This week U2 released Beautiful Day (Songs of Surrender), the 4th single from their upcoming Songs of Surrender, a 40 song collection of reworked versions of their songs being released March 17th, 2023.
By now hopefully you've heard the previous singles, One, Pride (In the Name of Love), and With Or Without You, previewing the tone of the album already, and aren't surprised that Beautiful Day's reworking is equally sparse and follow what The Edge has said is a "less is more" approach to the songs.
Besides removing a lot of the elements designed to make these songs live concert anthems for decades, they've also taken the opportunity to rework some lyrics in the process. The bridge for Beautiful Day (Songs of Surrender) in particular feels like a very appropriate change from the big world focus of the original, to a much more intimate conversation:
Saw the world as your blue room
I saw the seven seas swallowing the moon
East of Finglas, North of Eden
Laughter is the evidence of freedom
I saw Adam asking Eve for a pardon
It wasn’t a woman who threw God out of the garden
See the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out
I look forward to hearing the tears of the U2 fan babies who can't stand that (a) there's no epic guitar riffs on this version, and (b) that U2 once again throw a dig at the biblical patriarchy.
I don't expect that I'll love how they've reworked all the songs, but I am really looking forward to hearing the results of the process The Edge talks about in previewing the album:
The process of selecting which songs to revisit started with a series of demos. I looked at how a song would hang together if all but the bare essential elements were taken away. The other main aim was to find ways to bring intimacy into the songs, as most of them were originally written with live concert performance in mind.
I have a feeling it will pair really nicely with a re-reading of Bono's memoirs.