Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rise and Swim (Welcome to the Grind) - If You're Not Motivated By This Video, Please See A Doctor

If You're Not Motivated By This Video, Please See A Doctor

If You're Not Motivated By This Video, Please See A Doctor

K.s. Anthony
One of the most inspirational videos we've ever shown.

This video, featuring champion swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, among others, is marked by an audio track Red Productions that will crush your self-doubts, drag you out of bed and into the freezing morning for a run or swim, and motivate and inspire you. Here’s a transcript of the audio, originally written for TCU Baseball.

Rise and shine.

6am and your hand can't make it to the alarm clock before the voices in your head start telling you that it's too early, too dark, and too cold to get out of a bed.

Aching muscles lie still in rebellion, pretending not to hear your brain commanding them to move.

A legion of voices are shouting their unanimous permission for you to hit the snooze button and go back to dreamland, but you didn't ask their opinion.

The voice you've chosen to listen to is one of defiance.

A voice that's says there was a reason you set that alarm in the first place. So sit up, put your feet on the floor, and don't look back because we've got work to do.

Welcome to The Grind.

For what is each day but a series of conflicts between the right way and the easy way, 10,000 streams fan out like a river delta before you, Each one promising the path of least resistance.

Thing is, you're headed upstream. And when you make that choice, when you decide to turn your back on what's comfortable and what's safe and what some would call "common sense", well that's day 1. From there it only gets tougher.

So just make sure this is something you want. Because the easy way out will always be there, ready to wash you away, all you have to do is pick up your feet.

But you aren't going to are you?

With each step comes the decision to take another.

You're on your way now.

But this is no time to dwell on how far you've come. You're in a fight against an opponent you can't see.

Oh but you can feel him on your heels can't you?

Feel him breathing down your neck.

You know what that is? That's you...Your fears, your doubts and insecurities all lined up like a firing squad ready to shoot you out of the sky.

But don't lose heart

While they aren't easily defeated, they are far from invincible.

Remember this is The Grind.

The Battle Royale between you and your mind, your body and the devil on your shoulder who's telling you that this is just a game, this is just a waste of time, your opponents are stronger than you.

Drown out the voice of uncertainty with the sound of your own heartbeat.

Burn away your self doubt with the fire that's beneath you.

Remember what you're fighting for.

And never forget that momentum is a cruel mistress, She can turn on a dime with the smallest mistake.

She is ever searching for that weak place in your armor, that one tiny thing you forgot to prepare for.

So as long as the devil is hiding the details, the question remains,"is that all you got?", "are you sure?"

And when the answer is "yes". That you've done all you can to prepare yourself for battle THEN it's time to go forth and boldly face your enemy, the enemy within.

Only now you must take that fight into the open, into hostile territory.

You're a lion in a field of lions…

All hunting the same elusive prey with a desperate starvation that says VICTORY is the only thing that can keep you alive.

So believe that voice that says " you CAN run a little faster " and that " you CAN throw a little harder " and that " you CAN dive a little deeper" and that, for you, the laws of physics are merely a suggestion.

Luck is the last dying wish of those who wanna believe that winning can happen by accident, sweat on the other hand is for those who know it's a choice, so decide now because destiny waits for no man. And when your time comes and a thousand different voices are trying to tell you you're not ready for it, listen instead for that lone voice in decent the one that says you are ready, you are prepared, it's all up to you now.

So rise and shine.

If you found this motivating, you might also like this article.

Friday, September 19, 2014

U2, 2014-09-19 -, @U2 Staff Review: Songs Of Innocence is a Winner

@U2 Staff Review: Songs Of Innocence is a Winner

@U2, September 19, 2014
By: @U2 staff

(As we've done with each U2 album since All That You Can't Leave Behind, several members of the @U2 staff have written short reviews of U2's latest album, Songs Of Innocence. Those are presented here in alphabetical order by author.)

Brian Betteridge
Put simply, I love Songs Of Innocence. It's U2's most energetic and cohesive album since their Achtung Baby reinvention. While the music is undeniably classic U2, the lyrics are Bono's most personal to date. The album's thematic parallels to Boy, along with a sound suited for the 2010s, make for a unique record. Tracks such as "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)," "Every Breaking Wave" and "Cedarwood Road" stand out as fresh, fully realized takes of previous efforts. It's not hard to imagine these songs as mainstays in U2's live arsenal for years to come. But this is not to say that Songs Of Innocence is without flaws. The carousel of producers hinders the overall flow of the album, an issue made worse by a less-than-optimal tracklist. There are occasions when the album stumbles over an awkward hook or lyric. Regardless, it's still an excellent album. It is not destined for greatness, but it does have a home in the top tier of U2's catalog. With Songs Of Innocence, U2 are finally modern again.

Fernanda Bottini
I think this album is very rock ’n’ roll but with some beautiful ballads, which means it is the U2 we know and love. Edge, Larry and Adam are playing very well, their sound is so mature, and Bono's voice is better than ever. It's incredible how they can reinvent themselves as musicians but keep the same essence.

The album is also very personal and true with meaningful lyrics. The "tribute songs," like "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)," "California (There Is No End To Love)" and "This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now,” show how the respective groups -- The Ramones, Beach Boys and The Clash -- have influenced U2. At the same time, songs like "Iris," "Raised By Wolves" and "Cedarwood Road" are the background of U2’s adolescence, when they formed the band.

All of this is important to express who they really are because it tells us a story: theirs. We need the past to understand the present and do the future. Besides, you can find cohesion connecting all the songs; it's a whole. That's why, for me, Songs Of Innocence is already a classic U2 album. It's historical.

Scott Calhoun
I love the textures and ambience that Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois have created for U2 over the years, but now with Songs Of Innocence, I can hear what No Line On The Horizon would have sounded like if it had been given some vigorous shakes, as a fine carpet will need from time to time to bring its pile and hues back to life. Songs Of Innocence is a hungry grab of all the good stuff of early U2 played by the band that became latter-day U2. What I hear sounds all at once fresh, simple, intricately composed, intimate and inviting. Favorite tracks right now are "Iris (Hold Me Close)" and "This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now," but the whole album is a brisk journey from a joie de vivre to a strident facing-the-facts of there being two (at the least) different Irelands, Americas, believers, doubters, lovers, haters and Bonos, as well as you's and me's -- all of which are in need of reconciliation. Thank you Danger Mouse, Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder: You just might be the Eno, Lanois and Steve Lillywhite of U2's future.

Mike Camp
Some albums hit you instantly. Some are "growers" that require work on the part of the listener. I didn't have very high expectations for the new U2 album. At first glance, I thought that Songs Of Innocence was over-produced, perhaps too slick. I was underwhelmed, yet grateful just to have new music from U2. This album was either going to be a "grower" or another disappointment, like No Line On The Horizon or How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.

That night, I listened to Songs Of Innocence while lying in bed with the lights out, using a pair of quality headphones. It finally clicked. Four things sealed the deal for me:
1. Adam and Larry really shine throughout the album.
2. The brilliance of "Every Breaking Wave" and "Song For Someone." Classic U2 songs. Perfect future singles.
3. Edge's guitar at 3:52 of "Sleep Like A Baby Tonight" mixed with the chimes. I only wish this could have played out longer.
4. "The Troubles" -- in my opinion, the best album closer U2 have done since "Wake Up Dead Man" on Pop.
It's not a perfect album, but it's definitely better than I expected. Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

Christopher Endrinal
Songs Of Innocence reminds me of Janus, the two-faced Roman god who looks into both the past and the future (and is the namesake of the calendar year's first month). The album is a reflection on U2's past that also serves as a preview of the future of the band's sound. It sounds instantly familiar but is also contemporary and fresh. This record is immediately accessible to longtime fans, casual listeners and newcomers in a way that No Line On The Horizon was not. Bits and pieces from just about every other U2 LP can be heard on SOI, essentially making it a kind of U2 highlight reel. Yet this is a cohesive album, tied together by the intensely personal themes that are portrayed musically with a raw, "dirty" sound. The mix adds to the intimacy by emphasizing the vocals, while the guitar has a more supporting role than on previous albums. Make no mistake, though: All four band members are at the top of their respective games. SOI is a brilliant, tightly produced, melody-driven update to the trademark U2 sound that was well worth the five-and-a-half year wait.

Carol Foster
Listening to Dave Fanning on 2FM last week play the first release of new U2 material, I wasn't sure what to expect. It had been five years since the release of No Line On The Horizon, which needed a few listens for me to appreciate it. That, coupled with the dramas of recording after No Line -- writer's block, ditching producers, promises of Edge being on fire -- left me a bit skeptical of what was to come!

What transpired upon hearing the album was that perhaps this was the only time since the release of Achtung Baby that I was hooked from the start. Give or take one or two tracks, here was an album that wouldn’t make me hit the skip button repeatedly on my iPod or go for the beer/bathroom break at a U2 show. This really surprised me, as I am quite the cynic, and I really hadn't expected this to happen!

