"Angel of Harlem" is a song by Irish rock group U2. It was released in December 1988 as the second single from their album, Rattle and Hum. It peaked at #9 on the UK Singles Chart, #8 on the Dutch Top 40, #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks. Written as a homage to Billie Holiday, it was released with two different B-sides; one was an original U2 song called "A Room at the Heartbreak Hotel," while the other was a live version of Rattle and Hum's "Love Rescue Me."
"Angel of Harlem" was written during 1987's Joshua Tree Tour and the in-studio performance on the Rattle and Hum movie dates from a recording session at Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee during the later stages of the tour's third leg. The song was a regular on 1989's Lovetown Tour and was played with B.B. King's band. A stripped-down acoustic rendition was performed on the Zoo TV Tour in 1992 and 1993 on a b-stage positioned in the midst of the crowd. It was then not played again until 2001's Elevation Tour, when it was sometimes performed acoustically and sometimes in its original electric style, albeit without the brass section.
The only performances on 2005's Vertigo Tour came when a fan was pulled on stage in Dallas in late October to play guitar. The fan asked to play "Angel of Harlem" and although Bono's knowledge of the lyrics was poor, the band agreed to the request and the fan played the song along with them.
The song has also been performed on 2009's 360° Tour with dedications to Michael Jackson, and included snippets of "Man in the Mirror" and "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough." In the Berlin concert of the 360° Tour three young fans from Prague, Czech Republic, held signs asking to play "Angel of Harlem" together with U2, Bono invited them to the stage, the band lent them the instruments and they played the song together.