(CBS 11) – U2 was one of the most successful rock bands during the 80s and into the mid-90s.
Formed in Dublin, Ireland, the group consisted of Paul “Bono” Hewson (vocals), Dave “The Edge” Evans (guitar), Adam Clayton (bass), and Larry Mullen (drums). They started charting on Billboard in 1984 but by 1987, they were one of the world’s most popular rock band acts.
From 1984-2009, they charted 16 times, 13 of them between 1984-1997. All told, they had five songs in the top 10 and two #1 hits: “With Or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”
Yet today’s song hit #14 and it’s a beauty.
“Angel Of Harlem” was released on December 1, 1988. It is the tenth track from their album “Rattle and Hum.”
It reached #14 on Billboard but #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks, #9 on the UK Singles, and #1 in New Zealand. It was a musical tribute to the late American jazz/blues singer Billie Holiday. Produced by Jimmy Lovine, written by the U2 band members, running 3:47 on the Island record label, the lyrics go like this:
It was a cold and wet December day
When we touched the ground at JFK
Snow was melting on the ground
On BLS I heard the sound
Of an angel
New York, like a Christmas tree
Tonight this city belongs to me
Soul love, this love won’t let me go
So long, angel of Harlem
I love this song. You can hear it on SIRIUS XM 80s On 8 with Nina Blackwood, Alan Hunter, and Mark Goodman.