"Cedarwood Road," "Volcano" and "Raised By Wolves" are standout tracks for me. Vocally, Bono sounds better than ever, but he really stands out on "The Troubles" with Lykke Li. If it's relevance and radio airplay U2 are after, this song will be the one to achieve that.

Aaron Govern
In Songs of Innocence, U2 have released a concept album. But as concept albums go, this is a subtle one. It has great melodies, abundant riffs and very personal lyrics, culminating in thoughtful reflections of a period of growing up and living in Dublin. I am particularly impressed by the sonic qualities of this album -- a little research determines that U2 have studiously avoided a modern sound, and managed to transport themselves to the late '70s and early '80s with their producers. A quick look at the album credits shows they have used a variety of studios that all have one thing in common: vintage studio equipment. (For the sound nerds, the Neve recording desks from the early 1970s have been used on all the tracks.) Time will tell, but at the moment I feel that SOI is almost a companion album to Boy -- this time with the benefit of hindsight and living a life. For a band entering its 39th year of existence, SOI is an extraordinary brave album to be making at this stage of their career. But amazingly, they pull it off with some aplomb. Bring on Songs Of Experience!

Tom Humphries
It has been over five years since the last U2 album. I worried that I would like anything they released simply because it was new, but would fall out of favor with it as time moved forward. Since Achtung Baby, I haven't found a U2 album where I felt compelled to start with Track 1 and listen to all the songs in order. I feel this way about my favorite U2 albums. I don't feel like this about my less-than-favorite ones.

On the first listen to Songs Of Innocence, I immediately liked it. On the second and third listen, I realized just how personal the lyrics were to the band's beginnings. Subsequent listenings showed me that while the lyrics spoke to early U2, the music spanned the varying styles of their career. "The Miracle" sounds like "Vertigo." "Volcano" could be off Boy or War. "Song For Someone" is "With Or Without You." It improves with each listen as I hear a new layer, a new nod to the past, a new sound.

Quite simply, I love Songs Of Innocence. I just need to make sure I have 49 minutes available each time I hit play.

Liseth Meijer
When I first listened to Songs Of Innocence, I didn't have specific expectations other than "I hope it's worth the long wait." I wasn't disappointed. Although the themes on the album are not new to longtime U2 fans, the more personal approach works better than the third-person perspective of some songs from No Line On The Horizon. The songs that stand out to me are "Song For Someone," "Raised By Wolves," "Every Breaking Wave" (although I had to get used to its polished shape at first, having heard it live), "The Troubles" and "Sleep Like A Baby Tonight." There is no song on it that I really don't like, which is a first for me. I do tend to skip the intro of "California,” and I don't care much for "This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now," but other than that, I love the complete album. It has a sense of wholeness, which is why I've listened to the album so far only in its intended order. Usually, I'm a big fan of the shuffle button, but this time that's not the case.

So all in all: Well done, U2, and I'm looking forward to Songs Of Experience.

Drew Rogers
After all of Bono's talk about "relevance" and wanting U2's new music to be played in clubs and on the radio, I have spent the time between NLOTH and Songs Of Innocence feeling some dread. So imagine my surprise that Songs Of Innocence has turned out to be not only a rock album, but also one of their best since the hallowed ‘90s. This is what How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb should have been.

I'm usually not a fan of U2's rockier works as opposed to their atmospheric ones, but I really enjoy the muscular, tight rock of the album. That's not to say the album doesn't have its experimental moments, with songs like "Raised By Wolves," "Sleep Like A Baby Tonight" and "The Troubles."

I'm also pleased that I haven't found any cringe-worthy lyrics on the album, and that there's not a single song I feel compelled to skip when I listen to it, which may be a first for me with a U2 album. The lyrics are also strikingly personal and vulnerable, and I think paint an interesting portrait of a young Bono that has never really came out so explicitly in their music before.

Ultimately, I'm beyond pleased that my expectations for this one were wrong.

Aaron J. Sams
I'm already waking up singing songs. "Iris," "Sleep Like A Baby Tonight" and "Volcano" have all been on my mind in the morning. "The Troubles" has gotten under my skin; it's an earworm I can't get out of my head. Lykke Li's voice haunts me. "Every Breaking Wave" takes me back to my European vacation in 2010. But my favorite song is turning out to be "This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now." The second half of the album reminds me of the experimental side of U2 I love but has felt muted lately. Sadly, I struggle with the first few songs, some perfectly good pop music, but lacking some punch and feeling too safe. "California" has reached the level of dislike that only "Wild Honey" has reached before. I struggle to listen and already it is skipped more than it is played. Overall, I'm enjoying the album and it probably sits in the middle of their catalog if choosing my favorites, although time and familiarity seem to push it higher each day.

Wendy Vissers
With my favorite bands, I look forward to new music to listen for signs of the personal and professional experiences of band members. Human nature is that our experiences influence our creativity, and U2 are no exception.

For me, Songs Of Innocence bears the fingerprints of Bono and The Edge's induction into the world of musical theater. The mixture of sounds reminds me of a musical soundtrack. The vocals of some songs seem repetitive and at times disjointed from the flow of the accompanying music, again giving a live theater quality. I also hear a distinctive Coldplay-esque quality to some songs. The most prominent example of this to my ear is "Every Breaking Wave."

My overall feeling is that it’s a typically unique U2 album. Some songs I like, some songs I skip, and I will add a couple of gems to my list of favorites: "Cedarwood Road," "The Miracle" and "The Troubles." There are examples of poetic phrases and lyrical truths. There are bold and dominant guitar riffs and sequences by both The Edge and Adam. All in all, I'm loving Songs Of Innocence -- and the price was only icing on the cake!

(c) @U2, 2014.

Monday, September 15, 2014

U2, 2014-09-15 - The Irish Times, Cui Bono? 26 old U2 albums re-enter the iTunes charts

Cui Bono? 26 old U2 albums re-enter the iTunes charts

The band was paid €100 million by Apple to allow their new much to go out for free

 (left to right) The Edge, Bono, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr of U2. Fifteen back catalogue U2 albums have re-entered the Irish iTunes albums download charts. File Photograph: Yui Mok/PA
(left to right) The Edge, Bono, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr of U2. Fifteen back catalogue U2 albums have re-entered the Irish iTunes albums download charts. File Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

Mon, Sep 15, 2014, 00:52

Fifteen back catalogue U2 albums have re-entered the Irish iTunes albums download charts.

The highest re-entry is at number five for the “Joshua Tree” album.

In the world’s biggest music territory, the US, 26 old U2 albums (studio albums, live albums, compilations and extended plays) have re-entered the iTunes charts and a similar pattern is emerging globally.

At this rate, Apple are well on course to recoup the estimated $100 million they paid to U2 and the band’s record label, Universal, to allow the new U2 album go out free to their 500 million customers.

It’s win-win for Apple and U2.

The tech company make money every time a U2 album is downloaded as do the band.

In U2’s case, they enjoy one of the highest ever royalty rates on their sales – meaning they get a far bigger percentage of the retail prize than even Michael Jackson or The Beatles had.

Bono confirmed to The Irish Times last week that the band had been paid by Apple.

In essence, this means even if the band do not sell a single copy of the physical release of the album next month, they will still have made a substantial profit from “Songs of Innocence”.

In addition, Apple have committed to a substantial marketing campaign, which will use the album’s first single “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) to soundtrack a global television advertising campaign for its new iPhones and Apple Watch.

A person familiar with the talks says the campaign will cost upwards of $100 million.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

U2, 2014-09-13 - The Irish Times, Bono’s Dublin: ‘A long way from where I live’

Bono’s Dublin: ‘A long way from where I live’

When U2 struggled with their new album they sought inspiration in 1970s Dublin, a place of hidden violence, home to a new-wave music scene and a group of friends who were not yet U2. ‘A lot of sh*t got dragged up,’ says Bono

Bono leans in to my face so our noses are almost touching, and he sings, unaccompanied, “Life begins with the first glance, the first kiss at the first dance, all of us are wondering why we’re here, in the Crystal Ballroom underneath the chandelier . . . We are the ghosts of love and we haunt this place, in the ballroom of crystal lights, everyone is here with me tonight, everyone but you.” It is sean-nós in shades.

“I need to tell you something really weird about this song,” he says. “It’s called The Crystal Ballroom, which used to be the name of McGonagles in South Anne Street [now knocked down]. A whole generation of Dubliners would go to the Crystal Ballroom for dances, and many couples first met there. My mother and father used to dance together in the Crystal Ballroom, so that song I just sang you, which hasn’t been released yet, is me imagining I’m on the stage of McGonagles with this new band I’m in called U2 – and we did play a lot of our important early gigs there. And I look out into the audience and I see my mother and father dancing romantically together to U2 on the stage.”

Bono takes a deep breath and, speaking slowly, says, “I have just realised that my mother died 40 years ago yesterday, and here we are today playing our new album about Dublin, which is about my family and what happened to me as a teenager.

“My mother died when she was at her father’s funeral. She had a cerebral aneurysm. I was only 14. And in this song I am singing, “Everyone is here tonight, everyone but you.” And it’s me wanting to see my mother dance again in the Crystal Ballroom and for her to see what happened to her son.”

