Seems like U2 fans are been strung along for the last 2 years as the constant sound bites from the camp of an imminent album release,some proper official info on what is going on would be nice,if their not releasing an album fine ,but they should not be leading the fans into believing otherwise.
November 24, 2010: Speaking to reporters before U2's first concert in Auckland, Paul
McGuinness says the band is working to finish its new album, but it not recording:
"We are trying very hard to use this time in New Zealand and Australia to finish an album that will be released in the spring. It's not so much recording as editing and polishing up lyrics and trying to getting it done by the date it needs to be delivered to the record company for release in May. It's sounding great: lots of hits."
November 24, 2010: In an interview with New Zealand media, Adam Clayton described U2's new studio material this way:
"It is quite a fresh area for U2 to be working in. I don't think it's going to sound like familiar U2 territory at all. The creative process is always exhilarating and fun, because you can go as far as you like."
October 20, 2010: Bono tells Australia's The Age newspaper that the band has been working on new album material with Danger Mouse producing:
More ambitiously, he has revealed his band is working on three new albums.
The first, which is likely to be released early next year, is being produced by Danger Mouse, the alias for American production ace Brian Burton (Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz).
"We have about 12 songs with him," Bono said. "At the moment that looks like the album we will put out next because it's just happening so easily."
October 18, 2010: Paul McGuinness tells the Irish Times that he "would guess" U2 will have a new album out in "early 2011."
August 17, 2010: In the September 2 issue of Rolling Stone, Bono again talks about U2 having four separate projects (see August 4th entry below):
There are also a lot of [new songs]: four new albums' worth. In addition to Songs of Ascent -- a second set of tracks from the No Line sessions -- and Bono and the Edge's score for the Spider-Man musical (finally set to open on Broadway on December 21st), U2 are working on a "rock album," as Bono puts it, "and a club-sounding album." He expects U2 will release a new record, drawn from that body of songs, in time for their return to North America next year. "That's going to be great. Those people are going to have tickets to a whole new show with new songs."
August 10, 2010: In a video posted in the U2.com members' section, Adam Clayton says U2 may put out an EP of new material:
"We're kind of trying to break it up a bit. You know, the idea of doing another big record and going away for a long time doesn't appeal to us. But the idea of putting out tracks in the show and seeing what happens to them, maybe putting out a little EP at some point -- these are all possibilities we're thinking about."
The comments were made on August 6, a few hours before U2's concert in Turin.
August 7, 2010: Hot Press quotes Paul McGuinness reinforcing the idea that we might see a new U2 album before the end of 2010:
"I hope there will be another record pretty soon. If I was being wildly optimistic, I'd say before the end of the year."
McGuinness also threw water on Bono's comments (see below) about U2 having four projects going on at the moment:
"I heard him telling an Italian journalist that he had four albums ready. That's not quite it! But that's what he was saying [laughs]."
August 4, 2010: Just a couple days before the start of the 2010 tour, U2 did an interview with the Italian newspaper, La Stampa. In it, Bono says that U2 now has four separate album-related projects:
"an ambient album, Songs of Ascent"
"a rock album"
a "club music" album
"the soundtrack of Spiderman, the musical debuting on Broadway in November"
There's no mention of release dates or other plans for any of them. Other Italian media were present for this interview, too. A paper called The Journal includes this translated quote, though it's not clear which band member said it:
"We are planning to release our next record as an application. Today, with laptops, iphone and ipad music can go back to being a visual phenomenon."
July 21, 2010: A brief article in the Greek paper, Espresso, suggests that U2 may record an album in 2011 at Black Rock Studio on the island of Santorini.
June 3, 2010: The new edition of Rolling Stone (dated June 30) includes a short article previewing the now-postponed North American U2 360 tour. The article says this about U2's current album situation:
Since wrapping up the 2009 leg in October, the band has been in the studio working on three albums simultaneously: Songs of Ascent, a second volume from the sessions for last year's No Line On The Horizon; the score from the Broadway musical Spiderman; and a set of entirely new songs.
