26 February 2015

U2 - Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me

U2 are a band I have pretty much grown up with due to my dad being a big fan. There's many a time I've got in from school to hear either "The Joshua Tree" or "Rattle & Hum" blasting out while he'd be having a nice cup of tea. I've even heard him sing "With Or Without You" while he's had a few too many beers! If I remember, one of the first CD's we ever got once the household got a CD player was "Rattle & Hum" an album which doubled as the soundtrack to a movie they did about their '87 North American tour. It was a good, if somewhat inconsistent album as it was a varying degree of quality mixture of covers and rearranged rerecordings of existing material. So while "Desire" was a fucking ripper of a song (which I can play as it's only three chords), the rearranged gospel choir version of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" wasn't.

I'm not gonna talk much about the public image of Bono and the alleged and apparent hypocrisy surrounding his work as an activist as I don't want to get sued, but at least he raises awareness to people who otherwise might not get on board for these things.

Throughout the 80's, U2's music was a mixture of social commentary and quasi-religious themed epics, which drew both acclaim and criticism in that they may be a little boring. So it was a surprise when at the turn of the decade when they did both "Achtung Baby" and "Zooropa" which showed a more experimental side. This is where this song comes in. Originally recorded during the "Zooropa" sessions, it ended up being left off the album, but released as the main theme for then-new Batman movie "Batman Forever" (In a nutshell - It's an ok film but you could tell the studio were going for a more family-orientated direction after the criticism over the dark themes and violent content of previous sequel "Batman Returns". Val Kilmer was decent as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Jim Carrey just did his usual schtick as The Riddler/Edward Nygma and was very good, Tommy Lee Jones was rubbish as Two Face - all he did was cackle in the background - , Nicole Kidman was just there as the eye candy and Chris O'Donnell was annoying as Robin. Still better than the movie that came after it though...). Obviously needing an official theme, they chose this song - and what a great song to choose! I can remember not really being into the alternative, almost borderline industrial flavours of both "Achtung Baby" and "Zooropa" but this song seemed to rectify that! I'll have to give them another spin. Besides, I'd just got into metal at that time and pretty much ignored all other music.

The song itself is about the life of a rockstar and the pitfalls that come with it (They want you to be Jesus, they'll go down on one knee, but they'll want their money back if you're alive at thirty-three). The song is a mixture of both electronic and string elements which is not only hypnotic but also awesome! The production is great as it hits the right mix of raw and polished. Backed up with an interesting video - not only did it show the obligatory clips from the movie, but it depicted two of Bono's alter-egos from the Zoo TV - The Fly (the actypical swaggering, leather clad rockstar) and MacPhisto (A red and yellow devil) fighting each other in Gotham City whilst U2 play on. It was a great video!

The song was part of the OST of the movie and wasn't actually part of any U2 album, except a Greatest Hits package. If you're a U2 fan whose not yet got this song, then get a copy. If you're not a U2 fan - get this song anyway, it rules!

5 - I wish I had extra ears to love this more.

Chris J.

This song is on iTunes. If you can, get it off a U2 compilation album as it was "ALBUM ONLY" when part of the Batman Forever OST.

I can't find any Sportify for this song bar cover versions. But it's on Amazon: CLICK

(I'm aware that the Batman movie clips are from "The Dark Knight" but the videos with those clips are all out of sync)

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