Achtoon Baby cartoons

Achtoon Baby

New U2 album

New U2 Album Info

U2 Tour Dates

NEW! @U2 Tours

"People are always trying to make us something. Why won't they accept us as being four people?"

-- Bono

@U2 home page

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

Album cover - unknownALBUM 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),, David 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).

FORMATS: unknown

TRACKLIST: unknown


These are two types of songs listed below:

  1. songs mentioned in the buildup to U2's new album
  2. songs believed to be unused from previous albums

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.

  • "The Light" -- one of our contacts tells us that Bono mentioned a song with this title while visiting in early 2014 with Aslan singer Christy Dignam
  • "Song For Someone" -- a song that Bono mentioned on NRJ's Energy Radio
  • "The Troubles" -- another song Bono mentioned on NRJ's Energy Radio, saying "it'll rip you apart ... it's got some soul music in it."
  • "This Is Where You Can Reach Me" -- a song that Bono mentioned to the LA Times
  • "Invisible" -- the song that U2 is used early this year in a project with (RED), it could also appear on the new album
  • "Ordinary Love" - a song that U2 wrote and recorded in summer 2013 for the Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom film soundtrack. It could show up on U2's next album, too, particularly in countries that often get extra songs on albums.
  • "Mount Zion" - a song mentioned in the May 2011 Hot Press interview
  • "I'll Believe Her When She Sings" - another song mentioned in the May 2011 Hot Press interview and described as part of the "club music" sessions with RedOne
  • "The Sacred Heart of Malibu" - a new song that Bono played for Dutch journalist Bert van de Kamp, and mentioned in his book, And They Called Him Bono
  • "Mother of Pearl" - another new song that Bono played for van de Kamp
  • "Return of the Stingray Guitar" - an instrumental rock track that U2 played to start shows on the European U2 360 tour in 2010; in an interview, Larry says the song has been rewritten from what it sounded like on tour
  • "Glastonbury" - another song that U2 performed on the European tour; U2 wrote this song shortly after the end of the 2009 U2 360 tour and planned to premiere it at the Glastonbury Festival in June 2010; in an interview, Larry says the song has been rewritten from what it sounded like on tour
  • "Soon" - this is the name of the song U2 used as the intro music when the band took the stage on the 2009 U2 360 Tour; it appeared on the 7-inch, orange vinyl that accompanied the U2 360 at the Rose Bowl super deluxe DVD box set, and was previously said to be called "Kingdom Of Your Love"
  • "Tripoli" (unused from No Line On The Horizon) In a video on, Brian Eno explains that this song became "Fez" on No Line On The Horizon.
  • "Winter" (unused from No Line On The Horizon) - this song appears in the Jim Sheridan film, Brothers
  • "Every Breaking Wave" Bono told Rolling Stone this is a "surging anthem" and would be the first single from Songs Of Ascent. U2 played a rough version of it a few times during the European tour in 2010.
  • "If I Could Live My Life Again" - Bono says this song is "inspired by the great Argentinian poet Jorge Luis Borges." Bono said he had just begun the song while speaking with author Michka Assayas in December, 2005. Their interview appears as the extra material in the paperback version of Bono in Conversation with Michka Assayas.
  • "Love Is All We Have Left" - a song Bono named during his May, 2006, trip to Africa as one that he had recently written. "It’s like an old Broadway tune. I thought it was a Frank Sinatra song," Bono said.
  • "North Star," a song from the How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb sessions which included a guest organ appearance from Michael W. Smith. In this CCM article (PDF download), Smith describes the song as a tribute to Johnny Cash. Bono and Edge performed an acoustic version of this song a few times during the European 360 tour in 2010. It also featured briefly in the Summer 2011 film, Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon.
  • "Mercy", one of the last songs to get cut from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, described in Blender magazine as "a six-and-a-half-minute outpouring of U2 at its most uninhibitedly U2-ish." U2 played it regularly during the last couple weeks of the European tour in 2010, and a live version with different lyrics appeared on the vinyl release, U2 Wide Awake In Europe in late 2010.
  • "Lead Me In The Way I Should Go" -- a contender for Atomic Bomb first mentioned in this February, 2003, interview with Bono in Grammy Magazine
  • "You Can't Give Away Your Heart" - a contender for Atomic Bomb first mentioned in SPIN magazine


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 go."