All about my mother

We are in a windowless room at Apple’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, in the California town of Cupertino. U2 have just helped launch a range of Apple products, and it has been announced that their new album, Songs of Innocence, is being given to iTunes customers.

The Edge is here too. He flicks through his phone, finds The Crystal Ballroom and presses play. There is silence in the room as it plays. After a long pause a clearly upset Bono whispers, “Her spirit was with us today.”

This new U2 album could be read as Bono’s All About My Mother. The song Iris (Hold Me Close) – Iris is his mother’s name – finds him singing about her untimely death. “The ache in my heart is so much a part of who I am . . . Hold me close and don’t let me go . . . I’ve got your life inside of me . . . We’re meeting up again.”

Standing up and walking around the room, he highlights a lyric in the song. “I sing this verse which has ‘Iris standing in the hall, she tells me I can do it all,’ and then there’s a typical mother’s line when she says to me, ‘You’ll be the death of me.’ But it wasn’t me. I wasn’t the death of her. I was not the death of her.”

“The mother is so, so important in rock music. Show me a great singer and I’ll show you someone who lost their mother early on. There’s Paul McCartney, there’s John Lennon. Look at Bob Geldof and what happened to his mother.

“In hip hop, by contrast, it’s all about the father – being abandoned by the father and being brought up by a single mother. But for me it’s all about the mother. I had rage and grief for my mother. I still have rage and grief for my mother. I channelled those emotions in music, and I still do. I have very few memories of my mother, but all of them are in the song Iris.”

Friday, September 12, 2014

U2, 2014-09-12 - Billboard, Exclusive: Guy Oseary on U2's $100 Million Deal With Apple, And What's Next for the Group

Exclusive: Guy Oseary on U2's $100 Million Deal With Apple, And What's Next for the Group


Guy Oseary and Bono, 2003.
Guy Oseary and Bono during The 45th GRAMMY Awards - MusiCares 2003 Person of the Year - Bono - After-Party at Hudson Hotel in New York City.KMazur/WireImage

It has been a whirlwind nine months for Guy Oseary since he took the reins of U2’s management after longtime manager Paul McGuinness announced his retirement last fall. That includes a Golden Globe, an Oscar nomination, a big Super Bowl campaign and the premiere of The Tonight Show in support of two songs that ultimately didn't make the final cut on Songs of Innocence, the history-making album that debuted to 500 million iTunes customers on Sept. 9.

With lead single "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)" set to be featured in a massive media campaign from Apple, valued at $100 million by multiple sources, U2 has already scored arguably the biggest launch in music history. And it's one that's already fraught with a little controversy, from angry retailers to Grammy and SoundScan guidelines. Oseary, 41, rang Billboard on Sept. 11 to address the many questions about the launch, and what’s next (another album?) from this landmark deal with Apple.

Songs of Innocence has already been touted as the biggest album launch of all time. How did you get to this point?
U2 worked five years on this album, they poured blood, sweat, tears into project, and we were really confident with it. The goal was: how do we reach as many as possible? U2 first worked with Apple nearly 10 years to the day when they were sharing a stage with Steve Jobs and launching their iPod with many fewer accounts, and here we are 10 years later with Apple gifting this album to 7 percent of the planet.

Many people are already calling the announcement “disruptive” in the same way that Jay Z’s deal with Samsung and Beyonce’s surprise album drop were also disruptive to traditional industry rollouts. While this news was significant for U2, how could other artists potentially benefit?
Well first of all, when music becomes a piece of the conversation at an Apple event, that’s always a good thing. Two is, the power of music and the fact that it can actually be shared with 7 percent of the planet in one push of a button. That’s a pretty big concept. Any sort of innovation may inspire other people to do things that are innovative. We may see someone sitting with another manager, or another band going, "Hey, what can we do that's interesting maybe with our lyrics or our videos or something interactive with the ticketing to our shows?"

That’s all, I don’t know where it’s headed, I just know that I’m always looking for the answers, for new ways to do things. That’s my job, my job is to try to not follow the lead. And there’s a lot of other people that have a lot of peers and bands that are in the community wanting to lead, and they’ll lead in other ways. And that’s what’s exciting to me. It’s not gonna be the same thing. But who knows where it goes? There’s endless possibilities to do things today with music and performance.

Jimmy Iovine is a figure we didn’t see onstage Tuesday, but someone who has been closely linked to U2 for many years from his days at Interscope and now happens to be an Apple employee. What was his role in making this deal happen?
Jimmy is part of whatever this band does, even in their personal lives. It’s a family. We look to Jimmy for guidance and support no matter what we end up doing, whether its this project or talking about the next single, or whether we’re talking about doing other things down the road. Talk about family, trips, things that we wanted to to do in our personal lives -- we’re really connected, we’re really supportive. Jimmy is near and dear to this band, he’s definitely a source of support and guidance. He’s a big part of the U2 family, and to myself personally -- whether I’m working with U2 or someone else, he’s always been a very supportive and dear friend. We consider him family and there’s been a lot of hand-holding together through this process.

On Tuesday, Bono emphasized the fact that the band was paid by Apple for the album, and there's a reported $100 million ad campaign in the works, which may have ruffled some feathers of longtime fans who admire Bono’s humanitarian work. So, is there an altruistic component to this new Apple partnership?
Apple's very private about their philanthropic work, but they've done a lot for (RED.) They've given $70 to $90 million to saving lives, and while I was at the event I counted two times where two (RED) products were actually promoted at the event.

Bono also mentioned on Facebook that there’s a second album already in the can. What else can we expect from U2 and Apple?
We're working on other things as well with Apple that have to do with how music is heard and innovation, with [iTunes VP of content] Robert Kondrk leading that charge. There’s a lot of things still to come that are really interesting. The band really wants people to engage with albums, they want them to support the art form of artwork and lyrics and video content and just get into their music in a much different way than an MP3 file. This is a long relationship.

Some retailers are already up in arms about a five-week exclusive with iTunes. How will you make sure there’s still value to the commercial release when it arrives Oct. 14?
There’s four brand-new songs, and Gary Kelly [Interscope’s head of retail sales] can tell you there’s a bunch of acoustic versions of songs from the album, too. So it’s probably gonna be anywhere between nine or 11 songs that were not on the standard. Retail is important, too, we’re not trying to alienate anyone. We're just trying to reach our potential, and it happens to be with a company that is very forward-thinking. U2 is part of the Apple story, and Apple has played a big part in U2's life.

It’s been a decade since U2 has had a true mainstream hit, so there’s a whole generation of music listeners who may just be discovering the band’s music. How do you convert them into fans without oversaturating them?
As you can see from today’s iTunes charts, clearly people are digging back into the catalog to learn more about the band, with 16 albums on the iTunes charts. That’s a statement, that people are going, “Oh, let me learn more about this band.” I’ve seen a lot of tweets from kids who are 14, 15, 16, 18 who are going, “Wow, this is really good.” They didn’t know what to expect. That’s a great feeling, that maybe someone in their collection only has hip-hop, and yet maybe someone only has country artists, or someone in India doesn’t have any Anglo artists, and they discover U2 today. The one thing all these people have in common is U2 now. The one thing everyone on iTunes has in common today is U2 and a U2 album. It’s an amazing opportunity, even at this stage in U2’s career, to make new friends.

You just gave away an album to 500 million people worldwide. How do you turn those free customers into album buyers a month from now?
This is all new territory, but we have four brand-new songs and the deluxe is a killer package. And it’s early days. You can't look at the standard as one piece of this puzzle, you have to look at whether we reached as many as possible. Are people buying the catalog all of a sudden? And the answer is yes.

By releasing a free album this week, you’ve missed some of the requirements for the Billboard as well as Grammy deadlines. So what’s the overall statement you wanted to make?
Look, we just went with organic, genuine feelings of “Let’s share this album with as many people as possible” and then we know that there’s a lot of unknowns. And we accept the ups, we accept the downs, it’ll be what it’ll be, but we’re really happy with this week and historical launch.

A version of this story originally appeared in the Sept. 20 issue of Billboard.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

U2, 2014-09-11 - Rolling Stone, U2's 'Songs of Innocence' Is 11 Tracks of Triumphant Rapture

Songs of Innocence

  • Songs of Innocence
  • U2
  • Universal Music Group


No other rock band does rebirth like U2. No other band – certainly of U2's duration, commercial success and creative achievement – believes it needs rebirth more and so often. But even by the standards of transformation on 1987's The Joshua Tree and 1991's Achtung! Baby, Songs of Innocence – U2's first studio album in five years – is a triumph of dynamic, focused renaissance: 11 tracks of straightforward rapture about the life-saving joys of music, drawing on U2's long palette of influences and investigations of post-punk rock, industrial electronics and contemporary dance music. "You and I are rock & roll," Bono shouts in "Volcano," a song about imminent eruption, through a propulsive delirium of throaty, striding bass, alien-choral effects and the Edge's rusted-treble jolts of Gang of Four-vintage guitar. Bono also sings this, earlier in a darker, more challenging tone: "Do you live here or is this a vacation?" For U2, rock & roll was always a life's work – and the work is never done.