This is not the first time that there's been talk of three album projects, but in the previous reports, the third project was said to be old material from the Rick Rubin sessions in 2006. The above specifically refers to "entirely new songs."
April 14, 2010: Rolling Stone Associate Editor Brian Hiatt has posted this on Twitter:
No new U2 album by June, band manager Paul McGuinness tells me in the new RS: "However, before the end of the year is increasingly likely."
January 15, 2010: In a conversation with Dave Fanning, Edge continued to express the band's uncertainty over what to do next with its Fez material, its Rick Rubin material, and the Spider-Man songs.
"We're asking ourselves exactly the same questions. We don't really know yet. We're working on material here, and it's sounding amazing, but we're far from being certain about what we're gonna do with it."
January 4, 2010: The Guardian has published a Neil McCormick interview with Edge that includes this quote about U2's new album plans:
"...we won't really know til the new year what we'll be able to achieve. There's a certain sort of practical window of opportunity to release the record that we are operating within. If the material isn't ready for the early new year we'll probably have to put it on hold."
But these comments were made back on December 8th, so the quotes below from Bono and Paul McGuinness are still the most recent statements about U2's plans.
January 2, 2010: In the year-end issue of Hot Press, Olaf Tyaransen talks with Edge about U2's plans for 2010.
The last time we spoke, you mentioned the possibility of a new U2 album coming out before the end of the year. That's obviously not going to happen, but when can fans expect a new record?
We would like it to be sooner rather than later. We are working on some stuff that sounds amazing, but it's hard to say when it'll actually be done. Well, certainly I don't, and I know Bono doesn't want to leave too long of a gap between the last record and the next one.
What's the feel of the songs you're working on at the moment?
It's too early to say, but because the last record was an experiment writing with Brian [Eno] and Danny [Lanois] in that kind of free-flowing workshop, Bono and I -- we're really kind of songwriting in a much more formal way at the moment. We've got some stuff, more abstract stuff that we could put together as a release, but right now what's really intriguing me is plain, old-fashioned songwriting, and we have some amazing stuff.
How about the Spiderman musical? It's been reported that, thanks to the recession, it's run into problems. Is it going ahead?
Well, it's all ready to go. We're just waiting for the word that we can ... we've pretty much done our job. We're waiting for the word that our director, Julie Taymor, can get back and get into the theatre and start putting the show together. We're told it could be any day. We've got new producers involved: Michael Cohl is coming in, to become an additional producer. So they're busy working on raising finance and getting all that stuff in order. I'm really happy with the music and the script, and the cast that we have are fantastic, so I don't have any concerns, ultimately, but it's kind of frustrating that it's taking so long.
This interview was likely done in early- or mid-December, meaning the December 27 quotes (below) are the most recent about U2's new album.
January 2, 2010: In the new issue of Q magazine, Bono says this about U2's plans for 2010:
"We've been listening to material for [possible next album] Songs of Ascent. We haven't fully decided to press 'go' on that. But we're touring at the end of May and it'd be nice to have some new songs. Even if it's an EP or a single song."
It's unclear when Bono gave that quote, though for monthly magazine publishing, I would expect a deadline of 2-3 weeks prior to the magazine being in stores. Ergo, the quotes below (December 27) are probably more recent.
December 27, 2009: In this Irish Independent article, Bono and Paul McGuinness say the new album may be out by June, 2010. Here are the quotes:
Paul McGuinness: "I have heard some of the stuff the guys have played and, yeah, it is great. Bono is always an optimist but he seems confident of getting a new record out by the end of the next six months. They're talking about June. By that time we will be ready to go back on tour and I think that will give it a different flavour."
Bono: "We are working away and we have a couple of yearlings in the stables that could really turn out to be thoroughbreds in the future. As a band you are always trying to work on new material and we had some unfinished material from the last album."
December 18, 2009: As we reported here, Bono has told the Hollywood Reporter that he and Edge (and maybe the whole band) are in a studio in New York City this week.
