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U2 Pen "Fifty to Sixty" Songs, New Album Pushed to 2009

September 3, 2008 2:32 PM ET

U2 have penned roughly "fifty to sixty" tracks during their recent studio sessions that stretch from Morocco to Dublin to France, where Bono wrote in to U2.com to discuss the band's new album, now due out in the early stages of 2009 rather than this coming holiday season. "We've hit a rich songwriting vein and we don't want to stop," Bono said. "This is our chance for us to defy gravity once again." Bono said this new album — coming on the heels of two "very personal" albums in All You Can't Leave Behind and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb — attempts to recapture "the transition that took us from The Joshua Tree to Achtung Baby." As for when fans can expect hearing the fruits of the sessions with producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, Bono says "If it was just up to me they'd be out already! But early next year people will be able to start hearing what we've been doing. We want 2009 to be our year."

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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