The first studio album from the band since 2009, Songs Of Innocence was released on CD & Vinyl on October 13th 2014, just over a month after the groundbreaking digital release when Apple delivered the album free to more than half a billion people with iTunes accounts.
The striking cover art of the physical releases, a photo by Glen Luchford, features Larry Mullen Jr protecting his 18 year old son. The image resonated with the band's iconic 1980 debut album Boy and, three years later, the War album. Both featured the face of a child, Peter Rowen, the younger brother of Guggi, Bono's childhood friend growing up on Cedarwood Road.
'We've always been about community in U2, about family and friends,' explained Bono. 'Songs Of Innocence is the most intimate album we've ever made. With this record we were looking for the raw, naked and personal, to strip everything back.'
The idea of the unique relationship between a parent and child, the image of a father and son, came from the band. The shoot with Larry and his son was initially an experiment but everyone loved it as a visual metaphor for the record. If you know the album, added Bono, you'll see the themes in the visual language, how 'holding on to your own innocence is a lot harder than holding on to someone else's.'
The eleven tracks on Songs Of Innocence, a kind of musical autobiography, chart U2's earliest influences from 70s rock and punk to early 80s electronica and soul... and reveal how music changed everything. As Bono sings in the lead song, 'The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)', 'I woke up when the miracle occurred/ Heard a song that made some sense out of the world...'
Exploring themes of home and family, relationships and discovery, detailed liner notes fill out the picture with resonant stories, like one of the first gigs the teenage band got into. '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. My best friend Guggi had a ticket and he snuck us through a side exit he pried open. 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....'
Songs of Innocence is released in three physical formats and digital.
Deluxe, 2 CD Format which comes with 2 x 16 page booklets, the 11 track album on CD1 plus additional tracks on CD2 including a 6-song acoustic session along with Lucifer's Hands, The Crystal Ballroom, The Troubles (Alternative Version) and Sleep Like A Baby Tonight (Alternative Perspective Mix by Tchad Blake).
2 LP 180gram White Vinyl Format featuring the 11 track album on sides 1, 2 & 3 with bonus track The Crystal Ballroom 12" Mix on side 4.
Single CD Format with a 24-page booklet along with the 11 track album.
13 October, 2014
Danger Mouse, Paul Epworth, Ryan Tedder, Declan Gaffney and Flood
Electric Lady Studios, The Church Studios, Shangri-La, Strathmore House, Pull Studios, Assault and Battery, The Woodshed
'We've always been about community in U2, about family and friends,' explains Bono. 'Songs Of Innocence is the most intimate album we've ever made. With this record we were looking for the raw, naked and personal, to strip everything back.' Bono