Songs of Innocence is aptly named, after William Blake's 1789 collection of poems about man's perpetually great age of discovery – childhood. For the first time, after decades of looking abroad for inspiration – to American frontier spirituality, Euro-dance-party irony and historic figures of protest such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela – Bono, the Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. have taken the long way 'round to metamorphosis: turning back and inward, for the first time on a whole record, to their lives and learning as boys on the way to uncertain manhood (and their band) in Dublin.

Bono's lyrics are striking in their specific, personal history. In "Cedarwood Road," named after a street where he lived, the singer remembers the fear and unrequited anger that drove him to music and to be heard – and which won't go away. "I'm still standing on that street/Still need an enemy," he admits against Clayton and Mullen's strident, brooding rhythm and the enraged stutter of the Edge's guitar. "Raised by Wolves" is a tension of metronome-like groove and real-life carnage ("There's a man in a pool of misery . . . a red sea covers the ground") based on a series of car bombs that bloodied Dublin one night in the Seventies.

In "Iris (Hold Me Close)," Bono sings to his mother, who died when he was 14, through a tangle of fondness and still-desperate yearning, in outbreaks of dreamy neo-operatic ascension over a creamy sea of keyboards and Clayton's dignified-disco bass figure. "You took me by the hand/I thought I was leading you," Bono recalls in a kind of embarrassed bliss. "But it was you who made me your man/Machine," he adds – a playful shotgun reference to his youthful poetic conceit in Boy's "Twilight" ("In the shadows boy meets man") and his wife Ali. The teenage Bono once gave her Kraftwerk's The Man-Machine as a gift while they were dating.

For U2 – and Bono in particular – the first step on the road out of Dublin was the sound of a voice, and they name it in the opening track, "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)." U2 have always been open in their gratitude to New York punk and the Ramones in particular, and this homage to unlikely heroism – that kid you least expect to take on the world and win – is suitable honor: a great, chunky guitar riff and a beat like a T. Rex stomp, glazed with galactic-Ronettes vocal sugar. "I woke up," Bono sings, "at the moment when the miracle occurred/Heard a song that made some sense out of the world." U2 also pay due diligence to the Clash in "This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now," dedicated to Joe Strummer, and there is a strong hint of the Beach Boys' allure – their standing invitation to a utopia far from the Dublin grit and rain – in the Smile-style flair of the chanting harmonies in "California (There Is No End to Love)." "Blood orange sunset brings you to your knees," Bono croons in an awed register. "I've seen for myself."

These are the oldest stories in rock & roll – adolescent restlessness; traumatic loss; the revelation of rescue hiding in a great chorus or power chord. But Songs of Innocence is the first time U2 have told their own tales so directly, with the strengths and expression they have accumulated as songwriters and record-makers. This album was famous, long before release, for its broken deadlines and the indecision suggested by its multiple producers: Brian Burton a/k/a Danger Mouse, Paul Epworth of Adele fame and Ryan Tedder of the pop band One Republic. Those credits are misleading. Burton, Epworth and Tedder all co-produced "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)" and contributed keyboards; that's Epworth on the additional slide guitar in "Cedarwood Road"; and Burton arranged the chorale in "Volcano." But the extra hands and textures are thoroughly embedded in the memoir. There is no time when the telling sounds like it was more than the work of the four who lived it.

And it is a salvation, U2 believe, that keeps on giving. "Every breaking wave on the shore/Tells the next one that there will be one more," Bono promises in the tidal sun-kissed electronica of "Every Breaking Wave." And "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)" comes with a pledge to every stranded dreamer who now hears Rocket to Russia, Give 'Em Enough Rope or some U2 for the first time and is somehow, permanently, changed. "We can hear you," Bono swears. "Your voices will be heard."

Just find one of your own. Then shout as hard as you can.

U2, 2014-09-11 -, U2 are planning to release TWO more albums before 2016 - after shock free record

U2 are planning to release TWO more albums before 2016 - after shock free record

Closest pal Dave Fanning knows they have more material in the bag

Sep 11, 2014 | 16:17 / Updated: Sep 11, 2014 | 16:17

U2 - Songs Of Innocence2_photo credit_PAOLO PELLEGRIN

U2 are set to release another TWO albums over the next 18 months, their best friend has revealed.

Close confidant Dave Fanning said he believes Songs Of Innocence is the first in a three-part series of albums in which they explore the 70s, 80s and 90s.

It comes after the Dublin rockers released their last record – their first in five years – for free to half a billion iTunes users with Apple paying the bill.

And Dave, who got the first play of the record on 2FM, said: “I think this is the first of three U2 albums.

Dave Fanning signs copies of his book 'The Thing Is...' at Dubray Books
More to come: Dave knows U2 aren’t finished | VIPIRELAND.COM
“I’m guessing that, because every single track on Songs Of Innocence is about the 1970s.

“I think there will be more ‘Songs of…’ dealing with later decades, and the life experience of U2, right up to the present day.”

Last year Bono said they were “working on three albums”, adding: “We haven’t decided what order to put them out.”

And Dave, 58, said that given the length of time between albums there is no reason they won’t have the material.

U2 Play their final 360 concert at Croke Park
More material: Dave knows this won’t be the end for U2 | VIPIRELAND.COM
“I think U2 have loads of songs. There will be more albums. I’d say U2 will drop a few albums in the next eighteen months,” he told the Irish Sun.

“The theme is almost a mid-life crisis for Bono but he hasn’t tried anything ground breaking. What he has done is gone back to the start which is brilliant. The songs are very personal to Bono.”

U2, 2014-09-11 - Forbes, What U2's Apple Album Launch Means For U2

What U2's Apple Album Launch Means For U2

Yesterday, I wrote about Apple AAPL +0.29% and U2′s decision to team up for the launch of Songs of Innocence and what it means for Apple. As promised, today I’ll explore the other side: what it means for U2.

For the Irish rockers, there’s little left to accomplish. Already hailed as one of the top pop-rock acts of all-time, U2′s financial success has matched its outsized popularity. The group has sold tens of millions of records, and its last tour grossed $736 million, the highest total in history.

That sort of success has given the band an immense platform for its philanthropic agenda and often placed its members in the most esteemed company–witness Bono serenading Warren Buffett with a customized ode.

“The question is now, ‘How do we get it to as many people as possible?’” Bono said earlier this week. “Because that’s what our band is all about.”

Enter Apple and its massive digital music distribution platform–and its equally vast resources. The California tech behemoth reportedly gave U2 a huge blanket royalty fee and a marketing campaign worth as much as $100 million in exchange for the right to give away Songs of Innocence to all its customers. Here are a few of the implications of that deal for U2:

Bono and friends have accepted the new reality of the music business.

The digital download is much farther down the path toward the fate of the CD and the cassette tape than most legacy acts care to admit. Streaming has already won, and recorded music hasn’t been the main income stream for the industry’s top earners in about a decade. Instead of stubbornly clinging to the old new model by charging a “discounted” $4 or $5 for its new album, U2 had the foresight to make Songs of Innocence available for free–while still getting paid–making the iTunes download the same price as a Beats Music stream. The LP will debut in stores and other streaming services in October. In the meantime…

U2 appears to have just launched the most widely-distributed album, ever.

Apple’s iTunes has more than 500 million customers–about five times the Super Bowl’s stated audience–and now they’ve all got U2′s latest effort, which Tim Cook called “the largest album release of all time.” Sure, tens of millions of people might not bother to listen, maybe hundreds of millions. But if even one-fifth of them listen, and half of them enjoy it, and half of them would like to see the songs performed live, it means that…

Another massive tour is around the corner for U2.

It’s been more than three years since U2′s record-breaking 360 Tour wrapped up in Canada. That’s an ample respite for a band accustomed to hitting the road with regularity, and one with an evident hunger to maintain relevance. It probably would have made sense to announce a new tour at the same time as the new album in order to fully capitalize on the buzz, but even if that happens a few months from now, U2 will have accomplished its goal of getting Songs of Innocence to as many ears as possible. It’s up to the music to grab them–and isn’t that the point anyway?

Besides, if U2 doesn’t announce a tour in the next few months, there’s always the possibility of a return to the Super Bowl–a popular jumping-off point for superstar acts. Even if the NFL doesn’t back down on its demand for acts to pay to play the halftime show, it seems likely Apple’s blanket fee would be more than enough to cover those costs.

That could also be a great place to debut the band’s next album, which Bono has already teased.

“If you like Songs of Innocence, stay with us for Songs of Experience,” he wrote. “It should be ready soon enough.”

For more on the business of music, check out my book Michael Jackson, Inc and my Jay Z biography Empire State of Mind. You can follow me on Twitter & Facebook.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

U2, 2014-09-10 - The Boston Globe, Album Review: U2, ‘Songs of Innocence’

Album Review

U2, ‘Songs of Innocence’

There is something inherently presumptuous about a band thinking you want its new album. So badly, in fact, that you can have it for free. Right now. You don’t even have to track it down. It will magically appear in your online music library after a simple click of the mouse. No money, no problem.

