U2 - Songs of Innocence POLL

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed


Songs of Innocence is the thirteenth studio album by Irish rock band U2, released on 9 September 2014. It was produced by Danger Mouse, with additional production from Paul Epworth, Ryan Tedder, Declan Gaffney, and Flood. The album was announced at an Apple Inc. product launch event and released the same day to all iTunes Store customers at no cost. It was exclusive to iTunes, iTunes Radio, and Beats Music until 13 October 2014, when it received a physical release on Island and Interscope Records.[2] The digital release made the record available to more than 500 million iTunes customers, for what Apple CEO Tim Cook marketed as "the largest album release of all time".

Poll Results

Every Breaking Wave 1
Sleep Like a Baby Tonight 1
The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) 0
This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now 0
Cedarwood Road 0
Raised by Wolves 0
Volcano 0
Iris (Hold Me Close) 0
Song for Someone 0
California (There Is No End to Love) 0
The Troubles 0

omar little, Wednesday, 7 December 2022 19:20 (five months ago) link

i had a long break between my effort to finish the complete U2 album poll threads.

correctly clowned for its release, but unlike the followup it winds up a solid, fairly middle-of-the-pack U2 album with no major classic anthem but also no 'get on your boots'. 'joey ramone' is not a great opener or first single, but the rest of the LP is a good one. its legacy is forever ruined by the initial rollout of course, and i can't argue against that.

"fun" fact: three parenthetically titled songs, they'd only done four of those up to this point.

omar little, Wednesday, 7 December 2022 19:21 (five months ago) link

Songs of Innocence appeared on critics' end-of-year rankings of the best albums of 2014. Rolling Stone ranked it as the best album of 2014, calling it "the emotionally raw rock album of the year, at any price", while suggesting that "In its range of sounds, there may be no more complete U2 album."[149] The selection proved controversial; according to a 2017 biography on Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner entitled Sticky Fingers, Wenner allegedly dictated the ranking due to his friendship with Bono, saying: "My dictate. By fiat, buddy. That's that."

omar little, Wednesday, 7 December 2022 19:22 (five months ago) link

"Every Breaking Wave" easy. I wish it had been No Line on the Horizon - it would've done more good there, replacing awful shit like "Get On Your Boots." They did preview it on that tour:


birdistheword, Wednesday, 7 December 2022 21:45 (five months ago) link

the last few songs are the strongest (aside from EBW), more in that subtle lower key style which is their sweet spot these days for the most part. the songs would have benefited from a lighter production touch, as it is (and this is even more an issue on the followup) they sound overworked and compressed.

i'd probably vote EBW as well, though 'the troubles' (w/lykke li) and 'this is where you can reach me now' are both strong and less overproduced.

omar little, Wednesday, 7 December 2022 22:08 (five months ago) link

The first U2 album I'm not bothered about (I'm not too hot on R&H either but the highs are very high). Some nice songs though, like Volcano and especially Sleep Like a Baby Tonight, latter of which would fit nicely onto NLOTH (which I mostly like).

I've never had iTunes so the controversy meant little to me, though it's interesting to mention U2 to some people and something that happened about 35 years into their discography (on the other side of their lengthy run of hits) is one of the first things they mention.

you can see me from westbury white horse, Thursday, 8 December 2022 09:52 (five months ago) link

Even for a less polarizing band than U2, that roll out of putting it into every iTunes app wouldn't be a good idea regardless. IIRC there was also the issue of further devaluing music, which I thought was a valid point and more damaging.

birdistheword, Thursday, 8 December 2022 15:00 (five months ago) link

I don’t understand why they didn’t simply offer it as a free album download to iPhone users vs it being immediately added to the phones. Not that the album would have necessarily been more successful but certainly that move wouldn’t have had much if any backlash. But they rarely make the best decision as far as strategy or understanding their own legacy. They overthink both.

At the same time I think that the vitriol accompanying the move was a solid 80% due to the fact that it was U2. Not that it wasn’t an astonishingly tone-deaf idea.

omar little, Thursday, 8 December 2022 16:30 (five months ago) link

A lot of it was definitely because it was U2 - I remember my social media feeds being mostly "I don't want f-ing U2 on my phone" etc.

