Four great covers of Joshua Tree songs
THE wide influence of U2’s The Joshua Tree is evident in the countless cover versions of the album’s songs that exist in virtually every style imaginable. Here’s a look at some of the best:
Where The Streets Have No Name, Pet Shop Boys (1991)
The synth-pop duo not only turn the rock anthem into a chugging dance floor filler, the guys combine it with Frankie Valli’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off You to make it almost unrecognisable. But the song’s brilliant lyrics and structure still shine through, when surrounded by Pet Shop Boys’ disco flourishes or Banda Brasileira’s bossa nova rhythms or Starsailor’s simple acoustic guitars.
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, The Chimes (1990) Singer Pauline Henry amps up the song’s natural gospel feel, while the other Chimes build a laid-back neosoul vibe around her powerful vocals. It’s no surprise that the bulk of the covers of the chart-topper are from gospel acts, though Cher’s glitzy guitar-fuelled version and Disturbed’s roaring nü-metal version were certainly unexpected.
Bullet The Blue Sky, P.O.D. (1999) You’d think the highly political, highly specific nature of Bullet would make it impossible to cover, but P.O.D. doesn’t just amplify the rage of the original with their hard-hitting, sludgy version, it provides a showcase for both Sonny Sandoval’s vocals and Marcos Curiel’s guitar work.
With Or Without You, Les Nubians (2008) The French duo layers a whole Afrofunk superstructure over the song’s original simplicity, filling the space with call-and-response backing vocals, horn blasts and a ton of fascinating drama. Tapping into the drama is a path that many – from new wavers Heaven 17 to operatic rocker Amy Lee – have tried with varying success, with Keane’s tender version faring best. – Newsday/ Tribune News Service
Songs from U2’s The Joshua Tree have been remade by many other artistes.