Greatest U2 Covers

Hm. Just occurred to me that this and the previous post have very similar titles even though they’re about very different thangs. Ah well.

So New Left o’ the Dialian Lickona throws down thusly:

I’d like to hear your take on U2 covers you think are great.

Well, as mentioned in the other post, I think their cover of “Helter Skelter” is nearly great whilst simultaneously managing to be almost unlistenable. (Thank you, Bono!) And while it seems folly for anyone to cover “All Along the Watchtower” post-Jimi, I think their version is mighty nice, bad hats and all.

But you want great? I have a hard and fast rule against Christmas songs any time other than in December, but for you I shall break it. U2’s cover of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” matches even the Darlene Love/Phil Spector combo, something I’d have thought nigh ‘pon impossible:

whilst their version of Woody Guthrie’s “Jesus Christ” is simply transcendent. I wish the entire thing was on YouTube, but alas, at least you can hear tantalizing bits of here:

And no one has ever accused the band of lacking audacity. Which explains the cojones needed to tackle one of Elvis’s most famousest tunes…and doing a swell job despite Bono not having the pipes of The King, leading him to need to take some lines down an octave…and then going up into falsetto. All while dressed in semi-drag.

That’s rock and roll, baby.

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About the other scott peterson

Writer of comics and books and stuff.
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13 Responses to Greatest U2 Covers

  1. Julie Bogart says:

    Clearly another reason I’ve always been smitten with your blog. 🙂 Such good musical taste.
    Btw, saw the Boss in the ‘Nati a few weeks ago and thought of you and Top Management. While not as transcendent as the Devils and Dust tour (still my hands down favorite concert experience of all time), I still loved the E Street sound and they played “Candy’s Room” which completely made my night.
    Julie

  2. DT says:

    U2 did a version of Lou Reed’s “Satellite of Love” on the 1992 arena tour that was pretty darned groovy.

  3. Lickona says:

    We’ll have to get into it sometime over pizza about U2’s switch from “40” to “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” for their closing song. Thanks for these. I’ll give you “Christmas” without a fight. The rest we can discuss…

  4. Ernie says:

    Bono also does a creditable cover of Jesus proclaiming himself to be the Son of God.
    Does anybody else wish that dude would go away?

  5. scott says:

    Bono also does a creditable cover of Jesus proclaiming himself to be the Son of God.
    Wow! I guess I must have missed that one. Must be inneresting to see.
    Does anybody else wish that dude would go away?
    Many, many people do. They are all foolish. Each and every one. 🙂

  6. Ernie says:

    I must have been feeling trollish yesterday afternoon. Thanks for not banishing me from your blog.

  7. scott says:

    Oh, please. If I’m going to adopt the sorta shoot-from-the-hip ‘tude I have—and I am—I better be able to take the occasional ricochet.
    Besides:
    1) anyone who lets me live rent-free in their house for three months gets cut a helluva lotta slack (not that it was necessarily in this case) and
    2) at least you’re not like some Left o’ the Dialians who [rest of sentence censored by Top Management].
    Now, raising the bar on the Mother’s Day gift the way you have? That might get you tossed off the Left o’ the Dial Express.
    I had considered taking Top Management away for a night o’ romantic bliss (or what passes for that with me. Which is to say, Olive Garden and Iron Man), but I’d need someone to watch my hideously enormous brood. Fortunately, I happen to know a friendly neighborhood troll who seems to have just volunteered…

  8. Lickona says:

    Just found a mix CD put together by a friend that features three, count ’em, three U2 covers. A totally unnecessary and unconvincing cover of “Paint it Black,” and two passable, even charming Neil Diamond tunes – “Daydream Believer” and “Sweet Caroline.” And while I’m at it – no child of the ’80s should forget Echo & The Bunnymen’s excellent cover of “People are Strange.”

  9. Ernie says:

    <>
    I may be been able to let “could forget” go by (though of course the idea is proposterous), but ” no child… should forget” implies a certain moral imperative to remember songs from a B List alternative band from 20-25 years ago. I actually used to like Echo and the Bunnymen and I’ve no recollection of a People are Strange cover. Do I need to go to Confession.

  10. Ernie says:

    Scott, we’re always available for babysitting when it’s time for Olive Garden and Iron Man. Your children are a delight. We’re also eager to have your fam over for a big ole trip-tip BBQ in the back yard here at your former residence.

  11. Lickona says:

    Grimm, I’m going to have to ask you to step outside. Did you even *see* Lost Boys?

  12. scott says:

    Just found a mix CD put together by a friend that features three, count ’em, three U2 covers. A totally unnecessary and unconvincing cover of “Paint it Black,” and two passable, even charming Neil Diamond tunes
    Ah, yes, I forgot U2’s cover of “Fortunate Son.” Also terribly, terribly, terribly lacking. So unneeded and unwanted. Almost embarrassing. Which serves to make their great covers all the more greaterer.
    I’m going to have to ask you to step outside.
    Gentlemen! You can’t fight here! This is Left of the Dial, where all is sweetness and light. Help yourself to a piece of rainbow and sing tra-la-la until you calm the hell down.

  13. Lickona says:

    I would have bought, “Gentlemen! You can’t fight here! This is the War Room!” But seriously – I knew we couldn’t fight here in the land of Marshmallows, Soft Lighting and Gin. That’s why I asked him to step outside.

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