U2 shared their big 2017 plans in a Christmas video message to fans, with the band primed to both release a new LP as well as honor one of their landmark albums.
"Happy Christmas everyone. Next year is going to be a big year for the U2 group," Bono promised in the Facebook video, which featured the Edge playing "Little Drummer Boy." "We have Songs of Experience coming, and to honor 30 years of The Joshua Tree, we have some very, very special shows coming."
Songs of Experience is the long-awaited follow-up to U2's 2014 LP Songs of Innocence; their subsequent trek in support of the album was dubbed the Innocence + Experience tour.
"Early on it became obvious that we were working on two separate albums," the Edge told Rolling Stone in September 2014. "The majority of the unfinished songs are worthy of becoming part of Songs of Experience and some are already as good or better than anything on Songs of Innocence. The Songs of Experience album will be released when it's ready. I hope it won't take nearly as long."
In March, the Edge said he considers the band's next LP to be "a companion album to Songs of Innocence," and that he's worked on 50 tracks for the album.
"Including a lot of my really rough demos – I'm not suggesting they're finished, by any means – there's actually 50 pieces of music that I've put time into," the guitarist said. "Some of them have not been arranged or performed by the band, but there's 50 ideas, and probably about 20 that we're actually really excited about. So we've got some ways to narrow it down, but we're in good shape."
It's previously been reported that U2 worked with producers like Ryan Tedder, Danger Mouse and Jacknife Lee on the LP.