"All I Want Is You" is the final song on U2's 1988 album, Rattle and Hum, and was released on 13 June 1989 as the album's fourth and final single. It is the closing song from the film, Rattle and Hum. String arrangements on the song are by Van Dyke Parks.
"All I Want Is You" was released in the UK as a single on 13 June 1989. The B-side featured covers of the Righteous Brothers', "Unchained Melody", and a cover of Love Affair's "Everlasting Love". It reached number 4 in the UK charts and number 2 in Australia, number 12 on the Dutch Top 40, but only reached number 67 and number 83 in the Canadian and American charts, respectively. It appeared on the soundtrack for the 1994 film Reality Bites. The popularity of the song in the film led to a re-release in 1994 where it reached number 38 in the U.S. Top 40 Mainstream charts. The single was rereleased in the Netherlands with "Everlasting Love" now being the a-side. "Everlasting Love" reached number 10 in the Dutch Charts, in January 1990. In 2004, it was ranked number 9 in Entertainment Weekly's list of "The 50 Greatest Love Songs."
Director Meiert Avis shot the promotional video in the town of Ostia, outside Rome on 18 April 1989. Written by Barry Devlin, the video takes an unusual cinematic approach to the song, with U2 band members making only brief cameo appearances. The video tells the story of a dwarf played by Paolo Risi (often mistaken for Peter Dinklage) who falls in love with a trapeze artist played by Paola Rinaldi, one of whom apparently dies towards the end. While there is disagreement amongst fans about exactly who has died, The Edge was quoted as saying it is the trapeze artist who dies. This video pays homage to Fellini, who, synchronistically, was shooting his last movie, "La Voce Della Luna" only a few miles away from the U2 set, and also to Tod Browning's 1932 film Freaks. Although uncredited, the narrative of the video bears a remarkable resemblance to that of Neil Paterson's famous 1951 short story "The Life and Death of George Wilson."
"All I Want Is You" was played at almost every date of 1989's Lovetown Tour, occasionally seguing into "Bad", with which it shares considerable musical similarity. It has since been featured in some capacity at every subsequent tour. On the Zoo TV Tour in 1992 and 1993, it was usually merely a snippet at the end of "Bad," but occasionally Bono would perform a solo abbreviated version. The version played on 1997's PopMart Tour was much more complete, and subsequent live performances have been of the entire song. During its performance on 2001's Elevation Tour, it would segue into "Where the Streets Have No Name." Another version was eventually played on their Vertigo Tour, in the usual place of "Miracle Drug." The song also closed some shows of the 4th leg, in South America, and finally closed the tour in Honolulu, on 9 December 2006. "All I Want Is You" has also seen occasional appearances on the U2 360° Tour. At the July 2, 2011 show in Nashville, Bono invited a visually impaired fan onstage to play "All I Want Is You" on guitar for his wife after normal set closer "Moment of Surrender." After the song, Bono gave the fan his Gretsch Irish Falcon guitar. Performances on video are also included on PopMart: Live from Mexico City, U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle, Ireland, and Vertigo 05: Live from Milan.
The first track on all versions of the single is an edited version of "All I Want Is You." "Unchained Melody" was featured on the 7", 12" and CD versions of the single, and the full version of "All I Want Is You" was only featured on the CD versions of the single.
"All I Want Is You" was covered by the Irish girl groupBellefire in 2002 from their debut album After the Rain. It became their most successful hit single, reaching #3 in Ireland and cracking the top 20 in the UK.