Thursday, September 18, 2014

U2.COM : 'The new U2'

'The New U2'
'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.'

The band are on the cover of the international edition of Time Magazine and telling Catherine Mayer 'about another new album in the works—and its secret Apple project that might just save the music industry.' 

Preview here.
Time have also posted a video of the band discussing news stories that shaped them when they were young - from Neil Armstrong landing on the moon to the death of Elvis. Watch the clip

U2.COM : 'When The Miracle Occurred...'

'When the miracle occurred...'
'I woke up at the moment when the miracle occurred/
Heard a song that made some sense out of the world/
Everything I ever lost now has been returned/
The most beautiful sound I ever heard....'

'The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)' opens 'Songs of Innocence' and in the sleeve notes, Bono recalls how the fledgling U2 first saw the band that inspired the song.

'I couldn’t sing with any of the jagged edges of the great rock or punk rock singers,' he writes. 'I sang like a girl....that felt uncomfortable until the Ramones happened to me as they must happen to everyone.' 

In 1977 Larry, 14, Edge, 15, Adam and Bono, both 16, went to see the Ramones play in the state cinema  in Dublin.  'We had no tickets and no money... My best friend Guggi had a ticket and he snuck us through a side exit he pried open. The world stopped long enough for us to get on it. Even though we only saw half the show, it became one of the great nights of our life....'

'After the Ramones,' writes Bono,  'I could try and be myself as a singer. I just needed to find out who that was...'

Now Gil Kaufman for MTV News, has spoken to friends and family of Joey Ramone to get their response - here's some highlights.

Mickey Leigh, Joey's Brother:  'I’m not sure grateful is the right word, but awestruck is a better description... 
'’s so beautiful. I loved it. It’s Bono’s interpretation and his spirit, but it also captures Joey’s spirit. He described my brother’s spirit well. I think he got just what Joey would have wanted out of it.'

Marky Ramone, Longtime Ramones Drummer: 'I’m very grateful U2 wrote a song about my former friend and bandmate Joey Ramone. Joey would have been honored. It is well-deserved.'

Jesse Malin, Friend of Joey: 'The thing I respect about U2 beyond this song is how they’re giving a shout-out to Joey as their inspiration. They’re not on a bandwagon of ‘now we’ll be into the Ramones because they’re dead.’ He [Joey] got to feel the love and respect from them and this song is coming from truly the right place and I totally back it after seeing how they were with him.'

John Holmstrom, founding editor of Punk Magazine: 'It’s wonderful that the song is getting so much attention. I watched football on Sunday and I saw U2 (in the Apple spot) and I see all these images of punk rockers all over the commercial. I think it’s great because this stuff was never on the radio and any attention it gets is good.'

Read the interviews in full at MTV News

See also Bono's Eulogy in Time Magazine, following Joey Ramone's death in 2001. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

U2.COM : 'In The First Place...'

'In the first place...'
'It’s us trying to figure out why we wanted to be in a band in the first place.' Bono and Edge have been speaking to Brian Boyd of The Irish Times about seeking inspiration in 1970's Dublin for the songs on the new album.

Below some highlights - read the whole interview here. 

Bono: 'It’s us trying to figure out why we wanted to be in a band in the first place, the relationships around the band and our first journeys – geographically, spiritually and sexually. It was tough and it took years. Put it this way: a lot of sh*t got dragged up.'

Edge: 'As a band we were always either power or noise. But now U2 have so many grey areas. It’s no longer power, which is good, or noise, which is bad. You’ve got to know when it’s not happening with us, and the most destructive thing here is to almost get it right.'

Bono: '... I sang like a girl. I was never going to make it as a punk-rock singer or a rock-music singer with my girl’s voice... but I found my voice through Joey Ramone, hearing his singing at a gig in Dublin. Joey has a sort of girl’s voice as well when he sang – and that was my way in.'

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Mirlacle Of Joey Ramone [pro-shot-video]

Chris Martin features on ‘Iris’, from U2′s new album

Chris Martin features on U2′s fifth track from their new album, which caused a shockwave after the iPhone 6 conference on Tuesday when it was added to the library of 500 million iTunes users, for free!
Chris was present at Apple’s conference and applauded Bono and co as the Irish band played live and announced their unique album strategy for ‘Songs of Innocence’.’Iris (Hold Me Close)’ is the U2 track which features Chris Martin on the backing vocals. The song itself was raising questions from Coldplayers who picked up the similar vibe from the start and ending of ‘Iris’, reminiscent of ‘Ghost Stories’ and more particularly the opening track from it, ‘Always In My Head’.
Fans on the forums such as DanielRobertHiggins and theprospekt were convinced of the ‘very Chris sounding’ effects but the telling source came from forums (thanks to chrisnz for spotting), where a reliable source confirmed the Coldplay frontman’s inclusion on ‘Iris’ specifically. We already knew Chris was listed on the creditsand had infact been contributing to ‘Iris’ at the Electric Lady studios in early 2013. Check out your iTunes (I can’t help but giggle) to listen to ‘Iris (Hold Me Close)’ featuring Chris Martin now!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

U2.COM : Pirate Radio'

'Pirate Radio'
More LP news coming in, here's some of the latest.

