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The rocker tells EW, "We're well into it. Edge just came up with a cracker the other day!"

by Kevin O'Donnell, Entertainment Weekly

When U2 were writing and recording their 2014 album Songs of Innocence, controversially given away for free on Apple's iTunes last fall, the Irish rockers had more than enough material to fill one album. "It became obvious that we were working on two separate albums," the Edge told Rolling Stone last year.

Now, with Bono, Edge, Larry Mullen Jr., and Adam Clayton nearing the finish line of their massive Innocence + Experience Tour--it ends with four shows in their native Ireland in late-November--the group will get back to work on that record, titled Songs of Experience.

When EW caught up with Bono to talk about the making of their classic 1991 album Achtung Baby for our 25th Anniversary issue, the lead singer also shared an update on their next album's progress. As of now, he reveals the group has around 18 tracks completed, which they will whittle down to around a dozen for the final record.

U2 to release Songs of Experience in 2016

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Bono says that U2 will release Songs of Experience, the companion album to last year's Songs of Innocence, in 2016.

by RTÉ.ie

Speaking to the Irish Times, Bono said: "We're going to get this album out next year; unusually for us, a lot of the songs are done already."

The singer also revealed that the concept behind the band's current iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour began on the opening night of the 360° tour in Barcelona in 2009.

"360 was a communal experience at its best," he said. "But to be a proper communal experience you have to have the song lines, you have to have the folk songs. If the audience are the centrepiece - and that was the idea behind 360 - then you have to have tunes to sing. The thing is: we had made quite an atmospheric album [No Line on the Horizon], quite a complex piece of work so it was slightly at odds with that."


"A lot of my early memories of teenage years were of violence, and the sheer fear of leaving the house, going to catch the bus," frontman says

by Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone

Bono and the Edge broke down U2's songwriting process and recalled the rough North Dublin roots that inspired the Songs of Innocence cut, "Cedarwood Road," in a revealing interview for Song Exploder.

The song gets its name and story from the street Bono grew up on, but it began -- like many U2 tracks -- with a guitar riff the Edge came up with at home. In speaking about these initial steps, the Edge noted he sketches songs on GarageBand and works with drum loops Larry Mullen Jr. recorded for the demo process.

"My job is to find a way to inspire Adam and Larry and Bono, so I don't often care to finish out a piece fully," the Edge said. "I just want to get something down that I think is a great starting point and then I know that whatever I come up with, they'll come up with something better. So I just need to get it going where its identity is clear and it's got some kind of vitality and point of view that's interesting."

Tool on U2 Vinyl Mishap: 'Nice Freakin' Try'

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Heavy metal act trolls Irish rockers after their 'Opiate' vinyl accidentally appears in 'Songs of Innocence' packages

by Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone

This past Record Store Day was once again packed with unique, limited edition releases, but one of the stranger collectibles happened entirely by accident: Some pressings of U2's Songs of Innocence deluxe vinyl edition, released in celebration of Record Store Day, inexplicably contained a copy of Tool's Opiate EP instead. The mix-up appears to have only affected a few customers at one U.K. record shop, but that didn't stop Tool from trolling U2 about the error.

"Nice freakin' try, U2," the 10,000 Days band posted on their official site. "Some very lucky people who purchased U2's Songs Of Innocence during a recent record store release found instead a copy of Tool's 1992 Opiate EP inside. Kind of makes you believe in mysterious higher powers, doesn't it?"


by Greg Moskovitch, Tone Deaf

As much as we here at the Tone Deaf office love Record Store Day, we must admit it can be an upheaval, even when things are going to plan. From making sure you get to your favourite stores before they sell-out of your choice picks, to battling the maddening crowds, it can be a stressful ordeal.

That's why you've got to feel extra sorry for the poor souls who made it to their local record store in time to pick up a highly coveted vinyl copy of arena mega-stars U2's Songs Of Innocence, which you may remember as that album that showed up in your iTunes library without explanation last year.

What happened? Well, if you're yet to pierce the seal of your own copy of Songs Of Innocence on vinyl, you may want to go and double check that you got the right album. As FACT reports, several copies of the record somehow ended up with Tool's 1992 Opiate EP inside the sleeve.

