"A song of ours that relies on its studio production to work is generally a song we play once or twice and never play again."
Bits & Bytes
A collection of the latest U2 news and announcements posted by our staff.
Twitter is abuzz right now with several U2 fans reporting that they've received a mysterious piece of mail today that appears to be promoting U2's new album and the new track known as "Blackout" (or "The Blackout").
The letters are postmarked from Los Angeles and feature a typed letter with text that refers to William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience, the book that has inspired U2's latest and next album. Over the text is a silhouette image of Bono's son, Eli, holding hands with Edge's daughter, Sian -- the same image that often showed on screen at the end of recent Joshua Tree Tour 2017 shows that ended with the new song, "The Little Things That Give You Away." The silhouette image, though, has some empty spaces that allow a message to show:
Blackout ... It's clear who you are will appear ... U2.com
The bottom of the letter says "U2 will announce _____ on ______," with the details blacked out.
It's all very mysterious at this point. More to come as we learn/hear it. Meanwhile, see these tweets for details:
UPDATE #1: The three fans above are located in Tennessee, Nebraska and Kansas City. It may be nothing more than a coincidence, but all three of those locations were along the path of today's total solar eclipse -- and U2 is promoting a song called "Blackout."
UPDATE #2: We've heard from two more fans who got the letter on Monday. One was in Tennessee (in the eclipse's path) and the other in Charlotte, North Carolina -- not directly in the path, but a bit north of it.
UPDATE #3 and #4, August 22 at 1:30 pm PT: Fans continue to report the letter arriving today in their mailboxes. These include some locations that were in or near the path of the eclipse (Tennessee, Kansas City, Hilton Head Island), some not close to its path (central Iowa, Chicago, Boston) and some not-too-close-but-not-too-far (Atlanta, Lexington KY).
RTÉ 2FM, in association with Universal Music Ireland, has invited some of the biggest names in Irish music to re-create U2’s The Joshua Tree in celebration of the album’s 30th anniversary.
Artists including Gavin James, Kodaline, AllTvvins and The Academic will do their own versions of the 11 songs.
The tribute album, called The Joshua Tree – New Roots, will support the children’s hospice LauraLynn.
U2 have given their permission for the album, which will be released in October.
Nothing's official, but the Irish Sun is reporting that U2's Songs Of Experience will be released December 1 as part of a World AIDS Day collaboration with (RED). The Sun also says U2 will release "You're The Best Thing About Me" as the first single from SOE on September 8.
The dates match rumors that have been circulating online for the past month or so -- first reported by U2songs.com and since corroborated by several other sources.
U2 played select songs from the new album for journalists and others throughout the first two legs of The Joshua Tree Tour 2017. The Sun's article includes quotes from Irish DJ Dave Fanning, who heard some of the album not long ago, and says: "The songs I heard were more personal from Bono, singing about later on after he left Cedarwood Road. Reflecting back on his life. I like the way Bono comes clean and wears his heart on his sleeve. This is very, very personal."
Fanning also gives quick thoughts on a handful of new songs that he heard:
U2 recently shot a video for "You're The Best Thing About Me" while playing two shows in Amsterdam. Not mentioned in the Sun's article is a song titled "The Blackout" (or just "Blackout"), a second song for which U2 shot a video while in Amsterdam.
Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power was released Friday as a follow-up to his Oscar-winning documentary An Iconvenient Truth. In it, he continues his pursuit to advance policy worldwide in favor of fighting climate change and promoting environmental lifestyles that are healthier for the planet.
In conjunction with that film, celebrities including Paul McCartney, Pharrell and Bono came together to pledge their #BeInconvenient commitment.
Watch it here (Bono comes in at the :007 mark):