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On November 24 for Record Store Day's "Black Friday" event, U2 will release "The Blackout" on a single 12" vinyl record.

The limited edition single is being distributed as part of Jack White's "Third Man Records" label. It will contain the album version of "The Blackout" as well as a remix from Irish producer Jacknife Lee. Black vinyl versions will be sold at various independent record stores participating in RSD Black Friday, while even more rare colored vinyl copies will be limited for sale only in the cities of Nashville and Detroit (where Jack White's Third Man's stores are located). Additionally, two yet unnamed retail stores in the U.K. and Ireland will also carry the copies of colored vinyl).

In an interview conducted in September with Rolling Stone Magazine, Bono stated that the song "started off its life about a more personal apocalypse, some events in my life that more than reminded me of my mortality but then segued into the political dystopia that we're heading towards now."

U2's forthcoming album "Songs of Experience" is set to be released on December 1, 2017 worldwide.

© 2017 U2Station.com

by Anna Gaca, SPIN

Several U2 fan club members report they've received a mysterious letter from the band, apparently promoting "Blackout," a rumored title of an unreleased U2 song.

The letters include a paragraph about William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience, the collection of poetry that inspired the titles of U2's 2014 album Songs of Innocence and its forthcoming counterpart, Songs of Experience. Most of the text is blocked out by a silhouette of Bono's son and the Edge's daughter, revealing only the words, "Blackout ... It's ... clear ... who ... you are ... will ... appear ... U2.com."

At the bottom of the page, a partially blacked-out line of text reads, "U2 will announce ______________ on ______."

U2 are currently on a break before the second North American leg of their Joshua Tree anniversary tour. They'll head back out on the road with Beck in September. See a few of the "Blackout" letters below.

© 2017 SPIN.com.

Original article: https://www.spin.com/2017/08/u2-blackout-songs-of-experience-rumors/

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"We didn't know if we could pull off a tour that honors 'The Joshua Tree' without it being nostalgic," the frontman says. "That's an oxymoron"

By Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

Until U2 kicked off their Joshua Tree 2017 Tour at Vancouver's BC Place stadium on May 12th, they honestly weren't sure they had a concept that would work. Here was a show built around an album that came out during the final years of the Ronald Reagan administration by a band that had spent their whole career refusing to cash in on their past. "It's so not us to throw ourselves a birthday party," says Bono. "We didn't know if we could pull off a tour that honors The Joshua Tree without it being nostalgic. That's an oxymoron."

But by the time Bono called into Rolling Stone three shows into the tour he had no doubt the group had a winning formula, one that took The Joshua Tree out of 1987 and firmly planted it in 2017. We spoke to the U2 frontman about how the band got to that place, and where he hopes they go from here.

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By Jim Harrington, [email protected], Bay Area News Group

The Joshua Tree" changed everything for U2.

Released in 1987, the album took the band to the top of the U.S. pop charts for the first time and brought Bono and the boys their first Grammy Awards. It soared to global sales of more than 25 million, making it one of the best selling albums of all time.

This fifth studio effort -- the follow-up to 1984's "The Unforgettable Fire" -- made U2 the biggest band in the world. And the group has been in pole position pretty much ever since.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame act is celebrating the 30th anniversary of "Joshua Tree" with a giant tour that touches down May 17 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. And the best news is that, for the first time, the group will be performing the album in its entirety at each stop on the tour.

In honor of the occasion, we are taking a long look back at this landmark rock album. Here are 30 things you should know about U2's signature album.

by Zach Schonfeld, Newsweek

During the 1980s, U2 became entranced by America. Especially Bono. Though born and raised in Ireland, the singer obsessively mined the United States for lyrical inspiration. His gaze fell frequently on lingering injustice: civil rights struggles, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s murder, greedy televangelists. On Rattle and Hum, the band's messy 1988 sorta-soundtrack, the obsession expanded to include gospel ("Angel of Harlem") and blues ("When Love Comes to Town") and high-profile guest appearances from an older, more settled generation of classic rockers: Bob Dylan, B.B. King, even Jimi Hendrix's ghost (in the form of a "Star Spangled Banner" excerpt).

During the 2010s, Kendrick Lamar chronicled the bruised and broken promises of life in White America on rap albums drenched in jazzy paranoia. On 2015's To Pimp a Butterfly, he set his ruthless critiques to sprawling, sputtering funk-inspired beats. On tracks like "Alright," Lamar nodded to the Black Lives Matter movement and the swell in public attention to police shootings of black men. Butterfly inspired everyone from David Bowie to Kanye West to Barack Obama, who publicly expressed admiration for "How Much a Dollar Cost."

