"[Larry]'s incredibly direct, incredibly black and white, but he's so professional and so honest. He's a one-take wonder."
New U2 Album Information
The following is a running collection of news, rumors, quotes, and other information related to U2's next studio album. We'll continue to post updates to this page as we get new information. If you have found a quote or news item about the new U2 album, you're welcome to share it by emailing webmaster...at...atu2...dot...com.
NAME(s): Unknown. As far back as 2009, there were plans to release an album called Songs
Of Ascent, which would've been a follow-up to No Line On The Horizon
and included songs from the same recording sessions. In 2014, Bono and
The Edge have both indicated that the name(s) of the new album(s) has
not been decided. The latest rumors have suggested Sirens as a title, though that's possibly a song, not the album's name.
PRODUCER(s): Lots of them! Since No Line On The Horizon
was released, U2 has worked with Brian Burton (Danger Mouse),
Guetta, RedOne, Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder. The Danger Mouse album is
said to be the one U2 has been working on primarily. But in early 2014,
as the record progress slowed down and he shifted to his Broken Bells
project, Epworth and Tedder were reported to be taking over.
(If U2 follows up on the Songs Of Ascent project, that would likely involve Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, with additional production by Steve Lillywhite.)
ALBUM RELEASE DATE: Universal Music has confirmed with us that the album will be out this year (2014).
POSSIBLE SONGS MENTIONED
These are two types of songs listed below:
It's possible that some of these titles were changed and have already appeared under a different name. It's also possible that, as song titles changes, some of these may be referring to the same song.
August 9, 2014: An article in the Irish Times
contains a number of album-related rumors, all coming from "a music
industry source." The article says U2's album is finished and the band
has approved an album and tour schedule. The tracklist and artwork are
being finalized this week, and the release will happen "with little of
the fanfare usually associated with a new U2 album."
August 8, 2014: A Universal Music spokesperson has confirmed with @U2 that the album will be released in 2014.
July 24, 2014: Universal Music Colombia and Universal Music Venezuela both post tweets
saying that U2's new album will be called Sirens and will be released
in September. The tweets are quickly deleted, and an Interscope Records
spokesperson tells @U2 that the information was "not true."
July 22, 2014: If you want to believe a tabloid, The Sun reports that U2's new album is likely coming out in November, and U2 may perform an iTunes Festival gig in September.
June 9, 2014: Universal Music sends out a news release that lists U2 among its planned fall album releases, but no exact date is given.
May 2, 2014: Appearing on Irish TV's The Late Late Show, Adam Clayton said the band will "hopefully have something out by the end of the year. That's our plan."
March 25, 2014: Reports surface that U2 has been recording at The Church Studios in London, which is owned by producer Paul Epworth -- one of the people said to be working on U2's next album.
March 10, 2014: Replying to the recent Billboard report (see below), a U2 spokesperson tells the Guardian that U2 is still planning to release a new album in 2014.
March 7, 2014: Billboard magazine cites its own sources in reporting that U2's album won't be out until 2015, and a planned tour is also pushed back until then, too.
February 28, 2014: During a pre-Oscars interview, Bono tells his old friend, Amanda Brunker, that U2 is working on two albums.
February 24, 2014: Bono reveals the names of three new songs that may show up on the new album: "Song For Someone," "The Troubles," and "This Is Where You Can Reach Me."
February 18, 2014: The Edge tells Rolling Stone
that U2 has about 30 songs "that we're excited about, in various states
of being finished" and "six or seven [of those] are mixed and ready to
February 4, 2014: The Edge gives Jo Whiley a pretty good explanation of what U2 is still doing in the studio these days.
We're trying to make sure that there's no fuzzy thinking involved. In the end, it's songs. You obviously want some innovative production, but it comes down to the same thing: Have you got a great melodic idea and great lyrics? And if you can't put it across on an acoustic guitar, you probably don't have that. So we're going through all that process. And on this album, we really went quite far out there and now this final phase is like bringing it all home and making sure that it's all tight and high, that there's no self-indulgent aspects to the work.
He doesn't give a release date, but says he won't have much of a summer holiday "because I'll be pretty busy."
February 3, 2014: Bono tells Zane Lowe, "We'll finish in a couple of months. It'll be finished when it's finished." He also says the album isn't named yet.
