Monday, December 30, 2013

U2 return to 'spiritual home' with new album

U2 are said to be returning to their “spiritual home” by releasing their new album via Island Records, according to PA.

The record label discovered the Irish group in the late 1970s but they left just over seven years ago, when their relationship turned sour after label boss Jason Iley was moved to Mercury Records and the band were unhappy with his successor. They later followed their former label boss to Mercury.

Earlier this year, parent company Universal closed down Mercury and moved most of the acts to their new company Virgin/EMI, although it was not announced which label would house U2. 

But now, a source has confirmed that the band will head back to Island Records, which has had a change in management since their departure. The source said the band were “going back to their spiritual home”.

Reports recently claimed that U2 would release their new album in April 2014 and an announcement could be made at Super Bowl XLVIII in February with representatives for the band currently negotiating a deal with brands to announce the LP. Bassist Adam Clayton recently confirmed that the group were planning to wrap up recording by the end of this year. 

Earlier this year, U2 were reportedly spotted entering a New York studio with Coldplay's Chris Martin, fuelling speculation that the singer may appear on the band's new album. All four members of the rock group were seen at the Electric Lady Studios in New York in May, where Danger Mouse was reportedly mixing the new material.

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U2.COM : 'Ordinary Love' - New Video By Oliver Jeffers & Mac Premo

'Ordinary Love' - New Video by Oliver Jeffers & Mac Premo
A couple of weeks back the band dropped by the New York studios of Oliver Jeffers and Mac Premo, the creative duo behind the 'Ordinary Love' lyric video.

Oliver and Mac have now come up with a new cut of the video, designed to accompany the Paul Epworth version of the song.

With 'Mandela:Long Walk To Freedom' opening all around the world, this seemed like the perfect moment to share this latest visual take of 'Ordinary Love' . 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

U2.COM : 'A Love Song'

The band have been talking to the LA Times about Ordinary Love, Nelson Mandela ... and that new record.

On Ordinary Love
:  "We thought it should be a love song, a very human song. Not epic, not earnest in dealing with world-changing political shifts but personal in two people trying to hold on to one another in the face of dreadful mistreatment and heartbreak." (Edge) 

On Nelson Mandela: "He would always turn on the humor, mock you a little and then mock himself. Mostly himself." (Bono).

On the new record: "From the few tracks of the new album heard that night," writes Steven Zeitchik, "It has traces of the Clash and Sex Pistols and Kraftwerk — "stuff we were really listening to when we were younger," Bono said. But it also comes laden with soul and old-school R&B, genres Bono said he and friends were listening to in the 1970s "but once punk came along, no one admitted it."

Read the whole piece here

Sunday, December 15, 2013

U2.COM : Ordinary Love (Paul Epworth Version)

Ordinary Love (Paul Epworth Version)
Bono was in South Africa this week, to join those paying tribute to Nelson Mandela at Tuesday's memorial service.

'In Ireland,' he says, 'A wake is never without humour but it's fair to say we lean heavily on the melancholy… one thing I love about Africa is they accompany the departed with dancing, lots of it, and music full of joy.'

On Thursday, 'Ordinary Love', the song the band wrote for 'Mandela:Long Walk To Freedom', was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and today the band wanted to share Paul Epworth's new version.

'We think Paul Epworth's mix is a very soulful, uplifting one and we hope our audience will agree,' says Bono. 'Nelson Mandela's life and times meant more to me than I can ever tell you, I would need a hundred songs to do that… but this complicated little love song to Winnie and South Africa is the one that landed on our lap.

'I want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press for believing in us and the film. This is truly a great honour.' 

Friday, December 13, 2013

NBC Interview: Bono remembers Mandela

In an interview on NBC’s Nightly News, ONE cofounder Bono, who spent a lot of time with Nelson Mandela, speaks about his friend. “He didn’t belong to South Africa,” said Bono. “He belonged to an entire continent. And he didn’t belong to just the entire continent, he belonged to the world.”

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

U2.COM : Thanking Paul McGuinness

'This week U2 finalised and signed a new management contract with Live Nation and Guy Oseary.  

The band now want to publicly thank Paul McGuinness for his extraordinary leadership, guidance and friendship over the last 35 years.  

Paul has saved us from ourselves many times over and we would not be U2 without him. 

Sometime soon, U2 will begin a new adventure around the world and we totally understand and respect Paul's desire to not run away with the circus – AGAIN. 

Perhaps more than any music management operation in history, Paul, alongside Trevor, Keryn and the team at Principle Management has always fought for our rights, for our music, for our fans and for the principles that we and he believe in. His central lesson was that if you cared for your "art", you must also "take care of business" as historically with rock and roll bands, the latter has undone the former.  

