U2 – Love Rescue Me

I bought the Rattle and Hum album when it came out in 1988. This song became one of my favorites on the album. It wasn’t a hit or even a single but the song stood out and Bono’s voice cut through with the lyrics.

The song was written by Bono and Bob Dylan. This album made me a fan of U2. I started to get into their earlier music after this. The band had changed their sound with this album. They released a fantastic single Angel of Harlem and that immediately made me a fan.

On their Joshua Tree tour when Bono woke up with the song in his head. He thought for sure it was a Dylan song that he was remembering.  He drove out to Dylan’s place and asked if it belonged to him. Dylan told him wasn’t, and he helped Bono finish the song. Dylan had two writer credits on Rattle And Hum because U2 also covered All Along The Watchtower.

The song was recorded at Sun Studio in Memphis Tennessee in 1987. Bob Dylan sings backup vocals on this track. There is one morbid fact about this song. Bono was staying with the Edge in a Beverly Hills mansion where he started the song. That mansion would be where the Menendez brothers would later kill their parents.

Bono: “Part of the rock star disease is stewing in your own juices. All writers think their feelings are important but a great writer realizes that though his feelings may be important, they’re not all important enough to share. ‘The palace of your shame’ describes how people build their lives into a monument of self-pity. Irish people love the melancholy. It’s that bitter sweetness that we do better than anyone else. I always reckon it’s the rain.”

“Love Rescue Me”
Love rescue me
Come forth and speak to me
Raise me up and don’t let me fall
No man is my enemy
My own hands imprison me
Love rescue me

Many strangers have I met
On the road to my regret
Many lost who seek to find themselves in me
They ask me to reveal
The very thoughts they would conceal
Love rescue me

And the sun in the sky
Makes a shadow of you and I
Stretching out as the sun sinks in the sea
I’m here without a name
In the palace of my shame
Said, love rescue me

In the cold mirror of a glass
I see my reflection pass
See the dark shades of what I used to be
See the purple of her eyes
The scarlet of my lies
Love rescue me

Yea, though I walk
In the valley of shadow
Yea, I will fear no evil
I have cursed thy rod and staff
They no longer comfort me
Love rescue me

Sha la la…sha la la la
Sha la la la…ha la la…
Sha la la la…sha la la la
Sha la la la…sha la la
Sha la la la…sha la la la
Sha la la…
I said love, love rescue me

I said love
Climb up the mountains, said love
I said love, oh my love
On the hill of the son
I’m on the eve of a storm
And my word you must believe in
Oh, I said love, rescue me
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah…

Yeah I’m here without a name
In the palace of my shame
I said love rescue me

I’ve conquered my past
The future is here at last
I stand at the entrance
To a new world I can see
The ruins to the right of me
Will soon have lost sight of me
Love rescue me

U2 – When Love Comes To Town

This is a duet with blues legend B.B. King. American blues musicians were a big influence on U2, and the group had a great admiration for King. I bought Rattle and Hum when it came out and thoroughly enjoyed it. This song and Angel of Harlem sold it enough for me to get it.

In 1987, King played a show in Dublin and found out U2 would be in the audience. U2 had just released The Joshua Tree and were very popular, especially in their native Ireland. After the show, King was honored to meet the band and humbled to find out they were big fans. He asked Bono to think of him sometime when he was writing a song, and later on this was the result.

King performed “When Love Comes to Town” with the band for the first time during their Joshua Tree tour at a concert in Fort Worth, Texas on November 24, 1987. Parts of this show as well as the soundcheck were included in the U2 concert documentary Rattle And Hum, which contains a scene where Bono is rehearsing this with King.

The song peaked at #68 in the Billboard 100, #41 in Canada, and #6 in the UK, and #4 in New Zealand in 1989.

After King died on May 14, 2015, U2 paid tribute to him during a show in Vancouver the following night during the Innocence + Experience Tour by playing “When Love Comes to Town” for the first time in 23 years.

From Songfacts

B.B. King opened for U2 on their 1989 “Lovetown” tour, which went through New Zealand, Japan, Ireland, Germany, and Holland. King joined U2 when they played this, which usually occurred near the end of their set.

The version used on Rattle And Hum was recorded with B.B. King at Sun Studios in Memphis, where King is royalty. This was one of several new songs on the album, which was a combination of live cuts from their 1987 tour and studio recordings.

This was a huge career boost for B.B. King. Although he was revered in the blues community, he wasn’t well known in the world of rock or pop. His association with U2 brought him a huge number of new fans and changed the dynamic of his audience, which became split between blues purists and rock fans who learned about him through U2. Many of King’s older fans did not appreciate the newcomers.

Admiration between King and Bono on this song was mutual; King was amazed that Bono could write such mature lyrics at such a young age, and Bono was blown away by King’s vocal. “I gave it my absolute everything I had in that howl at the start of the song,” Bono said. “Then B.B. opened his mouth, and I felt like a girl.”

This won the MTV Video Music Award for best video from a film in 1989. The video provided B.B. King with his first exposure to the MTV audience.

Near the beginning of their 1989 tour with B.B. King, U2 threw him a surprise birthday party. They invited King on a boat for what he thought was a fishing trip, but as soon as they left shore, they released balloons and sang Happy Birthday. That night, they had a fireworks display in his honor.

This was B.B. King’s biggest hit in the UK.

B.B. King got another career boost when he teamed up with Eric Clapton in 2000 to record an album called Riding With The King. Many blues legends remain in rock obscurity, but his collaborations with U2 and Clapton gave King a higher profile than any blues musician has achieved. After his recording with Clapton, King opened a series of nightclubs under his name. It helped that King remained a skilled guitarist and powerful vocalist into his 60s.

This was included on U2’s compilation, The Best Of 1980-1990.

BB King played his Gibson “Lucille” guitar probably through a Lab Series amp on this song.

Adam Clayton: “We discovered a common bond between us and some of these older artists like B.B. King. When we met him there was a whole world of understanding and nothing needed to be said. That has been the payoff of working ten years to get into this position. We no longer have to prove ourselves. It’s in the music and people can hear it.”

When Love Comes To Town

I was a sailor, I was lost at sea
I was under the waves
Before love rescued me
I was a fighter, I could turn on a thread
Now I stand accused of the things I’ve said

Love comes to town I’m gonna jump that train
When love comes to town I’m gonna catch that flame
Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
But I did what I did before love came to town

I used to make love under a red sunset
I was making promises I was soon to forget
She was pale as the lace of her wedding gown
But I left her standing before love came to town

I ran into a juke joint when I heard a guitar scream
The notes were turning blue, I was dazing in a dream
As the music played I saw my life turn around
That was the day before love came to town

When love comes to town I’m gonna jump that train
When love comes to town I’m gonna catch that flame
Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
But I did what I did before love came to town

When love comes to town I’m gonna jump that train
When love comes to town I’m gonna catch that flame
Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
But I did what I did before love came to town

I was there when they crucified my Lord
I held the scabbard when the soldier drew his sword
I threw the dice when they pierced his side
But I’ve seen love conquer the great divide

When love comes to town I’m gonna catch that train
When love comes to town I’m gonna catch that flame
Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
But I did what I did before love came to town