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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. 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".
|Songs of Innocence|
|Studio album by|
|Released||9 September 2014 (2014-09-09)|
|Singles from Songs of Innocence|
After the relatively lukewarm commercial performance of their previous record, No Line on the Horizon (2009), lead singer Bono expressed uncertainty about the band's ability to remain musically relevant. During the five-and-a-half-year gestation period for Songs of Innocence—the longest gap between albums of their career—the group reportedly worked on several projects with multiple producers, including an aborted companion to their previous record called Songs of Ascent. However, they struggled to complete an album to their satisfaction and continually delayed a release. After working with Danger Mouse for two years, the group collaborated with Flood, Epworth, and Tedder to complete Songs of Innocence. Thematically, it revisits the group members' youth in Ireland in the 1970s, touching on childhood memories, loves, and losses, while paying tribute to musical inspirations Ramones and the Clash. Bono described it as "the most personal album we've written".
The lead single "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)" was featured in an Apple television advertisement as part of a promotional campaign for the band on which the company reportedly spent US$100 million. Approximately 81 million iTunes users listened to the album in its first month of release, 26 million of whom downloaded the entire record. Songs of Innocence received generally mixed reviews and drew criticism for its digital release; the album was automatically added to users' iTunes accounts, which for many triggered an unprompted download to their electronic devices. Upon its commercial release, Songs of Innocence sold just 101,000 copies in North America and charted for just eight and nine weeks in the US and UK, respectively. The group's press tour for the album was interrupted after Bono was seriously injured in a bicycle accident. The record received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Album. U2 supported the album with the successful Innocence + Experience Tour in 2015, and followed it up with a companion record, Songs of Experience, in 2017.
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