U2 Vidworks – When Love Comes to Town

Today marks a little bit of a first for the Vidworks series, as this is the first time that I am writing about a song that has multiple very different videos. In the past, we have talked about variations on the same video, such as with “With or Without You,” where the second, less well-known video incorporated some of the same footage as the first, more popular version, and we have discussed a handful of songs with variant edits, but today marks the first time we have come across two very different videos for the same song. I admit I was not sure at first how to handle this…should I write separate articles for each of the videos, or should I include all of the versions in one article? I decided on the latter for this instance, but that might change for future articles where we are discussing more than one video for the same song. Anyway, space is at a premium, so let’s get on with it!
The most widely known video for “When Love Comes to Town” is taken directly from the film Rattle and Hum, and is just under three-and-a-half minutes in length. Now, this is not to be confused with the longer edit of the same video, which is about five minutes long and is also taken from the Rattle and Hum movie. Both of these Rattle and Hum videos feature an exclusive audio mix of the song, some of which was recorded at a rehearsal of the song in Texas, and even a clip or two of Bono reading lyrics of his song to B.B. King, who performed the song with U2. The third version of the video is entirely different from the two Rattle and Hum versions in that it actually features a studio mix of the song in question, and is not based upon the “When Love Comes to Town” scene from Rattle and Hum. So just to clarify in case this is a little confusing–there are two edits, taken directly from the movie Rattle and Hum, and then a third version which is more like a traditional music video and which utilizes a studio version of the song. Of these three videos, I greatly prefer the unique edit that uses the studio version of the song. This might just be because I like rarer items, but it might also have something to do with the fact that it is more traditional for a music video. Lots of the footage shown in the version with the studio audio is outtakes from the Rattle and Hum movie which cannot be seen anywhere else, and there is an appeal to be found in that aspect too, of course. Some of my favorite moments in this third unique video are outtakes of the band at Sun Studios recording “When Love Comes to Town.”
I have always liked Phil Joanou’s work for the band, and none of these videos make me want to change that opinion. I am curious, though, to hear what all of you reading this might think. Which of these videos is your favorite? Leave a comment below, and let me know your thoughts.

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Ever since I realized as a kid, while poring over the liner notes of the Bob Marley - Songs of Freedom boxed set, that writing about music was a viable career choice, one of my greatest desires has been to write about U2. The band has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute a little something to the fantastic online community that's been built around the band.

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