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:

  • "...a collection of songs told partly from the perspective of an innocent and partly from a seasoned veteran."
  • "it has traces of the Clash and Sex Pistols and Kraftwerk ... but it also comes laden with soul and old-school R&B."
  • "Thematically, the album will center on the collision between hard-earned wisdom and youthful hunger."

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.

"I think it's a bit of a return to U2 of old, but with the maturity, if you like, of the U2 of the last 10 years. It's a combination of those two things and it's a really interesting hybrid.

"We're in the studio. We're trying to get these 12 songs absolutely right and get them finished by the end of November, and then we can kind of enjoy Christmas."

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, tells a fan in Dublin that U2's new album won't be released until 2014.

August 20, 2013: The Italian U2 fan site 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 article claims to recount 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 store has 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.

May 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 #betterthanever.

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 Baby.

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."

"There won't be a U2 album unless there's something really special. You just gotta go to that place. You gotta dig a deep well and see what you can pull up. We've been through many songs and there's some great stuff. I would say we had the best three weeks in the studio that we've had since, like, 1979. Three weeks is all it should take...."

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, 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.

We're working on three albums at the moment and we haven't decided what order we're going to put them out but The Songs of Ascent have the kind of beautiful intimacy that we're speaking of now. They fit into this moment, the mode of some of these artists that I was hanging out with on Christmas Eve.

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.

"Our last album was the first album to be made available as an app with BlackBerry devices, but it didn't work: the functionality was not what it could have been. New formats are going to happen. I'm always banging on about this. The app format brings you back to that world of gatefold sleeves, of being able to read lyrics – and [now of] being able to play the album at home on your plasma TV."

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."

"We have to focus on what we do best, and the work we did with Danger Mouse came closest to that. We want to be in the clubs and make pop music as well as the thing U2 does, but in the end, the thing we did with RedOne doesn't feel like the right fit."

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.

"Bono's been talking about different projects and they're all still kind of alive. We're not ready to commit to one particular direction, but we've so much new material. And when the dust settles and we're off the road, I think we're gonna give ourselves a couple weeks and sit back and figure it all out and decide which way we're gonna go." Later he adds, "We're enjoying that moment where things haven't fully come into focus and we could take it in a number of different directions.

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:

I also just brainstormed with Brian Burton [aka producer Danger Mouse, his partner in the band Gnarls Barkley] and he's wrapping up the U2 project.

December 7, 2010: Black Eyed Peas' frontman 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:

"We are trying very hard to use this time in New Zealand and Australia to finish an album that will be released in the spring. It's not so much recording as editing and polishing up lyrics and trying to getting it done by the date it needs to be delivered to the record company for release in May. It's sounding great: lots of hits."

November 24, 2010: In an interview with New Zealand media, Adam Clayton described U2's new studio material this way:

"It is quite a fresh area for U2 to be working in. I don't think it's going to sound like familiar U2 territory at all. The creative process is always exhilarating and fun, because you can go as far as you like."

October 20, 2010: Bono tells Australia's The Age newspaper that the band has been working on new album material with Danger Mouse producing:

More ambitiously, he has revealed his band is working on three new albums.

The first, which is likely to be released early next year, is being produced by Danger Mouse, the alias for American production ace Brian Burton (Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz).

"We have about 12 songs with him," Bono said. "At the moment that looks like the album we will put out next because it's just happening so easily."

October 18, 2010: Paul McGuinness tells the Irish Times that he "would guess" U2 will have a new album out in "early 2011."

August 17, 2010: In the September 2 issue of Rolling Stone, Bono again talks about U2 having four separate projects (see August 4th entry below):

There are also a lot of [new songs]: four new albums' worth. In addition to Songs of Ascent -- a second set of tracks from the No Line sessions -- and Bono and the Edge's score for the Spider-Man musical (finally set to open on Broadway on December 21st), U2 are working on a "rock album," as Bono puts it, "and a club-sounding album." He expects U2 will release a new record, drawn from that body of songs, in time for their return to North America next year. "That's going to be great. Those people are going to have tickets to a whole new show with new songs."