November 13, 2009: Following up on the bit right below this, Rolling Stone has published the article from that interview. As Cara notes, there are a few quotes related to U2's new album:
Bono and Edge headed to France after their November 5 gig in Berlin for a "two-week songwriting session."
Bono: "We've been playing really well on the tour and getting better and better, and we need to distill whatever we have into some songs."
Author Brian Hiatt: U2 is "debating whether the next record will consist of songs from the No Line on the Horizon sessions – the unfinished album known as Songs of Ascent – or an entirely new set of tunes."
Bono: "I would like to put out an album quickly, but we're only going to do it if it's great."
November 3, 2009: Rolling Stone magazine's Brian Hiatt posted on Twitter after a phone interview with Edge. On the bright side, Hiatt posted that Edge says "Kingdom Of Your Love" -- the U2 360 tour intro song -- is a "potential Songs of Ascent track." On the not-so-bright side, Hiatt also posted that "Songs of Ascent remains an idea more than an actual album at this point, a subject of debate within the band. No release plans yet."
October 5, 2009: USA Today talks to U2 about their new album plans, and reiterates this idea (see next entry below) of three potentially different projects U2 could do. "The Spider-Man collection is the most developed but the least appropriate to the band," Edge says. "We've got so much material at different stages of completion, it's going to be a nice problem when we've got a few weeks to look at it." Speaking about Songs of Ascent, Bono says "It's a very intimate affair. They are beautiful love songs, where the object of love is not always obvious."
October 2, 2009: RollingStone.com has a feature about U2's new album plans, taken from interviews conducted in August and September. It's too long to repeat here, but both Edge and Larry say they want to have new music out "sooner rather than later." There are potentially three albums: Songs of Ascent, a Spider-Man album, and an album from the Rick Rubin sessions. "If we're going to do another rock record, I want to do Spider-Man. I just haven't talked Adam and Larry into that," Bono says.
September 19, 2009: Sun Media also spoke with Adam about U2's album plans, specifically asking him to comment on what Bono said (see next entry below) about Songs of Ascent and the old Rick Rubin material.
Sun Media: Bono told me there is another album coming, with the working title, Songs of Ascent, the more ambient songs done with Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, from the sessions for your latest album No Line on the Horizon?
Clayton: Some of it, I'm sure, is true, especially for Bono. And those are great aspirations. I'm a little bit more nuts and bolts and until there are 10 songs finished, mixed and on a shelf, then that's not definite for me. It takes us a long time. When Bono hears two notes together he hears a song complete. When anyone else hears two notes together, we hear a starting point.
Sun Media: Bono was also hopeful you guys would go back to the shelved Rick Rubin sessions, which began before the Eno-Lanois sessions.
Clayton: I'd like to. Part of the reason we didn't feel like pursuing them at the time was that they were too purist, they were too fundamental, and we tend to like our music a little bit more complex -- so I don't know at what point we'll want something as straight forward as that. Rick strips everything away. There's no real dressing. He doesn't like atmospherics and textures or any of that stuff. I think we all thought we could do something interesting together if we applied that sort of discipline, but in the end I think we realized that we like the textures and colours and tones.
September 17, 2009: Bono talked about U2's new album plans in this interview with Canada's Sun Media:
SUN MEDIA: What's the status on a second more ambient album, to be released from the Lanois-Eno sessions, with the working title Songs of Ascent, and then the Rick Rubin session before that?
BONO: We've got a few albums up our sleeves. We've got a whole album we started with Rick Rubin, which is a rocking club album with beats and big guitars, and I can't wait to get back to that. So we're going to see where the mood takes us. But it's not like we have to start afresh. We have five or six songs on that album. We have about 12 on the Songs of Ascent, plus The Edge and myself have written Spiderman: The Musical -- that's nearly done.
August 12, 2009: As we reported here, Sam O'Sullivan (Larry's drum tech) told fans in Zagreb that the band will stay in Vancouver after the 360 Tour ends in October to finish work on Songs of Ascent. He says the album should be out in December or early 2010. There are also other reports that Songs of Ascent will be the first (or one of the first) albums released on a new digital album format being created by the four major record labels.
