After U2, Interscope Records and Apple made the band's latest album Songs of Innocence available for free to 500 million iTunes customers, a spokesperson for the Grammys said that the group would not be eligible for the next Grammy Awards due to the album being unavailable for purchase before the September 30th cutoff.
With that deadline quickly approaching, U2 have sent a limited number of vinyl copies of Innocence to retailers that will be available to buy on Tuesday's cutoff date, a source close to the situation tells Rolling Stone.
A spokesperson for the Grammys tells Rolling Stone that once the record is available on Tuesday, the band will be eligible for the upcoming 57th Annual Grammy Awards on February 8th, 2015. "As long as the album, be it CD, vinyl or digital, is available commercially for sale to the public by our eligibility cutoff date at a nationally recognized retailer or website, then it's eligible for consideration," the spokesperson says.
The group will release a deluxe edition of Songs of Innocence, with four additional songs, on October 14th, two weeks after the eligibility cutoff. It's unclear whether U2's label intended to distribute the limited-edition vinyl from the beginning of the campaign or if this is a reaction to the Grammys' original decision to render it ineligible for the upcoming awards.
The band worked on Innocence for two years with producer Danger Mouse (a.k.a. Brian Burton) before bringing in Flood, their collaborator since 1987's The Joshua Tree, and Adele producers Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder. To start, the band went back to their musical roots, soaking in punk rock, glam and post-punk icons like David Bowie, Joy Division, the Clash and the Ramones before recording more than 100 tracks.
"We wanted to make a very personal album," Bono told Rolling Stone at the time of the release. "Let's try to figure out why we wanted to be in a band, the relationships around the band, our friendships, our lovers, our family. The whole album is first journeys — first journeys geographically, spiritually, sexually. And that's hard. But we went there."
The group is planning on releasing another album entitled Songs of Experience, but has yet to set a release date. For now, the group is starting to think about translating the album to the road. "The tour is still in the planning stage so it's too early to describe what it will be like," says the Edge. "I think we will start small. We certainly can't get any bigger than the last tour."