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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

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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