Posted by: smirkdirk | March 3, 2009

U2’s New Album Released Today – Plus a #’s to #’s comparison to The Beatles. (Gasp!)

Since I’ve been yapping away at it for two weeks, I feel obligated to have a special post. So, here it is.

Go buy. Very good. Worth your money.

As if you didn’t know, they’re in New York all week on the Dave Letterman show.

Here’s them shoveling snow Monday in New York.

Here’s them with Dave’s top-ten list on Wednesday. The top ten things U2 has learned over the years.

And here’s Wednesday’s song, “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight”. I really like this song, but it doesn’t quite fit in to the darker timbre rest of the album. It sounds like it belongs on the last one. Still good. (Monday they performed “Breathe”, and Tuesday “Magnificent” which I haven’t linked to since different performances of those songs are already on the blog in different posts.)

Thursday night they performed “Beautiful Day”, but more interesting, I came across more info about the 2nd album to be released later this year the working title of which is “Songs of Ascent”. In a new Rolling Stone interview Bono says, “We’re making a kind of heartbreaker, a meditative, reflective piece of work, but not indulgent. It will have a clear mood, like [Miles Davis’ masterpiece] Kind of Blue. Or [John Coltrane’s seminal] A Love Supreme would be a point of reference, for the space it occupies in people’s lives, which is to say, with that album, I almost take my shoes off to listen to it.”

The first single is to be a song called “Every Breaking Wave”, a cutting room floor song from the Horizon sessions.

And as far as the Spiderman stuff: Bono evidentally is having a hard time convincing Mullen to make it into an actual album. “If we do, it’ll be a monster, ‘cause it’s the most accessible music we’ve probably ever written. It could be our Tommy. We could do it with guest stars and everything.”

Tour dates are also to be announced on Monday, March 9. Sounds like a return to the Zootv/Popmart days which I heartily welcome. Paul McGuinness: “This is going to be a very big tour, the biggest shows we’ve ever done. We’re going to play stadiums only. Football
stadiums. That excludes, for instance, baseball stadiums because the
production that we’ve designed is 360 degrees. It’s a stage with the
audience on all sides.”

Courtesy of Rob B. at The Wire message board, U2 Group:

“This may be one of my more arcane analyses yet. So bear with me and
enjoy, or simply disregard!

I am not a huge Beatles fan (respect their influence, but never crave
their music). But with today’s release of No Line on the Horizon, U2
is now one album away from tying the Beatles in number of albums
released. So I was wondering where the career of U2 stood, in terms
of time, compared to the Beatles.

While I am intimately knowledgable with U2’s career and timeline, I
am barely and only vaguely knowledgable of the details of the
Beatles’ career, other than my overall knowledge of songs and song
titles (I do not at all know what songs are from which album or which
era). I do know that industry recording standards have changed
significantly across the board over the multiple-decade span of these
two groups.

When I compared the sheer discography of each band (their full studio
record releases, that is), I came up with this…

The Beatles released 13 albums.
U2 has released 12 albums.

The period between the Beatles entering the studio for their first
record (Sep 1962) and releasing their last (May 1970) had them making
music for 93 months (7.75 years).
The period between U2 entering the studio for their first record (Mar
1980) and releasing what is now their most recent (Mar 2009) has had
them making music for 349 months (29+ years)… and counting.

The average time between record releases by the Beatles was 7 months.
The average time between record releases by U2 has been 29 months
(almost 2.5 years).

The Beatles released over 527 minutes (~8.75 hours) of music.
U2 has released 611 minutes (~10.25 hours) of music.

The Beatles released 186 songs.
U2 have released 135 songs.

The average Beatles record had 14.3 songs.
The average U2 record has had 11.25 songs.

The average Beatles song was ~2.8 minutes long.
The average U2 song has been ~4.5 minutes long.

That’s it. No commentary. Jus’ the facts, ma’am.

–Rob B.”

Smirk here again,


Although the sheer mention of U2 in the same breath as The Beatles is probably pretty feather-ruffling to some out there.

And, because it has to be said:

Rob B, you are hereby assigned to go out and get some Beatles immediately, and to listen to them exclusively for the next two weeks, a minimum of 3 hours per day. When such time has passed that you suddenly, even momentarily, “crave” a Beatles song, only at that time shall you be allowed access to U2’s new album. U2 themselves have approved of this sentence for your transgressions.

Psst: Here’s a studio of performance of the actual song “No Line on the Horizon”, the album over. I am still struck by the distinct similarities to “The Fly”.



  1. […] misunderstood). Favorite tracks: No Line On The Horizon, Manificent, Moment Of Surrender, Breathe, Get On Your Boots, Cedars Of […]

  2. They were awesome on the Letterman Show.

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