Of all the b sides that U2 have released, I’m not sure if there is one that I like better than Hallelujah (Here She Comes). It was the b side to Desire, but I think it was good enough to be on the album. Not sure what it would have replaced, but given that there’s only one song on Rattle And Hum that I have rated higher (including the a side), I guess it could have replaced any of them. That’s not to say that Rattle And Hum was a bad album, far from it, it’s just how high that I rate this song.
This is a slow song, a calming song, and I guess it’s a love song (hard to tell on that, it could be a guy watching a woman, could be he’s just day-dreaming about her). I think the band’s parts are all working together perfectly in it. There is credit to a guy called Billy Preston for additional vocals and Hammond organ, which you can clearly hear throughout the song. I actually wondered at first who was singing that backing vocal, because you do hear a couple of voices behind Bono. My first thought was that it would be Brian Eno, because he has done that a lot, and then I thought Adam, but he usually doesn’t. Turns out that Billy Preston was pretty famous, having played with the Beatles and Stones.
Listening closely to each part of the music, you can tell how well they work together. The organ provides a baseline sound that the bass works in with perfectly, the drums pounding along low and muffled, there’s a high sound that I’m not sure where it comes from, is it a cymbal, or is it a tambourine? Then of course the lead guitar pointing the song up and down at the appropriate times. It is the odd song that doesn’t have a bridge anywhere, the song has some short changes but otherwise is very consistent throughout. That doesn’t work against it though, since it is so good anyway.
Another song which contains a trigger word for me, in this case it’s Hallelujah, which whenever I hear it I always think “Here she comes.” And then I start humming the music, and enjoying it. It can distract me from whatever I’m thinking of at the time.
I suppose I have to downgrade the song some, based on my previous comments about the repeating of words in songs. Hallelujah does repeat an entire verse, and it also has repetitive sections (the “high on love” at the end repeated multiple times, although it does have a front lyric on it which mitigates it a lot, makes it sound quite choral). It doesn’t suffer from the repetition though, I would prefer that third verse have different words but that’s okay, and the other parts work just fine. So maybe a point off for that, although that would suggest it would be a 9 without the repetition, and I don’t know if I would go that high.
My rating for Hallelujah (Here She Comes): 8 / 10