recordings of songs reportedly included on forthcoming album causes media hoopla.
BY FRED MILLS
American fans of U2 greeting the morning rays and firing up
their RSS feeds are no doubt coming across myriad news reports from the UK and Europe
regarding the supposed leak late yesterday of new U2 material to the Internet.
As a quick Google of obvious search terms will net you, as of this writing,
about 25 hits, there’s no need to link you to any specific report since all of
them essentially recycle the same sketchy bit of news (but take it with a grain
of salt since nobody has exactly verified the info either):
That an unnamed individual, presumably a U2 fan, was going
past (walking? Cycling? Hang-gliding?) Bono’s French villa in Cote d/Azur,
heard some music being blasted from the stereo, recognized it as featuring
Bono’s voice, whipped out a recording device (what, a cell phone? laptop? a
vintage Walkman? a stealth recording studio complete with mics and mixers he
just happened to have stuffed down his pants?), and proceeded to record the
sounds, then raced (walked/cycled/hang-glid/etc.) home and uploading the
material to YouTube.
The songs are assumed to be from U2’s upcoming
Eno/Lanois-produced album No Line On The
Horizon, due at some unspecified date from Universal/Interscope. The
supposed song titles are “Sexy Boots,” “Moment of Surrender” and “For Your
Love” (not the Yardbirds tune), plus one unnamed one, although it’s anyone’s
guess which is which.
Now before you get all hot and bothered, take heed: the
sound quality of the YouTube tracks, four in all and posted by YouTube user VetleVikGundersen
(who thoughtfully added photos of U2 so you wouldn’t have to just stare at a
blank screen w/YouTube logo), is horrible.
As one might expect of audio recordings captured from, I
dunno, 200 feet away or something, they are extremely distant. Plus, also
audible are traffic sounds, noises made from children in the vicinity of the
recorder, and even the “fan” and some friend talking. Most likely it was caught
by a cellphone — unless this is some bizarre publicity stunt the band is
pulling, which isn’t completely out of the realm of possibility, but unlikely
given how, uh, dull a listening experience checking out these tracks is.
Some media reports are indicating that YouTube has already removed
the audio at the request of the copyright holders, but that doesn’t appear to
be true as of this writing, as one click through to these links, also embedded below,
reveals. Prepare to be underwhelmed. (Can I have my 15 minutes back?)
Incidentally, the aforementioned YouTube user has his own
profile page. The page indicates he is a 15 year old guitarist from Norway
who specializes in, you guessed it, U2 cover songs. And he’s got the video
clips of himself playing along to U2 background music to prove it — not all
that expertly, but hey, self promotion
is self promotion. Does anyone smell
PUBLICITY STUNT? Here’s his page:
The news articles headlines are worth their weight in gold,
incidentally. All variations on the same theme, all designed for maximum
shock/tabloid value. Among the better ones:
Bono Blamed for Leaked U2 Tracks
Caused Album Leak?
- New U2
Album Leaked After Bono Plays Songs Too Loudly
Leaks Bono Holiday Tracks