Robbie Robertson

I confess to knowing nothing about Robbie Robertson before writing this, other than that he had recorded a couple of songs with U2. I actually thought he was a young British singer, something on the order of his early 20s when he recorded with them. I don’t know who I was thinking of, but obviously I was well wrong, given that he is a 70-something Canadian with a long history. I read about him on Wikipedia, and it turns out he was in The Band, a group that is far more famous for being famous than for actually producing anything worthwhile (yes, heads spin as you read this, I know).

Robertson was in Dublin recording at the same time U2 was recording The Joshua Tree and they got together because Danny Lanois was involved with both. The first song they did was called Sweet Fire of Love. This one sounds a lot like a U2 song. It’s hard at times to tell which part is Robertson and which part is Bono, and which part is Robertson and which part is Edge. But that’s okay, you ignore the fact that the voice sounds a little different and really it’s a good song. The sound is a little rockier than The Joshua Tree, it may be a little better compared to some of the b sides from The Joshua Tree, or maybe even the b sides from Rattle And Hum. Still, pretty good, if I were rating it (which I’m not since it’s not a real U2 song) I’d probably get it somewhere around a 5 or so. And that’s without even a detailed look at the lyrics, which do lose something because of repetitiveness, but gain because they sound interesting otherwise.

The second song they did together was called Testimony, and that is much less a U2 song. I hardly hear anything U2 at all in it, it is much more, I don’t know, jazzy than U2 would do. There are a lot more musicians on that song, lots of different instruments playing, and U2 is just part of the backing band here. No rating at all, don’t like the song much and don’t see the U2 involvement.

And with this review written, there are 50 days left in the 365 I aim to produce this year. Not so much a struggle, as I have about 60 ideas on the list right now, but more of an ordeal. I didn’t plan ahead too much, I certainly didn’t work ahead enough, and it’s all catching up now. I would confess to being somewhat weary of the project right now, although a) I’m not going to stop, and b) there is still new and interesting stuff coming to me as I work on it. I just wish I had done things a little differently here and there to make it easier later on, instead I took the easy way earlier and am stuck with the hard way now. Oh well, it is what it is and onward we go.