Tuesday, September 30, 2014

U2 Now Eligible for Grammys After Pressing Limited-Edition Vinyl

Band makes 'Songs of Innocence' available for purchase right before eligibility cutoff date

After U2, Interscope Records and Apple made the band's latest album Songs of Innocence available for free to 500 million iTunes customers, a spokesperson for the Grammys said that the group would not be eligible for the next Grammy Awards due to the album being unavailable for purchase before the September 30th cutoff.

With that deadline quickly approaching, U2 have sent a limited number of vinyl copies of Innocence to retailers that will be available to buy on Tuesday's cutoff date, a source close to the situation tells Rolling Stone.

A spokesperson for the Grammys tells Rolling Stone that once the record is available on Tuesday, the band will be eligible for the upcoming 57th Annual Grammy Awards on February 8th, 2015. "As long as the album, be it CD, vinyl or digital, is available commercially for sale to the public by our eligibility cutoff date at a nationally recognized retailer or website, then it's eligible for consideration," the spokesperson says.

The group will release a deluxe edition of Songs of Innocence, with four additional songs, on October 14th, two weeks after the eligibility cutoff. It's unclear whether U2's label intended to distribute the limited-edition vinyl from the beginning of the campaign or if this is a reaction to the Grammys' original decision to render it ineligible for the upcoming awards.

The band worked on Innocence for two years with producer Danger Mouse (a.k.a. Brian Burton) before bringing in Flood, their collaborator since 1987's The Joshua Tree, and Adele producers Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder. To start, the band went back to their musical roots, soaking in punk rock, glam and post-punk icons like David Bowie, Joy Division, the Clash and the Ramones before recording more than 100 tracks.

"We wanted to make a very personal album," Bono told Rolling Stone at the time of the release. "Let's try to figure out why we wanted to be in a band, the relationships around the band, our friendships, our lovers, our family. The whole album is first journeys — first journeys geographically, spiritually, sexually. And that's hard. But we went there."

The group is planning on releasing another album entitled Songs of Experience, but has yet to set a release date. 
For now, the group is starting to think about translating the album to the road. "The tour is still in the planning stage so it's too early to describe what it will be like," says the Edge. "I think we will start small. We certainly can't get any bigger than the last tour."



Monday, September 29, 2014

Bono Is a Superbrand Who Makes the World a Better Place

U2 frontman is our 2014 Brand Visionary By Gabriel Beltrone

Photo: Joe Pugliese/August
All the world is Bono's stage.

As frontman of U2, he is among the most successful rock musicians in history. As a businessman, he's been party to lucrative investments in fashionable new tech companies like Facebook and Yelp. And as a global statesman, he's had arguably more influence than any other celebrity activist, helping lead international efforts to address extreme crises of poverty and disease.

In other words, Bono has universal clout.

"He's one of these timeless global icons," says Charles Gibb, president of luxury vodka brand Belvedere, a partner of (RED), the charity product label Bono co-founded. "He resonates in every single country around the world. He's an absolute driving force on the political scene, in the music scene and in the cultural scene."

Or, just ask any of the 500 million iTunes users that recently woke up—happy or not—to find the new U2 album in their libraries, courtesy of a pricey Apple advertising campaign.
Born Paul David Hewson, Bono and his band mates formed their rock group in Dublin in 1976. Since then, they have accumulated more than 150 million album sales worldwide and 22 Grammy Awards, placing U2 in the upper echelon of the music industry.

A decade ago, Bono took new strides into the business world, helping establish the venture capital firm Elevation Partners alongside veteran Silicon Valley investors and executives. In 2009 and 2010, the private equity shop spent a reported $210 million on Facebook shares that, by the time the social network went public in 2012, were worth some $1.5 billion. Today, the value of that stake likely exceeds $2.75 billion.

Yet despite all those achievements, there's no question that Bono's most important work has been by way of his high-profile activism.

Building on a long history of collaboration with organizations like Amnesty International and his commitment to public service around the millennium, in the mid-2000s the singer teamed up with activist and Kennedy heir Bobby Shriver to co-found a series of nonprofit groups to address issues such as debt forgiveness for impoverished nations.
Now organized under the umbrella anti-poverty campaign One, the duo's joint ventures for good also include (RED), launched in 2006 to rally corporations in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa.

In the years since, the charity has carved out its own place in the pop culture landscape, partnering at different times with countless celebrities, public servants, media companies and, essential to its mission, a slew of zeitgeist-darling brands like Apple, Beats by Dre, Converse and Starbucks as well as top global marketers including the Coca-Cola Co. and Gap. Special edition products and events ultimately generated more than $275 million for the cause and, by (RED)'s estimates, provided assistance to some 55 million people.

Flanked by designers Mark Newson and Jonathan Ive at the (RED) Design Auction in New York, November 2013. | Photo: Getty Images

Bono confirms plans for U2's 2015 tour

Bono has confirmed that U2 are planning an arena tour next year.

