Songs of Surrender
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2022-04-02)
PLEASE NOTE THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS RUMOURS FOR NOT-YET-ANNOUNCED PROJECTS. While we endeavor to confirm the details, and do not print items until we have feedback from multiple sources, it is possible that these things may change between now and the eventual announcement.
We are being told that U2 have delivered a full album of newly recorded versions of old U2 songs to Universal Music. The album is tentatively penciled in for a November 18, 2022 release date. It is expected that the album will be released in all the usual formats, and there will likely be some special limited versions of the album pressed. The album is being referred to as Songs of Surrender.
Recording of the album started after U2 finished their most recent tour in December 2019, and was finished throughout last year. The album will feature U2 songs from throughout their entire career, recorded in new ways. This includes new arrangements and reworkings of the songs, and yes, some acoustic recordings have been mentioned. We are told that will be a single disc with 14-15 tracks in total, but there will also be additional formats.
A producer of this material has not been confirmed. We were previously told that in some cases, the original producers were brought back to the studio to work on these new versions of the songs. The album will be a full length album, with songs from U2’s entire career reinterpreted. Alice Cooper has also recently mentioned that Bob Ezrin was working with U2 on a project. Ezrin was the producer on U2’s appearance at the BBC in 2018, featuring orchestral versions of their songs. It is known that U2 are also working on a new album, in a rock n’ roll vein, and it may be this material that Ezrin has been working on.
Adam Clayton first mentioned the project in 2021 in an interview with Rocky O’Riordan on U2 X-Radio, “Well, you know we are playing around with rearranging some of the songs that we have and setting them in a more acoustic environment. Edge got a bit of a bee in his bonnet and said you know, no pun intended, said lets look at these songs and imagine them in a different context. So we are playing around with that. He’s putting a lot of work into changing the keys, and moving them onto piano and that sort of thing. And hopefully we will have something towards the end of the year that will show a different light on U2. I think it’s an opportunity to explore different versions of the band in a way. Because it’s very much the early days, it’s embryonic, it could go somewhere between Leonard Cohen or Johnny Cash – very stripped down and bare – towards something that is very lush. Very hard to say where it will end up or if it will all end up with the same tone across it, or if each song will be treated differently. I’m excited to see how the songs could exist in a different universe.”
Later he appeared on the Rockoneteurs podcast and mentioned, “We have been recording acoustic versions of some of our catalog in different keys and different tempos just as a challenge.” In November 2021, he spoke about the project with O Globo, saying that the new interpretations “breathe new life into the songs.” At that point he wasn’t sure if the songs would be released as one project or as a series of ‘events.’
We are told a single from the album will be released in advance of the album. That should be hitting radio in early October. And for those not interested in reinvented U2 songs, an album of new U2 material is expected to follow in early 2023.
Update (April 2, 2022): This story was not posted as part of an April Fools prank.