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Drummer admires the Irish band for their 'attempt to reinvent the wheel'

by NME News Desk

Lars Ulrich of Metallica has spoken out in favour of U2's recent decision to distribute their latest album, 'Songs Of Innocence', as an automatic and free iTunes download.

Speaking to Billboard, Ulrich stated that U2's iTunes stunt had inspired him 'immensely' and praised the band for their "attempt to reinvent the wheel".

On the subject of the album's unique release method, Ulrich said: "It's 2014 and anybody who thinks outside the box, or attempts in any way, shape or form, to break the status quo in the world of music, should be applauded. To me, it's not about whether the endeavour is a success or not. It's the fact that they have the balls and the foresight to throw something this radical at us."

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

by Jason Newman, Rolling Stone

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.

U2 to tour indoor arenas in 2015

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The band's last major tour was the ambitious U2 360° Tour of 2009 to 2011

by Dan Stubbs, NME

U2 say they'll be touring their new album, 'Songs Of Innocence', in 2015 - and playing indoor arenas.

The move marks a scaling-back for the band, whose last major tour was the U2 360° Tour of 2009 to 2011, which saw the band play 110 shows in outdoor arenas and stadia around the world in support of 2009's 'No Line On The Horizon'. They performed in the round from within a bespoke, four-legged structure nicknamed 'The Claw', which had a wraparound video screen and multi-directional sound system.

Of the plans to tour next year, Bono told Absolute Radio: "We're going to be touring. We're going to start next year. We're going try and play The O2 [in London] and places like that, more indoors than outdoors this time, but we'll see where it takes us."

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

by Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

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."

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Black-and-white image features drummer Larry Mullen Jr. shielding his 18-year-old son

by Ryan Reed, Rolling Stone

U2 have unveiled the intimate cover image for their new LP, Songs of Innocence, which will be released in physical form on October 13th. The black-and-white photo, shot by Glen Luchford, shows drummer Larry Mullen Jr. shielding his 18-year-old son in a protective embrace. The band unveiled the image via their website on Friday morning, with frontman Bono explaining how the cover symbolizes the personal themes of the album.

"We've always been about community in U2, about family and friends," he says. "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. . . holding on to your own innocence is a lot harder than holding on to someone else's."

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by Melanie Finn, Independent.ie Showbiz Editor

As U2 frontman, Bono is well used to being hounded by fans.

But the Herald can reveal how he turned the tables in Dublin this week after getting his paws on a passer-by's two dogs for a Rolling Stone shoot.

Liberties native Ann Williams was left gobsmacked after running into the famous foursome doing photographs at the Guinness Storehouse for an upcoming shoot. But she had no idea that her two thoroughbred pooches - mother and son boxers named Holly and Rebel - would end up with starring roles in the session.

"I was bringing the two dogs for a walk on Monday evening and I couldn't believe it when I turned the corner and I saw the band standing there at the back of the Guinness Storehouse.

Slash defends U2's deal with Apple

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(Slash's comments on U2 begin at 2:13)

Guitar legend Slash has defended U2's controversial decision to team up with Apple and release their new album free to iTunes users.

Nick Bramhill, Irish Independent

The band was criticised by some in the music industry for giving away their LP Songs of Innocence to 500 million Apple iTunes customers.

And negative social media reaction also forced Apple to release a tool to remove the free album from its customers' accounts, with a dedicated webpage providing step-by-step instructions.

But Slash, former lead guitarist with Guns 'N' Roses, insists it was a clever marketing tactic, adding that it was a deal that only a band as big as U2 would have been able to cut.

Bono hits at 'haters' of iTunes album launch

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By Niall Murray, Irish Examiner

U2 lead singer Bono has labelled as "haters" the people who criticised the band online for the way their first album in five years was given away for free.

Songs of Innocence was gifted to an estimated 500m users of Apple's iTunes in a reported $100m (€78m) deal that coincided with the launch of the technology giant's latest devices almost a fortnight ago.

In a world exclusive, pre-recorded interview with RTÉ 2FM's Dave Fanning, the first DJ to play the album in full when it was released earlier this month, Bono said there has been some "real deliberate misunderstanding" of their relationship with Apple.

"This is a company which has, more than any other technological company, sought to get musicians paid," said Bono.

U2: When Art Becomes the Ad (Guest Column)

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"They might as well be selling Buicks," writes the host of KCSN's morning show

By Nic Harcourt, The Hollywood Reporter

U2 has always been about messages.

In the band's early days in Dublin, beginning with the 1980 album Boy and its hit single "I Will Follow," they openly addressed Bono and the Edge's Christianity, along with commentary on the Troubles in Northern Ireland. As the group got bigger, some 2 billion TV viewers watched in 1985 as U2 delivered their socially conscious lyrics at Live Aid, playing anthemic music with unbound zeal and earnestness. By the beginning of the 1990s, as Communism fell in Eastern Europe, the albums Achtung Baby and Zooropa reflected the hopes of a generation while taking a sarcastic swipe at the commercialism of modern culture that they themselves were a part of.

Make no mistake, U2 are an important part of rock 'n' roll history.

But what happens when the art becomes the ad? Complete with a $100 million media spend and the subtlety of an Ikea catalog stuffed in your mailbox or phone book chucked at your front door? What's the message today: Show us the money?

By Patrick Kevin Day, Los Angeles Times

So you were upset that Apple sent you the new U2 album to your iTunes, even though you didn't ask for it. Now what?

On Thursday night's "Conan," Conan O'Brien aired a possible new solution for Apple to utilize against the surprising backlash to the giveaway.

As the fake Apple executive "Marcus Pratt" says in the bit, "Apparently, to today's youth, giving away a free album from one of the best bands of all time is like going to their house and taking a gigantic crap on their doorstep."

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