That’s how U2’s fans acquired the Irish rockers’ new album on Tuesday afternoon. “Songs of Innocence” came with no advance warning, no anticipation, no interviews with Bono or the Edge about its content. The surprise release was part of Apple’s press conference to announce its new products, and made the album instantly — and exclusively — available to anyone with an iTunes account. That’s a half-billion people around the world. (Interscope Records will release it in physical and digital formats on Oct. 14.)

That giveaway was a generous gesture — some might say arrogant — but it’s also a commentary on how we consume music, and a reminder that the record industry is pretty much in the sewer. No matter how good it is, an album can hardly stand on its own merit anymore, at least not if it’s going to be a commercial juggernaut. It needs a hook, an innovative idea that will ensure its arrival isn’t just a new release, but rather a News Event.

That’s exactly the coup Beyoncé staged late last year when she released her self-titled album, from out of nowhere and just beyond most deadlines for critics’ year-end Top 10 lists. Poof! There it was, wrapped in a bow with videos for each of its 14 songs. In the same spirit, Radiohead made headlines by allowing fans to pay what they wanted for a download of 2007’s “In Rainbows.”

Lady Gaga goosed sales of 2011’s “Born This Way” with a limited promotion in which Amazon sold digital downloads of the album for 99 cents (for two days only). And Jay Z struck a deal with Samsung last year in which users accessed a new app for a free download of his latest album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” a few days ahead of its official release. In all of those cases, the experiment paid off to a handsome sum.

U2 cut through the hoopla by essentially saying, “Hey, here’s our new album. Dig in.” That’s in line with how the band has made music going back to the early 1980s; it’s for the masses. If the business model for “Songs of Innocence” smacks of cold, corporate calculation — and even the album cover, an image of a white paper record sleeve with basic notes stamped and scrawled on it, has an air of disposability — the music is anything but. It has a direct intimacy that U2 hasn’t bared on recent releases.

Yes, it’s big and shiny and sometimes bombastic, but it also takes chances and pushes forward the band’s legacy. Danger Mouse, who has worked his magic with Gnarls Barkley and Broken Bells, is credited as the main producer; other collaborators include OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder (Beyoncé, Maroon 5) and Paul Epworth (Adele, Coldplay). They seem to understand what makes U2 special: that interplay among the Edge’s shimmering guitar work, the one-two punch to the gut by drummer Larry Mullen Jr. and bassist Adam Clayton, and Bono’s majestic vocals, which somehow sound both close to the heart and scaled for a stadium.

Credited solely to Bono and the Edge, the lyrics look back on their history while sidestepping any sort of easy nostalgia. Bono penned the liner notes, which shed considerable light on the songs. He remembers his initial struggle to preserve his punk-rock roots: “. . . at one of our earliest shows, someone shouted, ‘more punk in the Monkees.’ They were right.” But then the Ramones, specifically Joey, made Bono realize he could sing “like a girl” and still be himself. “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)” manages to honor both the hero in the title and U2’s ascent to becoming one of the biggest bands in the world.

With its warm, ricocheting opening chorus that riffs on the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann,” “California (There Is No End to Love)” waxes poetic about U2’s first trip to Los Angeles as a startling and splendorous flipside to Dublin. “Iris (Hold Me Close)” is perhaps the most signature U2 moment, right down to the flickering groove it rides on the Edge’s guitar and Bono’s poignant memories of his late mother: “Hold me close/ The darkness just lets us see/ Who we are/ I’ve got your light inside of me.”

And then there are sonic experiments so strange, so hypnotic, that they reveal new shades of a band you thought you already knew. “Cedarwood Road,” a remembrance of the street where Bono grew up, has some of the edgiest (no pun intended) fretwork the band has exhibited on record in a long time, a swampy vamp that sounds like it slithered out of the floorboards of a dank old cabin.

“Sleep Like a Baby Tonight” is a five-minute crawl through pulsating synths, steely guitar lines, and the skyscraping heights of Bono’s falsetto. It has Danger Mouse’s production fingerprints all over it, as does “The Troubles,” the closing ballad shot through with spectral backing vocals by Swedish singer Lykke Li and Bono’s philosophical assertion that, “You think it’s easier/ To put your finger on the trouble/ When the trouble is you.”

The irony is that U2 has captured our attention with a gimmick when, really, the album alone could have done the job.

James Reed can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJamesReed.

U2, 2014-09-10 - Hot Press, Paul McGuinness on the new U2 album and 2015 tour plans

Paul McGuinness on the new U2 album and 2015 tour plans
Former U2 manager Paul McGuinness has spoken to Irish national radio station Newstalk about the surprise unleashing yesterday of Songs Of Innocence.
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 10 Sep 2014

“I thought the exercise they mounted yesterday was absolutely spectacular and a huge success; a new way of distributing music to the world,” he proffers. “I think it stunned everyone. I’m just working through the worldwide press and the two things to come out of that are, first of all, astonishment that they were able to do it and do it secretly, but also how good the record is. There seems to be near unanimity on that.

“I heard the complete album a few days ago and it’s brilliant. It’s U2 yet again doing their best work late into their career.”

Paul goes on to debunk the idea that the band are taking a financial hit on Songs Of Innocence.

“The way they have released it is obviously extraordinary,” he resumes. “I think you have to read the detail; Bono has an interview today in Time magazine and he points out that it’s not free. He’s absolutely opposed to free. It may be free to the consumer but I can assure you that Apple will haves paid a very high price to U2 and Universal Records for the right to do that.”

As for live dates, Paul reckons U2 fans are in for an exciting 2015.

“I think you can expect a major tour starting next summer that will in every way be what people expect of U2 - groundbreaking, unique and world-beating.”

U2, 2014-09-10 - Forbes, What Apple's U2 Album Launch Means For Apple

What Apple's U2 Album Launch Means For Apple

Love Apple AAPL +0.23% or hate it, there’s no denying it’s a unique company. Additional proof came at yesterday’s product launch event in Cupertino, where Apple unveiled the iPhone 6 and a new smart watch–and managed to secure U2 as a featured act.

The Irish rockers debuted their a new single, “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)” at the end of the proceedings, part of a deal to release their new album, Songs of Innocence, for free to all iTunes customers. The LP will also be available for Beats Music subscribers, too; after October 14th, it will appear on other streaming services as well as bricks-and-mortar stores.

Apple’s brass seemed as thrilled as the legions of U2 fans awaiting new music from the group.

“Wasn’t that the most incredible single you ever heard?” said Apple chief Tim Cook after the band’s performance. “We would love a whole album of that.”

And a whole album is exactly what Apple got. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but it’s clear that U2 isn’t truly giving away its music for free. The band reportedly received a blanket royalty fee for the use of its music as well as a marketing campaign worth as much as $100 million by some estimates.

While that number may well be inflated, it’s something Apple can certainly afford, particularly given the gravity of launching an album with U2. For the company and the broader music business, the implications are plentiful, and many won’t be known immediately. But for the moment, here are a few important ones:

The iTunes Store as we know it is dying.

You’ve heard that refrain here before — and from other outlets as well — but the fact that Apple gave away U2′s album and streamed it on Beats Music instead of trying to sell it as a download for $4 or $5 gives additional support to that theory. Streaming has already defeated the digital download, and Apple has finally admitted it. Which is probably why…

Apple is doubling down on its investment in Beats Music.

Sure, $3 billion is a large sum for an acquisition, even for a company with more than $100 billion in cash on its balance sheet. But don’t expect Apple to stop investing in its investment. The purpose of the U2 album launch may have been primarily to generate buzz for the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, but there’s no doubt that luring consumers to sign up for Beats Music was another key goal. That’s part of the reason that…

Apple can become music’s most powerful one-stop shop, if it wants.

The U2 rollout shows Apple could lure an A-List act, release an album straight to its download and streaming services, and bypass the major label system altogether. Yes, Universal will release Songs of Innocence in October, but the record company is no longer needed. Apple has Jimmy Iovine, perhaps the shrewdest music executive of his generation, in the fold; it’s got digital distribution through Beats Music and iTunes; the increasingly-irrelevant physical product is easy enough to produce independently.

How long before Cook cuts out the middle man entirely and creates an Apple label? Stay tuned, and don’t be surprised if Dr. Dre’s Detox is eventually released by such an entity. In the meantime, check back tomorrow for the second part of this story: “What U2 And Apple’s Album Launch Means For U2.”

For more on the business of music, check out my book Michael Jackson, Inc and my Jay Z biography Empire State of Mind. You can follow me on Twitter & Facebook.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

U2, 2014-09-09 - Rolling Stone, U2's 'Songs of Innocence': A Track-by-Track Guide

U2's 'Songs of Innocence': A Track-by-Track Guide
Here's what you need to know about the band’s most personal album ever

U2 peforms during an announcement of new products by Apple
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo
U2 performs during an announcement of new products by Apple on September 9th, 2014, in Cupertino, CA.

