Today’s Apple Event in Cupertino, California saw the launch of the new iPhone 6, Apple’s digital wallet, and iWatch. The real headliner, however, came at the end when U2 appeared as a special guest. After debuting a new song live, the band announced that their latest album, Songs of Innocence, is being released for free on iTunes starting today. Yes, they simultaneously pulled a Beyoncé and Radiohead.
Available to all of Apple’s 500 million customers free of charge, it marks the biggest album release of all time. Songs of Innocence will remain exclusive to Apple through October.
According to Rolling Stone, Innocence was primarily produced by Danger Mouse with additional help from Joshua Tree collaborator Flood. In an interview, Bono said the group listened to music they loved in the Seventies, referencing David Bowie, Joy Division, and The Ramones. In fact, the lead track is called “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)”. Another track, “This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now”, is a tribute to The Clash. Meanwhile, Lykke Li appears on the track “The Troubles”.
A physical release for the record is set for October 13th. A deluxe edition includes acoustic session of songs from the album and four additional tracks: “Lucifer’s Hands”, “The Crystal Ballroom”, “The Troubles (Alternative version)” and “Sleep Like a Baby Tonight (Alternative Perspective Mix by Tchad Blake)”. A double white-vinyl LP will also be available.
Update: According to Billboard, the album will not be eligible for next year’s Grammy Awards, as the official October 14th commercial release is after the September 30th eligibility deadline. Rather, it will be eligible for the 2016 Grammy Awards. Additionally, the free digital release will not be counted by Nielsen SoundScan for inclusion on album sales charts.
Songs of Innocence Tracklist:
01. The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)
02. Every Breaking Wave
03. California (There Is No End To Love)
04. Song For Someone
05. Iris (Hole Me Close)
07. Raised By Wolves
08. Cedarwood Road
09. Sleep Like A Baby Tonight
10. This Is Where You Can Read Me Now
11. The Troubles