U2 has scrapped plans for now, for “Songs of Experience,” their expected new album this spring.
Instead, they’ll do a world tour for the 30th anniversary of their hit “Joshua Tree” album released in 1987. An expanded “Joshua Tree” collection is expected with outtakes, etc.
This is SO much easier than marketing and releasing a new album. The Edge told Rolling Stone, complicit in all publicity matters, that the band wanted to re-consider the album in light of Trump’s election.
That’s a good hook, but really, a new album is a risky undertaking. Legacy groups have been striking out saleswise and radio-play-wise with new material for the last few years. U2’s last album was given away free with iTunes, which made a lot of people angry. It also kept them out of commercial competition. A new album would have to face the music, so to speak.
As I said, very few older acts have had much success lately. The Rolling Stones hit a bullseye with their “Blue and Lonesome” set. But otherwise, fans seem only to want the hits, not new music of old stars. Everyone from Van Morrison to the Pretenders came and went with new albums this fall. Only Leonard Cohen stayed on the charts, and that’s sadly because he died.
U2 will have to come up with some real radio hits, too. “Songs of Innocence,” the last album, had none. The whole preceding album, “No Line on the Horizon,” had no hits on the record. Their last big hit was “Vertigo,” in 2004. That’s right– if you’re 14 now, there has never been a new U2 song on the radio. Weird, huh?
I love U2, and had favorite songs from those last two albums. But that doesn’t mean anything. So take your time, guys. You still haven’t found what you’re looking for.