July 20, 2009: Edge talks about the next album in the current issue of Hot Press:
There was talk of a possible new U2 album before the end of the year. Is that on the cards?
The Edge: It is still on the cards, but we don't really have plans that we can sign up to that far out. We would love the idea of the next record being sooner rather than later. We certainly have the material for it, but it's about whether we have the time to finish it. It depends on how the touring progresses. And there's the Spiderman musical which will be early next year, starting in New York, so Bono and I have a fair amount of work to do on that early in the year. It'll be a first for us. We are very excited about it, but it's a steep learning curve.
You can read more from the interview at Scatter O'Light.
June 21, 2009: This Irish Independent article seems to dash any plans for releasing the album in 2009:
"While a spring release date had been mentioned, Bono seems to damping down that expectation now, saying that while they have nine pieces of music that they think are really special, the album will only come out if and when it is as good or better than No Line. And it certainly won't come out, as was reported in some media, this year. Bono is unashamedly clear that he wants No Line on the Horizon to be the U2 product that gets bought this Christmas."
March 24, 2009: In an interview with Hot Press magazine, Paul McGuinness expresses doubts over U2 releasing a new album in 2009:
"I can't see how, but we did that once before on the Zoo TV tour – the Zooropa album came out. But I remember the sheer effort of flying back to Dublin every night of the European tour to work on that album and then fly out again a day or so later – it nearly killed the band. They should remember that period if they think about doing it again. Nothing would surprise me, but it's certainly not something I would have expected."
March 3, 2009: The March 17 issue of Rolling Stone quotes Bono saying the next album will be called Songs Of Ascent, and that it will be released in 2010.
"Songs Of Ascent will be quieter than No Line in many ways, it's that ghost album of hymns and Sufi singing. We're making a kind of heartbreaker, a meditative, reflexive piece of work, but not indulgent."
February 28, 2009: A New York Times article says that "U2 expects to release a companion album, which band members say will have a more meditative and processional tone, before the end of the year."
February 15, 2009: This Observer article reports that U2 is planning to release another album before the end of 2009. Bono describes it as "a more meditative album on the theme of pilgrimage.
That's a lot of words
Holy Jaysus that's a long post..
Speaking of posts, number 2500 Tá mé An Cat Dubh
sweet baby jesus, did you take the day off work to write this?
from what i can gather, you seem pissed about the lack of news regarding songs of ascent. in which case; join the club, buddy. we'd all like some new info. they seem to love keeping us in the dark.
And I thought my posts were long...
They are gonna release it someday, if it didn't happen such a long time ago they have their reasons. I don't think this should be a reason to get worried about. There are way more important things ya know?
a beutiful post. can't wait to read the next installment in a couple of months when there is STILL no new album. Can't really hold it against the guys though, they have been sprinkling new tunes into the live show since last summer. But yes they are seriously yanking the chain of every fan they have ever had and it has gotten old...the Paul Mcginess lines are so superficial i can see where he would make a great manager but as a spokesman he demeans every fans ear that picks up his lipservice. see now i'm getting worked up over this again - either the band has ZERO confidence in their own judgement(thus the new production of Danger Mouse) or they really don't have 1 solid album of material left worth trying to get behind and sell to their fans - which do you think?
I've not been brave enough to read the whole thing, sorry guy. However, I think I've understood the meaning of it. Of course, we'd like them to release new material quickly but... if they don't do it, it's because it's not ready, or they don't think the context is good for it. Their last album was two years ago, I think we are able to wait a little bit longer. (1993-1997-2000-2004-2009...).
However, I think you're right with at least one thing : I can't see the interest of keeping saying "we've got four albums that are ready" while they are obviously not...
are we gonna wait forever
Don't believe the hype.
it might be a lot of copypasted words, but its intertiming to read as it showshow really deep is theirt lack of creatrivity when ot comes to promote new -potential- material. Macguimess quotes are especially funny _o_
I wrote something similar to this a while back. I'll have to find it.
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