The 54-year-old singer revealed that the band are looking forward to promoting their new album Songs of Innocence, but they don't want to play outdoor gigs this time around.

Speaking to Absolute Radio's Christian O'Connell, Bono said: "We're gonna be touring. We're gonna start next year. We're gonna try and play the O2 and places like that, more indoors that outdoors this time, but we'll see where it takes us.

"It's exciting. We'll be coming your way and these songs are the songs that, I think . . . I think they will play themselves."

Bono further admitted that he finds it harder than ever to tour and leave his family.

He added: "Only if the songs are great can you bear leaving home. We all have families and mates and... so you know, you're looking for 11 great reasons to leave home and I think we've got them.

"You know what it's like now, it's like a whole city goes on the road with us. Our kids go out on the road, they get excited about it. It's like . . . yeah, it's kind of a whole . . . Dublin goes on the road."


Eve & Jordan Hewson Support Global Citizen Festival

eve hewson global citizen festival bono george clooney wedding 03
Sisters Eve and Jordan 

Eve Hewson poses for a photo with her older sister Jordan while attending the 2014 Global Citizen Festival to end extreme poverty by 2030, held in Central Park on Saturday (September 27) in New York City.

While the ladies were in the Big Apple for the event, their parents Bono and Ali Hewson were on the other side of the ocean to attend George Clooney‘s wedding in Venice, Italy!

Eve recently chatted with Refinery29 about how she films racy scenes on her Starz series The Knick.

“There are these things we have — these front thongs, if you will — that kind of go up and cover you from front to back and just sort of stick there, so you can film from the side and not see anything,” Eve said.
Jordan Hewson - 2014 Global Citizen Festival In Central Park To End Extreme Poverty By 2030 - VIP Lounge
Jordan and Jessica Alba


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Bono & Ali Arriving at Venice Airport for Clooney's Wedding

U2 frontman , Bono  , accompanied by his wife , Ali,  landed at Venice airport .He was greeted by fans and he stopped for a few minutes to sign autographs and taking a selfie. Then  they got on the taxi to reach by sea the hotel where George Clooney hosts the guests at his wedding.


Friday, September 26, 2014

After 'Innocence': U2 Look Ahead to Tour, New LP 'Songs of Experience'

"I think [the tour] will start small," says the Edge. "We certainly can’t get any bigger than the last one.”

In late 2010, U2 began recording a new album with producer Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton during downtime from their 360° world tour. They had little idea they were kicking off a four-year process, far and away the longest they'd ever spent on a single album. "The experiments and excursions we took with Danger Mouse at the start of the album recording were unashamedly unhinged and free of all critical judgement," says the Edge. via e-mail. "We were happy to suspend disbelief just to see where we could get to. Those early sessions were some of the most productive and fun U2 studio sessions I can remember."

According to Bono, who spoke to Rolling Stone over e-mail, the group ultimately recorded about 100 different songs. "We had great fun getting lost in the creative process," says the U2 frontman. "The thing that propelled us to reach deeper and aim higher was a new appreciation of the craft of songwriting." But he wasn’t completely happy with the material produced in the early days. "We realized that some tunes are just better than others, some lyrics just more coherent, some soundscapes just more compelling," he says. "We found ourselves bored with material that just felt good or unique."

The Edge felt the same way. "At a certain point, as the songs were coming into focus, we could see that certain qualities, hallmarks of our work where not represented," he says.  "This meant we needed to go off and write some new songs and rework a few that were almost finished."

Former Interscope Records head Jimmy Iovine served as the group's sounding board through much of the recording process. "When they first played me music I didn't hear songs that were going to include people that weren't U2 fans," he says. "I heard lyrics and ideas that could, but not songs."

He told them they had to dig deeper: "I was straight up with them. I said, 'In order to make the record you want to make, you have to go to a place where you don’t live now. And it hurts. It's dark and painful, but you have to go there. Can you put yourself back in the place you were at 25 or 35 and the world was coming at you 100 per hour and you don't give a shit?'"

In order to get there, Bono began writing songs about his difficult teenage years in Dublin and the music that changed his life, most notably the Clash and the Ramones. "I went back and started listening to all the music that made us start a rock band," he says. "It gave us a reason to exist again. That’s how this album started."

Bono also attempted to simplify his songwriting. "We wanted the album to have songs that would stand up when played on acoustic guitars or piano," he says, "not relying on Edge, Adam and Larry’s atmospheres or dynamic playing. We’re putting out an acoustic session with the physical release to try to prove this point."

