Veteran Irish rock band U2 has released its latest album "Songs of Innocence" and it is available for free download to holders of active iTunes Store accounts.
The band, along with Apple CEO Tim Cook, announced the album virtually without prior publicity and fanfare. The launch took place on Tuesday at a press conference at the tech giant's corporate headquarters in Cupertino, Pitchfork reports.
The band played the album's first single "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)" at the vent.
After the performance, Cook said: "Wasn't that the most incredible song you ever heard? We would love a whole album of that."
Following an apparent script, band vocalist Bono replied: "The question is now, how do we get it to as many people as possible, because that's what our band is all about. I do believe you have over half a billion subscribers to iTunes, so - could you get this to them?
Cook responded: "If we gave it away for free."
"Song of innocence" contains 11 songs and includes a digital booklet with liner notes written by Bono. Its official release will be on October 13.
Producers of the album include Brian Joseph Burton, better known as Danger Mouse and a member of Gnarls Barkley with CeeLo Green. One Republic's Ryan Tedder also helped produced the album, along with Paul Epworth, who has worked with Adele, according to the New York Times.
It had been reported earlier that EDM producers David Guetta and RedOne would work on the album but ultimately didn't take part in it.
The album will not appear on Billboard's album charts for some time by virtue of its being free, according to the magazine. But once it goes on sale, which coincides with its official release, it will then be eligible for inclusion on the Billboard's sales charts, the magazine says.
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