August 10, 2010: In a video posted in the members' section, Adam Clayton says U2 may put out an EP of new material:

"We're kind of trying to break it up a bit. You know, the idea of doing another big record and going away for a long time doesn't appeal to us. But the idea of putting out tracks in the show and seeing what happens to them, maybe putting out a little EP at some point -- these are all possibilities we're thinking about."

The comments were made on August 6, a few hours before U2's concert in Turin.

August 7, 2010: Hot Press quotes Paul McGuinness reinforcing the idea that we might see a new U2 album before the end of 2010:

"I hope there will be another record pretty soon. If I was being wildly optimistic, I'd say before the end of the year."

McGuinness also threw water on Bono's comments (see below) about U2 having four projects going on at the moment:

"I heard him telling an Italian journalist that he had four albums ready. That's not quite it! But that's what he was saying [laughs]."

August 4, 2010: Just a couple days before the start of the 2010 tour, U2 did an interview with the Italian newspaper, La Stampa. In it, Bono says that U2 now has four separate album-related projects:

  • "an ambient album, Songs of Ascent"
  • "a rock album"
  • a "club music" album
  • "the soundtrack of Spiderman, the musical debuting on Broadway in November"

There's no mention of release dates or other plans for any of them. Other Italian media were present for this interview, too. A paper called The Journal includes this translated quote, though it's not clear which band member said it:

"We are planning to release our next record as an application. Today, with laptops, iphone and ipad music can go back to being a visual phenomenon."

July 21, 2010: A brief article in the Greek paper, Espresso, suggests that U2 may record an album in 2011 at Black Rock Studio on the island of Santorini.

June 3, 2010: The new edition of Rolling Stone (dated June 30) includes a short article previewing the now-postponed North American U2 360 tour. The article says this about U2's current album situation:

Since wrapping up the 2009 leg in October, the band has been in the studio working on three albums simultaneously: Songs of Ascent, a second volume from the sessions for last year's No Line On The Horizon; the score from the Broadway musical Spiderman; and a set of entirely new songs.

This is not the first time that there's been talk of three album projects, but in the previous reports, the third project was said to be old material from the Rick Rubin sessions in 2006. The above specifically refers to "entirely new songs."

April 14, 2010: Rolling Stone Associate Editor Brian Hiatt has posted this on Twitter:

No new U2 album by June, band manager Paul McGuinness tells me in the new RS: "However, before the end of the year is increasingly likely."

January 15, 2010: In a conversation with Dave Fanning, Edge continued to express the band's uncertainty over what to do next with its Fez material, its Rick Rubin material, and the Spider-Man songs.

"We're asking ourselves exactly the same questions. We don't really know yet. We're working on material here, and it's sounding amazing, but we're far from being certain about what we're gonna do with it."

January 4, 2010: The Guardian has published a Neil McCormick interview with Edge that includes this quote about U2's new album plans:

"...we won't really know til the new year what we'll be able to achieve. There's a certain sort of practical window of opportunity to release the record that we are operating within. If the material isn't ready for the early new year we'll probably have to put it on hold."

But these comments were made back on December 8th, so the quotes below from Bono and Paul McGuinness are still the most recent statements about U2's plans.

January 2, 2010: In the year-end issue of Hot Press, Olaf Tyaransen talks with Edge about U2's plans for 2010.

The last time we spoke, you mentioned the possibility of a new U2 album coming out before the end of the year. That's obviously not going to happen, but when can fans expect a new record?

We would like it to be sooner rather than later. We are working on some stuff that sounds amazing, but it's hard to say when it'll actually be done. Well, certainly I don't, and I know Bono doesn't want to leave too long of a gap between the last record and the next one.

What's the feel of the songs you're working on at the moment?

It's too early to say, but because the last record was an experiment writing with Brian [Eno] and Danny [Lanois] in that kind of free-flowing workshop, Bono and I -- we're really kind of songwriting in a much more formal way at the moment. We've got some stuff, more abstract stuff that we could put together as a release, but right now what's really intriguing me is plain, old-fashioned songwriting, and we have some amazing stuff.

How about the Spiderman musical? It's been reported that, thanks to the recession, it's run into problems. Is it going ahead?

