13th Sep 14, What a week!: Excitement among the U2 fan community was at fever pitch on Tuesday as the launch of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch approached, as rumours were rife that U2 would be involved somehow, given their long association with Apple and various other goings on which hinted that something big was about to happen. Little did we know that by the end of Apple's presentation, U2 would have performed a new song (The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)) AND released their new album (Songs of Innocence) to all 500 million iTunes customers for free! The nature of the release has been controversial, with many disgruntled iTunes customers venting their anger on Twitter but as Neil McCormick said, "They're getting a free album that they don't have to listen to. My heart bleeds." Bono said that the point of giving the album to so many people was that maybe even just some of them would listen to U2 for the first time and that's a great way to reach a new audience. Virtually all of U2's previous albums are now in the iTunes charts' top 100 so maybe the idea has paid off already. Bono has also said that another album (Songs of Experience) will be released "soon" - although he admits that he's made promises like that before!
16th Apr 14, Still no new album: Well U2 are still together so hopefully that 'split' rumour can safely be ignored now. :) The band are busy recording at Church Studios in north London, which makes you wonder why they're not sticking with the familiar surroundings of Hanover Quay in Dublin. Yes, the roof was blown off in recent storms (!) but I'm sure it's still safe to use. Perhaps Bono wants to try somewhere new in the hope that it'll inspire him in his quest to remain relevant. The thing is, most fans aren't worried if U2 are "relevant" or not - we just want some great songs! The band are all in their 50s now so it seems a bit odd for them to be so obsessed with chasing the chart-music-buying teenage/early 20s market. They should stick to what they're best at - writing great songs that mean something.
20th Mar 14, Pre album-release hype...or not?: It’s been all go on the U2 front lately. The band performed at Sean Penn’s benefit for Haiti, won a Golden Globe for Ordinary Love and performed at the Oscars. They were also the ‘victims’ of one of the world’s most infamous photobombs, when Benedict Cumberbatch was snapped jumping into the air behind them on the red carpet outside the Oscars ceremony (photo here and video here ). Rumours have been flying around of impending album release and tour announcement but subsequent rumours have suggested that both of those things may not happen until 2015! Still further rumours say that U2 are considering breaking up because of the difficulty they’re having finishing off the new album.
03rd Feb 14, U2 release Invisible on iTunes: After all the hype, U2 announced their new song, Invisible, in a commercial during last night's Super Bowl. The song was scheduled to be released through iTunes at 6 pm Eastern Time (11 pm GMT) but actually appeared online several hours earlier than that, much to fans' surprise. The song is being used to raise money for the (RED) charity's campaign to bring an end to AIDS, as Bank of America have agreed to donate $1 for every download. Originally this was to be capped at a total donation of $2 million but after a phenomenal response, BofA have agreed to keep donating above that limit. Music is really making a difference. As for the song itself, most fans seem to be impressed and the feeling is that it'll play particularly well in the live environment. Roll on the next tour!
15th Jan 14, Some solid news at last: After months of speculation (remember Larry saying the album would be out last September?), there has finally been something to cheer weary U2 fans - three things in fact! Firstly, the band recorded a new single (Invisible) and made a video for it at Santa Monica Airport, of all places. Then they played a short set at a Haiti benefit concert organised by Sean Penn and finally they won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for 'Ordinary Love', the closing theme from 'The Long Walk to Freedom'. An announcement regarding the release of the new album is expected during the Super Bowl on 2nd February and fingers crossed, a tour announcement will follow soon after that. Exciting times. :)
19th Nov 13, U2's fifth member retires: The online U2 fan community has been buzzing recently over the news that Paul McGuinness is to sell Principle Management to Live Nation and Madonna's manager, Guy Oseary, is to take over the day to day running of the U2 organisation. Live Nation are reportedly paying $30 million for Principle in a deal which will see Paul McGuinness take on a less hands-on 'chairman' role while Oseary manages the band's affairs. McGuinness has always been considered the 5th member of U2 so he'll be a hard act to follow but he himself says Oseary is the best in the business and he wouldn't have considered anyone else for the job. In these days when music sales are falling but concert revenues are booming, Oseary seems like the perfect man for the job.
15th Oct 13, Album delayed until 2014: It looks like we can forget any idea of the new U2 album coming out this year, after Adam said in a recent interview that the band hoped to be finished it by Christmas with an expected release date "very early" in 2014. It would be a shame to miss the Christmas market but no doubt they'd rather make sure the new record is as good as it can be rather than rush it in an attempt to boost sales in the pre-Christmas rush. (Do people still refer to records any more or am I just showing my age, btw?)
04th Sep 13, Adam ties the knot: Congratulations to Adam Clayton on his marriage today to Brazilian art dealer Mariana de Carvalho at a private ceremony in Dublin. They've been together for around 4 years now, which must be a record for Adam. ;-) Apparently neither Bono nor Larry were at the ceremony which is a surprise, especially considering that Adam was Bono's best man when he married Ali in 1982 and Bono has often described Adam as his "best mate". I assumed he'd return the favour but apparently not.