At a certain point, Danger Mouse had to step away to focus on Broken Bells and his many other ongoing projects. "We took the opportunity to work with people like Ryan Tedder and Paul Epworth," says Bono. "[They] were equally strung out on the old fashioned notion of 'songwriting.'" Flood, whose tenure with U2 dates all the way back to The Joshua Tree, was also brought in to help. "It takes a village to make a U2 album," says Bono, "whether its The Joshua Tree or All That You Can’t Leave Behind, we have always needed all hands on deck."

Eventually, the group found themselves with a collection of songs they felt stood up to their best work. "We had achieved a lot in terms of establishing a fresh perspective but we also wanted the album to contain some elements of what you might call the Big Music," says the Edge. "It’s a good sign that if you asked me what songs came together last I would really have to think about it. The album has a cohesion in spite of our strange process."

With the end of recording in sight, the band turned to an issue almost as serious: how to make a big, U2-level cultural impact at a time when album sales are at a record low and rock radio is diminished. "We wanted to reach as many people as possible," says U2 manager Guy Oseary. "We brainstormed and brainstormed. Apple has hundreds of millions of iTunes accounts – giving it away just made sense."

There have been reports that Apple agreed to pay $100 million or more in marketing, which a source close to the band believes is incorrect. "I have no idea where they are getting that number from," says the source. "I think it's wrong." The amount the band was paid directly by Apple remains even more of a secret. "There’s no such thing as a free album," says Bono. "It costs time and energy to make. It was free to people because Apple paid for it. It was their gift." ("There was a payment made to the label by Apple," is all that Oseary will say when pressed for more info.)

Perhaps predictably, considering that the album went out to half a billion people, reaction to Songs of Innocence has been all over the map: everything from elation to curiosity ("Never really been a big fan, but that Songs of Innocence [is] kinda dope," said one tweeter) to bewilderment ("Either someone hacked my iTunes or I'm buying U2 albums in my sleep," wrote another) and even to anger. After the release, Apple received so many complaints that it put out a software tool that allowed users to delete the album from their iCloud accounts. But the band's camp points to the fact that 17 of U2's albums appeared in the iTunes top 100 chart in the days following the release. "There's not much rock in the zeitgeist," says Iovine. "So what the band were trying to do is defy gravity. And whatever tools you can use to do that, you should use."

There’s also another album in the works called Songs of Experience. "Early on it became obvious that we were working on two separate albums," says the Edge. "The majority of the unfinished songs are worthy of becoming part of Songs of Experience and some are already as good or better then anything on Songs of Innocence. The Songs of Experience album will be released when it's ready. I hope it won't take nearly as long." Bono is unwilling to predict when the album will be ready. "As is obvious, I'm not very reliable on predicting release dates," he says. "Ask Edge."

For now, the group is beginning to turn their attention to getting on the road and playing their new music live. "The tour is still in the planning stage so it's too early to describe what it will be like," says the Edge. "I think we will start small. We certainly can't get any bigger then the last tour."

In the meantime, nobody with the band is apologizing for aiming high on the release of Songs of Innocence. "By this point, seven percent of the planet has gotten the album," says Oseary. "It might be too big, but we like to think big." Bono, when asked about the response to the record via e-mail, puts it even more simply: "If you don't want it, delete it. Here's the link."


Cover Story

Songs Of Innocence (cover), featuring Larry Mullen Jr with his 18-year-old son

The band have completed the artwork for next month's physical release of Songs of Innocence.

The visuals reflect the new songs and their inspiration in the early years of U2 as teenagers in Dublin.

Glen Luchford's striking cover image of Larry Mullen Jr, protecting his 18year old son, resonates with the band's iconic 1979 debut album Boy - and the album War, four years later.

Both featured the face of a child, Peter Rowen, the younger brother of Guggi, Bono's childhood friend growing up on Cedarwood Road.

'We've always been about community in U2, about family and friends,' explains Bono. 'Songs Of Innocence is the most intimate album we've ever made. With this record we were looking for the raw, naked and personal, to strip everything back.'

The idea of the unique relationship between a parent and child, the image of a father and son, came from the band. The shoot with Larry and his son was initially an experiment but everyone loved it as a visual metaphor for the record.

If you know the album, reflects Bono, you'll see the themes in the visual language, how 'holding on to your own innocence is a lot harder than holding on to someone else's.' 

The physical release of Songs of Innocence on October 13th comes in three formats which are available for pre-order hereand through Island Records, and U2.com
Pre-order digital here

Deluxe, 2 CD Format which comes with 2 x 16 page booklets, the 11 track album on CD1 plus additional tracks on CD2 including a 6-song acoustic session along with Lucifer's Hands, The Crystal Ballroom, The Troubles (Alternative Version) and Sleep Like A Baby Tonight (Alternative Perspective Mix by Tchad Blake). 

2 LP 180gram White Vinyl Format featuring the 11 track album on sides 1, 2 & 3 with bonus track The Crystal Ballroom 12" Mix on side 4. 

