Apple and U2 release ‘Songs of Innocence’ exclusively for iTunes Store customers

Apple, Universal Music Group and legendary rock band U2 today announced the release of the album “Songs of Innocence,” which Apple is gifting to iTunes Store customers around the world, making it the largest album release ever with over half a billion copies distributed. The album features 11 new songs from the band and charts their earliest influences from 70s rock and punk rock to early 80s electronica and soul. The album is free for iTunes Store account holders in 119 countries and is available exclusively on iTunes for the next five weeks.

“From the very beginning U2 have always wanted our music to reach as many people as possible, the clue is in our name I suppose—so today is kind of mind-blowing to us. The most personal album we’ve written could be shared with half a billion people… by hitting send. If only songwriting was that easy,” said U2 lead singer Bono in a statement. “It’s exciting and humbling to think that people who don’t know U2 or listen to rock music for that matter might check us out. Working with Apple is always a blast. They only want to do things that haven’t been done before—that’s a thrill to be part of.”

“U2 has been an important part of Apple’s history in music and we’re thrilled to make ‘Songs of Innocence’ the largest album release ever,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services in a statement. “We get to share our love of music today by gifting this great new album to over half a billion iTunes customers around the world.”

“Songs of Innocence” features 11 new songs from the band and is their most personal work to date, charting their earliest influences from 70s rock and punk rock to early 80s electronica and soul and giving insight into how and why the band came together and the relationships in and around them, their family and friendships. Recorded in New York, London, Los Angeles and Dublin the album is produced by Danger Mouse, along with Paul Epworth, Ryan Tedder, Declan Gaffney and Flood.

Apple is gifting “Songs of Innocence” to iTunes Store account holders.* Customers who sign up for an iTunes Store account in the next five weeks will get the album as a gift. “Songs of Innocence” is also available to stream via iTunes Radio℠ and will be available on Beats Music℠.

Apple and U2 share a special connection in music. U2 was an important partner for the opening of the iTunes Store in 2003. Apple worked with U2 on the iPod® U2 Special Edition and created “The Complete U2” box set together. U2 continues to be one of the most popular bands ever on the iTunes Store. Apple has partnered with Bono and (RED) to fight for an AIDS-free generation by creating (PRODUCT)RED merchandise. More than $75 million has been generated by Apple for the Global Fund.

* “Songs of Innocence” is available to iTunes Store customers in the 119 countries featuring a music store, with an active account, and who are 13 years or older (or the equivalent minimum age in the relevant jurisdiction).

Source: Apple Inc.


  1. I’m not interested. These guys are from a country that illegally invaded our pristine lands in the 1600s. I will not support the oppressive regimes these dumb pop music fartists support.

      1. England had one of the most brutal empires ever. Their colonizations have ruined the lives of the natives who live on land they stole. Look at South Africa, Australia/New Zealand…and most importantly, America. It doesn’t help that they overthrew a peaceful kingdom, imprisoned Queen Lili’oluakalani in her own home, and forced is to agree to statehood. Hawaii isn’t a state, it’s an illegal colony.

        1. They’re Irish. The Irish have been enslaved by the British for 900 years. The Irish feel about the invaders of their land much like the Native Americans. Fact check before you make such statements. You’re less likely to step on it.

        2. Someone must be quite the life of the party….

          The American Indians would have been conquered by somebody, if not killed each other off. This idea that natives are somehow special is BS. All of history is about cultures conquering others. And yeah, Hawaii is a state. Get over it.

    1. “Sins of the father” quote comes to mind.

      I won’t be getting the album either… Cause I don’t care for the “music” of U2 nor Bono himself.

      No other reason.

      If someone else likes them, great.

    2. Take your victimhood somewhere where people will fall all over themselves to kiss your wounded behind. It doesn’t belong here. Nobody alive today wronged you or your ancestors. Get over it, move out of your mother’s basement, and get a life. Historical abuses are no excuse for lack of ambition and ability.

  2. I wonder what major ass kissing or more that Bono and the gang did to get back into Apple’s good graces? If I remember correctly, Steve was not too happy about them going over to promote the Palm Pre or was it the Pixie? Not long after that Bono and the bunch went over to promote the Blackberry. I think that is an example of whoring one self.

  3. I don’t see it (yet). Apple must be using the same live feed network they used for the presentation to get the links, or the emails, or the iTunes website pages, or whatever they are going to use to distribute it.

  4. I met U2’s Bono in 1995 on a film shooting in Ireland through actor Dennis Hopper. I gave him a tour of the the movie’s spaceship set I was shooting second unit on (but it took a second to recognize him – with glasses on and a blue suit – since Dennis had said “Hey “Peter” can you give my friend here a tour?” Nice guy but I was never a big fan of the group. I tried to be, but failed. 🙂

  5. Been hacking and Listening to U2 since 1982 … Just as I am apathetic to other artists many are apathetic to U2 and that is OK. Most of the time I think Bono can be a wind bag. [/crank up the U2 iPod]

  6. We can all discuss personal preferences and taste forever, but the basic facts say that this is a major PR move for both parties. U2 benefits from enormously loyal Apple fan base that gets exposed to their music (and this is a very coveted demographics, that skews higher in every desirable category, compared to the average population). Apple, on the other hand, gets the publicity value of a massively popular band with a very long track record of consistent music quality, backed by more Grammys than any other band (which includes some historic legents, such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, etc). I’m sure many here aren’t fans (neither am I), but the awards, as well as the longevity, testify to their overall PR value. And they just gave away their newest album for free to every Apple customer!

    From an outside point of view, this is a major coup for Apple (and we all know that it probably didn’t take much prodding from Apple for U2 to do this).

  7. It doesn’t work for me. Which moron is responsible for this farce? There is a perfectly sensible way of acquiring music in iTunes, which ash worked for billions of tracks.

    This new method has not worked. The album is not visible anywhere in iTunes, either in the Library or the Store. Moreover, selecting “Check for available downloads” produces a message stating that all available downloads have already been made.

  8. The Loop does a better job of customer service than Apple:

    “Finding the new U2 album Apple gave away at the keynote


    Finding the album can be a bit tricky, though. If you search your library, chances are you won’t find it. And if you locate the album in the iTunes store, it’ll be marked as purchased, with no obvious way to download it.

    The trick is…

  9. So irate at Apple for forcing music on me that I do not like in my library. All the instructions to delete do not work and I’m stuck with this crap. I hope this back fires and someone at Apple gets fired!

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