January 30, 2014: In a USA Today article, Bono says
"Invisible" isn't the first single from U2's new album, but it's being
used for the (RED)/Super Bowl campaign because "it's the first song we
finished." He also says the band will keep working on the album "for a
couple of months. We want it to come out this summer, but you don't
want to let anyone down." He also says U2 may experiment with a couple
different producers in the final stages of album work.
January 24, 2014: At the WEF in Davos, Bono reveals that "Invisible" will be one of the songs on U2's next album.
January 13, 2014: At a Golden Globes afterparty, Bono reportedly told one music writer that the new album will be out around June 2014.
January 10, 2014: As we originally reported,
U2's new song, "Invisible" will be featured in a Super Bowl commercial.
Radio reports said that the commercial will also include a release date
announcement for U2's new album. U2 spent the first week of the year
shooting performance footage that will be used in the commercial, and
interview footage that we suspect will be available online.
December 29, 2013: Reports say that U2's next album will be released on Island Records, U2's original label.
December 9, 2013: An LA Times article speculates that U2's album will be out in April. It mentions a new song called "Invisible" and describes the album in these ways:
November 26, 2013: At the Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
screening last night, The Edge was very non-committal about when the
album might be released, but Paul McGuinness told Roger Friedman that
it'll be out in March. Here's more information.
November 16, 2013: The Irish Times reports the album will be out in March.
October 17, 2013: U2 have written a
new song, "Ordinary Love," for the Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom film
soundtrack. A clip
of the song premiered today in a new trailer for the movie. It's
not known if the song will also appear on U2's next album.
October 10, 2013: Adam Clayton was on Irish radio to talk about the Walk In My Shoes mental health campaign, but also talked about U2's album progress:
"We are still at it. We hope to
have it finished very, very soon. And it will be out, oh ... sometime
early next year. But it's a very exciting bunch of songs right at the
moment. But it's just about to be finished, so it's hard to know which
way they'll go.
October 1, 2013: The artist JR, whom
U2 worked with over the summer, posted a short video clip of Bono
and The Edge singing in French at Electric Lady studios. This may
or may not have anything to do with the next U2 album.
September 26, 2013: Bono was on The
Late Show with David Letterman tonight but said
pretty much nothing when asked about the new album.
September 8, 2013: Based on recent
quotes from Larry Mullen and Dallas Schoo, it appears that U2
is back in the studio working on new songs again.
September 2, 2013: Bono was on Irish radio today and told Pat Kenny that U2 isn't committed to any release schedule, and that he'd "like to think" U2 will put out an album in 2014.
But I think we're nearly there, and
once we're there we'll know it. I'd like to think that next year,
there'll be a U2 release.
August 30, 2013: Steve Lillywhite,
who is not working on U2's new album but has been in contact with Bono,
a fan in Dublin that U2's new album won't be released until 2014.
August 20, 2013: The Italian U2 fan
posts that one of its contacts at Universal Music Italy says U2's
new album "definitely" won't be released in 2013.
August 19, 2013: A French newspaper
some things that Bono has been saying to friends and neighbors around
town, with one of those things being that U2's next album will be out
before the end of 2013.
August 2, 2013: Bono has finally said something about the new album, but there's not much to it. In a recent interview with a German newspaper, Bono said
I am a bit out of touch with the
rest of the world at the moment, I am down in a big black hole with U2,
as we are busy working on our next album. We don't know yet when it
will come out. It could be finished within the next weeks, maybe at the
end of the year. We are just lost in it, and we surely don't wanna wake
up out of this until the dream is done.
July 18, 2013: Gavin Friday tells
the Herald newspaper that
the new U2 album is the band's "most exciting release since Achtung Baby."
July 14, 2013: A Spanish FNAC record
a sign listing upcoming album releases. U2's name has "November"
next to it.
June 19, 2013: Steve Lillywhite,
frequent U2 producer, confirms that he
isn't working on U2's new album.
June 4, 2013: Billboard magazine is quoting
sources that say U2 is targeting December for the album release.
June 2, 2013: U2's work at Electric Lady Studios appears to be done. Edge's gear is seen being loaded out of the studio and into waiting vans.
31, 2013: Coldplay's
Chris Martin shows up
at Electric Lady Studios today while U2 is mixing its new album with
Danger Mouse. But it's not clear if he's there to participate or just
to listen. It's also quite possible that he's involved in the same
project that prompts U2 to record an acoustic version of "Sunday Bloody
Sunday" on the studio roof after their mixing work is done.
May 30, 2013: Globe and Mail music writer Brad Wheeler tweets some quotes from an interview with Daniel Lanois, who apparently heard the new U2 album when Bono visited him a couple weeks ago in Los Angeles. The full interview is published on May 31st:
Bono just came to my place in L.A.
a few weeks ago. He let me hear the new record that they're doing with
Danger Mouse. It sounded amazing. Very, very big and powerful-sounding.
Some of it was adventurous. There were shades of Achtung Baby.
A couple of songs I was familiar with, because we worked on them before
but had not completed them. Now they're back on the burner. Bono is
very excited, and he's singing beautifully. He makes me jealous. Those
barrel-chested Irish tenors.
May 24, 2013: U2 is in New York City
with Danger Mouse, who's been mixing the new album at Electric Lady
Studios. They have a playback session tonight, which prompts
Island Records founder Chris Blackwell to tweet that U2 sounds
April 27, 2013: During an appearance
at the U2 Conference, U2's longtime designer, Steve Averill, said that he
and his team would be meeting with the band "in about a week's
time" to discuss design ideas for the next album.
April 9, 2013: A Spanish
media outlet reports
that U2 has told Universal Music that its new album will be ready for
release this year ("probably in October") and that the band will
do a world tour beginning in March 2014.
March 17, 2013: Adam Clayton is interviewed in the new issue of Hot Press magazine. The interview was done in mid-February, around the same time as the Adam quote below. In this interview, Adam says:
We very much want to have a record out by the end of the year, September, October, November; that kind of time. We're working with Dangermouse who's a smart guy. He's on it; he's excited. It's a great team and feels very liberating at the moment -- anything goes. We have an abundance of riches, we could make three or four different records and justify that to ourselves, but to make the best record you can, you have to steer away from the ones you can make easily. We're really trying to get into territory that we're not comfortable in. If that makes sense...
In an interview with The Guardian, Bono's wife Ali offered this comment about U2's new material:
They're well down the road on the
new album and it sounds good.
February 19, 2013: During a charity event in Dublin, Adam Clayton said the new album "should be finished by the end of the year."
January 25, 2013: Echoing similar
comments from Larry (see below), The Edge told
a newspaper reporter this about U2's album plans: "We're looking at
having it out around the end of the summer."
January 9, 2013: Larry
Mullen Jr. told Dave Fanning
that U2 will "hopefully" have its next album released by September, and
it will be the album with Danger Mouse producing. He also suggested
that U2 wants to release a second album "shortly afterwards," comparing
it to when Zooropa was
released less than a year after Achtung
December 21, 2012: Paul McGuinness tells
the Irish Independent, "2012 has been very busy. There's always
activity, so certainly expect a new record [in 2013]."
December 11, 2012: Julian Lennon told
the Miami New Times
that U2 is considering using some of his photos of the band for the
next album and says "it should be out mid to late next year."
August 17, 2012: Appearing on RTE radio, Gavin Friday said that he's heard some of U2's new material with Danger Mouse producing. He described it as "quite different." He didn't sound like he had much information about the band's schedule, though, hesitantly saying "next year, maybe" when asked if there's a release date.
July 13, 2012: Mercury Records President Jason Iley, a longtime friend of the band, has announced that U2's next album will be released in 2013.
July 11, 2012: An LA Times articles mentions that a Los Angeles-based digital ad agency is working on a digital application for U2. It's not certain to be related to a new album, but that seems likely.
June 17, 2012: Speaking with the Irish Voice, Bono says the band's new material with Danger Mouse is "really very, very different. It's shocking how different it is."
June 1, 2012: Bono appears on the 50th anniversary special for Ireland's Late Late Show and talks about what the band is up to these days.
"Looking for the perfect pop song.
Edge is in denial of his genius. I'm a little too sure of my own. Larry
is suspicious of both and Adam sees merit in both. They're
unbelievable. They really want it, though, I will say that. As a band
there's no sense of entitlement. I think they're very aware that U2's
gotta do something very special to have a reason to exist right now, so
that's what we're doing. We're song writing -- you know the process.
But it's -- they're amazing men. They really are extraordinary. They
really, really want it."
April 24, 2012: In an RTE article about Norah Jones, the author twice mentions U2's work with producer Brian Burton (Danger Mouse). The first mention says that Burton has "just finished" producing U2's new album, and the second mentions says he's "almost finished."
April 3, 2012: UK tabloid The Sun has reported that U2 has done some work with producer/songwriter Carl Falk, whose credits including working with Nicki Minaj, One Direction and other recent chart-toppers.