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U2 took the stage at Apple's product-launch press conference in Cupertino today and surprise-released their new album Songs of Innocence with a mere five seconds of warning. The album, which was delivered free to all of Apple's iTunes users (a half billion of them), is "very personal," Bono tells Rolling Stone in an exclusive interview. Read his full interview here.

1. The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)
Produced by: Danger Mouse, Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder
More than any U2 album before it, Songs of Innocence goes deep into Bono and the rest of bandmembers' teenage years in Dublin in the Seventies. The first song captures the big bang of Bono's musical awakening: the first time he heard the Ramones. "Everything I've ever lost now has been returned," Bono sings. "The most beautiful sound I ever heard…We were pilgrims on our way." It sounds like the band are very purposefully not trying to sound like the Ramones here, though – instead, the track starts with powerful, almost "Mysterious Ways"-like burst of guitar from the Edge, and is driven by a lilting Bono melody and an overdubbed vocal refrain.

2. "Every Breaking Wave"
Produced by: Danger Mouse and Ryan Tedder
The biggest classic-U2 ballad on Songs of Innocence. "Wave" was originally slated for Songs of Ascent (the abandoned follow-up to No Line on the Horizon); the band played a radically different, stripped-down version a few times in 2010. They've since fleshed it out dramatically, completely re-written the chorus and tinkered with some of the verses. Songs of Innocence isn't a full-on concept record about the band's youth – the lyrics to "Wave" appear to deal more adult concerns: a long-term relationship, distractions, and the struggles that come from both: "Are we ready to be swept off our feet?/And stop chasing/Every breaking wave"

3. California (There Is No End to Love)
Produced by: Declan Gaffney, Paul Epworth and Danger Mouse
A bright, mid tempo anthem that begins with layered backing vocals that sound like a homage to the Beach Boys. It's about the group's first trip to California in the early 1980s. "California, blood orange sunset brings you to your knees," Bono sings. "I've seen for myself/There's no end to grief."

4. "Song for Someone"
Produced by: Ryan Tedder and Flood
A tender song of awkward first love that sounds like it's about Bono's wife Ali; the couple first met when Bono was 13 and Ali was 12. If there is a kiss I stole from your mouth," he sings. "And if there is a light, don't let it go out." "Song For Someone" begins with gentle acoustic guitars before gradually building into a "Walk On"-style crescendo.

5. "Iris (Hold Me Close)"
Produced by: Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder
The most emotionally raw song on the album, "Iris" confronts Bono's loss of his mother, who passed away after collapsing at his grandfather's funeral when he was only 14. Bono sings about "the ache in my heart" that "is so much part of who I am." U2's first hit "I Will Follow," from 1980's Boy, and "Tomorrow," from 1981's October, are also about Bono's mother, Iris Hewson, but "Iris" is from the perspective of a man in his fifties looking back at a mother who has been gone for four decades, and how her loss has shaped his life. "Hold me close," he sings. "I've got your life inside me."

6. "Volcano"
Produced by: Declan Gaffney
The driving, bass-heavy "Volcano" could be about a young, angry Paul Hewson, wrestling with the death of his mother. "Something in you wants to blow," Bono yelps. "You're on a piece of ground above a volcano."

7. "Raised by Wolves"
Produced by: Declan Gaffney and Danger Mouse
The only overtly political song on the record, this one tells the true story of a car-bombing in Dublin that hit close to home. "On any other Friday I would have been at this record shop, but I cycled to school that day," says Bono. "The bomb tore apart the street. I escaped but one of my mates was around the corner with his father, and it was a very hard thing for him to witness and I'm not sure he really got over it."

8. "Cedarwood Road"
Produced by: Danger Mouse and Paul Epworth
Bono grew up on 10 Cedarwood Road in Dublin alongside his friends Guggi Rowan and Gavin Friday, with whom he remains close to this day ("Road" is dedicated to Rowan). "You can't return to where you never left," Bono sings on this song about friendship and bittersweet memories, "It was a warzone in my teens/I'm still standing on that street."

9. "Sleep Like a Baby Tonight"
Produced by: Danger Mouse
Bono briefly brings out his "Lemon"-era falsetto on this haunting song about an unhappy man whose eyes are "as red as Christmas" and who reads "about the politician's lover" over his morning "toast, tea and sugar."

10. "This Is Where You Can Reach Me"
Produced by: Danger Mouse
First mentioned by Bono as a contender for the album in a February interview with the L.A. Times, "This Is Where You Can Reach Me" is inspired by a Clash concert that U2 attended in 1977. "We signed our lives away," Bono sings. "Complete surrender/The only weapon we know."

11. "The Troubles"
Produced by: Danger Mouse
Another tune name-checked by Bono earlier this year, "The Troubles" was presumed to be another U2 song about the political situation in Northern Ireland, but it's more about Bono learning to move on from his own problems. Guest singer Lykke Li repeats the refrain "somebody stepped inside your soul", and Bono reflects on his own redemption: "I have a will for survival/So you can hurt me then hurt me some more/I can live with denial/But you're not my troubles anymore"

U2, 2014-09-09 - Rolling Stone, Exclusive: Bono Reveals Secrets of U2's Surprise Album 'Songs of Innocence'

Exclusive: Bono Reveals Secrets of U2's Surprise Album 'Songs of Innocence'

In his only pre-release interview, Bono takes us inside the story of the band's 13th album, which was released today for free on iTunes

Tim Cook and U2 during a product announcement
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Apple's Tim Cook and U2 announced the surprise release of the band's new album 'Songs of Innocence' in Cupertino, California on September 9th, 2014.

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U2 surprised the world today by releasing Songs of Innocence, their first album in five years, as a gift from Apple, available for free immediately to anyone with iTunes. The band made the announcement with Apple CEO Tim Cook at a Cupertino press conference for the new iPhone 6, capping the event with a performance of the album's first single, "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)." After a standing ovation, Cook said, "Wasn't that the most incredible single you ever heard? We would love a whole album of that."

"The question is now, how do we get it to as many people as possible, because that's what our band is all about," Bono said. "I do believe you have over half a billion subscribers to iTunes, so — could you get this to them?" "If we gave it away for free," Cook replied. And five seconds later, the album was unleashed in the largest album release of all time.

"We wanted to make a very personal album," Bono told Rolling Stone's Gus Wenner the day before the press conference in an exclusive interview. "Let's try to figure out why we wanted to be in a band, the relationships around the band, our friendships, our lovers, our family. The whole album is first journeys — first journeys geographically, spiritually, sexually. And that's hard. But we went there."

The band worked on Innocence for two years with producer Danger Mouse (a.k.a. Brian Burton), then brought in additional help: Flood, their collaborator since 1987's The Joshua Tree, plus Adele producers Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder. "I think having them around really helped," says Bono, "Some of the music out there now that people call pop, it's not pop – it's just truly great. And we wanted to have the discipline of the Beatles or the Stones in the Sixties, when you had real songs. There's nowhere to hide in them: clear thoughts, clear melodies."

To begin, the band went back to its roots: Bono says the group listened to the music they loved in the Seventies, from punk rock to Bowie, glam rock, early electronica and Joy Division. The album kicks off with "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)," a loping pop song laced with distinctly punk-ish power chords. "I found my voice through Joey Ramone," says Bono, "because I wasn't the obvious punk-rock singer, or even rock singer. I sang like a girl — which I'm into now, but when I was 17 or 18, I wasn't sure. And I heard Joey Ramone, who sang like a girl, and that was my way in."

The driving, reggae-tinged "This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now," is a tribute to the Clash, with slinky guitars from the Edge that nod to Sandinista!. "After we saw the Clash, it was a sort of blueprint for U2," says Bono. "We knew we couldn't possibly hope to be as cool, and that's proven to be true, but we did think we could get behind a sort of social justice agenda."

There is also an intensely personal song about Bono's mother, Iris Hewson, who died when he was 14. "Forty years ago, my mother fell at her own father's funeral, and I never spoke with her again," he says. "Rage always follows grief, and I had a lot of it, and I still have, but I channeled it into music and I still do. I have very few memories of my mother, and I put a few of them in a song called 'Iris.'"

The most joyous track on Songs of Innocence is "California (There Is No End to Love)," which unexpectedly nods to the Beach Boys in its intro. "It's like the sun itself," says Bono. "It's about our first trip to Los Angeles." The darkest track, meanwhile, is "Raised by Wolves," which tells of a deadly car bombing in Dublin. "It was a real incident that happened in our country where three car bombs were set to go off at the same time in Dublin on a Friday night, 5:30," says Bono, "On any other Friday I would have been at this record shop, just down the corner, but I cycled to school that day."

At times Songs of Innocence feels almost like a concept album about Bono's early years – there's even a track named after the street where the singer grew up, "Cedarwood Road." "It has a lyrical cohesion that I think is unique amongst U2 albums," says Bono, "I don't want it to be a concept album, but the songs come from a place. Edge laughed and said this is our Quadrophenia. We could be so lucky."