The Irish Mirror reported on the note Bono sent to Dave Fanning, upholding the band's tradition that the DJ gets first airplay of any of their new releases. 

'For the attention of right and always honourable Dave the raving lunatic Fanning on the occasion of U2's 13th studio long player Songs of Innocence being dropped into his hands.
'Therefore honouring ancient tribal custom and verbal agreement. 11 new songs from the era of pirate radio.'

'The Edge wins MVP after one listen… although you can't hear much bass on a laptop.' 
That was the snap verdict of long-time friend and studio collaborator Steve Lillywhite.  More instant reaction rounded up by Hot Press, who also caught up with another U2 legend, Paul McGuinness, manager of the band until last year. 

'It’s U2 yet again doing their best work late into their career.' 

Guy Oseary, who succeeded Paul as manager, talked to Billboard about the Apple connection with  Songs of Innocence. 'It all came together very organically.'

There's few better places to look for reaction to the new album than the community pages of Zootopia. Our Mods are curating the best posts, tweets and newsfeeds, as well as delivering some cool innovations themselves, like thisslideshow of the digital book that comes with the LP.

'Songs of Innocence' is already in your iTunes library, waiting for you to download. 

On iOS
Open iTunes Store
Scroll down to Purchased
Select Recent Purchases
The album should be displayed there. 

On Desktop iTunes
Open iTunes Store
Select Purchased [under Quick Links]
Select Music
Recent Purchases (make sure 'All' is selected)
The album should be displayed there.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Paul McGuinness on the new U2 album and 2015 tour plans

Former U2 manager Paul McGuinness has spoken to Irish national radio station Newstalk about the surprise unleashing yesterday of Songs Of Innocence.

“I thought the exercise they mounted yesterday was absolutely spectacular and a huge success; a new way of distributing music to the world,” he proffers. “I think it stunned everyone. I’m just working through the worldwide press and the two things to come out of that are, first of all, astonishment that they were able to do it and do it secretly, but also how good the record is. There seems to be near unanimity on that.
“I heard the complete album a few days ago and it’s brilliant. It’s U2 yet again doing their best work late into their career.”
Paul goes on to debunk the idea that the band are taking a financial hit on Songs Of Innocence.
“The way they have released it is obviously extraordinary,” he resumes. “I think you have to read the detail; Bono has an interview today in Time magazine and he points out that it’s not free. He’s absolutely opposed to free. It may be free to the consumer but I can assure you that Apple will haves paid a very high price to U2 and Universal Records for the right to do that.”
As for live dates, Paul reckons U2 fans are in for an exciting 2015.
“I think you can expect a major tour starting next summer that will in every way be what people expect of U2 - groundbreaking, unique and world-beating.”

source : 

U2.COM : First reviews

First Reviews
No-one knew it was on the way but less than 24 hours after it's dramatic debut, the reviews of Songs Of Innocence are rolling in. Here's some of the earliest - follow the links to read the entire review.

'More than any U2 album before it, Songs of Innocence goes deep into Bono and the rest of bandmembers' teenage years in Dublin in the Seventies. The first song captures the big bang of Bono's musical awakening: the first time he heard the Ramones. "Everything I've ever lost now has been returned," Bono sings. "The most beautiful sound I ever heard…We were pilgrims on our way."' 
Rolling Stone

'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.‘California (There is no End to Love)’ is a certain single: starting with an almost religious choral vocal, it is the most West Coast the band have ever sounded. There is a sense of rapture which marks it as a special moment in the U2 pantheon of great tracks.‘Volcano’ is a monster: the album’s ‘Elevation’, it's a ball buster of a riff-based anthem that opens with a full-on Stranglers’ style bassline from Adam. Packed with raw, meaty guitar slashes and psychedelic, swelling backing vocals, it is another near-certain centre-piece for their live set....' Hot Press

'The method of distribution will dominate the initial chatter about the album for a few days, but once people have had a chance to listen to Songs of Innocence a few times and digest it, they'll discover a substantive album that harks back to the band's earliest days, most musically and lyrically...'
USA Today

'It is an album of big, colourful, attacking rock with fluid melodies, bright anthemic choruses and bold lyrical ideas. Perhaps the most surprising thing is that, despite apparently being created in a spirit of self-doubt, it sounds fresh and cohesive, bouncing out of the speakers with a youthful spring in its step....'
Daily Telegraph

"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....' US News 

'This Is Where You Can Reach Me" is a kind of howling, skanking disco-punk homage to the Clash...'   Billboard. 

'The 11 tracks look back to the band’s musical roots in the punk and post-punk era, paying explicit homage to the Ramones and the Clash, and carrying resonances of later genres and bands, not least the many groups such as Arcade Fire and Coldplay that flourished by tapping into their influence.'

The music on Songs of Innocence doesn’t hark back to the open spaces of early U2; it exults in multitrack possibilities. But it connects emotionally to a time when, as Bono sings in 'The Miracle (of Joey Ramone),' “I wanted to be the melody/Above the noise, above the hurt/I was young/Not dumb.” New York Times

Agree? Disagree? Add your own reviews below.

U2 at Apple event [video]

U2 mini tribute @ The Edge Rock Cafe