- 11 Jan 23
The album is set to arrive on St Patrick's Day
Following the publication of Bono's acclaimed memoir, Surrender, as well as his book tour, Stories of Surrender, U2 have announced the release of a new album, Songs of Surrender – featuring 40 "re-imagined and re-recorded" songs. The album is set to be released on March 17.
The band shared the news last night, with a special trailer celebrating landmark moments spanning their career, soundtracked by a new version of their 2000 single, 'Beautiful Day'.
In the run-up to the announcement, The Edge sent letters to fans in several countries, teasing the upcoming release.
In one letter, shared by U2songs.com, the title of the album, Songs of Surrender, is spelled out at the top of the page in Morse code.
“When a song becomes well known its always associated with a particular voice," The Edge wrote. "I can’t think of Tangled Up in Blue without the reedy timbre of Bob Dylan or All The Time in the World without the unique voice of Louis Armstrong. So what happens when a voice develops and experience and maturity give it additional resonance?
"U2 have been around long enough to know what that is like," he continued. "It’s true for us all, but it’s particularly true for Bono. 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. The essence of those songs is still in us, but how to reconnect with that essence when we have moved on, and grown so much?
"Music allows you to time travel and so we started to imagine what it would be like to bring these songs back with us to the present day and give them the benefit or otherwise, of a 21st century re-imagining. What started as an experiment quickly became a personal obsession as so many early U2 songs yielded to a new interpretation. Intimacy replaced post-punk urgency. New keys. New chords. New tempos and new lyrics arrived. It turns out that great song is kind of indestructible. Once we surrendered our reverence for the original version each song started to open up to a new authentic voice of this time, of the people we are, and particularly the singer Bono has become. I hope you like our new direction.”
Letters from the Edge announcing "Songs of Surrender" have started to appear. See the story here: https://t.co/i1xnQuNrxO
(Many thanks to @daniDpVox and @U2360gradi for sharing!) pic.twitter.com/4jyBmJPaT9
— U2Songs.com (@u2songs) January 9, 2023
The album was also referenced in the 'After The After Words' section of Bono's Surrender:
"Thanks to my band mates and our publishing house, Universal Music Publishing Group, for permission to quote from our songs and, in case some of you had noticed, yes, I have sometimes been rewriting some of the lyrics," he wrote. "During lockdown we were able to reimagine forty U2 tracks for the Songs of Surrender collection, which gave me a chance to live inside those songs again as I wrote this memoir. 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.)”
Watch the trailer for Songs of Surrender below: