“The essence of those songs is still in us,” said The Edge on reimagining their Songs of Surrender hits
U2 is going back to the eighties — and bringing their most iconic songs into 2023. On Friday, the band released a reimagined version of their 1987 hit “With or Without You,” the group’s first No. 1 hit in America.
The song is set to be featured on the group’s upcoming LP Songs of Surrender, where they’ll rework several of their songs for today.
The upcoming album is set to accompany Bono’s memoir Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story. The album was announced earlier this month, alongside a trailer.
Additionally, some U2 fans have started receiving handwritten letters from the band that offer a bit more insight into Songs of Surrender. One letter, signed by the Edge and shared on the fan account, U2Songs, reads in part: “The fact is that most of our work was written and recorded when we were a bunch of very young men. Those songs mean something quite different to us now. Some have grown with us. Some we have outgrown, but we have not lost sight of what propelled us to write those songs in the first place.”
Bono also teased the project at the end of his book (which was released last November), writing that the sessions for Songs of Surrender took place during lockdown.
The project “gave me a chance to live inside those songs again as I wrote this memoir,” he explained. It also meant I could deal with something that’s been nagging me for some time. The lyrics on a few songs that I’ve always felt were never quite written. They are now. (I think.)”
Back in a November 2021 interview with Rolling Stone, the Edge said, “We are firmly locked in the tower of song and working away on a bunch of new things. I’m just having so much fun writing and not necessarily having to think about where it’s going to go. It’s more about enjoying the experience of writing and having no expectations or limitations on the process.”