"Robbie Robertson / Storyville Expanded Edition" - Robertson, Robbie


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Full Track Listing:

Disc One:
  • Fallen Angel
  • Showdown at Big Sky
  • Broken Arrow
  • Sweet Fire of Love
  • American Roulette
  • Somewhere Down the Crazy River
  • Hell’s Half Acre
  • Sonny Got Caught in the Moonlight
  • Testimony
  • Christmas Must Be Tonight
  • Testimony (Edited 12” Remix)
    Disc Two:
  • Night Parade
  • Hold Back the Dawn
  • Go Back to Your Woods
  • Soap Box Preacher
  • Day of Reckoning (Burnin’ for You)
  • What About Now
  • Shake This Town
  • Breakin’ the Rules
  • Resurrection
  • Sign of the Rainbow
  • Storyville
  • The Far, Lonely Cry of Trains

Background Information

The Hip-O Select line of recordings is an imprint of Universal Recordings, which sells directly to the customer through the Hip-O website. The imprint is mostly focused on reissues and deals with higher end issues of these than is typical with a focus on presentation and packaging. The label packaged both of Robbie Robertson’s early solo albums together into one release, and included additional tracks on both CDs. U2 had featured on Robertson’s “Robbie Robertson” album in 1987 on two tracks, “Testimony” and “Sweet Fire of Love”. There had also been a remix of “Testimony” released on the single “Fallen Angel”. All three tracks are represented here on this release, however the remix of “Testimony” is a new edit, the original was 6:27 in length, yet this new edit is longer at 6:34 in length. This release on Hip-O was advertised as being limited to 5000 copies, but copies are unnumbered.

Two tracks on the album “Robbie Robertson” feature all of U2 and they are repeated on this release. August 26, 1986 Robbie Robertson arrived in Dublin Ireland in the wake of Hurricane Charlie and spent two days working with U2 at the Danesmoate studio that U2 had set up to record “The Joshua Tree”. Over those two days they would write and record two songs, “Sweet Fire of Love” and “Testimony”. “Sweet Fire of Love” with it’s prominent vocal by Bono, and music by the remainder of U2 sounds very much like a U2 song of that era. The only additional musicians besides U2 are Lanois on percussion and Robertson on guitar.

“Testimony” was the other song recorded with U2, and Robertson describes the scene post-Hurricane Charlie as he met with U2 to begin recording, “There were cars floating down the streets, it was really frightening. Thank God these guys (U2) were up for some spontaneous combustion!” remembers Robertson of the recording sessions.”

“Testimony” started from a brass riff originally composed for the soundtrack of “The Color of Money”. Robertson recalls, “I had one little clue, inspired by a song I heard by Mahalia Jackson when I was a kid, called ‘Didn’t It Rain, Children.’ I put it on a tape with Daniel Lanois – just a tom-tom and a guitar playing this groove, and it had something.”

Overall Robertson described the recordings sessions for the two songs very positively. He relates “I had a few scraps of paper with stuff written on them and when I got there, their enthusiasm was just so fantastic. They were so great at rising to the occasion. Saying ‘let’s jump all over it’ and ‘let’s hit it every way until we get it’.”

Both “Sweet Fire of Love” and “Testimony” were originally released on “Robbie Robertson”, Robertson’s first solo album, released in 1987. Neither song would be released as a single, but “Testimony” was remixed and released on select versions of the single “Fallen Angel” (French 3”-CD, and UK 12”-Vinyl). The remixer on the original version was never credited, but this “Expanded Edition” reveals that the remix was by Nile Rogers.

Liner Notes

Sweet Fire of Love:
Drums: Larry Mullen Jnr. Bass: Adam Clayton. Guitar, Solo: The Edge. Vocals, Bass: Bono. Background vocals, Percussion: Daniel Lanois. Vocal, Guitar, Solo: Robbie Robertson

Drums: Larry Mullen Jr. Bass: Adam Clayton. Guitar: The Edge. Background Vocal, Guitar: Bono. Bass, Percussion: Daniel Lanois. Guitar: Bill Dillon. Background Vocal: Ivan Neville. The Gil Evans Horns Sections arranged by Gil Evans, assisted by Peter Levin. Vocal, keyboard, guitar: Robbie Robertson.

Testimony (Remix):
Additional production and remix by Nile Rogers.

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