in the World.”

I think the soundtrack suffers a bit because it’s all over the place. I would rather have seen two separate discs – one consisting of new material and one live album. Considering all of their output during those years, the disc of new material would have looked something like this:

1. Desire
2. God, Pt. 2
3. Angel of Harlem
4. Hawkmoon 269
5. Love Rescue Me
6. Heartland
7. Sweetest Thing
8. When Love Comes To Town
9. Hallelujah (Here She Comes)
10. Van Diemen’s Land
11. Silver and Gold
12. All I Want Is You

That’s a nice playlist. I realize that a few of those songs (“Sweetest Thing,” “Hallelujah (Here She Comes)” and “Silver and Gold”) were released as B-sides to singles from The Joshua Tree, but had they been “Americanized,” recorded in the same spirit as “Desire” and “Angel of Harlem” were, they would have fit right in with the rest of the material and the band would have had three great albums in a row instead of two and a half.

The second disc could have compiled the band’s live greatest hits up to that point; it would have been perfect for a fan like myself, who got into U2 during The Joshua Tree years but didn’t have the fortitude (or the finances) to dig into all the previous albums to find their better songs.

Oh well, I guess they did all right without my help.


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