U2’s Adam Clayton: New Arrangements Give Weight To Earliest Tunes

U2's Adam Clayton believes that by reinventing some of the band's oldest tunes on their new Songs Of Surrender collection, the songs have only now grown into what they were meant to be.

Among the early tracks U2 has revisited some 40-years-on are such classics as “I Will Follow,” “Two Hearts Beat As One,” “Stories For Boys,” “11 O'Clock Tick Tock,” and “40.”

We caught up with the famed bassist and he explained how the band went about restructuring some of their most beloved works: “I guess it was one of the more organic processes that U2 engaged in. Very unwieldy as an idea, y'know — reimagining 40 songs. We started to see that a lot of the early songs that had felt incomplete, or unfinished, or naive — when one looked at them now, in reality those were songs with a lot of DNA and intuition. That when you read them, when you looked back at them now at this position of being in our 60's, those lyrics and those songs meant something.”

Adam Clayton explained that be pulling the songs apart and looking at them in a new light, the songs became something bigger than before: “It meant The Edge could slow them down, he could bring the keys down, Bono could deliver the vocals in a different way, and suddenly there was a personality that had much more the gravitas of a story that Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson might tell, and it engaged with you in a different way. It stopped you from thinking about that big old '80s rock band that had this big stadium-filling sound.”