We are relieved he will remain on as the mentor-in-chief. 

We've known Guy for a long, long time, and we're excited that with Paul's blessing he's agreed to take us on. He is a brilliant man with a lot of energy, and knows he has got some big shoes to fill.'

Bono, Edge, Adam and Larry

Friday, December 6, 2013

Remembering Nelson Mandela

With the death of Nelson Mandela, we have lost one of the few genuinely world-changing figures of our time. For although seen narrowly, Mandela’s principle achievement – and lifelong goal – was to bring freedom to his own country, his ideals, his language, and the principles for which he stood inspired countless millions far from South Africa, and continued to do so – and this is a key point – in new terrains and with new dreams after South Africa had thrown off the yoke of apartheid.
Along the way, Mandela demonstrated – as did Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, with whom he will forever be linked in a pantheon of greatness – an essential duality, one that combined the softer virtues of forgiveness and reconciliation with a determined rigor and toughness. He would not have done what he was able to do, would not have been able to move as many as he did, without putting those characteristics together.
That truth is vital to remember for those of us who take our cue from his call in London’s Trafalgar Square, in February 2005, to be “great generation” that can end poverty, injustice, and gross inequality. Mandela’s almost superhuman ability to reconcile with his jailers, to rise above the past, to embrace those who would once have shunned him – as he did at the Rugby World Cup final in 1995 – remain some of the most moving demonstrations of the human spirit that the age, or any age, has seen. But the point of the Trafalgar Square speech was not to warm the cockles of the heart; it was to act. “Like poverty and apartheid,” Mandela said, “poverty is not natural. It is man-made, and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”
Because he spent more than 25 years from 1964 to 1990 in prison, from where he could only inspire by invisible, reported, example, it is easy to forget what a man of action Mandela was – both in the years before the Rivonia trial in 1964, and again, crucially, in the negotiations for the end of apartheid and the coming of democracy after he was released. As accounts of Mandela’s life attest, he could be hardheaded and demanding as well as relaxed and generous.
I met him only once, when I was one of a small group who had breakfast with him in New York in the 1990s. I can remember thinking, at first, how warm and outgoing he was; he flirted shamelessly, reducing one of the most distinguished women in America to a giddy girlishness. But when the questions started, the back, as it were, stiffened; the cadences got more terse; the language of command replaced that of affectionate repartee. One realized pretty quickly: this was not a man that anyone ever wanted to mess with.
As the world mourns Mandela’s passing, it is right that we remember and cherish all that he taught us of the better angels of our nature – that forgiveness is a gift to those who forgive as much as to those who are forgiven; that we don’t have much time on earth, so there’s little point wasting it on perpetual enmities. But I hope we remember, too, the Mandela of toughness, resolve, command, and action. In 2005 he challenged us all to “rise up” and fight poverty, injustice, and gross inequality. Now is the time to stand with him.

