Bono and The Edge have performed a wonderfully heartfelt cover of the classic 1975 ABBA pop ballad S.O.S.
Released via the BBC, footage from the performance was taken from a recent show in the Radio 2 Piano Room, held in honour of U2's new album Songs of Surrender, out today (March 17).
The cover itself sees the duo strip the song back to just acoustic guitar and vocal, with the light accompaniment of a string section.
Speaking of their decision to cover a song by the Swedish pop sensations, Bono tells host Gary Davies: “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.
“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.”
During his years as a teen in Ireland, Bono says ABBA were “like the national anthem for young mothers". He continues, “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."
Also in the interview, Bono discusses his connection with deeper, more emotional songs, stating: "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 their ABBA cover below: