hmv's Albums of 2014: U2
Every day throughout January we'be been previewing 2014's biggest records. Today is the last day of the previews and we end with a big one, it's U2...
A little background…
It's been five years since U2's last album No Line On The Horizon, and in that time, they've undertaken a world tour which grossed a total of $736 million and 7.2 million people turned up to see, headlined Glastonbury to mixed reviews and singer Bono and guitarist The Edge also composed and recorded the soundtrack for the infamous Broadway calamity Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark.
They returned to the studio at the tail end of 2011 and have been holed up there on and off ever since. Late last year the band's first new material 'Ordinary Love', the lead-off single on the soundtrack of the film Mandela – Long Walk To Freedom was released (you can hear it at the bottom of the page) emerged.
Another new track 'Invisible' is set to emerge on Sunday (February 2) during a Superbowl commercial and will be available to download free for 24 hours with the Bank of America donating $1 for every download. The band have stressed that this isn't the beginning of the campaign for their new album, just a giveaway. They're also booked to be Jimmy Fallon's first musical guests when he takes over The Tonight Show on February 17th, which seems as good a place as any to kick off their new album campaign…
What It's Called?
There's no word on that yet, but the last three U2 records have had pretty lengthy titles. They did reveal in mid-2012 that the record had been given the working title of '10 Reasons To Exist', we'll see if that sticks…
Who's Producing It? Are There Any Big-Name Guests?
After working with various producers on No Line On The Horizon and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, including Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, Jacknife Lee and Steve Lillywhite, this time the band have thrown a curveball by enlisting Danger Mouse (he of Gnarls Barkley playing and Gorillaz producing fame) to produce the record.
As for guests, Coldplay's Chris Martin was spotted entering New York's Electric Ladyland Studios with the band, suggesting he could feature on the record in some capacity.
What Will It Sound Like?
U2's sound is big, blustery rock songs built around guitars so huge they could fill aircraft hangers, so it's unlikely they'll deviate too much from that. It'll be very interesting to hear whether Danger Mouse attempts to rein the band in or persuade them to come up with something more nuanced.
The band have also reportedly been working with songwriters RedOne, who's most famous for his co-writes with Lady Gaga and Pitbull, and Carl Falk, who's helped sculpt many of One Direction's biggest hits. Does this mean we're in for a return to the days of 1997's Pop? Who knows?
Will It Really Come Out This Year? And When?
Interviewed the other day, Bono is reported to have said that the band's new album will emerge in June with a single due out in the coming weeks. Much as these things have a habit of getting delayed it seems pretty likely that the band's new record will indeed emerge in 2014.