Bono Honors The Man Who Could Not Cry

As an activist I have pretty much been doing what Nelson Mandela tells me since I was a teenager. He has been a forceful presence in my life going back to 1979, when U2 made its first anti-apartheid effort. And he’s been a big part of the Irish consciousness even longer than that. Irish people related all too easily to the subjugation of ethnic majorities. From our point of view, the question as to how bloody South Africa would have to get on its long road to freedom was not abstract. Over the years we became friends. I, like everyone else, was mesmerized by his deft maneuvering as leader of South Africa. His cabinet appointments of Trevor Manuel and Kadar Asmal were intuitive and ballsy. His partnership with Sowetan neighbor Desmond Tutu brought me untold joy. This double act—and before long a triple act that included Mandela’s wife, the bold and beautiful Graca Machel—took the success of the anti-apartheid fight in South Africa and widened the scope to include the battle against AIDS and the broader reach for dignity by the poorest peoples on the planet. Mandela saw extreme poverty as a manifestation of the same struggle. “Millions of people … are trapped in the prison of poverty. It is time to set them free,” he said in 2005. “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome … Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. You can be that great generation.” It certainly fell to Mandela to be great. His role in the movement against extreme poverty was critical. He worked for a deeper debt cancellation, for a doubling of international assistance across sub-Saharan Africa, for trade and private investment and transparency to fight corruption. Without his leadership, would the world over the past decade have increased the number of people on AIDS medication to 9.7 million and decreased child deaths by 2.7 million a year? Without Mandela, would Africa be experiencing its best decade of growth and poverty reduction? His indispensability can’t be proved with math and metrics, but I know what I believe … Mandela would be remembered as a remarkable man just for what happened—and didn’t happen—in South Africa’s transition. But more than anyone, it was he who rebooted the idea of Africa from a continent in chaos to a much more romantic view, one in keeping with the majesty of the landscape and the nobility of even its poorer inhabitants. He was also a hardheaded realist, as his economic policy demonstrated. To him, principles and pragmatism were not foes; they went hand in hand. He was an idealist without -naiveté, a compromiser without being compromised. Surely the refrain “Africa rising” should be attributed to Madiba—the clan name everyone knows him by. He never doubted that his continent would triumph in the 21st century: “We are not just the peoples with the oldest history,” he told me. “We have the brightest future.” He knew Africa was rich with oil, gas, minerals, land and, above all, people. But he also knew that “because of our colonial past, Africans still don’t quite believe these precious things belong to them.” Laughing, he added, “They can find enough people north of the equator who agree with them.” He had humor and humility in his bearing, and he was smarter and funnier than the parade of world leaders who flocked to see him. He would bait his guests: “What would a powerful man like you want with an old revolutionary like me?” He could charm the birds off the trees—and cash right out of wallets. He told me once how Margaret Thatcher had personally donated £20,000 to his foundation. “How did you do that?” I gasped. The Iron Lady, who was famously frugal, kept a tight grip on her purse. “I asked,” he said with a laugh. “You’ll never get what you want if you don’t ask.” Then he lowered his voice conspiratorially and said her donation had nauseated some of his cohorts. “Didn’t she try to squash our movement?” they complained. His response: “Didn’t De Klerk crush our people like flies? And I’m having tea with him next week … He’ll be getting the bill.” (On other occasions, I heard Mandela praise the courage of F.W. de Klerk, the last President of apartheid South Africa, who had his own prison to escape: the prejudice of his upbringing. We should not forget his role in this historic drama). Mandela lived a life without sanctimony. You try it; it’s not easy. His lack of piety helped him turn former foes into friends. In 1985, U2 and Bruce Springsteen responded to Steve Van Zandt’s call to lend our voices to an artists-against-apartheid recording titled “Sun City.” Sun City had been set up on the border of Botswana to bypass the cultural boycott of South Africa. Sol Kerzner’s casino there had become a pretty busy venue. Years later, when I chastised the music producer Quincy Jones about his friendship with Kerzner, Quincy replied, “Man, you know nothing about Mandela, do you? He wasn’t out of jail seven days before he called Sol Kerzner. Since then, Sol has been one of the largest contributors to the [African National Congress].” I felt like one of those Japanese soldiers who came out of the jungle in the 1950s still fighting World War II. Laughter, not tears, was Madiba’s preferred way—-except on one occasion when I saw him almost choke up. It was on Robben Island, in the courtyard outside the cell in which he had spent 18 of his 27 years in prison. He was explaining why he’d decided to use his inmate’s number, 46664, to rally a response to the AIDS pandemic claiming so many African lives. One of his cellmates told me that the price Mandela paid for working in the limestone mine was not bitterness or even the blindness that can result from being around the bright white reflection day after day. Mandela could still see, but the dust damage to his tear ducts had left him unable to cry. For all this man’s farsightedness and vision, he could not produce tears in a moment of self-doubt or grief. He had surgery in 1994 to put this right. Now, he could cry. Today, we can.

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Bono’s statement on Nelson Mandela’s legacy

“It was as if he was born to teach the age a lesson in humility, in humour and above all else in patience.  
In the end, Nelson Mandela showed us how to love rather than hate, not because he had never surrendered to rage or violence, but because he learnt that love would do a better job.  Mandela played with the highest stakes.  He put his family, his country, his time, his life on the line, and he won most of these contests.  Stubborn til the end for all the right reasons, it felt like he very nearly outstared his maker.  
Today, finally, he blinked.  And some of us cry, knowing our eyes were opened to so much because of him.”

U2.COM : 'Handmade'

'About ten minutes before it started, I received a text from my cousin Mark who said Rolling Stone had called this song U2’s tribute to Mandela. So no pressure then!'

The song Ordinary Love, written for  ‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’,  is accompanied by a striking lyric video in which the handwritten words to the song fade and degrade and vanish.
This unusual approach was created by two visual artists, Irish illustrator Oliver Jeffers and American animator and collagist Mac Premo. The pair, who work out of an artistic hub in Brooklyn, have been friends since meeting in a summer camp in upstate New York as teenagers. Just now, they’re skyping Stuart Bailie for from Oliver’s studio, and remembering how they came to approach Ordinary Love. At the centre of the song is the story of Nelson Mandela and his 27 years imprisonment in South Africa.