New Music from U2 in 2019
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2018-10-27)
There is new music coming from U2 in 2019. As we told you in September 2017, U2 have recorded a song for a T. Rex tribute album which will be released early next year according to a report in Variety. The T. Rex album is being compiled and produced by Hal Willner, a long time friend and sometimes collaborator with U2. The record will be released on BMG records next year.
The album is set to include covers of T.Rex songs by U2, Elton John, The Foo Fighters, Kesha, Joan Jett, Nick Cave, Mark Almond and Borns. The final track list is not set at this time. The project will be a companion to a T. Rex documentary coming from BMG next year. T. Rex was a band formed in the late 1960s by singer-songwriter, Marc Bolan. The band released their first album in 1968, and released albums throughout the 1970s. Bolan was killed in a car crash in 1977.
U2 have recorded the song “Bang A Gong (Get It On)”. The original track was released by T. Rex on their 1971 album Electric Warrior, and the song was released as a single, and became the groups only US hit. The song originally titled just “Get It On” was re-titled to avoid confusion with a song by another artist. The song as recorded by T. Rex hit the #1 spot on the UK singles chart, #10 in the Billboard Hot 100, and had strong chart placement around the world. The song was covered in 1985 by The Power Station, and that version did quite well in the charts. Bono has previously covered a T. Rex song with his friend Gavin Friday. They recorded the song “Children of the Revolution” for the Moulin Rouge soundtrack. Asked about Bolan, and who was the bigger fan, himself or Bono, Gavin Friday answered, “The way it worked in the ’70s is that I bought all the records and he nicked ‘em off me! I’m sure if you checked under his bed there’s a big pile of scratched T-Rex 45s belonging to yours truly.”
The T. Rex tribute album is being put together by longtime U2 collaborator, Hal Willner. Willner has been working on this tribute album since early 2017. Hal Willner worked extensively with Bono on the soundtrack to The Million Dollar Hotel. He also produced the album Rogue’s Gallery to which Bono contributed the song “A Dying Sailor to his Shipmates”.
U2s recording session took place on September 14, 2017, while the band were in America touring The Joshua Tree 2017. The Edge was interviewed on The Hamish and Andy show. Starting out that interview, they asked The Edge what he was up to, and he responded: “I am outside a recording studio in New Orleans, we’re in the middle of recording a track for a friend who’s putting a T.Rex tribute record together. It’s sounding great.”
It is also known that Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews was present at the recording session in New Orleans. Andrews has previously worked with U2 performing the song “The Saints Are Coming“ live in New Orleans which was used as a B-Side to the single of the same name. He shared a photograph of himself with Willner and Bono the day of the recording on Instagram.
We will continue to follow this project, and will bring you more information when additional details are available. A big thank you to U2 Argentina who contributed some of the information used above.