Now it's 2017 and lyrics about racial injustice are still disturbingly relevant and U2 is among that settled generation of classic rockers making high-profile guest appearances. Here's proof: Kendrick Lamar--who was not yet born when The Joshua Tree first came out--has gone ahead and featured U2 on his anticipated and enigmatic new album, DAMN.

Why?

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U2 kept fiddling with their ninth LP long after it hit shelves in early 1997, so here's a new take from live recordings, remixes and re-recordings

by Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

U2 are going all out to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree this year, complete with a new super-deluxe box set and a stadium tour where they'll play the 1987 LP straight through. Lost in all the hubbub is another major U2 milestone. The 20th anniversary of 1997's Pop came and went this month without a peep from the U2 camp, but that's not really surprising. The electronica-influenced disc polarized fans and critics when it came out. With the exception of the soundtrack to their 1988 film Rattle and Hum, it was their first album that was seen as a disappointment, and it forced them to retreat back to a more traditional U2 sound for 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind.

Looking back years later, U2 said the album was marred by their foolish decision to book a stadium tour long before it was ready. "Deadlines were looming ominously," Bono said. "Pop never had the chance to be properly finished. It is really the most expensive demo session in the history of music." But during the course of the PopMart Tour they made heroic efforts to fix the thing, releasing new mixes of the songs as singles and fiddling with the live arrangements as the tour progressed. The work continued in 2002 when they released The Best of 1990-2000, which featured new mixes of some Pop songs. If you piece it all together, they practically made an entirely new version of the album. The band never did piece it all together, though, so - as promised on a recent Rolling Stone Music Now podcast - we did it for them. Here's a new version of Pop in the original sequence. It's not better - it's just different.

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The rocker tells EW, "We're well into it. Edge just came up with a cracker the other day!"

by Kevin O'Donnell, Entertainment Weekly

When U2 were writing and recording their 2014 album Songs of Innocence, controversially given away for free on Apple's iTunes last fall, the Irish rockers had more than enough material to fill one album. "It became obvious that we were working on two separate albums," the Edge told Rolling Stone last year.

Now, with Bono, Edge, Larry Mullen Jr., and Adam Clayton nearing the finish line of their massive Innocence + Experience Tour--it ends with four shows in their native Ireland in late-November--the group will get back to work on that record, titled Songs of Experience.

When EW caught up with Bono to talk about the making of their classic 1991 album Achtung Baby for our 25th Anniversary issue, the lead singer also shared an update on their next album's progress. As of now, he reveals the group has around 18 tracks completed, which they will whittle down to around a dozen for the final record.

Bono says that U2 will release Songs of Experience, the companion album to last year's Songs of Innocence, in 2016.

by RTÉ.ie

Speaking to the Irish Times, Bono said: "We're going to get this album out next year; unusually for us, a lot of the songs are done already."

The singer also revealed that the concept behind the band's current iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour began on the opening night of the 360° tour in Barcelona in 2009.

"360 was a communal experience at its best," he said. "But to be a proper communal experience you have to have the song lines, you have to have the folk songs. If the audience are the centrepiece - and that was the idea behind 360 - then you have to have tunes to sing. The thing is: we had made quite an atmospheric album [No Line on the Horizon], quite a complex piece of work so it was slightly at odds with that."

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"A lot of my early memories of teenage years were of violence, and the sheer fear of leaving the house, going to catch the bus," frontman says

by Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone

Bono and the Edge broke down U2's songwriting process and recalled the rough North Dublin roots that inspired the Songs of Innocence cut, "Cedarwood Road," in a revealing interview for Song Exploder.

The song gets its name and story from the street Bono grew up on, but it began -- like many U2 tracks -- with a guitar riff the Edge came up with at home. In speaking about these initial steps, the Edge noted he sketches songs on GarageBand and works with drum loops Larry Mullen Jr. recorded for the demo process.

"My job is to find a way to inspire Adam and Larry and Bono, so I don't often care to finish out a piece fully," the Edge said. "I just want to get something down that I think is a great starting point and then I know that whatever I come up with, they'll come up with something better. So I just need to get it going where its identity is clear and it's got some kind of vitality and point of view that's interesting."

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