U2 announce 2015 arena tour after free iTunes album backlash

The band still think some people want to listen to them

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Their free iTunes album release might have played a part in Apple’s “PR disaster”, but U2 are determined to storm through the backlash with a 2015 arena tour.

The Irish band will bring Songs of Innocence to venues including London’s O2 next year, frontman Bono has confirmed.

“It’s exciting,” he told Absolute Radio. “We’ll be coming your way and these songs are the songs that, I think, will play themselves.

“Only if the songs are great can you bear leaving home. We all have families and mates, so you’re looking for eleven good reasons to leave home and I think we’ve got them.”

The album is set for an official release on 13 October, after 500 million iTunes users received it as a gift earlier this month to coincide with the much-maligned launch of Apple’s iPhone 6.


Many music fans were angered at the decision to install Songs of Innocence directly into subscribers’ iTunes libraries, but Bono has since admitted that it was meant to “stir things up and annoy people”.

Rapper Tyler, the Creator, went so far as to describe automatically receiving the free album as “like waking up with a pimple or like a herpes”.

But Bono insists the 11-track album is “mindblowing” and “the most personal album” his group have written to date.

iTunes describes Songs of Innocence as “rooted in the band’s early and lifelong influences including The Ramones, Bob Dylan and The Clash”.

One song, “Iris (Hold Me Close) is a “beautiful homage to Bono’s mother”, with other tracks including “Raised by Wolves” and “Volcano”.

U2's Songs of Innocence album sleeve

Others were excited by the freebie, which came five years after U2’s twelfth album No Line on the Horizon.

A follow-up album, Songs of Experience, is also in the pipeline and might even be released before the next tour begins.

Reports suggest that once again, it will be used to launch a new “interactive format for music” that has been developed with Apple. U2 first partnered with Apple for the U2-branded iPod in 2004.

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