28th Aug 13, Album delays and possible tour: Recent rumours are suggesting that the album which Larry initially said would be out by the end of September may not now be released until November at the earliest - and possibly next spring. Fans are used to this sort of delay of course but it's frustrating when we thought we were so close to the new record coming out. (Do people still say 'record' btw? Perhaps I'm showing my age there.) Bono has also made mutterings about concerts in France next year but I suppose we'll have to wait and see exactly what's planned. There's no point making any travel plans just yet. :)
29th Jun 13, Moving this site: I'm in the process of moving this site to a new host so if you visit some time over the next day or two and the site either looks weird or seems to have disappeared, that's why. If that happens it should still come back in a day or two. Fingers crossed. :) In U2 news, someone has leaked what they claim is the tracklist for the upcoming album which is still expected towards the end of this year. There's a lot of debate online about whether it's genuine or not but I suppose only time will tell. I have my doubts, myself - but I'm happy to be proved wrong!
15th May 13, New album still under wraps: I just got back from holiday so it's time I updated this site again, although there's not that much happening on the U2 front at the minute. They're still working away on the upcoming new album but so far there's not even a sniff of any of the new tracks. A YouTube clip that was posted online claiming to be a possible outtake from the current recording sessions turned out to be just a recording of a rehearsal from the Vertigo tour. Despite that, I still see so-called 'news' sites referring to that clip as a leaked demo of the new album. I'm not sure if they're just being sensationalist or lazy.
28th Feb 13, The War album is 30 years old today: Today is the 30th anniversary of the release of the War album. It's hard to believe that it was on 28th February 1983 that this record hit the shelves for the first time. It was just about as different from its predecessor (October) as it's possible to be and went on to hit number one in the UK charts (knocking Thriller of the top spot in the process) and number 12 in the US. It was widely seen as U2's breakthrough album and was the first time Bono had really used his lyrics to make political points. This morning I asked Steve Lillywhite via Twitter about his abiding memory of the time spent recording War and his answer was, "Bono telling Edge to sound more like The Clash!" [Isn't it amazing that by the wonders of the interweb, I can contact a legend like Steve Lillywhite directly and ask him a question like that?] Looking to the future, I suppose the next milestone anniversary for U2 albums will be on 5th July this year, 20 years to the day from the release of Zooropa.
11th Jan 13, Update on Larry's album announcement: As I mentioned yesterday, Larry is due to announce on RTE Radio that U2 are aiming to release an album in September. However, it seems that's not the full story, as he has also said that U2 would like to release the new album in September and then soon afterwards release again. This means we could have another Achtung Baby/Zooropa type situation, where an album comes out and then another is recorded and released during breaks in the subsequent tour. I don't want to get my hopes up too much though...there have been other similar promises in the past and they've always come to nothing. Still, you never know.
10th Jan 13, New album announcement from Larry: Larry Mullen is due to appear on the Dave Fanning show on RTE Radio 2 this Saturday and is expected to announce that U2 are "aiming" to release their new album in September this year. If that's true then it would probably mean a tour starting in the US in Spring of 2014, reaching Europe in the Summer and then possibly returning to the US in the Autumn. After that, who knows? South America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan..? I like to think that U2 start their tours in America so that they can get them perfected before coming to Europe. :)
04th Jan 13, Remembering Electrical Storm: I just got an email from a site visitor asking for the original mp3 of Electrical Storm as it was first played on UK radio and it got me thinking about the story behind that particular file. Back in 2002, Radio 1 DJ Sarah HB bumped into Bono in the south of France and he gave her a demo of U2's next single. She promised to play it on her Sunday morning show as long as she could get the proper authorisation to do so. I remember emailing her back and forth for about 3 weeks asking when she was finally going to play it and eventually the day came, so I recorded the song from the radio, made an mp3 of it and hosted it on my site. After a couple of emails to U2 mailing lists etc, my hit rate went up about 1500% in the next few days!
03rd Jan 13, Album and tour speculation: U2 have averaged around 4 years between albums going right back to Zooropa in 1993 (which was a mere 2 years after Achtung Baby). On that basis, we can be fairly optimistic that the long awaited new album should be out some time this year, as next month will be 4 years since the release of No Line on the Horizon. U2 albums are usually released in either February/March or October/November, so if we don't see the new release by the end of March it'll likely be at least another 6 months before it appears. If the new album does come out in the Spring, then that would open the way for a tour in the summer/autumn but as there haven't been any rumours of potential dates yet, that may be a bit optimistic. An October/November release with a tour in early 2014 looks more likely, imho. Time will tell.
"You gotta cry without weeping, talk without speaking, scream without raising your voice" - Running to Stand Still
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