UPDATE: Apple has released a statement to Rolling Stone sharing the number of people who have listened to Songs of Innocence in the first week. "We wanted to thank our customers and share our love of music by gifting them Songs of Innocence," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "Just six days after its release on iTunes, a record-breaking 33 million people have already listened to the album."

U2, 2014-09-09 -, 'Remember Us?'

'Remember Us?'

09 September 2014
'Remember Us?'

A letter from Bono, on the arrival 'of our new baby' - Songs of Innocence.

'Hello, bonjour, ciao, hola, hallo, zdravo, dobar dan, Dia duit, hæ, hej,hei, cześć, olá, ćao, namaste, sawatdee, jambo, pozdravi, Γεια σου, привіт, שלום, مرحبا, こんにちは, , سلام, 你好, Привет….

Remember us? Pleased to announce myself, Edge, Adam and Larry have finally given birth to our new baby… Songs of Innocence. It’s been a while. We wanted to get it right for you/us. We just finished it last week and thanks to Apple and iTunes it’s with you today. That’s already amazing to me as it normally takes a few months to turn this stuff around.

Part of the DNA of this band has always been the desire to get our music to as many people as possible. In the next 24 hours, over a half a billion people are going to have Songs of Innocence… should they choose to check it out. That is so exciting. People who haven’t heard our music, or weren’t remotely interested, might play us for the first time because we’re in their library. Country fans, hip hop afficionados from east LA, electro poppers from Seoul, Bhangra fans from New Delhi, Highlifers in Accra… might JUST be tempted to check us out, even for a moment. What a mind blowing, head scratching, 21st century situation. Over 500 million people… that’s a billion ears. And for the people out there who have no interest in checking us out, look at it this way… the blood, sweat and tears of some Irish guys are in your junk mail.

You’ll have noticed the album is free to’ers from the band. It’s also free to everyone on iTunes thanks to Apple. To celebrate the ten year anniversary of our iPod commercial, they bought it as a gift to give to all their music customers. Free, but paid for. Because if no-one's paying anything for it, we’re not sure “free” music is really that free. It usually comes at a cost to the art form and the artist… which has big implications, not for us in U2, but for future musicians and their music... all the songs that have yet to be written by the talents of the future… who need to make a living to write them.

We’re collaborating with Apple on some cool stuff over the next couple of years, innovations that will transform the way music is listened to and viewed. We’ll keep you posted. If you like Songs of Innocence,  stay with us for Songs of Experience. It should be ready soon enough… although I know I’ve said that before…

I hope after listening to our new long player a few times, you’ll understand why it took so long. We really went there… it’s a very, very personal album. Apologies if that gets excruciating… actually, I take that back. No apologies if it gets excruciating. What’s the point in being in U2 if you can’t go there?
There is no end to LOVE.'

U2, 2014-09-09 -, Songs Of Innocence

Songs Of Innocence

09 September 2014
Songs Of Innocence

The wait is over. Songs of Innocence, the new album, is here.

Got iTunes ? Take a listen.

Simply go to the Music app on your iOS device, or to your iTunes music library on your Mac or PC, and find 'Songs of Innocence' under the artist or album tab. The new album is in iCloud, just tap the track listing to start listening or tap the cloud icon to download.

Songs of Innocence is set for worldwide release on October 13th. Today Apple are giving it to half a billion iTunes Store customers.

Not got an iTunes account? Create one here - the album will automatically appear in your library. slipped into the studio a few days back where the band played us the new tracks and we were blown away. A kind of musical autobiography, the eleven new songs chart their earliest influences from 70s rock and punk to early 80s electronica and soul... and reveal how music changed everything. As Bono sings in the lead song, 'The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)' 'I woke up when the miracle occurred/ Heard a song that made some sense out of the world...'

Exploring themes of home and family, relationships and discovery, detailed liner notes fill out the picture with resonant stories, like one of the first gigs the teenage band got into.

'The 4 members of U2 went to see the Ramones playing in the state cinema in Dublin without thinking about how we were going to get in. we had no tickets and no money.. My best friend Guggi had a ticket and he snuck us through a side exit he pried open. The world stopped long enough for us to get on it. Even though we only saw half the show, it became one of the great nights of our life....'

Songs of Innocence was recorded in Dublin, London, New York and Los Angeles and is produced by Danger Mouse, along with Paul Epworth, Ryan Tedder, Declan Gaffney and Flood. The album closes with 'The Troubles' featuring the distinctive vocals of Swedish indie singer-songwriter Lykke Li.

Here's the eleven tracks: The Miracle (of Joey Ramone), Every Breaking Wave, California (There Is No End To Love), Song For Someone, Iris (Hold Me Close), Volcano, Raised By Wolves, Cedarwood Road, Sleep Like A Baby Tonight, This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now, The Troubles.

On October 13th the physical release of Songs of Innocence comes with a 24-page booklet. A deluxe, gatefold double album, contains an acoustic session of songs from the album and four additional tracks: Lucifer's Hands, The Crystal Ballroom, The Troubles (Alternative version) and Sleep Like a Baby Tonight (Alternative Perspective Mix by Tchad Blake)

The album will also be available as a gatefold, double white-vinyl LP with an exclusive remix of "The Crystal Ballroom".

When you've given it a listen, get right back here and review Songs of Innocence for us in the comments below.

Twin Atlantic - Brothers And Sisters

Love this song of this scottish band. Never heard of them before. But got hooked on their beat. Hope you like it also.

Twin Atlantic - Brothers And Sisters

Hope you will love this awsome lyric.

Twin Atlantic - Brothers And Sisters

Are you still out there ? Are you still out there ?
Because enough is enough, I'm finished with love,
But I have the guts to say I still care,
Can you hear me ? Can you hear me ?
I'm over the rush, I'm divided and lost,
I'm not giving up, I'm not giving up,

I'm talking to my brothers and sisters, I miss the conversations between us,
There's nothing wrong with being a dreamer,
So where are you now ?

Please don't drift off, and leave me here in a sea of weird,
Don't be fake mate, cause you'll lose that love,
You'll forget the point and the power of words,

Are you still out there ? And you still with me friend ?
Because enough is enough, I won't take the brunt,
I'm not giving up, I'm not giving up,

I'm talking to my brothers and sisters, I miss the conversations between us,
There's nothing wrong with being a dreamer,
So where are you now ? Where are you now ?

I'm talking to the liars and cheaters, the ones who hide the truth to deceive us,
There's nothing wrong with being a dreamer,
So where are you now ? Where are you now ?

Are you still out there ? Are you still out there ? I'm talking to my brothers and sisters, I miss the conversations between us,
There's nothing wrong with being a dreamer,
So where are you now ? Where are you now ?
My brothers and sisters, I miss the conversations between us,
There's nothing wrong with being a dreamer,
So where are you now ? Where are you now ?
I'm talking to the liars and cheaters, the ones who hide the truth to deceive us,
There's nothing wrong with being a dreamer,
So where are you now ? Where are you now ? Where are you now ?

Saturday, September 06, 2014

ALS, 2014-09-05 - Jared Leto - Fight ALS with the #IceBucketChallenge

Jared Leto of Thirty Seconds To Mars takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at the Carnivores Tour concert at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands/Houston, TX on September 5, 2014

Jared Leto Takes The Ice Bucket Challenge For ALS [HD] - 2014 Carnivores Tour

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Charli XCX - Break The Rules

Love the new video of the gorgeous and awesome Charli XCX. Hope you like it also.

Charli XCX - Break The Rules [Official Video]

Hope you will love this awsome lyric.

Charli XCX - Break The Rules

Electric lights
Blow my mind
But I feel alright

And never stop, it's how we ride
Comin' up until we die

You catch my eye
Bitch, you wanna fly
I'm so alive

Never stop, it's how we ride
Comin' up until we die

I don't wanna go to school
I just wanna break the rules
Boys and girls across the world
Putting on our dancing shoes
Going to the discotheque
Getting high and getting wrecked
I don't wanna go to school
I just wanna break the rules

I don't wanna go to school
I just wanna break the rules
Boys and girls across the world
Putting on our dancing shoes
Going to the discotheque
Getting high and getting wrecked
I don't wanna go to school
I just wanna break the rules

I'm such a star
Queen boulevard
Blaze through the dark

And never stop, it's how we ride
Comin' up until we die

I don't wanna go to school
I just wanna break the rules
Boys and girls across the world
Putting on our dancing shoes
Going to the discotheque
Getting high and getting wrecked
I don't wanna go to school
I just wanna break the rules

Get my guitar
Sunglasses on
So light it up

And never stop, it's how we ride
Comin' up until we die

I don't wanna go to school
I just wanna break the rules
Boys and girls across the world
Putting on our dancing shoes
Going to the discotheque
Getting high and getting wrecked
I don't wanna go to school
I just wanna break the rules

Na na na na na na na [x4]

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Charli XCX - Boom Clap

Love this video of the gorgeous Charli XCX. Hope you like it also.

