No U2 album or tour until 2015

The media blitz U2 has enjoyed during the first two months of 2014 has been virtually unrivaled – unless you’re maybe Pharrell Williams and his Vivienne Westwood hat. Since mid-January, the band has performed at the Golden Globes, the premiere of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and the March 2 Academy Awards; appeared on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter; and starred in a Super Bowl commercial funded by Bank of America and (RED) that debuted the track “Invisible.”

Such momentum certainly signaled a proper return to music and touring was in the cards for U2 in 2014. The group had been diligently working with producer Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) on an album still described as “unfinished” in mid-February to The Hollywood Reporter. Billboard has confirmed with multiple sources, however, that the album has now been pushed back until 2015, with the band recently scheduling additional sessions with producers Ryan Tedder and Paul Epworth. (Danger Mouse remains onboard as the project’s central producer.) “It seems to be taking longer for them to finish an album as they get older, but the great thing about U2 is that the whole of a record is always better than the sum of its parts,” says a source close to the project. “That magic that the band always seems to capture … they have yet to capture it.”

While an Interscope representative maintains that with a release date never announced the album shouldn’t be considered delayed, Billboard has learned that a tour initially on track for a mid-March announcement and September start date, booked by Live Nation’s Global Touring division, will now begin in summer 2015. Delays are nothing new in the world of U2 – the band’s 360° Tour, itself set back with postponements related to the making of 2009′s No Line on the Horizon, went on to become the highest-grossing tour of all time, with more than $737 million in receipts from three legs in 2010 and 2011, according to Billboard Boxscore. Live Nation, which declined to comment for this story, would of course always love to have U2 dates on the books for any given year. But at best, the band would only have been on the road in the fourth quarter, and any dates that would have happened in 2014 will be made up next year. (Live Nation Entertainment had a record year in 2013, even without top-grossers U2 or Madonna on the road, reporting a whopping 19 percent increase in concert attendance and total revenue up 11 percent to $6.4 billion.)

Full story available on Billboard Website


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