U2 reworking hits with Blackstreet member

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Dave Hollister, of the R&B act behind No Diggity, says he's in the studio with Bono and the Edge, 'redoing some classics'

Sean Michaels, The Guardian

If their Spider-Man opera wasn't already WTF enough, U2 are now apparently collaborating with a member of Blackstreet. Dave Hollister, one quarter of the 90s R&B group, is allegedly helping the Irish band "re-do" two of their earlier songs.

Hollister revealed his involvement on Monday, posting to Twitter: "In the studio working with U2! Man I'm excited! Bono baby!!!!!!!!!!!!" Despite 12 exclamation points, Hollister and U2's fans do not - for some reason - move in the same online circles, and it took several days for the Bonosphere to begin gurgling its incomprehension.

According to Hollister's subsequent tweets, U2 are "redoing some classics", and he is helping them rework two tracks: All I Want Is You, from 1988's Rattle and Hum, and Grace, from 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind. Neither much resemble No Diggity.

Although he is best known for his work in Blackstreet, Hollister quit the group after the release of their 1994 debut. He rejoined for 2003's Level II album, and is reportedly working with them again. Hollister has also released seven solo records, including a successful foray into gospel.

U2 fans are trying to remain level-headed about the band's choice of collaborators. "I wonder whether this is part of a conscious strategy to broaden their target audience demographic?" asked one supporter. "I can see them going more towards a gospel sound but not overly religious," suggested another. Bono has already described their next LP, Songs of Ascent, as a "ghost album of hymns and Sufi singing". Perhaps this includes gospel renditions of old songs. Sunday Holy Sunday, anyone?

Meanwhile, in New York, rehearsals have started for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the superhero musical with songs by Bono and the Edge. The $50m (£33m) stage show spent a year in financial crisis, losing Evan Rachel Wood and Alan Cumming as its leads. At long last, a spokesman for the show confirmed, yesterday, that their new Peter Parker, Reeve Carney, has started his singing, dancing and web-slinging practice. "Wow, man, I can't wait for the world to see this thing," Carney wrote on Twitter. "It's finally happening!" The Edge has previously described the production as "much more like opera than a straight musical".

Last week, Bono declared that he is "fighting fit" after undergoing serious back surgery. The band return to the road next month.

© Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on July 24, 2010 6:26 PM.

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