Single CD Format with a 24-page booklet along with the 11 track album.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

U2 'Songs of Innocence' - Album Review

Well known Dublin band are back with a crash, bang and wallop...
Rating: 4 / 5
Niall Stokes  

Was there ever an album that divided people so utterly? I’m sure there was. But because of the way in which it was launched – free to anyone who is registered with iTunes, a fact that was announced at an Apple product launch in Cupertino last week – there has been a fierce intensity to the noise around the new U2 album. A lot of people clearly don’t like U2. But the scale of this hostility is as firm a measure as you can get of the importance of the band. Because the truth is that if they were only the 50th biggest rock’n’roll band in the world, no one would give a shit.
To some extent, the music has been forgotten in the crossfire. So, for a few minutes, let’s forget the debate about whether or not it is a good idea to join forces with Apple to create the ultimate 2014 hype – which is effectively what U2 achieved last week. As a result, they were splashed across the news pages of almost every medium known to humankind (alright I exaggerate) as well colonising the entertainment sections. But you get the picture. After the blanket coverage, and the adoration and the accusations of sell-out alike, it all comes down to approximately 48 minutes of music and the perennial question: but is it any good?

And the answer is is a resounding yes: Songs of Innocence is a great U2 album. I had known that U2 were planning to look back to their early days, growing up in Dublin, for inspiration, and that this would likely shape the new record, on which they have been working for the past three years and more. What I hadn’t expected was the intensely personal nature of at least some of the songs. Bono is a past master at shifting the focus away from himself in his lyrics. Long ago, he understood the art of putting his thoughts and ideas – and emotions – into the heads of a series of characters. It is a device that offers a license to push things further, to admit to madness or megalomania or living life on the edge in any number of ways – and none of it need adhere to the man at the centre of the action. Songs of Innocence, however, sees him dropping the masks, for the most part, and singing from the heart. At its best, the effect is riveting.

While they worked with various producers during the album’s gestation, including Danger Mouse, Paul Epworth, Ryan Tedder, Flood and Declan Gaffney, Songs of Innocence is defiantly and totally a U2 record. With occasional exceptions, Bono’s vocals are well to the fore throughout; Edge piles on the big chords and twangs brilliantly where appropriate; and in the engine room, Larry and Adam anchor things powerfully, giving U2 their unique centre of gravity.

Songs of Innocence is also unashamedly a pop album. It begins with a huge “Oh-wey-oh” chorus set over a big, thumping beat that harks back to the glam rock that was dominating the charts in the mid-70s when U2 started to coalesce into a unit. But the song ’The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)’ is a testament to the influence of the gangling frontman of the self-styled dumbest band of them all, The Ramones, on a bunch of kids growing up on the North Side of Dublin when they – along with a motley crew from Hot Press, including yours truly – saw Joey and the bros in the State Theatre in Phibsboro in what was definitively another time, another place: “I was young/ Not dumb/ Just wishing to be blinded/ By you/ Brand new/ And we were pilgrims on our way.”

Musically, there is a flavour here of ‘Staring At The Sun’. Lyrically, it is home to one of Bono’s characteristic finely-tuned, nutshell moments: “We got language so we can’t communicate/ Religion so I can love and hate/ Music so I can exaggerate my pain, and give it a name.” It is powerful stuff.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

More Interviews to Bono on Songs of Innocence

Bono talks to Sheila and Marconi for KinkLive:


Bono Talks To Christian O'Connell  for the Breakfast Show ,Sunday 21st September 2014


Bono With Dave Fanning Sunday ,21st Sept 2014


“In The End, Radio Is Everything”, Bono

AFP/Getty Images

Bono spoke with Marty Lennartz from Dublin about a host of topics ranging from U2’s latest release Songs Of Innocence, how their relationship with Apple came to be, and more. Before digging into specifics about his music, Bono praised XRT and the partnership the station has with the band exclaiming “it’s a relationship that we treasure and one of the few stations that was with us from the very beginning.”
Bono and Marty discuss the record, sharing stories from the recording process and U2’s goal with this album. Bono says, “I want these tunes to be airborne, light in their feet. To be like Beatles records, you can stray into dark territory but then stray into a pop song.” He tells Marty that the band didn’t want to make music if it wasn’t valid to their earlier days and doesn’t play a role in how they became the band they are today.
Bono acknowledged the negative reaction some people had to the release of the album on iTunes. He praises Apple for their innovation in not only providing fans with music, but protecting the interests of musicians and making sure they are properly reimbursed for their efforts. To the fans that weren’t happy with the release, Bono stated “a lot of blood, sweat, and tears just went in to your junk mail. No one has deleted more U2 songs in the last five years than the members of U2.”
Despite the mixed reaction, Bono is behind the idea of helping shape the future. Paying respect to his punk rock interests, he stated, “If you disrupt you’re always going to upset some people, but isn’t that the job of anyone who joins a punk rock band in the first place?”
Concluding the interview, Bono proclaims “Chicago’s behind our experimentation, and it goes deep with us.”
Listen below to hear the full interview of Bono’s chat with Marty Lennartz.