March 22, 2012: In separate comments, both Adam Clayton and Dallas Schoo have recently said that U2 is in the studio at the moment.
January 8, 2012: In an interview posted on U2.com, Bono explains that his recent busking session in Dublin, along with other recent acoustic performances with Edge, has him thinking about U2's upcoming plans -- which may include Songs Of Ascent, after all (despite Adam's comments to Q magazine; see below):
I played a couple of songs
acoustically but earlier in the year both Edge and I played at the
memorial to Steve Jobs and also at the Hollywood Bowl for the Bill
Clinton Foundation. It's quite something hearing our own songs, like
"Sunday Bloody Sunday" or "A Man and Woman," so stripped down and I
think it showed us some clues for the future.
October 26, 2011: In the latest issue of Q magazine, Adam suggests that U2 will probably not be pursuing the Songs Of Ascent project and songs.
We thought there was more material left over from No Line... we now feel a long way from that material.
The article suggests that U2 plans to work on the songs and
material they've begun with Danger Mouse.
October 22, 2011: In an Irish Times interview, Bono hints that U2's next album may come in a new format:
Earlier, he was using an iPad with
the Achtung Baby songs and videos on it. "That's probably what our new
album will look like," he says. "I've been talking about this for the
past four years.
October 20, 2011: Edge tells Rolling Stone that there's a 50/50 of a new U2 album in 2012: "It's quite likely you might hear from us next year. But it's equally possible you won't."
June 9, 2011: David Guetta says he has not actually done any work with U2 yet. His name has been mentioned in relation to the "club-sounding" album that Bono has discussed previously.
June 8, 2011: Rolling Stone reports that U2 is now looking at late 2012 for its next studio album. Adam told the magazine that they'll likely use the material from working with Brian Burton, AKA "Danger Mouse."
May 2011: In an interview with Hot Press, Bono talks at some length about the band's album projects. He says the next "regular" U2 album will "probably" be out "next fall." He doesn't specify if he means Fall 2011 or 2012.
March 25, 2011: In an interview on Dublin's Phantom radio, Edge suggested that there will be no U2 album until sometime after the 360 tour ends.
January 31, 2011: Amazon Germany is listing a new U2 album with no title, but a May 27, 2011 release date.
January 22, 2011: MTV has an article about David Guetta working with U2 on new songs, but it doesn't seem to say much that hasn't already been reported.
January 2, 2011: Cee Lo Green has told the Wall St. Journal that his Gnarls Barkley partner, Brian Burton -- AKA "Danger Mouse" -- is "wrapping up" a project with U2:
December 7, 2010: Black Eyed Peas' frontman will.i.am has confirmed that he's producing a new U2 album; we believe this to be the dance/club-sounding album that Bono has mentioned before.
November 24, 2010: Speaking to reporters before U2's first concert in Auckland, Paul McGuinness says the band is working to finish its new album, but it not recording:
November 24, 2010: In an interview with New Zealand media, Adam Clayton described U2's new studio material this way:
October 20, 2010: Bono tells Australia's The Age newspaper that the band has been working on new album material with Danger Mouse producing:
October 18, 2010: Paul McGuinness tells the Irish Times that he "would guess" U2 will have a new album out in "early 2011."
August 17, 2010: In the September 2 issue of Rolling Stone, Bono again talks about U2 having four separate projects (see August 4th entry below):
August 10, 2010: In a video posted in the U2.com members' section, Adam Clayton says U2 may put out an EP of new material:
The comments were made on August 6, a few hours before U2's concert in Turin.
August 7, 2010: Hot Press quotes Paul McGuinness reinforcing the idea that we might see a new U2 album before the end of 2010:
McGuinness also threw water on Bono's comments (see below) about U2 having four projects going on at the moment:
August 4, 2010: Just a couple days before the start of the 2010 tour, U2 did an interview with the Italian newspaper, La Stampa. In it, Bono says that U2 now has four separate album-related projects:
There's no mention of release dates or other plans for any of them. Other Italian media were present for this interview, too. A paper called The Journal includes this translated quote, though it's not clear which band member said it:
July 21, 2010: A brief article in the Greek paper, Espresso, suggests that U2 may record an album in 2011 at Black Rock Studio on the island of Santorini.
