"I want U2 to be a band that takes risks. I hate this idea of U2 as a nice safe band. . . . The rock rebel thing is very phony."
Bits & Bytes
A collection of the latest U2 news and announcements posted by our staff.
"Invisible" has hit No. 1 on Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs chart.
Billboard says U2 has passed Coldplay for the most No. 1 hits in the 18-year history of the Adult Alternative Songs chart, with 11 songs versus 10 for Coldplay.
It's been a little bit more than a month that "Invisible" was released with a commercial during the Super Bowl as part of a project to raise funds for (RED) in partnership with Bank of America. For each download of the song, the bank donated $1 to help to fight AIDS.
A U2 album is still being planned for 2014. That's the word from an unnamed U2 spokesperson quoted in The Guardian today:
"U2's album is planned for this year, is still on track and touring plans haven't been confirmed yet."
That's obviously in response to last week's Billboard report saying that U2 has pushed its album and tour back to 2015. The news sparked all kinds of anger, frustration and speculation in our forum and other online fan communities. Tabloids have even picked up on fan fears, as shown in this Neil McCormick tweet from Monday:
Billboard magazine is out today with news that's sure to test the patience and loyalty of a lot of U2 fans: There will be no U2 album nor a tour until 2015.
The reason? Well, none is definitively given. A Billboard source implies that U2 isn't happy with its current material:
"That magic that the band always seems to capture ... they have yet to capture it."
With that in mind, Billboard says U2 has recently scheduled additional studio time with producers Paul Epworth (who recently did an "Ordinary Love" remix) and Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic. The report says that Danger Mouse "remains onboard as the project's central producer," but in a recent interview with Canoe.ca, he doesn't sound like he's sure about that:
As for the fate of his work on the highly anticipated U2 album, Burton claims to not have a clue despite the Irish band already releasing two songs from their sessions with him, the Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated Ordinary Love and the single Invisible.
"I don't really know - I just know it's not done," he said.
But he's still the producer?
"I don't know. I'm working on Bells right now I have no idea what they're doing. I've been working on it for YEARS but I'm sure they're still working on the record."
Billboard also says that a planned U2 tour that would've been announced this month and start in September is also postponed until summer 2015.
Lots of discussion about this news in our forum already. Feel free to share your two cents.
We've also added a new poll question: "How many more studio albums do you think U2 will release?" You can vote over on the right side of this page.
U2 earned a standing ovation at the Oscar Awards Sunday night, but they didn't earn the coveted trophy for "Ordinary Love" in the Best Original Song category. "Let It Go," from the Disney film Frozen, won the award -- the second time U2 has come up short at the Oscars. ("The Hands That Built America" lost in 2003.)
The band performed "Ordinary Love" live for the second time, and decided to do it acoustically again tonight just as they did a couple weeks on The Tonight Show. Some in the audience began to stand while the band was still performing, and that turned into a standing ovation when U2 finished. If the video embed below gets removed, you can watch the performance directly on the Oscars' website.
"Ordinary Love" was No. 147 on the U.S. iTunes singles chart before U2's performance; as I type this right now, it's sitting at No. 10. And is now up to No. 8.
There are plenty of photos from the performance and the band's Red Carpet arrivals on Zimbio. Try these links:
Lastly, in addition to the live performance, U2 also picked up a lot of unintentional -- and pretty hysterical -- buzz on Sunday when actor Benedict Cumberbatch delivered one of the all-time best photobombs while U2 (and their spouses) were walking the Red Carpet.
Here at @U2, one of the things we're most proud of is the original content we provide, created exclusively by our staff. In case you missed any of it in February, the highlights are posted here:
In our weekly Off the Record column, Matt McGee shared his thoughts on the new U2 song "Invisible," while Sherry Lawrence provided an update on how much money the song had raised. Later in the month, Sherry Lawrence praised the U2 article in The Hollywood Reporter and Tassoula E. Kokkoris recalled the most recent #U2chat on Twitter.
Our popular Like a Song series continued with an essay on "Joy" by Gary Boas.
Liseth Meijer wrote our most recent piece in the U2 Lists series, "6 Things I've Learned... All Because of U2."To leave feedback on any of these @U2 originals, please visit our forum.
Should we be expecting U2 albumS, instead of just one U2 album? Maybe so.
Bono sat down for an interview Friday afternoon with Amanda Brunker, a longtime friend going back to their childhoods on Cedarwood Road in Dublin, who's apparently in Los Angeles covering the Oscars for the Sunday World. It's a really loose and casual conversation. At one point, Brunker asks Bono, "Weren't you supposed to be finished with the album last year?" And Bono replies:
"We've got two of them we're working on. I can't tell you any more about that or I'd have to kill ya."
It's tempting to dismiss that idea as Bono being Bono, but there may be some credence to it in the form of this Rolling Stone interview with James Mercer a month ago. He's Brian Burton's/Danger Mouse's partner in Broken Bells, and he mentions a "first record" at the very end:
Apparently they've done just tons of material. Apparently that whole first record is just Brian's work.
Back to Bono's interview -- you can hear his comments in the interview below. Bono says that line about "two of them" at about the 2:00 mark.
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