U2 singer Bono and guitarist the Edge covered ABBA‘s classic “S.O.S.” with a string section in a video released by the BBC.
It’s part of a recently released show (available to BBC iPlayer users) that marks the release of the band’s new album Songs of Surrender. The performance, along with a rendition of the 2004 U2 song “Vertigo,” can be seen below.
“I was saying to one of the cellists today that I didn’t have the courage to own up to this next band when I was 16 in the middle of punk rock,” Bono told host Gary Davies. “I did get into the Bee Gees and I was ready to own up to ‘Massachusetts’ and ‘Tragedy’ – I mean, these are just crazy good. John Lennon owned up to loving the Bee Gees. … There’s a bit of a macho, ‘I don’t want to own up to ABBA.’ But I’ll tell you what, they’re just better songs. You can’t be empirical about everything in art.”
He described the Swedish quartet as “like the national anthem for young mothers” during his teenage years in Ireland, adding, “Certainly at closing time at our local pub, often young women would sing ‘Thank You for the Music,’ and I would sing it – and I was very thankful for the music! But I was like, ‘What is this phenomenon?’ This is before their musicals and all that. And then Benny [Andersson] came to one of our shows when we murdered ‘Dancing Queen.’”
Elsewhere in the show, Bono observed that “Edge and I had this phrase that we were throwing around – ‘Intimacy is the new punk rock.’ And I know it sounds a bit pretentious … but the most dangerous music for me at the moment is the most vulnerable. And we let artists that we love into our life in ways that we don’t let our closest friends or lovers sometimes.”
Watch Bono and the Edge Perform ‘S.O.S.’
Watch Bono and the Edge Perform ‘Vertigo’ With Strings
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