Irish rock band U2 launched their new album, “Songs of Innocence,” at the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) event Tuesday, making it available for free to the 500 million users of iTunes. During the widely followed event at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California, Apple launched two larger iPhones, a new smartwatch and a payment service.
The album reportedly features 11 songs including the latest single, "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)," which was performed by the Grammy Award-winning band at the event. The album is reportedly available for free to all iTunes users until its official release on Oct. 14. However, the free album stream will not be counted for official music sales tracked by Nielsen SoundScan.
"Wasn't that the most incredible single you ever heard? We would love a whole album of that,” Cook reportedly said, about U2’s performance.
Bono, the band's lead singer, reportedly said that he wanted to make the album available to “as many people as possible, because that's what our band is all about.”
The band reportedly worked on the album for two years with producer Brian Joseph Burton, better known by his stage name Danger Mouse, and then brought in Flood, who has been the band’s collaborator since its fifth studio album, "The Joshua Tree" in 1987, and also added producers Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder.
"I think having them around really helped," Bono said, according to Rolling Stone. "Some of the music out there now that people call pop, it's not pop – it's just truly great. And we wanted to have the discipline of the Beatles or the Stones in the Sixties, when you had real songs. There's nowhere to hide in them: clear thoughts, clear melodies."
However, the album will reportedly not be eligible for the 57th Grammy Awards as the listing period for the awards runs from Oct. 1, 2013 to Sept. 30, 2014, and only includes records that have been commercially released.
"The album must be commercially available in order for it to be eligible, and the official release date determines its eligibility in a particular awards year," a Grammy Award representative reportedly told Billboard, which will be adding the album to its chart listings only after its official release. "In this case, the album is commercially available on Oct. 14, 2014, so it will be eligible for consideration for the 58th Grammy Awards."