Bedouin Soundclash are a Toronto band rooted in Wailers-era reggae and dub. They played here in Fredericton a few months ago and although I didn't go, Travis was able to fill me in on things. Knowing my soft-spot for U2 (Travis's U2 spot isn't as soft), he informed me that the band played a reggae-fied version of "New Year's Day" from the War album. My curiosity was piqued and, as luck would have it, I was able to find a recording of the cover on the band's MySpace site.
I can't say the cover does a lot for me (it's a little boring), but it's definitely a unique take on the song and probably one of the more successful attempts I've heard at covering Bono and company. U2 covers tend to be notoriously bad, judging by the examples I've heard over the years.
One of the better attempts I've heard is a recent take on "Seconds" (also from the War album) by Rogue Wave. Their version doesn't stray very far from the original, but just enough to make it their own. It's not quite as rigid as U2's version and leaves a little more breathing room.
The moral of the story? War is a good source for covers. So who's going to take on "Drowning Man" for me?
[mp3] Bedouin Soundclash - New Year's Day (BBC Session)
[mp3] U2 - New Year's Day
[mp3] Rogue Wave - Seconds
* Buy U2 - War
* Buy Bedouin Soundclash - Sounding a Mosaic
* Buy Rogue Wave - Descended Like Vultures