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Ruling Out U-2

February 05, 1989|Leonard Klady

U-2 may be at the top of the pop charts, but the Irish rock group is nowhere with the music branch of the motion picture academy. The academy's Oscar rules committee has disqualified from consideration three original songs from Paramount's "U-2 Rattle and Hum": "Desire," "Angel of Harlem" and "When Love Comes to Town."

At first, said U-2 manager Paul McGuinness, the group was told that the songs were ineligible because they had been performed on a record album before the film's release. He said that he proved to the branch that the songs were recorded specifically for the picture and first heard there.

Then, said U-2 attorney Mike Adler, "We were told the music did not contribute to the film's drama. I asked them how they would compare our film to 'Purple Rain,' which qualified several years ago, and they said that film had a story."

"It was frankly a judgment call," said Academy exec administrator Bruce Davis. "The committee finally decided that watching people singing a song wasn't reason enough to qualify."

U-2 isn't alone in the cold: For the first time, the Oscar's Best Song category will be limited to three nominees. An obscure rule limits nominations to three if the branch finds fewer than 20 qualifying songs--and only 19 qualified from all movies released in 1988.

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