Bono Chats With Marty Lennartz

bono 770getty1 In The End, Radio Is Everything Bono Chats With Marty Lennartz [Listen]


Monday, September 22, 2014

Bono reveals U2 will play smaller venues like the O2 for their next tour

U2 yesterday revealed they aren’t planning to rock Croke Park on their next tour but want to play a series of smaller gigs.
Frontman Bono said the band would prefer to perform at venues such as the O2 when they go out on the road.
But it would mean they would have to put on 17 nights in the much-smaller venue in Dublin if they want to play to as many people as their usual three nights at Croker.
Yesterday, the 53-year-old said: “We’d like to play indoors. Those big outdoor shows, grand operas – some of the best nights of our lives have been there playing those. No roof over your head.
“But for these tunes, we’re certainly going to start indoors. We’d like to play the O2, those kind of places.
“They’re nice little clubs. It’s nice to play intimate things like that.”

The Beautiful Day singer revealed the change came after they played a ballroom at a charity gig for Sean Penn.
But Bono revealed their new album Invisible is yet to be finished and the band are getting sick of not having enough women around them.
He added: “It’s not done, and we’re here in some dank basement. There were mice spotted earlier.
“We call it the oil rig. Why is it that we always end up hanging out with men in overalls?
“You start a band when you’re 17 and then you get a crew if you’re lucky and they’re all in overalls.
“And then you go to the studio and there’s more people in overalls. Not enough girls. Please, girls out there, start twiddling those knobs.
“We’ll finish in a couple of months. People are feeling very upbeat about things. But that can change. It’s finished when it’s finished.”
And the Dubliner revealed U2 nearly didn’t go back in the studio as they thought for a while there was no need for another album.
He said: “We were trying to figure out why would anyone want another U2 album? And then we said, ‘Well, why would we want one?’ And there was some unfinished business.
“We went back to why we wanted to be in a band in the first place.
“We listened to all this extraordinary music in the late 70s which formed our musical tastes, because we’ve been around a while.
“Punk rock and electronic music was when it started for us. We were listening to the Ramones and Kraftwerk and you can hear both of those things on Invisible.
“And we started to think about those times and the things that made us who we were. It opened up a whole valve for me writing. It was a dam burst of sorts.”
Now Bono finds “the question of whether we are relevant” keeps coming up for them and reckons it’s healthy that other bands try and beat U2 at their own game.
He added: “We felt like we were on the verge of irrelevance a lot in our lives and that’s how you get through.
“First of all you have to make stuff that’s relevant to you and you have to make an honest note or account of what you’re going through. I poured what I’m going through now back through the eye of the experience I had when I first started being in a band and that’s what opened me up.
“And if that is relevant to other people, then great. But we don’t know. And Invisible is out there, it’s a sneak preview of our album.
“I don’t know how accessible it is but
I think it’s a great song. And that’s it, so we’ll find out if we’re irrelevant.
“I’m prepared for people to try and blow us off the stage. It’s the right instinct. We’re just not going to make it easy.”
But Bono warned that while the album is expected to be out in April, The Edge is still working on getting everything finished. He said: “Until it’s on the radio or online, it’s not real. With U2, our album isn’t finished until it’s in the stores. The Edge is mixing it now.
“It’s tricky getting us across the line. But we are very thrilled with Invisible. It feels good. I’m just delighted that there are still people that are interested”
On Super Bowl Sunday, U2 released their new track Invisible for free with $1 – 73c – going to help fight Aids.
Yesterday it emerged the band raised more than €2.5million, after signing a deal with Bank of America to stump up the cash to Red – an organisation which fights HIV and Aids in third-world countries.
But speaking to BBC Radio 1, Bono revealed Invisible came from his experience of leaving Ireland for London.
He said: “I was writing about leaving home with just enough rage to see it through and this feeling of arriving in London, sleeping in the station and coming out into the punk rock explosion. There were really wild, extraordinary people in the late 70s and then you feel deeply not extraordinary.
“You’re screaming to be seen and you feel invisible – and you’ve got your band and this is your whole life.
“We played the clubs there and it’s that feeling of getting out of town.”
The singer said it felt great there was huge interest in getting hold of the song – especially with a fear no one would download it. He added: “That was a nice feeling. We’re at nearly two-and-a-half million downloads and there were one million downloads in one hour on Sunday.
“You never really know. And of course, with all singers, insecurity is your best security. That’s why we’re such loud people and why we walk all funny.
“You think, ‘Are people interested?’
“But I think our band has something and they know that we don’t just put albums out. We do think about it.”

source : http://www.irishmirror.ie/

U2 say no to Bono on guitar

U2's Bono spoke to Christian O'Connell on the Absolute Radio Breakfast show in an exclusive interview in which he revealed that his fellow band mates aren't keen on his guitar playing. 