June 3, 2010: The new edition of Rolling Stone (dated June 30) includes a short article previewing the now-postponed North American U2 360 tour. The article says this about U2's current album situation:
This is not the first time that there's been talk of three album projects, but in the previous reports, the third project was said to be old material from the Rick Rubin sessions in 2006. The above specifically refers to "entirely new songs."
April 14, 2010: Rolling Stone Associate Editor Brian Hiatt has posted this on Twitter:
January 15, 2010: In a conversation with Dave Fanning, Edge continued to express the band's uncertainty over what to do next with its Fez material, its Rick Rubin material, and the Spider-Man songs.
January 4, 2010: The Guardian has published a Neil McCormick interview with Edge that includes this quote about U2's new album plans:
But these comments were made back on December 8th, so the quotes below from Bono and Paul McGuinness are still the most recent statements about U2's plans.
January 2, 2010: In the year-end issue of Hot Press, Olaf Tyaransen talks with Edge about U2's plans for 2010.
This interview was likely done in early- or mid-December, meaning the December 27 quotes (below) are the most recent about U2's new album.
January 2, 2010: In the new issue of Q magazine, Bono says this about U2's plans for 2010:
It's unclear when Bono gave that quote, though for monthly magazine publishing, I would expect a deadline of 2-3 weeks prior to the magazine being in stores. Ergo, the quotes below (December 27) are probably more recent.
December 27, 2009: In this Irish Independent article, Bono and Paul McGuinness say the new album may be out by June, 2010. Here are the quotes:
December 18, 2009: As we reported here, Bono has told the Hollywood Reporter that he and Edge (and maybe the whole band) are in a studio in New York City this week.
November 13, 2009: Following up on the bit right below this, Rolling Stone has published the article from that interview. As Cara notes, there are a few quotes related to U2's new album:
November 3, 2009: Rolling Stone magazine's Brian Hiatt posted on Twitter after a phone interview with Edge. On the bright side, Hiatt posted that Edge says "Kingdom Of Your Love" -- the U2 360 tour intro song -- is a "potential Songs of Ascent track." On the not-so-bright side, Hiatt also posted that "Songs of Ascent remains an idea more than an actual album at this point, a subject of debate within the band. No release plans yet."
October 5, 2009: USA Today talks to U2 about their new album plans, and reiterates this idea (see next entry below) of three potentially different projects U2 could do. "The Spider-Man collection is the most developed but the least appropriate to the band," Edge says. "We've got so much material at different stages of completion, it's going to be a nice problem when we've got a few weeks to look at it." Speaking about Songs of Ascent, Bono says "It's a very intimate affair. They are beautiful love songs, where the object of love is not always obvious."
October 2, 2009: RollingStone.com has a feature about U2's new album plans, taken from interviews conducted in August and September. It's too long to repeat here, but both Edge and Larry say they want to have new music out "sooner rather than later." There are potentially three albums: Songs of Ascent, a Spider-Man album, and an album from the Rick Rubin sessions. "If we're going to do another rock record, I want to do Spider-Man. I just haven't talked Adam and Larry into that," Bono says.
September 19, 2009: Sun Media also spoke with Adam about U2's album plans, specifically asking him to comment on what Bono said (see next entry below) about Songs of Ascent and the old Rick Rubin material.
September 17, 2009: Bono talked about U2's new album plans in this interview with Canada's Sun Media:
August 12, 2009: As we reported here, Sam O'Sullivan (Larry's drum tech) told fans in Zagreb that the band will stay in Vancouver after the 360 Tour ends in October to finish work on Songs of Ascent. He says the album should be out in December or early 2010. There are also other reports that Songs of Ascent will be the first (or one of the first) albums released on a new digital album format being created by the four major record labels.
July 20, 2009: Edge talks about the next album in the current issue of Hot Press:
You can read more from the interview at Scatter O'Light.
June 21, 2009: This Irish Independent article seems to dash any plans for releasing the album in 2009:
March 24, 2009: In an interview with Hot Press magazine, Paul McGuinness expresses doubts over U2 releasing a new album in 2009:
March 3, 2009: The March 17 issue of Rolling Stone quotes Bono saying the next album will be called Songs Of Ascent, and that it will be released in 2010.
February 28, 2009: A New York Times article says that "U2 expects to release a companion album, which band members say will have a more meditative and processional tone, before the end of the year."
February 15, 2009: This Observer article reports that U2 is planning to release another album before the end of 2009. Bono describes it as "a more meditative album on the theme of pilgrimage."