Producer Steve Lillywhite leaves his job to team up with the Irish rockers again...

STEVE LILLYWHITE is set to produce U2‘s latest album, with work due to begin next week.

The as-yet untitled follow-up to 2000’s ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’ will be released later this year and will be the first time in 20 years Lillywhite has ‘done everything’ on one of the band’s records.

He said: “It’s the first time I’ll have gone in to actually start a record with them in 20 years. I worked on ‘The Joshua Tree’, ‘Achtung Baby’ and ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’, but this will be the first time I’ve really set up the mikes and done everything for a long time.”

Lillywhite has left his position as joint managing director of Mercury UK to be a part of the record.

“I’ve had two great years, and I’ve loved a lot of it. But really I wasn’t that made out for getting up early in the morning,” he said. “That’s 25 years of producing records. I got more and more of an urge to be in the studio, so Lucian (Grainge – Universal UK chairman / CEO) and I had a chat and decided it was best that I return to that.”

The producer also oversaw U2‘s first two albums – their debut ‘Boy’ in 1980 and ‘October’ the following year.

Speaking about the new record, Lillywhite told Billboard: “I’ve heard some great songs. The Edge is playing some really great guitar.”

Lillywhite’s previous work includes the production of albums by The Rolling Stones, [/a], [a] and [a][/a].