The U2 frontman said 'I shouldn't really tell you this, but there's often a move in U2 to stop me playing guitar.'

However the singer does have some support behind him.

'I do have The Edge beside me and he's often saying 'no, no, let him play one or two or three songs'.'

Although Bono is not favoured for his guitar playing, it seems his fifteen-year-old son could soon become a star in his own right:

'My boy's a really great guitar player and a big Oasis and Nirvana fan, so he's down with the rock songs on the album.'


No surprise that U2's new album impresses

Everything about U2's new album is unexpected. Like its very existence, for one, after the Irish rock band dropped it on iTunes users in a surprise move.
Then there's its intriguingly narrow and personal scope. And its playful musical adventurousness: The band smo-othly shifts gears over variable terrain on a road course as it works through songs inspired by things that seemingly have little do with each other. Each, however, is an experience from youth and young manhood for singer Bono, guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr.
Anthemic opener "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)" is a tribute to The Ramones, the band that fired Bono's imagination as a teen. The band wraps punk-like power chords in its usual finery and transforms a monosyllabic garage rock "ohohohoh" chorus into an ethereal gospel-tinged hallelujah. "Everything I ever lost now has been returned, the most beautiful sound I'd ever heard," Bono sings.
"California (There is No End to Love)," a song about the band's first trip to Los Angeles, is a modern take on The Beach Boys with a hallucinatory opening consisting of the band chanting "Barbara Barbara Barbara Santa Barbara" in the round before launching into one of those trademark power ballads that feel like a jet plane racing to the horizon.
Along the way, we visit with Bono's late mother on the soaring "Iris (Hold Me Close)," steal a first kiss on "Song For Someone," experience terrifying violence in the streets of Dublin on the visceral "Raised By Wolves," visit the old neighborhood on the wonderfully bombastic "Cedarwood Ro-ad," and take their life's mission from The Clash on the funky and bright "This is Where You Can Reach Me Now."
The album was produced by Danger Mouse with assistance from others, including Adele collaborators Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder and longtime U2 associate Flood.
Their fingerprints are everywhere - there's baroque synthesizer throughout, jangling ghost guitars and a general retro feel to the rhythm section.
But even with all those outside collaborators in the room, it remains a distinctly U2 record - soaring, upbeat and often transcendent.
"Songs of Innocence" is just the fourth album for the band this century." While it continues the group's general musical trend of the last 15 years, there's no question there's more energy here, more inspiration and more to be excited about than anything since "Beautiful Day."
- and it's hard to believe it's been 14 years since the band released that latter-career high-water mark.
In a letter to fans, Bono says the group finished the album a week ago, delivering it with unimaginable speed, and teased another imminent album "Songs of Experience."
"We really went there . it's a very, very personal album," Bono wrote. "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's a lesson in that statement for everyone else in the game. Pay attention.
'Songs of Innocence'


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Adam Clayton in conversation with Terry DiMonte

Adam Clayton  with Terry DiMonte on the CHOM phone for a chat about his career as well as the recent controversy after the release of "Songs of Innocence"


Bono Talks to Dave Fanning on RTÉ 2fm

The U2 frontman says that the blogosphere is enough to put you off democracy, in an exclusive interview to the renowned RTE presenter. -

"We were always the band to divide people, not to unite people,” the U2 frontman said, discussing the release of U2’s new album, Songs of Innocence. "That’s it. To sing, 'In the name of love/What more in the name of love' – it was as uncool in 1984 as it is now, and that’s why people came through the doors. To sing about your faith: how uncool is that in rock ‘n’ roll? To sing about your mother; come on, shut up! Except John Lennon did it, Kurt Cobain did it, Eminem has done it. What is the point in being in U2 if you can’t go to those other places?"

The interview will be broadcast this Sunday 21 September, at 10am on RTÉ 2fm and will take 2fm listeners on a journey through the new album – the band’s first since 2009’s No Line on the Horizon.

Speaking about U2's relationship with Apple, he said: "There’s been some real deliberate misunderstanding of this relationship with Apple. This is a company which has more than any other technological company, sought to get musicians paid. There’s lots of other technology companies who’ve become very rich on musicians not getting paid. So it’s a perfect relationship to work with them."

On the controversy surrounding the method in which U2 released 'Songs of Innocence’ he is trenchant in his views.

"The same people who used to write on walls are in the blogosphere,” Bono says. "The blogosphere is enough to put you off democracy (laughs)! No…let people have their say. They’re the haters; we’re the lovers. We’re never going to agree. People who would not normally be exposed to our music have got a chance to listen to it. Whether they hold that to their heart or not, we don’t know. Whether those songs will be important to them, in a week’s time we don’t know. But they’ve got a chance and that’s gotta be exciting for a band who’ve been around as long as we have.

