10 Best U2 Cover Songs

U2 Cover Songs

Photo: Paul Jones, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our 10 Best U2 Cover Songs list presents stunning covers songs recorded by the legendary rock band we all know as U2. The band has released a phenomenal body of original work during their forty plus year career. Throughout their career, the group has recorded many cover versions of famous songs often having been released as b sides to singles or simply just great concert versions of covers that would make their way onto some of their albums. Here are ten of our favorites.

# 10 – Bang a Gong (Get It On)

We open up our top 10 U2 Cover Songs songs list with the legendary song entitled “Bang a Gong (Get It On).” U2’s version of the legendary T.Rex song was released on the album AngelHeaded Hipster – The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex. The album was released less than two years ago as of this writing in 2020. Bono sings in his low register for most of the song. What we love most about this version is Elton John’s great rhythmic piano playing that fuels the groove.  The song “Bang a Gong (Get It On).”  has been covered by multiple artists with one of the most successful covers being released by the Power Station in 1985.

# 9 – Instant Karma

Continuing with our top 10 U2 Cover Songs songs list we take a listen to the song “Instant Karma.” U2’s version of the song was released on the album entitled Make Some Noise – The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. The album was released in 2007. “Instant Karma,” was originally released by John Lennon but credited to Lennon/Ono with the Plastic Ono Band. The original version was released as a single in February of 1970.

 

# 8 – Paint It Black

In the number eight spot on our top 10 U2 Cover Songs songs list, we present the song entitled “Paint It Black.” This is simply a stunning cover of the legendary Rolling Stones song. The song was originally released as the B-Side to the single “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”  from the album Achtung Baby.  The album was released in 1991. The song “Paint It Black,” would also find its way onto the deluxe edition of the album released in 2011.

# 7 – Unchained Melody

In the number seven position on our top 10 U2 Cover Songs list is U2’s breathtaking version of the 1960s standard “Unchained Melody.” The song was officially released by U2 on their greatest hits package entitled The Best of 1980–1990. Bono’s vocal on this one is simply to die for.  The song was originally a monster hit for the Righteous Brothers in 1965. The song stands as one of the most covered songs in classic rock history.

# 6 – Pop Muzik

I wonder how many people remember this very cool song by M which was released in 1979. It was a pretty big hit for a very short time in the fall of 1979. It was a song that was pretty much ahead of its time. It was so cool that U2 did a cover version of this song. U2 released their version as the b-side to the single “Last Night On Earth.”

# 5 – The Saints are Coming

At the halfway point on our top 10 U2 Cover Songs list is the haunting song entitled “The Saints are Coming.” The song was originally released by the Scottish band Skids. It was released by the Skids in 1979. U2 teamed up with Green Day and recorded this astonishing version in 2006. U2 and Green Day’s version was recorded for charity in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. U2 would release the song on their U218 Singles CD.

# 4 – Fortunate Son

At the number four spot on our top 10 U2 Cover Songs list we present the song entitled “Fortunate Son.” We love U2’s very modern-sounding version of this classic Creedence Clearwater Revival song. Now, this is how to do a cover song. Make it your own, in your own style, and in your own voice. The song was originally released as the B-Side to the single “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”  from the album Achtung Baby.  The album was released in 1991.

 

# 3 – Helter Skelter

Well, we most definitely could not forget this one. Moving along on our top 10 U2 Cover Songs list we present the classic Beatles song entitled “Helter Skelter.” The U2 cover version of the song was released on the album entitled Rattle And Hum. The album was released in 1988. U2’s killer version of the Beatles song opened up the Rattle And Hum album. Their performance of the sone was recorded live in Denver, Colorado. The Beatles original version was released on The White Album.

# 2 – Everlasting Love

Just off the number one spot on our top 10 U2 Cover Songs list, we have the classic soul song entitled “Everlasting Love.”  The song was released as an official single by U2 in 1990. The song was released as a single only and did not appear on any U2 studio album. It does appear on their double CD greatest hits album. It’s hard to go wrong with such a fantastic song as “Everlasting Love.” The song had been a hit multiple times. Carl Carlton had a top 10 hit with the song in 1974. Gloria Estefan also had a top 40 hit with the song in 1995, U2 rocks out in their stunning version.

# 1 – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

We close out our top 10 U2 Cover Songs list, presenting the song entitled “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” This classic Beatles song was performed by U2 and Paul McCartney at Hyde Park in London. The musicians performed the song as the opening number at the Live 8 concert during the summer of 2005.  When they released the performances as a single for charity, it would become the fastest-selling downloaded single of all time putting them into the Guinness Book of World Records.

 

Top 10 U2 Cover Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

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