In the lead up to their new album, Songs of Surrender, U2 has released a reimagined version of their hit song With or Without You.
The reimagined version puts a modern twist on their classic hit, which was the lead single in U2‘s fifth studio album, The Joshua Tree. Upon its original release in 1987, the song topped charts in Ireland, the US and Canada.
While maintaining the original song’s melancholic feel, the reimagined version of With or Without You places more focus on lead singer Bono’s emotive vocals. While the original song begins with keys, guitar and bass, the redefined version opts for an acoustic guitar, delivering a much rawer sound. The new edition is also shorter, with U2 deciding to abruptly end the song rather than allowing it to fade out.
The new version of With or Without You will be included on U2’s Songs of Surrender album, which will feature 40 re-recorded and reimagined songs. The album also serves as a companion to lead vocalist Bono’s November 2022 memoir, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story.
U2 guitarist The Edge announced the album via a series of handwritten letters. He explained that most of U2’s lyrics were “written and recorded when we were a bunch of very young men”. Over the years, the songs had grown to “mean something quite different”.
The Edge discussed how the band wanted to give some of their songs “a 21st-century reimagining”. As they began to work on the album, “each song started to open up to a new authentic voice of this time, of the people we are now, and particularly the singer that Bono has become”.
Songs of Surrender is set to be released on March 17th and can be preordered here.