Well, it's all ready to go. We're just waiting for the word that we can ... we've pretty much done our job. We're waiting for the word that our director, Julie Taymor, can get back and get into the theatre and start putting the show together. We're told it could be any day. We've got new producers involved: Michael Cohl is coming in, to become an additional producer. So they're busy working on raising finance and getting all that stuff in order. I'm really happy with the music and the script, and the cast that we have are fantastic, so I don't have any concerns, ultimately, but it's kind of frustrating that it's taking so long.

This interview was likely done in early- or mid-December, meaning the December 27 quotes (below) are the most recent about U2's new album.

January 2, 2010: In the new issue of Q magazine, Bono says this about U2's plans for 2010:

"We've been listening to material for [possible next album] Songs of Ascent. We haven't fully decided to press 'go' on that. But we're touring at the end of May and it'd be nice to have some new songs. Even if it's an EP or a single song."

It's unclear when Bono gave that quote, though for monthly magazine publishing, I would expect a deadline of 2-3 weeks prior to the magazine being in stores. Ergo, the quotes below (December 27) are probably more recent.

December 27, 2009: In this Irish Independent article, Bono and Paul McGuinness say the new album may be out by June, 2010. Here are the quotes:

Paul McGuinness: "I have heard some of the stuff the guys have played and, yeah, it is great. Bono is always an optimist but he seems confident of getting a new record out by the end of the next six months. They're talking about June. By that time we will be ready to go back on tour and I think that will give it a different flavour."

Bono: "We are working away and we have a couple of yearlings in the stables that could really turn out to be thoroughbreds in the future. As a band you are always trying to work on new material and we had some unfinished material from the last album."

December 18, 2009: As we reported here, Bono has told the Hollywood Reporter that he and Edge (and maybe the whole band) are in a studio in New York City this week.

November 13, 2009: Following up on the bit right below this, Rolling Stone has published the article from that interview. As Cara notes, there are a few quotes related to U2's new album:

  • Bono and Edge headed to France after their November 5 gig in Berlin for a "two-week songwriting session."
  • Bono: "We've been playing really well on the tour and getting better and better, and we need to distill whatever we have into some songs."
  • Author Brian Hiatt: U2 is "debating whether the next record will consist of songs from the No Line on the Horizon sessions – the unfinished album known as Songs of Ascent – or an entirely new set of tunes."
  • Bono: "I would like to put out an album quickly, but we're only going to do it if it's great."

November 3, 2009: Rolling Stone magazine's Brian Hiatt posted on Twitter after a phone interview with Edge. On the bright side, Hiatt posted that Edge says "Kingdom Of Your Love" -- the U2 360 tour intro song -- is a "potential Songs of Ascent track." On the not-so-bright side, Hiatt also posted that "Songs of Ascent remains an idea more than an actual album at this point, a subject of debate within the band. No release plans yet."

October 5, 2009: USA Today talks to U2 about their new album plans, and reiterates this idea (see next entry below) of three potentially different projects U2 could do. "The Spider-Man collection is the most developed but the least appropriate to the band," Edge says. "We've got so much material at different stages of completion, it's going to be a nice problem when we've got a few weeks to look at it." Speaking about Songs of Ascent, Bono says "It's a very intimate affair. They are beautiful love songs, where the object of love is not always obvious."

October 2, 2009: has a feature about U2's new album plans, taken from interviews conducted in August and September. It's too long to repeat here, but both Edge and Larry say they want to have new music out "sooner rather than later." There are potentially three albums: Songs of Ascent, a Spider-Man album, and an album from the Rick Rubin sessions. "If we're going to do another rock record, I want to do Spider-Man. I just haven't talked Adam and Larry into that," Bono says.

September 19, 2009: Sun Media also spoke with Adam about U2's album plans, specifically asking him to comment on what Bono said (see next entry below) about Songs of Ascent and the old Rick Rubin material.

Sun Media: Bono told me there is another album coming, with the working title, Songs of Ascent, the more ambient songs done with Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, from the sessions for your latest album No Line on the Horizon?

