So Is U2 Going to Release an Album This Year or Not?

A couple of days back, Billboard emphatically stated that sources close to the U2 camp said that any new album and tour has been put off until 2015.  Given how U2 seemed to be ramping up for something (the soundtrack song, the Super Bowl commercial with the free song giveaway, the Oscar performance, the Jimmy Fallon appearance), that came as something of a surprise.

Then again, I recall a conversation I had last year with Steve Lillywhite, a guy who has worked on a bunch of U2 albums.  “U2 is very good at making albums,” he said, “but they aren’t very good at finishing them.”

But now there’s a new story.  U2 is “on track” to release an album sometime this year.  Um, okay.

How much of this confusion is due to the change in management?  When Paul McGuinness was in charge of the day-to-day operations, the band and their organization spoke as one unit.  This hasn’t been the case with Guy Oseary, their new manager.

The other thing to consider is the pressure that must be coming from Universal, U2’s label.  Failure to deliver on a planned album in this fiscal will have dire consequences on Universal’s bottom line–something that no label wants to contemplate.  You can bet there were a lot of frantic phone calls over the past couple of days.

And in case you’re counting, it’s been 5 years and 12 days since No Line on the Horizon was released.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

3 thoughts on “So Is U2 Going to Release an Album This Year or Not?

  • March 11, 2014 at 5:23 pm
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    they can stop anytime. new music from them will be the same as it always was.. lame. how to dismantle an atomic bomb? bomb.. no line on the horizon? so lame on the horizon. so much hope so little new to offer from them..

    Reply
  • March 12, 2014 at 1:44 am
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    Glad it’s not just the fans that are confused about this. Personally, I don’t care when they release it. We simply deserve an honest word from their spokesperson is all. Otherwise they should just keep their hole shut and finish the damn album!

    Reply
  • March 12, 2014 at 3:24 am
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    I think they’ve been super insecure since the failure of Pop which I’m only one of the few who liked that period of U2. I liked that they showed a sense of humour and fun but fans wanted them to continue on with another Joshua Tree.

    They probably monitored all the feedback on the few songs released this year and lost their confidence and wanted to start again.

    If they go back to their roots and keep it simple, maybe see a few up and coming acts to feel inspired again and remember the passion and recklessness of when they first started U2, maybe they will find their way again.

    If the only album they released in the last 10 years contained: Vertigo, Beautiful Day, City of Blinding Lights, Yahweh, updated Celebration their first single, they would have being going the right track.

    Reply

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