Twitter user Kristin Waite first tweeted about the error, writing, "Reports of a misprint/press/packaging of U2 [Songs Of Innocence] release for event - some getting 2013 Tool LP." Waite appropriately hash-tagged her missive with "#oops".


Lead issues video apology for marketing stunt at September Apple launch in which new album was given to 500 million users

by Robert Booth, The Guardian

For a global rock band that has sold more than 150m records worldwide, won 22 Grammy awards and has a frontman whose ego is as big as the stadiums they sell out, U2's explanation for why gave away their latest album to half a billion iTunes users seems unlikely: they were worried that otherwise no one would listen.

The Irish band's lead singer, Bono, has issued a contrite video apology for last month's marketing stunt which angered thousands of users of the music software who found that regardless of their tastes they woke up one day to find U2's album Songs of Innocence had appeared on their phones or iPods. U2 worked with Apple to ensure the album, which received a lukewarm critical reception in some quarters, was given away to an estimated 500 million iTunes account holders as part of the promotional exercise that went along with the launch of the California tech giant's latest phone.

Bono apologised in response to a question from a Facebook user named Harriet Madeline Jobson in a question-and-answer session on the social network site which had been billed as a celebration of the launch of the band's 13th studio album of a 34-year career. She asked: "Can you please never release an album on iTunes that automatically downloads to peoples' playlists ever again? It's really rude."

Iggy Pop criticises U2's free album ploy

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Former Stooges frontman's John Peel lecture also takes aim at free downloaders and music industry executives

by John Plunkett, The Guardian

Iggy Pop has criticised U2 over their controversial tie-up with Apple in the course of a broadside against the record industry that also saw him lambast music executives and people who download songs for free.

The "godfather of punk", delivering the fourth annual John Peel lecture at the Radio Festival in Salford on Monday, said the music industry was now "laughably, maybe, almost entirely pirate" and said electronic devices had "estranged people from their morals, making it easier to steal music than to pay for it".

But he reserved some of his toughest criticism for Irish band U2, who prompted howls of protest when they gave away their latest album as a free download for iTunes users as part of Apple's launch of its new iPhones and Apple watch.

"The people who don't want the free U2 download are trying to say, 'Don't try to force me,' and they've got a point," said Pop at the event, hosted by 6 Music's Lauren Laverne, on Monday night. "Part of the process when you buy something from an artist, it's kind of an anointing, you are giving that person love.


'Songs of Innocence,' the band's latest release delivered for free, is firmly entrenched with 26 million customers downloading the set in its entirety.

by Shirley Halperin and Andrew Hampp, Billboard

U2 has gone from setting records to breaking them and, with the band's game-changing Apple partnership, simply defying all imaginable expectations.

So how did the album Songs of Innocence fare after being made available to 500 million people around the world as a free download on iTunes? No surprise here, scale pays off.

Eddy Cue, Apple's senior VP of internet software and services, tells Billboard that U2's Songs of Innocence has racked up a staggering 26 million complete downloads since its Sept. 9 release as a free download exclusively to Apple's 500 million global iTunes customers. In total, Cue adds, over 81 million Apple customers experienced songs from Innocence, a global figure that includes plays and streams through iTunes, iTunes Radio and Beats Music. "To help put this into perspective," he says, "prior to this, 14 million customers had purchased music from U2 since the opening of the iTunes Store in 2003."


The music heavyweights made headlines for offering their albums as downloads - but is anyone actually listening?

by Myf Warhurst, The Guardian

It has been a big couple of weeks for music lovers. The trouble began with U2 turning up uninvited and gatecrashing the party in our private iTunes collections, gifting us their new album for free.

This little bit of electronic shazammery caused a terrific stir, and after much kerfuffle, iTunes backtracked and released a special program that would take the album away for those disgruntled by the dump. Think of it as a post-party iTunes carpet clean to get rid of any unwelcome stains and odour left by Bono and the lads.

Then, without notice, Radiohead's Thom Yorke dropped a solo album via BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file-sharing service usually associated with illegal downloading. What Yorke's gone and done by offering his album for $6 on such a service is a little like selling a legal, official DVD at a market among the illegal movies for sale that are always shakily filmed on some bloke's camera phone. It's an interesting move and one that may help establish a new power player in the cut-throat world of music distribution.


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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