Tag Archives: cover songs

In the Name of Love

In the Name of Love

The CCM U2 Tribute album, In the Name of Love, showed up in the mail the other day. Well, half the album anyway. It’s a press copy of the album, but it only has 7 of 12 tracks (potentially 13; the Grits version of “With or Without You” isn’t listed in the liner notes).

It’s an intriguing project, basically an easy way to raise money for the AIDS crisis in Africa, but also a way to introduce the CCM scene to the music of U2. Many CCM fans are well aware of U2, but there’s a lot of hardcore CCMers that rarely listen to anything mainstream (I was one of them once), and for those folks this album will be a rare treat. Of course if you’ve ever heard U2 before, these songs won’t sound nearly as good.

I predict this album will be popular within the CCM world simply because of the nature of the Christian bubble. If you have never heard Bono belt out “Where the Streets Have No Name,” you’ll be perfectly happy with Chris Tomlin’s eerily similar version. Likewise Sanctus Real does a decent “Beautiful Day” knock-off, minus Bono’s soaring vocals and a little more grit in the Edge’s guitar riffs.

Jars of Clay and Sixpence None the Richer stray the most from the originals, probably because these artists are most familiar with U2 and know the danger of trying to sound like the best band in the world. Jars does a bluesy version of “All I Want Is You,” which seems to deflate the song of momentum. Sixpence tackles the forboding “Love is Blindness,” but it misses the melancholy of the Achtung Baby original. Both bands attempted an experimental angle, but it didn’t fly.

The real standout track (of the seven I can preview) is Audio Adrenaline’s version of “Gloria.” I know, I know, saying Audio A can do justice to a U2 song is tantamount to sacrilige. But they manage to modernize the thoroughly 80s song and without gutting its soul. There’s plenty of 80s rock left, and the tune just jams. Not too shabby. Of course it helps that the original was recorded 20 years ago.

I’m eager to hear the remaining tracks, including Toby Mac’s butchering of “Mysterious Ways” and what Delirious can possibly do with “Pride (In the Name of Love)” that won’t sound exactly like the original.

In the Name of Love

I just received the complete track/artist listing for In the Name of Love: Artists United for Africa, the U2 tribute album I mentioned last week:

Jars Of Clay – “All I Want Is You”
Sixpence None The Richer – “Love Is Blindness”
Nichole Nordeman – “Grace”
Toby Mac – “Mysterious Ways”
Audio Adrenaline – “Gloria”
Pillar – “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
Chris Tomlin – “Where The Streets Have No Name”
Tait – “One”
Delirious – “Pride”
Grits – “With Or Without You”
Todd Agnew – “When Love Came To Town”
Sanctus Real – “Beautiful Day”
Starfield – “40”

As an interesting side note, the packaging is being designed by Steve Averill from Four 5 One Design, the company that’s done just about every U2 album.

While I’m glad to see a final song list, and I’m very eager to hear what this sounds like, I still have lots of questions. What happened to Switchfoot? And where are the Newsboys? Both are on Sparrow records (the label releasing the album), so it would be no problem getting them for the project. Switchfoot has been mentioned before in connection with this project, and Newsboys have been known to perform “Running to a Stand Still” in concert. Hmm.

I’m also still curious to know what bands you’d like to see cover what U2 songs.

More Wankers

Today I learned a bit more about the U2 Tribute album I mentioned a while back.

It seems Sparrow Records is releasing In the Name of Love: Artists United for Africa on January 27, 2004. A track listing is given, but no clues as to who’s playing what. For that, you’d have to head over here, where we get a few artist song matchups, including:

Nichole Nordeman – “Grace”
Sixpence None the Richer – “Love is Blindness”
Sanctus Real – “Beautiful Day”
Audio Adrenaline – “Gloria”
Pillar – “Sunday Bloody Sunday”

Other artists include P.O.D., Toby Mac, Switchfoot, Delirious and others. It’s reported that all proceeds will benefit DATA.

I’m intrigued to hear this album, but I’m also a bit worried. U2 is U2 because nobody can do what they do. Most U2 covers stink. I’m especially worried when I hear things like this from Pillar, “We just got confirmation that this is going to happen today so we have to get together this Tuesday to learn and practice the song.” You can’t learn a U2 song at the last minute and expect your cover to be worth anything.

I’m also curious to see if anyone took my advice about what Christian band should cover what U2 song.

(Thanks to CCM magazine, where I first learned more about this album, Pillar for filling in some details, @U2 for linking to JesusFreakHideOut.com, and JFHO for having further info. Whew.)


From atu2.com: “It looks like there may be another U2 tribute/covers album in production. The official website of the U.K.-based Christian band Delirious? mentions the project, and that Delirious (a band which often gets compared to U2) recently recorded its version of “Pride” for the album. They also report that P.O.D.’s cover of “Bullet the Blue Sky” will be part of the project.” Could there be a CCM U2 cover album in the works?! That could be interesting, given the love/ignore relationship in the Christian market for U2.

Not that U2 cover songs are ever any good. Though I can imagine a few songs that could be included:

dc Talk – “40” – from Solo
Guardian – “Pride” from Live (oh wait, we already have that one!)
Circadian Rhythm – “Gloria” – from Over Under Everything
Caedmon’s Call – “In God’s Country” – from Guild Collection Vol. 2
Newsboys – “Running to a Stand Still” – from live performances
Tree63 – “Pride” – from live performances (oh wait, don’t we have this one?)
Third Day – medley of “Give/Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus/With or Without You/Your Love Oh Lord” – from Offerings II (admittedly cheating since it only includes one line from “With or Without You”)
Michael W. Smith – “40” – from the Worship DVD (wait, another repeat!)
Sandtown – “Pride” – from Based On a True Story (yes, that’s the third time we’ve seen “Pride”)
Darlene Zschech – “Walk On” (hear a sample) – from Kiss of Heaven

And then there’s the U2 songs I’d like to see covered by Christian bands (though I realize this may be sacrilige to some of you):

Five Iron Frenzy – “Exit” / “Wake Up Dead Man”
Jars of Clay – “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
Justin McRoberts – “All I Want Is You”
Switchfoot – “Bad”
Relient K – “Out of Control”
Sixpence None the Richer – “Please” / “Where the Streets Have No Name”
Superchick – “I Will Follow”

Okay, that’s enough. What U2 songs would you like to see Christian bands cover?