These past two weeks certainly have been busy ones for the band, and New York City, specifically the famous Electric Lady Studios, has been the center of all the action. Let's recap:
Back on May 25th, Island Records founder and friend of the band Chris Blackwell sent out a now infamous tweet reading "Listened to some new music at electric lady land studios earlier with U2 and danger mouse #betterthanever". The tweet was viewed and retweeted by scores of fans before being deleted the following day, but this was just the first of many hints of a new U2 record on the horizon.
On May 31st, an interview with Danny Lanois was published in the Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail, in which Lanois had strong praise for the new U2 record. Here are a few of his statements:
"It sounded amazing. Very, very big and powerful-sounding. Some of it was adventurous. There were shades of Achtung Baby. A couple of songs I was familiar with, because we worked on them before but had not completed them. Now they're back on the burner."
Lanois' words about "familiar" tunes being included may lead to speculation that those unreleased songs U2 road tested during the latter half of the 360 Tour are those on the new record. Will we hear proper studio versions of Every Breaking Wave
, North Star
, Return Of The Stingray Guitar
or even Boy Falls From The Sky
? My bet is on Every Breaking Wave (and hope is for Mercy!) but that is a story for another day.
On May 30th, the activity involving the band really began to ramp up at Electric Lady Studios. Danger Mouse had reportedly been mixing the new U2 record for weeks at Electric Lady Studios in New York and the band decided to join in. U2 has allegedly already finished recording and decided to sit in on the mixing process, a process in which they are famous for reworking and even rewriting songs. This snippet of activity, though, was the precursor to the following day's flurry of performances and private appearances.
On May 31st, the entire band was back at Electric Lady Studios, along with a special guest as well. Coldplay frontman Chris Martin was seen entering the studio minutes before Larry Mullen Jr. arrived himself, and despite Chris Martin (emphatically) telling a reporter outside that he was not there with U2, he was seen by that very reporter in the studio with the band. At this point, it is unknown what, if any, involvement Martin has with the new U2 record.
Later that afternoon, U2 emerged onto the rooftop of Electric Lady Studios to perform an acoustic version
of Sunday Bloody Sunday (featuring Adam Clayton on piano). The performance was filmed for some sort of an Iran-related documentary, which fits with the relationship forged between the song and the 2009 Iranian protests on the 360 Tour. It is unknown when or if the video will ever see the light of day.
That night, Bono and The Edge hit the town with Chris Martin and the folks of the art project Inside Out. Once again, Bono and The Edge performed an acoustic version of Sunday Bloody Sunday, and this time, the venue was the studio of Inside Out's founder simply known as JR.
With these performances, U2's time at Electric Lady Studios had come to an end, but according to Billboard Magazine article published on June 3rd, sources say..."that the band is aiming to release their next album in December, although no plans have yet been finalized." This seems to agree with Adam Clayton's statement in which he said the band plans to have the album out by the end of the year, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Got all of that? Great. I guess the moral of the story is that we might be that much closer to a new U2 album (and tour!) It's going to be a busy summer and early fall in terms of U2 news, so make sure you keep coming back to U2gigs for updates.