Universal Music Group had a number of high-profile releases planned for Q4 2008, including a new album from U2. The releases were designed to help the conglomerate snag a large chunk of the year’s market share.
But yesterday, U2 pushed their album back to 2009, removing what would have likely been a big seller, even in physical CDs, from UMG’s fourth-quarter.
In an interview with the band’s web site, Bono explained that the group had gotten into a rhythm, so they decided to keep recording:
‘We’ve hit a rich songwriting vein,’ he explains. ‘It gets a bit dark down here but looks like we’ve found diamonds not coal. I thought a while back we might have the album wrapped by now, but why come up above ground now if there’s more priceless stuff to be found?…
‘We know we have to emerge soon but we also know that people don’t want another U2 album unless it is our best ever album. It has to be our most innovative, our most challenging … or what’s the point?’…
‘I’m always the one who underestimates how easy it is to simply ‘put out the songs now’, if it was just up to me they’d be out already! But early next year people will be able to start hearing what we’ve been doing. We want 2009 to be our year, so we’re going to start making an impression very early on …’
Ironically, some of the songs are “out”. Bono was playing them at his French beach house, and an enterprising passerby decided to record and leak the songs online. But we imagine that’s not the kind of release Universal wanted.
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