Clayton: Some of it, I'm sure, is true, especially for Bono. And those are great aspirations. I'm a little bit more nuts and bolts and until there are 10 songs finished, mixed and on a shelf, then that's not definite for me. It takes us a long time. When Bono hears two notes together he hears a song complete. When anyone else hears two notes together, we hear a starting point.

Sun Media: Bono was also hopeful you guys would go back to the shelved Rick Rubin sessions, which began before the Eno-Lanois sessions.

Clayton: I'd like to. Part of the reason we didn't feel like pursuing them at the time was that they were too purist, they were too fundamental, and we tend to like our music a little bit more complex -- so I don't know at what point we'll want something as straight forward as that. Rick strips everything away. There's no real dressing. He doesn't like atmospherics and textures or any of that stuff. I think we all thought we could do something interesting together if we applied that sort of discipline, but in the end I think we realized that we like the textures and colours and tones.

September 17, 2009: Bono talked about U2's new album plans in this interview with Canada's Sun Media:

SUN MEDIA: What's the status on a second more ambient album, to be released from the Lanois-Eno sessions, with the working title Songs of Ascent, and then the Rick Rubin session before that?

BONO: We've got a few albums up our sleeves. We've got a whole album we started with Rick Rubin, which is a rocking club album with beats and big guitars, and I can't wait to get back to that. So we're going to see where the mood takes us. But it's not like we have to start afresh. We have five or six songs on that album. We have about 12 on the Songs of Ascent, plus The Edge and myself have written Spiderman: The Musical -- that's nearly done.

August 12, 2009: As we reported here, Sam O'Sullivan (Larry's drum tech) told fans in Zagreb that the band will stay in Vancouver after the 360 Tour ends in October to finish work on Songs of Ascent. He says the album should be out in December or early 2010. There are also other reports that Songs of Ascent will be the first (or one of the first) albums released on a new digital album format being created by the four major record labels.

July 20, 2009: Edge talks about the next album in the current issue of Hot Press:

There was talk of a possible new U2 album before the end of the year. Is that on the cards?
The Edge: It is still on the cards, but we don't really have plans that we can sign up to that far out. We would love the idea of the next record being sooner rather than later. We certainly have the material for it, but it's about whether we have the time to finish it. It depends on how the touring progresses. And there's the Spiderman musical which will be early next year, starting in New York, so Bono and I have a fair amount of work to do on that early in the year. It'll be a first for us. We are very excited about it, but it's a steep learning curve.

You can read more from the interview at Scatter O'Light.

June 21, 2009: This Irish Independent article seems to dash any plans for releasing the album in 2009:

"While a spring release date had been mentioned, Bono seems to damping down that expectation now, saying that while they have nine pieces of music that they think are really special, the album will only come out if and when it is as good or better than No Line. And it certainly won't come out, as was reported in some media, this year. Bono is unashamedly clear that he wants No Line on the Horizon to be the U2 product that gets bought this Christmas."

March 24, 2009: In an interview with Hot Press magazine, Paul McGuinness expresses doubts over U2 releasing a new album in 2009:

"I can't see how, but we did that once before on the Zoo TV tour – the Zooropa album came out. But I remember the sheer effort of flying back to Dublin every night of the European tour to work on that album and then fly out again a day or so later – it nearly killed the band. They should remember that period if they think about doing it again. Nothing would surprise me, but it's certainly not something I would have expected."

March 3, 2009: The March 17 issue of Rolling Stone quotes Bono saying the next album will be called Songs Of Ascent, and that it will be released in 2010.

"Songs Of Ascent will be quieter than No Line in many ways, it's that ghost album of hymns and Sufi singing. We're making a kind of heartbreaker, a meditative, reflexive piece of work, but not indulgent."

February 28, 2009: A New York Times article says that "U2 expects to release a companion album, which band members say will have a more meditative and processional tone, before the end of the year."

February 15, 2009: This Observer article reports that U2 is planning to release another album before the end of 2009. Bono describes it as "a more meditative album on the theme of pilgrimage."

@U2 Calendar

August 21 2014

Bono and Ali's 32nd Anniversary

Bono and Ali celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary today.

August 30 2014

Joshua Tree Tribute Band Performance

Tonight in Boothbay Harbor

Full Calendar