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U2 Releases Songs Of Innocence on Vinyl To Make It Eligible for Grammy Awards


U2's new album, Songs Of Innocence, will be eligible for next year's Grammy Awards, after all.

Although the physical album has a listed release date of October 14 (in North America), Universal Music quietly sent out a limited number of vinyl pressings of the album over the past couple days to independent record stores across the U.S.

One fan posted on Interference that he discovered it over the weekend at Amoeba Records, a shop with three California locations. (Note: It's no longer in stock there.) Looney Tunes, an independent shop on New York's Long Island, says they received some copies of this release (but they're only selling it to in-store customers), and posted several photos, two of which we'll include here:



As you can see, this is different from the official release, which will be white vinyl.

Neither U2 nor Universal Music have made any announcements about the release, but sources told us Monday night that the plan all along was to make sure the album was sold in stores before the Grammy eligibility deadline. The original release of Songs Of Innocence on September 9th wasn't eligible because it was distributed for free. Grammy rules require that albums be sold commercially no later than September 30th:

For the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards, albums must be released between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014. Recordings must be commercially released in general distribution in the United States, i.e. sales by label to a branch or recognized independent distributor, via the Internet, or mail order/retail sales for a nationally marketed product. Recordings must be available for sale from any date within the eligibility period through at least the date of the current year's voting deadline (final ballot).

Our sources were unable to confirm the New York store's claim that only 300 copies of this release were distributed, nor do we know how many stores received copies. If you're looking for a copy, check with your favorite local independent record store ... and hurry.

UPDATE: Rolling Stone got a quote from the Grammy Awards people confirming that Songs Of Innocence will be eligible next year: "As long as the album, be it CD, vinyl or digital, is available commercially for sale to the public by our eligibility cutoff date at a nationally recognized retailer or website, then it's eligible for consideration."