"The hardest thing in the world, as Bruce Springsteen said to me – and this was ten years ago – is to surprise your audience or to surprise yourself."

The Dave Fanning interview with Bono will air from 10am – 12noon on RTÉ 2fm, on Sunday, September 21.


Bono joins Bret Saunders

U2 frontman Bono joins Bret Saunders ('BCO Morning Show2,Denver, US) to talk about the new album 'Songs of Innocence,' the influence of the Ramones and other early punk bands, and the album's oddly controversial iTunes release.

Hear the full interview below:


Bono and U2 on Why They Released a Free Album on iTunes

The band members tell TIME how they came up with the release of "Songs of Innocence"

Bono doesn’t view his songs as children—they’re more like parents.

“They tell you what to do, they tell you how to behave,” the U2 singer told TIME. “These songs, we worked quite hard on them over the years, and we really didn’t want—they really didn’t want them to be ignored.”

The best way to get the world’s attention? Give the album, for free, to all 500 million iTunes users. The unique release of their latest album, Songs of Innocence, was announced at Apple’s event on Sept. 9.

In the video above, the members of U2 explain how the first album release of its kind came about.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Bono on German Radio

Bono von U2 (Quelle: dpa/picture-alliance)

Bono was interviewed by German Radio (SWR3-Morningshow).
Here is the complete interview. 


The Edge Interviewed by Alan Cross

Alan Cross (The Edge-102.1,based in Toronto, Canada) chats with The Edge of U2 about longevity, Apple and the new album, Songs of Innocence.


Bono On Jo Whiley Show

Bono was interviewed by Jo Whiley show on BBC 2 on September 18th . Here is the complete interview:


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bono's interview at KROQ

In an interview this morning with Kevin & Bean, the U2 frontman opened up about the band’s release method.

“The punk rock thing to do is annoy people and get in their faces,” he said. “If people have a problem with the way we released the album, I’m sure they’ve read about it online.”
Bono’s talk of punk rock didn’t end there. He also explained the band’s Songs of Innocence tribute to Joey Ramone, “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone).” Apparently, when Bono was just starting out, he had the realization that his singing voice wasn’t very masculine — an asset that ended up helping him front U2 — and Joey Ramone’s music made him feel like it was okay.

Listen to the interview : 

source: https://soundcloud.com/u2radio

Adam interviewed by Argentinian Radio

Adam Clayton was interviewed by Argentinian radio programme "Perros de la Calle".  He talks about the band, the beginnings, their dreams, what he likes playing live and of course, "Songs of Innocence". It is a very complete and excellent interview.


Exclusive: U2 and Apple Have Another Surprise for You

The four members of the legendary Irish band tell TIME about another new album in the works—and its secret Apple project that might just save the music industry

Many, many people really, really like U2. It hasn’t always been easy to remember that fact amid the caustic—and often hilarious—responses to the band’s Sept. 9 release of Songs of Innocence. U2’s decision to team up with Apple to deliver the new album to every iTunes subscriber, unasked, raised valid questions about consumer choice and personal space in a world that routinely infringes on both. Moreover, while Apple paid U2 for the album, critics of the deal suggest this point may have been lost on iTunes customers who got it for free. If so, that messaging is certainly at odds with U2’s intentions.

As an article in the new issue of TIME reveals, Bono, Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr believe so strongly that artists should be compensated for their work that they have embarked on a secret project with Apple to try to make that happen, no easy task when free-to-access music is everywhere (no) thanks to piracy and legitimate websites such as YouTube. Bono tells TIME he hopes that a new digital music format in the works will prove so irresistibly exciting to music fans that it will tempt them again into buying music—whole albums as well as individual tracks. The point isn’t just to help U2 but less well known artists and others in the industry who can’t make money, as U2 does, from live performance. “Songwriters aren’t touring people,” says Bono. “Cole Porter wouldn’t have sold T-shirts. Cole Porter wasn’t coming to a stadium near you.”

TIME has been spending time with U2 in the studio, in London and Malibu and accompanied the band to the Apple launch in Cupertino. During the days that followed the launch, the band members maintained a semblance of cheer and they had reasons to feel good. Controversial as it was, the rollout of Songs of Innocence catapulted the band’s back catalogue into the charts again. By Sept. 18 Apple said that 38 million people had accessed Songs, downloading the album or streaming it. For every scathing tweet, U2 got positive feedback from a happy fan or a new listener. The band is—rightly—proud of its latest work, yet the backlash didn’t go unnoticed. “It’s like everyone’s vomiting whatever their first impression is,” said Clayton at one point, bemused rather than self-pitying.

