The band's 'Songs of Innocence', released last year, was automatically added to iTunes users' music libraries
U2 frontman Bono has announced that the band’s new album, ‘Songs Of Experience’, will be released in 2016.
It follows 2014’s ‘Songs of Innocence’, which was ‘gifted’ to iTunes’ worldwide customer base and automatically downloaded onto users’ devices, a stunt which received widespread criticism. A week later Apple released a tool to allow iTunes users to remove the album from their devices.
Bono later apologised, admitting to a “drop of megalomania, touch of generosity, dash of self-promotion”. However, he later backtracked on his apology, telling Billboard that the album giveaway was “one of the proudest things for us ever.”
Today (September 18), Bono told The Irish Times, “We’re going to get [Songs Of Experience] out next year. Unusually for us, a lot of the songs are done already.”
The Irish band are currently in the middle of their world tour, entitled ‘Innocence + Experience’, and will play London, Manchester, Belfast and Dublin in October and November.
U2’s Innocence + Experience Tour got under way in May this year in Vancouver. It has included an eight-date run at Madison Square Garden in New York, and will also feature six nights at the O2 Arena in late October and early November. Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen have appeared alongside the band during the tour.
The four Dublin shows will be the first hometown performances for Bono and co. since they headlined three consecutive nights at the 82,000 capacity hurling and Gaelic football stadium Croke Park, back in 2009. The band were rumoured to be looking at a return to the venue, which has a single-night capacity close to the cumulative capacity of the four 3Arena shows.
Croke Park concerts have been a hot topic in Irish music circles over the past year or two, after Garth Brooks booked and then cancelled five nights in summer 2014, after local authorities were only prepared to grant licenses for three. 400,000 tickets for the five concerts had sold out in advance of the cancellation.
Earlier this month, Bono praised Europe’s decision to accept Syrian refugees fleeing conflict in their home region. The singer spoke to Italian newspaper La Stampa about the recent refugee crisis in Europe, saying, “We might truly be at a turning point for what Europe wants to be in the 21st century… This week, something incredible happened, and Europe isn’t the same as it was seven days ago.”
He also said that pictures of German children offering their toys to Syrian refugees “will remain in the history of Europe” and labelled German Chancellor Angela Merkel as “a moral symbol for Europe”.
U2 will play the following UK dates in October and November:
London O2 Arena (October 26, 29, 30, November 2, 3)
Glasgow Hydro Arena (November 6, 7)
Belfast SSE Arena (November 18, 19)