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SoundTRAX: "Rattle and Hum"

The cover of "Rattle and Hum" shows Bono shining a spotlight on guitarist The Edge.
Island Records
Paramount Pictures

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.

The soundtrack to U2's rockumentary Rattle and Hum came out (yikes) 35 years ago today.

The album is a bit of a hybrid, with a combination of new studio tunes, cover songs, collaborations, and live tracks.

The band had wanted a simpler production, one that would be screened in small theaters as an independent film. But then Paramount Pictures got involved and it turned into a splashier affair.

U2 chose McNichol's Sports Arena in Denver for the black and white concert sequences, with the color segments recorded at Tempe, Arizona's Sun Devil Stadium.

The album features covers of songs by The Beatles and Bob Dylan, plus Dylan also collaborated with Bono on the tune "Love Rescue Me." And there's arguably the most popular partnership on the album, the legendary B.B. King joining the band for "When Love Comes to Town."

Critics were a little snarky about the film, using phrases like "stagey and over-produced" and "tediously pious and self-important."

But fans loved the album, keeping it at #1 on the charts for six weeks, and making it the first double album to top the charts since Bruce Springsteen's The River in 1980.

With a concert film I feel obligated to play one of its live songs for today's SoundTRAX selection, a song with the line that actually inspired the name of the movie and album.

For the 35th anniversary of Rattle and Hum, it's U2 recorded live in Arizona, with "Bullet the Blue Sky."

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