U2 recently played together in the studio, and if Bono’s description of the session is any indication than we should expect great new material on the next album the band puts out.
“We’ve had the best three weeks in the studio since 1979,” he said as a guest on the Irish Late Late Show. Considering back then the band had only released an EP exclusively to their native Ireland and didn’t sign with Island Records until 1980, that’s a lot of sessions Bono says the band’s recent sessions have topped.
The band are apparently feeding off the notion that their last album, 2009’s No Line on the Horizon, could be considered a failure because of its lack of successful singles. Bono says the band would have to create “something special” to get back to their hit-making ways.
“Whether we can play music for small speakers of the radio or clubs or where people are living right now, remains to be seen, we have to go to that place again if we are to survive,” he said.
“Survive” is a strong word in that case, implying that the band would not survive financially if they fail to produce more hit singles. They just wrapped up the most lucrative tour in history and Bono practically became a billionaire through Facebook’s recent IPO, so any talk of money issues within U2 should not be taken seriously.
Ultimately, the band’s true fear has been irrelevance. Bono must be feeling a sense of detachment from the mainstream music world due to the band’s recent lack of commercial success with their albums and singles, but since they just proved they can still sell out stadiums around the world there is clearly still a huge market for them. They’ve reached the stratosphere of music industry success; they could never create another hit and still sell out major venues and headline major festivals.
If the band is as desperate and determined as they seem, we can truly expect some special music from them. With the last album dropping them off a bit in terms of mainstream visibility, another epic comeback could be in the works from U2.