|11-04-2004, 06:42 PM||#1|
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Las Vegas Mercury Review
Thursday, November 04, 2004__________________
Copyright © Las Vegas Mercury
Aural Intercourse: U2: All that you can't avoid
By Mike Prevatt
There's always a concern as to whether veteran music acts can compete in the increasingly youth-oriented pop market. Adults are buying less and less music, and kids are buying mostly hip hop, mall pop and emo. Where does that leave, say, R.E.M.? Madonna? The Beastie Boys? Janet Jackson? All four of those artists released albums in the past 18 months, and all of them were considered commercial flops.
U2, turning 25 this year and arguably still the world's biggest rock act, is leaving nothing to chance. Though its 11th studio album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, won't be available until Nov. 23, the band's PR push started in September, and is currently going full speed ahead. If Bomb bombs, it won't be from a lack of effort--this looks to be one of the most strategized rock campaigns of the year.
First, the most visible--and somewhat controversial--bit of promotion has been the band's participation in an Apple iTunes/iPod commercial. The frequently played 30-second spot sees the band performing its new single "Vertigo" as the silhouettes commonly found in the existing iPod advertisements (a two-minute version can be found online at the iTunes Music Store). As a result, "Vertigo" has been the most downloaded song at iTunes for more than two weeks.
The spot has caused debate among online music fans, as U2 has never before lent its music or its members' likenesses to advertisements, with devotees scratching their heads and detractors crying "sellout."
Meanwhile, on radio "Vertigo" has been an instant hit. This is no surprise--U2 management and representation previewed the tracks to influential broadcast programmers in late summer, with the throwback "Vertigo" emphasized as the first radio cut.
Various program directors then immediately reported their pleasure with the single to the press, essentially declaring it a smash before it ever hit the airwaves. Five weeks after its release, it's the No. 1 track on modern rock radio (note: none of the four singles from the band's quadruple-platinum All That You Can't Leave Behind reached that position), and it sits in the mainstream rock top five.
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