U2 could always have expected something of a rough ride for this, the band’s 13th studio album. For one thing, Songs was bound to be measured against earlier output, including Achtung Baby, U2’s extraordinary 1991 album which won over critics who had previously dismissed the foursome as stadium balladeers. For another, it can be hard to hear U2 through the static that its singer’s campaigning sometimes creates. In working to alleviate extreme poverty through ONE, the advocacy organization he co-founded, and to fight AIDS through his (RED) initiative, Bono has helped many to the potential detriment of a few—himself and his bandmates. His impulses may be public spirited—and they are, though Bono’s detractors prefer to burlesque his philanthropy as self aggrandizement—but hey, banging on about development economics isn’t exactly rock ’n’ roll.

In March TIME watched Bono share a podium in Dublin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to deliver a sharp speech to delegates from the European People’s Party, the bloc of center-right parties in the European parliament. He has always tried to mobilize support for his causes from people who can deliver change, even if that creates some uncomfortable juxtapositions or, in Dublin, found him playing to a room full of conservatives in suits, who then mobbed him as he left the stage. (It bears repetition: many, many people really, really like U2.)

Edge, Clayton and Mullen aren’t always ecstatic about Bono’s extracurricular activities, but as TIME also discovered, they are fully supportive, of him and each other. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the quartet—and in lengthy and frank conversations they served up many surprises, about everything from their attitudes to money to their religious beliefs—is how much they still enjoy each other’s company.

As Bono and Edge bantered affectionately at a celebratory lunch straight after the Apple launch, the band’s old friend and former producer Jimmy Iovine, whose company Beats was acquired by Apple for $3 billion in May, observes “You wouldn’t see Mick and Keith doing that.” Jagger and Richards, in harmony on stage, discordant off stage, are more typical of rock partnerships than Bono and Edge. After years on the road and cooped up in studios, long-established bands often reach saturation point with each other. By contrast, the four schoolfriends that formed U2 in 1976 are closer than ever.

And their ambition burns just as bright. There’s more music on the way, not just an acoustic version of Songs of Innocence and bonus tracks but also a whole new album and a world tour. Plus there’s their not inconsequential plan to save the music industry, news that will doubtless draw more 140-character darts in their direction.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bono is the greatest Irishman of this generation

Bono, Lead Singer of U2: Carping critics look very small in comparison. Photo by: Moritz Hager / Wikimedia

What is with all this U2 bashing since the band decided to release their album in iTunes to coincide with the iPhone 6 launch?
Since then there has been a backlash, culminating in another great performer, Paul Brady, slamming the band for making it even harder for ordinary musicians to shop their wares. Social media is full of angry auteurs decrying what the band has done to launch their new album.

There is a high degree of Bono hatred in many of the comments, a sense that the Dublin performer has for far too long been too big for his high chair.

There is some classic Irish – and elsewhere – chip-on-both-shoulders stuff here. Bono is accused of everything from being a tax dodger to being obsessed with himself.

To which I say 'Good for him and his band mates.'

There was a time in America when Ireland meant thatched cottages and "Quiet Man" reruns. U2 was the first to smash that stereotype and gave us all some breathing room to be considered part of the modern world.

Bono and the boys could have grown drunk with riches, played bad boys all their working lives and still received the adulation and screaming-fans-everywhere treatment.

The fact that he decided he had a debt to repay for all his success and a moral obligation to use his fame to try and help starving Africa or peace in Bosnia seemed to offend a great number of people.

Sure he could adopt a hectoring tone when addressing the AIDS crisis; sure he often came across as too self-important.

But wasn’t it better he appeared so, addressing the global AIDS crisis or trying to make the world better for starving people or to remove crushing Third World debt from countries that could not afford to repay?

The alternative was a Rolling Stones style drift into irrelevancy with youthful rebellion songs being played by elderly men long since a parody of themselves.

Bono, The Edge and the other band members never fell into that trap. Even today, long past the time when band members their age are gone to seed or playing oldies but goldies the band retains a relevance and presence as the iPhone 6 launch proved.

I met him once, back in the band hotel in Manhattan after a Meadowlands concert. What struck me was how quickly the man who was a God on stage just an hour before was utterly down to earth, ordering pizza sipping a beer listening intently to a discussion on Northern Ireland.

I think he deserves not brickbats but a Nobel Prize for his efforts on behalf of the less well off. I think that would send a wonderful signal that the world of pop culture and the world of politics and philanthropy are not worlds apart

He has gone where few performers before or after him have gone and he will leave the world a better place if he never sings another note. How many of us can claim that? I think he is the outstanding Irishman of this generation.

He has been the man in the arena suffering the slings and arrows for decades now but soldiering on.

He once memorably described his critics as "cranks carping from the sidelines. A lot of them wouldn’t know what to do if they were on the field. They’re the party who will always be in opposition so they’ll never have to take responsibility for decisions because they know they’ll never be able to implement them.”

Amen to that I say.

Irish Voice Editorial