The details are still very fresh but it appears that U2 have out-Beyonced Beyonce, surprising the music world by releasing a new full-length studio album on iTunes this afternoon entitled "Songs Of Innocence" -- and giving it away for free.
U2 performed at the special Apple event before revealing the news that the album would be available at no cost on iTunes starting this afternoon and running through until Oct. 13.
"The wait is over," a statement on the band's site read this afternoon minutes after the band revealed the news. "Songs of Innocence, the new album, is here. Got iTunes? Take a listen."
The album, which contains 11 songs and clocks in at approximately 48 minutes, is available by going to the "Music app on your iOS device, or to your iTunes music library on your Mac or PC, and find 'Song of Innocence' under the artist or album tab." The statement added that Apple "are giving it to half a billion iTunes Store customers."
The official site said U2 played the site's designers "the new tracks and we were blown away. A kind of musical autobiography, the eleven new songs chart their earlier influences from 70s rock and punk to early 80s electronica and soul...and reveal how music changed everything. As Bono sings in the lead sing, 'The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)' 'I woke up when the miracle occurred/Heard a song that made some sense of out of the world..."
Although it's not confirmed, it appears the lead single was the song the band performed at the Apple launch this afternoon.
"The 4 members of U2 went to see the Ramones playing in the state cinema in Dublin without thinking about how we were going to get in, we had no tickets and no money..." the band said in the press release, adding they snuck in to see the legendary punk rockers. "The world stopped long enough for us to get on it. Even though we only saw half the show, it became one of the great nights of our life...."
The album was produced by Danger Mouse along with Flood, Ryan Tedder, Paul Epworth and Declan Gaffney also sharing production work. "Songs Of Innocence" was recorded in Dublin, London, New York and Los Angeles. A physical release will be out Oct. 13 containing a 24-page booklet. A "deluxe" double album version also contains acoustic versions of songs from the record as well as four additional tracks: "The Troubles (Alternative version)," "The Crystal Ballroom," "Lucifer's Hands" and "Sleep Like A Baby Tonight (Alternative Perspective Mix by Tchad Blake)." A double "white-vinyl LP" will also include an exclusive remix of "The Crystal Ballroom."
U2's official site contains the image of a white record sleeve with U2 stamped on the upper left hand side and "LP" encircled on the upper right. The centre of the vinyl album has U2, the album title along with the date written on it.
There's no word as to when or if the band will tour behind the new record.
Here is the track list for Songs Of Innocence:
"The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)"
"Every Breaking Wave"
"California (There Is No End To Love)"
"Song For Someone"
"Iris (Hold Me Close)"
"Raised By Wolves"
"Sleep Like A Baby Tonight"
"This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now"