The Fault In Our Stars I Charli XCX - Boom Clap I Official Video

Hope you will love this awsome lyric.

Charli XCX - Boom Clap

Boom Boom Boom Clap

You're picture perfect blue
Sunbathing under moon
Stars shining as your bones illuminate
First kiss just like a drug
Under your influence
You take me over you're the magic in my veins
This must be love

Boom Clap
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom Clap
You make me feel good
Come on to me come on to me now
Boom Clap
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom Clap
You make me feel good
Come on to me, come on to me now

No silver or no gold
Could dress me up so good
You're the glitter in the darkness of my world
Just tell me what to do
I'll fall right into you
Going under cast a spell just say the word
I feel your love

Boom Clap
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom Clap
You make me feel good
Come on to me come on to me now
Boom Clap
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom Clap
You make me feel good
Come on to me come on to me now

You are the light and I will follow
You let me lose my shadow
You are the sun, the glowing halo
And you keep burning me up with all your love, uh

Boom Clap
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom Clap
You make me feel good
Come on to me come on to me now
Boom Clap
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom Clap
You make me feel good
Come on to me come on to me now
Boom Clap
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom Clap
You make me feel good
Come on to me come on to me now
Boom Clap
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom Clap
You make me feel good
Come on to me, come on to me now

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Iggy Azalea (Feat Charli XCX) - Fancy (Explicit)

Love this video of the gorgeous Iggy Azalea with the awesome Charli XCX. Hope you like it also.

Iggy Azalea - Fancy (Explicit) ft. Charli XCX

Hope you will love this awsome lyric.

Iggy Azalea (Feat Charli XCX) - Fancy (Explicit)

[Verse 1: Iggy Azalea]
First thing's first, I'm the realest (realest) Drop this and let the whole world feel it (let them feel it)
And I'm still in the Murda Bizness
I could hold you down, like I'm givin' lessons in physics (right, right)
You should want a bad bitch like this (huh?)
Drop it low and pick it up just like this (yeah)
Cup of Ace, cup of Goose, cup of Cris
High heels, somethin' worth a half a ticket on my wrist (on my wrist)
Takin' all the liquor straight, never chase that (never)
Rooftop like we bringin' '88 back (what?)
Bring the hooks in, where the bass at?
Champagne spillin', you should taste that

[Chorus: Charli XCX]
I'm so fancy
You already know
I'm in the fast lane
From L.A. to Tokyo
I'm so fancy
Can't you taste this gold?
Remember my name
'Bout to blow

[Verse 2: Iggy Azalea]
I said, "Baby, I do this, I thought that you knew this."
Can't stand no haters and honest, the truth is
And my flow retarded, they speak it depart it
Swagger on super, I can't shop at no department
better get my money on time, if they not money, decline
And swear I meant that there so much that they give that line a rewind
So get my money on time, if they not money, decline
I just can't worry 'bout no haters, gotta stay on my grind
Now tell me, who that, who that? That do that, do that?
Put that paper over all, I thought you knew that, knew that
I be the I-G-G-Y, put my name in bold
I been working, I'm up in here with some change to throw

[Chorus: Charli XCX]
I'm so fancy
You already know
I'm in the fast lane
From L.A. to Tokyo
I'm so fancy
Can't you taste this gold?
Remember my name
'Bout to blow

[Bridge: Charli XCX]
Trash the hotel
Let's get drunk on the mini bar
Make the phone call
Feels so good getting what I want
Yeah, keep on turning it up
Chandelier swinging, we don't give a fuck
Film star, yeah I'm deluxe
Classic, expensive, you don't get to touch

[Verse 3: Iggy Azalea]
Still stuntin', how you love that?
Got the whole world asking how I does that
Hot girl, hands off, don't touch that
Look at it I bet you wishing you could clutch that
It's just the way you like it, huh?
You're so good, he's just wishing he could bite it, huh?
Never turn down nothing,
Slaying these hoes, gold trigger on the gun like

[Chorus: Charli XCX]
I'm so fancy
You already know
I'm in the fast lane
From L.A. to Tokyo
I'm so fancy
Can't you taste this gold?
Remember my name
'Bout to blow

Who that, who that, I-G-G-Y
That do that, do that, I-I-G-G-Y
Who that, who that, I-G-G-Y

Who-who-who-who that, who that, I-G-G-Y
That do that, do that, I-G-G-Y
Who that, who that, I-G-G-Y

Monday, September 01, 2014

ALS, 2014-08-21/26 - Videos 5 (23) - Fight ALS with the #IceBucketChallenge

The ALS Association is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from people all over the world. We thank you for participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge and for making donations to support our fight against this disease.

Take the challenge, donate and help us create a world without ALS!

Ron Howard
Anne Hathaway
Kristen Stewart
Alanis Morissette
Ivanka Trump
Emma Roberts
Will Smith
Tom Hanks
Louis Tomlinson
Harry Styles
Patrick Stewart
Robbie Williams
Jill Wagner
Miley Cyrus
Olivia Newton-John
Chelsea Handler
Kiefer Sutherland
Evanna Lynch
Olivia Wilde
Tina Fey
Hilary Swank
Jennifer Aniston
Jenson Button

Aug 21, 2014

Ron Howard accepts the Ice Bucket Challenge in the legendary Abbey Road Crosswalk. Challenges Tom Hanks, Hans Zimmer and Henry Winkler.

Ron Howard ALS Ice Bucket Challenge @ Abbey Road


Aug 21, 2014

Having been nominated by Giancarlo Giammetti, Anne Hathaway accepts the challenge and donates. She nominates Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Stewart and Joan Rivers.

Anne Hathaway does the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


Aug 21, 2014

Kristen, Nicholas & Scott ALS Ice bucket challenge.

Kristen Stewart ALS Challenge


Aug 21, 2014

Alanis Morissette ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Alanis Morissette ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


Aug 21, 2014

Uncle @joshuakushner...we accept your challenge! Jared, @ladyandprince & @abigail_klem you're up next! #ALSicebucketchallange #icebucketchallange

Ivanka Trump ALS ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE #icebucketchallange


Aug 21, 2014

Emma Roberts Ice Bucket Challenge

Emma Roberts Ice Bucket Challenge


Aug 22, 2014

Will Smith - ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


Aug 22, 2014

Here is Tom Hanks Taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Tom Hanks ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


Aug 22, 2014

FULL VIDEO -- Louis Tomlinson Ice Bucket Challenge ALS One Direction | I Nominate Prince Harry, Boris Johnson & Arsene Wenger! I was nominated by Niall Horan and Samir Nasri to do the ice bucket challenge

Louis Tomlinson Ice Bucket Challenge ALS One Direction | Nominate Prince Harry, Boris & Arsene!


Aug 22, 2014



Aug 22, 2014

Patrick Stewart: Pstew's Ice Bucket Challenge


Aug 22, 2014

Robbie completes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and makes his nominations...
Get more Robbie at:
Follow Robbie on:

Robbie Williams | ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


Aug 22, 2014

Jill was nominated by Teen Wolf's Ian Bohen and took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Learn more about ALS and make a donation at

Wipeout's Jill Wagner does the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


Aug 22, 2014

Miley Cyrus ALS Ice Bucket Challenge With Rice


Aug 22, 2014

Music superstar Olivia Newton-John accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from John Travolta, and passes it on to TODAY SHOW's Natalie Morales, Kristin Wiig and THE CHEW's Clinton Kelly

Olivia Newton-John takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


Aug 22, 2014

Chelsea Handler - ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (HD) # ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. GAME ON! #ALS #IceBucketChallenge #ALSChallenge

Chelsea Handler - ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (HD) # ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


Aug 23, 2014

Kiefer Sutherland does the ALS ice bucket challenge.

Kiefer Sutherland Ice Bucket Challenge


Aug 23, 2014

I accepted Elliot Knight and Alex Benepe's ALS ice bucket challenge WEARING GRYFFINDOR BOXERS My sign didn't work because of the light but it says 'TEXT MND to 50300 to donate €2 to ALS research in Ireland". If outside of Ireland check out to find out ways to donate and help. There is currently no cure for this disease but it would be wrong to underestimate the potential of the human intellect and give up believing that some day soon there will be a breakthrough- maybe with this campaign and the millions raised as a result that breakthrough will come sooner than anticipated. I nominated Katie Leung, Claire Boyd and Robbie Jarvis!

Evanna Lynch ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (Facebook)


Aug 23, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge - Olivia Wilde


Aug 23, 2014

Tina Fey accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge after being challenged by Kermit the Frog.

Muppets Most Wanted Star Tina Fey Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge


Aug 24, 2014

Hilary Swank ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


Aug 24, 2014

Jennifer aniston als ice bucket challenge

Jennifer Aniston ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - nominates courteney cox, chelsea handler


Aug 26, 2014

I nominate Richie Williams, Richard Goddard and Ron Dennis. I'll be donating to 'End ALS'

Jenson Button ALSicebucketchallenge