Bono's version of 'Dying Sailor to His Shipmates' is one of the stand-out tracks on 'Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys', released next Tuesday.
'Rogue's Gallery' is a maverick collection of contemporary renditions of songs from a musical genre that has all but disappeared - the sea chantey. The double-album of 43 songs has a dazzling cast-list from Bono and Sting to Nick Cave, Bryan Ferry, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Rufus Wainwright and Richard Thompson.
The idea came about when film director Gore Verbinski and actor Johnny Depp were working on 'Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.'
'I slowly became fascinated by the idea of a contemporary reinterpretation of the sea chantey,' recalls Verbinski. 'I imagined the artists that I listen to and respect doing their take on this age-old music: the song of the sea.'
Verbinski got talking to Brett Gurewitz who owns Epitaph Records and to Depp, a big rock fan, and they realized they needed a producer. Enter Hal Willner as 'the captain of this vessel.'
Here's what Hal told us at U2.Com about recording with Bono, when his pirate ship docked in Dublin.
'When Bono arrived... he asked Maurice Seezer to play a drone on his accordion then took the mic and sang a hair raising and beautiful version of the song that felt like a spiritual from Egypt. That was it - Take 1....'
If you're a subscriber to U2.Com you can hear Bono's 'Dying Sailor to His Shipmates' and read our interview with Hal here