Songs of Innocence will forever be remembered as the free U2 album that no one wanted. To be fair, it wasn’t exactly the music of the 2014 record that people had a problem with, but how it was forcibly imposed on them via a grand Apple stunt.
The whole fiasco resulted in popular “how to” tutorials on removing the album from iTunes as well as garnered U2 some hefty backlash. Bono himself even felt the need to apologize. “Oops … I’m sorry about that. I had this beautiful idea … might have gotten carried away with ourselves,” he said at the time. “Artists are prone to that thing. A drop of megalomania, a touch of generosity, a dash of self-promotion, and deep fear that these songs that we poured our life into over the last few years might not be heard.”
With the band’s next album, Songs of Experience, on the horizon, an unavoidable question has crept into the U2 conversation: What release format will they choose for their next project? A Rolling Stone writer posed this same inquiry to The Edge in a recent interview, and the guitarist offered responded by saying: “My plan is that Bono and I would sneak into everyone’s house and put a CD under their pillow. But unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be getting much support from the rest of the band.”
Har har har. The reply was a solid one that shows that not only are U2 still aware of the creepiness of their misguided Apple gimmick three years ago, but that they also know how to be the butt of their own jokes. Touché.
Elsewhere in the Rolling Stone interview, The Edge spoke about the U2’s upcoming Joshua Tree 30th anniversary tour as well as today’s current release formats. “It’s quite interesting the way music distribution and promotion and marketing has sort of been thrown into turmoil over the last number of years,” he said. “What seemed like the most cutting-edge and innovative ideas six months ago no longer seem novel or groundbreaking.”
He also spoke about his love of vinyl, adding, “I’m aware that sales of vinyl records are going through the roof. It’s just crazy to see that. That speaks about so many things about what the artifact, the object of a vinyl record signifies to people versus a digital download, a file. People, in the end, have an emotional connection with a great record and with the artist.”