U2 Receives Sonny Bono Visionary Award

January 7, 2014

From Bono to Bono: this past weekend, U2 was honored with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. This award is not typically awarded to bands, but their track “Ordinary Love” for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom made them unique exceptions.

Festival chairman Harold Matzner spoke highly of the band’s humanitarian work: ”We normally present the Sonny Bono Visionary Award to a director, but for our 25th anniversary we wanted to take the occasion to celebrate U2, a visionary group and the world’s premier rock band, for their unparalleled humanitarian work against extreme poverty, disease, and social injustice.”

bono_palmBono and Edge were present at the festival to accept the award. Bono spoke reflectively about his position as an artist with political ambitions. “I do understand that people find it insufferable when artists stray from their box, but for a lot of us in this room that is the definition of being an artist. It is worth mentioning that more people live off of their imaginations than anywhere in the world.”

Edge was merely surprised by the scope and beauty of the gala itself. “It was amazing…we’ve been kind of what we describe as ‘being on the oil rig’ for the last while. We’ve been in a recording studio working very closely with a very small group of mostly males, so to come out to such a glamorous event — the red carpet and all these beautiful ladies and their amazing dresses and the photographers and everything — it was kind of overwhelming…we were suddenly — ‘Oh, I remember this now.’”

“We don’t get out much,” Bono agreed.

Ordinary Love Gets No Extraordinary Response From Fans

November 25, 2013

It’s been a few years since there’s been any new U2 material worth talking about. With the release of the music video for the band’s new single “Ordinary Love,” some fans seem to feel that there still isn’t.

On November 21st, U2 released the first full look at any new material since 2009′s No Line on the Horizon. The music video features the lyrics to the song. It’s a tasteful, simple medium for the song, which was recently featured in the trailer for the upcoming film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, a biopic about the famous anti-apartheid president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.

Unfortunately, it just doesn’t have the same catch and quality that fans have come to expect. The hook, while catchy, doesn’t strike most listeners in that magical way that they might expect, and most of the lyrics are predictable, and even juvenile. It’s almost difficult to say, but it’s a little bit of let down amidst all the hype and excitement over the soon-to-be album.

OrdinaryloveIt’s a little disappointing to hear U2 write on such a positive topic and fall short like this. The song feels like it has a lot of potential, but it doesn’t quite flesh out. It’s a lukewarm kind of sensation. Not terrible, but not great either.

Some fans feel uneasy about the upcoming album, said to be coming in April of 2014, given the taste they have already had of U2′s recent music. It’s not the best we could have hoped for, but it may be important to remember that this song isn’t for the album. It is what it is: a sample piece for a movie trailer. If this were a single direct from the upcoming album, that would be something for fans to get scared about, but it’s not. And with U2 still hard at work finishing up their album, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to say they saved most of their heart and soul for the big project at hand.

New U2 Album To Drop In 2014

November 15, 2013

While the band has talked about their upcoming album at various lengths over the past year or so, the boys in U2 have been unwilling to make any official statement about a release date. In an interview with The Sun back in January of this year, Bono went so far to say that it might take ten years for the next U2 album to be available, so long as it was done right.

Until now, that is.

Recording-U2The project is finally nearing its completion. U2 have been working with Danger Mouse at Electric Lady Land Studios on their most recent venture. Reports say that the band hopes to announce their newest addition to their discography during the Super Bowl, via commercial. Rumored names for the album include 10 Reasons To Exist and Songs Of The Ascent.

Producer Daniel Lenois commented on sound of the yet unreleased album. “it sounded amazing, very, very big and powerful-sounding. Some of it was adventurous. There were shades of ‘Achtung Baby.”

This is so far the best news that fans of U2 can hope for, considering that the band’s original public hope was for the album to be ready by the end of 2013. It’s not an official release statement, but fans at least can now look forward to knowing exactly what to expect and when to expect it.

It’s good news for everyone, and fans everywhere can now release a well-deserved sigh of relief.

Paul McGuinness To Leave Management Of U2 As Live Nation Buyout Looms

November 13, 2013

After over 30 years acting as manager for U2, Paul McGuinness is stepping down from his role with the band. Gus Oseary, who has managed Madonna’s career since 2005, is set to take over his role with the band.

After such a long period as the band’s manager, this move has shocked many.

This action by McGuinness is taken in preparation for the buyout of Principle Management Limited by Live Nation Entertainment. Should the negotiations go through, Live Nation will pay upwards of $30 million for Principle Management, as well as Oseary’s Maverick. This move will place both U2 and Madonna under the management of one of the largest concert companies in the world.

Though McGuinness will be stepping down as manager, he will still remain involved, switching his position to chairman of Principle Management, though what role he will play is still unclear at this time.

McGuinness has gone on record, saying, “It could be seen as slightly poor etiquette for a manager to consider retiring before his artist has split, quit or died, but U2 have never subscribed to the rock ’n’ roll code of conduct. As I approach the musically relevant age of 64 I have resolved to take a less hands-on role as the band embark on the next cycle of their extraordinary career.

PaulMcGuinness“I am delighted that Live Nation, who with Arthur Fogel have been our long term touring partners, have joined us in creating this powerful new force in artist management. I have long regarded Guy Oseary as the best manager of his generation, and there is no one else I would have considered to take over the day-to-day running of our business.”

McGuinness, having worked so closely with the band, has long been considered the fifth member of U2, and his absence may be felt in the near future as the band prepares to release their upcoming album next year. The buyout by Live Nation surely signals a new chapter for U2 and the many bands that have had their management turned over to the entertainment giant. Many bands have chosen to join with Live Nation as record sales fall, banking their income on merchandise and concert sales instead.

What this means for the bands future is unclear at the moment. As the buyout approaches, more information will come to light.

New U2 Singles To Be Released On Vinyl

October 30, 2013

U2 plan to release a new record of singles, to be available for sale on Friday, Nov. 29 for Record Store Day’s third annual Black Friday sale. The record will be an exclusive 10,000 copy limited edition issue.

The record will include U2′s recent single, “Ordinary Love,” which was recently featured in the trailer for the upcoming film “Mandella: Long Walk To Freedom.”The band was apparently inspired to write the song after seeing early cuts for the film. U2 befriended Mandela years ago, in support of the progress he made as President of South Africa upon during his presidency.

The record will also include a B-Side of the song Breathe from the band’s 2009 album “No Line On The Horizon,” which is listed on the Record Store Day website as the ‘Mandela version.’

After such a long time without any musical activity from U2, it’s great to hear news of real activity from the band leading up to the hopeful release of their next album.

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