U2 pulled a combination Beyoncé/Jay Z just a few hours ago by dropping a surprise album complete with a big-budget endorsement deal. (They were paid for the albums that were creepily forced onto everyone’s computer today: “I don’t believe in free music. Music is a sacrament,” Bono told TIME.) During the press conference, Bono said that they had made several albums that they hadn’t released and it appears that another one is already in the works, and it looks like Apple will have something to do with it again. In a new post on U2’s website, Bono says that they’re “collaborating with Apple on some cool stuff over the next couple of years, innovations that will transform the way music is listened to and viewed.” He also mentions what is presumably a new album to follow the just-released Songs Of Innocence called Songs Of Experience: “It should be ready soon enough … although I know I’ve said that before…” Read the full letter below.
‘Hello, bonjour, ciao, hola, hallo, zdravo, dobar dan, Dia duit, hæ, hej,hei, cze??, olá, ?ao, namaste, sawatdee, jambo, pozdravi, ???? ???, ??????, ????, ?????, ?????, , ????, ??, ??????….
Remember us? Pleased to announce myself, Edge, Adam and Larry have finally given birth to our new baby… Songs of Innocence. It’s been a while. We wanted to get it right for you/us. We just finished it last week and thanks to Apple and iTunes it’s with you today. That’s already amazing to me as it normally takes a few months to turn this stuff around.
Part of the DNA of this band has always been the desire to get our music to as many people as possible. In the next 24 hours, over a half a billion people are going to have Songs of Innocence… should they choose to check it out. That is so exciting. People who haven’t heard our music, or weren’t remotely interested, might play us for the first time because we’re in their library. Country fans, hip hop afficionados from east LA, electro poppers from Seoul, Bhangra fans from New Delhi, Highlifers in Accra… might JUST be tempted to check us out, even for a moment. What a mind blowing, head scratching, 21st century situation. Over 500 million people… that’s a billion ears. And for the people out there who have no interest in checking us out, look at it this way… the blood, sweat and tears of some Irish guys are in your junk mail.
You’ll have noticed the album is free to U2.com’ers from the band. It’s also free to everyone on iTunes thanks to Apple. To celebrate the ten year anniversary of our iPod commercial, they bought it as a gift to give to all their music customers. Free, but paid for. Because if no-one’s paying anything for it, we’re not sure “free” music is really that free. It usually comes at a cost to the art form and the artist… which has big implications, not for us in U2, but for future musicians and their music… all the songs that have yet to be written by the talents of the future… who need to make a living to write them.
We’re collaborating with Apple on some cool stuff over the next couple of years, innovations that will transform the way music is listened to and viewed. We’ll keep you posted. If you like Songs of Innocence, stay with us for Songs of Experience. It should be ready soon enough… although I know I’ve said that before…
I hope after listening to our new long player a few times, you’ll understand why it took so long. We really went there… it’s a very, very personal album. Apologies if that gets excruciating… actually, I take that back. No apologies if it gets excruciating. What’s the point in being in U2 if you can’t go there?
There is no end to LOVE.’
Songs Of Innocence is out now, waiting patiently for you on your hard drive. It will see an official physical release on 10/13 via Island.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty.]