On the other hand, it arguably would've been the same for a lot of artists, possibly any artist. Every band is going to have people who don't want their records even if you gave it to them for free.

birdistheword, Thursday, 8 December 2022 16:44 (five months ago) link

Yeah I mean if for example foo fighters showed up on my phone I’d throw it away probably.

omar little, Thursday, 8 December 2022 16:52 (five months ago) link

No, you have to thoroughly incinerate the phone so as to ensure the data can never be revived.

birdistheword, Thursday, 8 December 2022 17:01 (five months ago) link

nuke it from orbit, iirc

omar little, Thursday, 8 December 2022 17:44 (five months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Thursday, 29 December 2022 00:01 (five months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Friday, 30 December 2022 00:01 (five months ago) link

I controlled 50% of the vote, wheeeeee

birdistheword, Friday, 30 December 2022 02:49 (five months ago) link

I kinda remember a couple tracks from the following album but I can't remember a damn thing about this album despite listening to it twice, hence no vote

Vinnie, Friday, 30 December 2022 04:02 (five months ago) link

"delete from library" would've seen numbers

maf you one two (maffew12), Friday, 30 December 2022 04:35 (five months ago) link

iirc, not actually a function at the time of release

maf you one two (maffew12), Friday, 30 December 2022 04:35 (five months ago) link

Didn't they have to create some kind of update to the app in order to permanently erase it (rather than just hide it or save it under "purchased music")?

Anyway, I have a vague recollection that when iTunes first launched, it came pre-loaded with a sampler of music from various artists. ("Monday" by Wilco and "Busload of Faith" by Lou Reed.) It was easy to cleanly delete anything - would've been more sensible and less controversial to release U2's album that way, but I guess at the time, digital music was mainly mp3 files on your drive, not anything cloud-based, and with Apple's habit of torching their bridges to old technology, saving it in everyone's cloud space was the only thing they ever considered.

birdistheword, Friday, 30 December 2022 05:33 (five months ago) link

I forgot to vote in this but I guess I would’ve thrown a vote to “this is where you can reach me now”

Actually would vigorously defend this album as a solid listening experience and maybe over time its rep in their discography will settle in comfortably into the upper part of the lower tier but again can’t defend that shockingly awful release plan.

omar little, Friday, 30 December 2022 06:01 (five months ago) link

Straight into the Top 10 of least popular polls ever!

Twa pehs an' an ingin ane an' aw (Tom D.), Friday, 30 December 2022 09:18 (five months ago) link

"delete from library" would've seen numbers

― maf you one two (maffew12), Thursday, December 29, 2022 10:35 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

The Triumphant Return of Bernard & Stubbs (Raymond Cummings), Friday, 30 December 2022 11:39 (five months ago) link

I think I listened to this maybe … twice before deleting it from my phone, and remember nothing about the experience except shrugging.

The Triumphant Return of Bernard & Stubbs (Raymond Cummings), Friday, 30 December 2022 12:40 (five months ago) link

Straight into the Top 10 of least popular polls ever!

This cannot be definitively answered without another poll. POLLception.

Immodest Moose (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 30 December 2022 12:46 (five months ago) link

Never understood why 3 songs (use parentheses)

beamish13, Friday, 30 December 2022 17:22 (five months ago) link

Not a good song, but they should've at least dropped it from "The Miracle of Joey Ramone." If it's going to be a tribute to Joey, even if it's a cheesy one, own it and be firm about it, not like "THE MIRACLE.....of joey ramone..."

birdistheword, Friday, 30 December 2022 18:01 (five months ago) link

four months pass...

I've gone back to this CD. Mixed, but not a very good balance.

First track somehow about Joey Ramone: very poor, surely the worst U2 opening track ever to that point.

Every Breaking Wave: actually OK, sort of subtle and moody backing, melodic movement, some OK words. I like how Bono refers to what 'every dog on the street knows', a phrase I have only ever encountered from Irish people.

California: very workaday rush which seems to aim for raw production but ends on a note of bathos with most of the instruments already finished.

Song for Someone: better, but let down by the fact that 'there is a light / don't let it go out' suggests an image that already has such resonance in pop history, so this seems derivative at best.

Iris: comes closest (on the LP?) to actually doing something great. The swirl of high vocal at the start, the mysterious flavour, is a little like good moments on OCTOBER, say, and times when The Edge mysteriously seemed to be tapping an Irish tone. His fast rhythm guitar on the 'hold me close' breakdown works well. So does the move to the minor chord in the chorus. The late section on 'Iris playing on the Strand' etc is a good buildup of pace. On the other hand, the bridge section about 'something in your eyes' is so musically banal it wrecks the movement of the song, and the late 'free yourself to be yourself' is also a bad coda. Yet I'm not sure that the LP gets better than the best points of this track.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 23 May 2023 21:50 (one week ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.