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U2 Rep Denies Album Delays

"U2's album is planned for this year [and] is still on track and touring plans haven't been confirmed yet," the rep says

U2
Ethan Miller/WireImage
March 10, 2014 12:45 PM ET

A rep for U2 says that contrary to recent reports, the group is still intending on releasing a new album this year. Last week, Billboard ran a lengthy article claiming that the group had booked new sessions with producers Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder that would push the new LP and the group's planned touring back to 2015. A source is now telling The Guardian that claims of delays as a result of the new sessions were unfounded. "U2's album is planned for this year [and] is still on track and touring plans haven't been confirmed yet," the rep said.

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The reported release date of the record has changed several times since bassist Adam Clayton forecasted a November 2013 release. Earlier this year, Bono told USA Today, "We want [the new album] to come out this summer, but you don't want to let anyone down." The group premiered the new song "Invisible," which Bono said was not intended as the first single for the album, during the Super Bowl.

Guitarist the Edge spoke with Rolling Stone earlier this year and said the group had 30 or so songs in various states of completion that its members were excited about; six or seven of those tracks, he said, were "mixed and ready to go." Musically, he said the record was inspired by U2's original mid- and late-Seventies influences. "That's a rich period, one we've visited many times in the past," the Edge said. "But it's a very Dublin-centric record lyrically."

The guitarist also said that the group had a few titles in mind and underscored that there was no release date set. "But we're getting there," he said. "We're not, as we say in Ireland, up our own arse. But we do not want to let go of anything if we are not 100 percent happy with it."

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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