In Defense Of U2

U2 have received a lot of hate for releasing their new album Songs of Innocence for free on iTunes after reaching a $100 million deal with Apple. While AlternativeNation.net’s GIF Review of the album wasn’t too favorable, and we did have some fun coming up with fictional U2 Apple song titles, the amount of hate Bono and company have been getting is completely unjustified. Here are some reasons that people should leave U2 alone.

There Was A U2 iPod 10 Years Ago!

U2 partnered with Apple in 2004 to release a U2 iPod, and gave early input on iTunes before it even launched. Bono and The Edge appeared at the Apple Special Music Event in 2004. At the event, The Edge discussed how Napster had changed music, and how iTunes was an attempt to embrace it while helping artists still make money, “I sensed at that moment that we were entering a new era, that music and the music business had to change and embrace that era. There was no point in fighting it, and at the time, the thing I was most excited about was that people were now using their computers to store and listen to music. I realized that as long as we find a way for us to get paid, that ultimately is going to be a good thing.” Even if you disliked the U2 iPod deal 10 years ago, to feign outrage now like this is a new thing is ridiculous.

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They Are Humanitarians & Philanthropists

U2 donated $7.2 million in 2011 to help fund music schooling for Irish children. In 2009 they donated over $12 million of tour profits to charity. The donations largely went to the Global Fund, a partnership that helps fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Earlier this year, the release of U2’s single “Invisible” helped raise over $3 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. These are just a few examples, and not even getting into Bono’s work in Africa. Wouldn’t you rather a philanthropic band like U2 get $100 million from Apple for their art, than some Wall Street crook?

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They Are One Of The Greatest Bands Of All Time

Even if you think the new album is terrible, and think U2 are sellouts, U2 deserve respect for their accomplishments. Few bands have had the run that U2 have, the band’s original lineup has stuck together for nearly 40 years. Few other bands have remained relevant as long as U2, with the band having a run from 1980-2004 releasing a string of classic albums (except for Pop).

  • Tom Fury

    Brett, the outrage isn’t that U2 made a $100 mill deal, and people aren’t pissed off about the fact that it was free for itunes users – the reason behind the outrage is that it wasn’t offered to people for free, it was forced on them and added to their music library without even asking if people wanted it. This even happened on phones that were running out of storage and such. Bands can do whatever deals they seem fit, but don’t force your new album on people as a “favour” when you’ve been handsomely paid and then justify it as a gift to people and say that the marketing of it was punk rock and it was done in the spirit of Joey Ramone (that is Bono talking) and the album is a tribute to Joey Ramone and punk rock.
    If U2 try and sell themselves as punk rock, then punk rock must surely come up with a new name, cause U2 ain’t about no rebellion, it’s capitalism through and through! (but hey, good on them. They’ve created an enormous money making machine and should capitalise on that – just don’t force shit on people who don’t want it. That’s breaching peoples privacy and right to personal choice!)

    Oh, btw. U2 sucks… 🙂

    • Tommy Moen

      Tom Fury : Your fury should not be about U2 forcing their albm Down Your troat. It is Apple that have made this available for free, not U2. What is the problem With this? If it was one of Your favourite band who made this stunt, would you still be having an issue regarding this genious marketing ? Every band wants to Reach out to most possible listeners to be able to get more and New fans. Nearly 50 million People have listened to the album already. Envy is a desease aswell. Get a grip.

      • Tom Fury

        Tommy, I don’t believe U2 sold their album to Apple for Apple to do what they wanted with it. It’s a joint effort.
        In any case I don’t think people should be forced goods upon, be it music or other commodities. I think 50 mill people probably would’ve listened to the album anyways as U2 still sell shitloads of albums. People like that kind of music.

        If I’m envious of U2 it’s for the fact that they’ve made a living out of playing music. I am not envious of Bono’s grandeur visions of himself – don’t mind the lads making a living and more. I am against forcing though. It is not a good marketing strategy to follow the thoughts of fascism.

        • Tommy Moen

          Tom, I agree with you regarding joint effort. I didnt mean to point you to be envy, but all the fuzz about this release, coming from celebre people such as Sharon Osbourne and some rap artist that i have never heard of. I saw some lyrics from this so-called rapper ( cant remember its name), Well I am Norwegian and I do belive my english is an straight A compared to this one. Meaning this guy was ditching U2s lyrics, music and forced entry to apple products. Nothing against freedom of speech but here is where i belive the envy lies. Do not agree with you regarding fascism, cos this is strictly buisiness. People have done worse in marketing. Every artist wants to make a living of their art. Every company are in it for money aswell. Being Apple, they can do what they want with their products and nobody forces anybody to buy their product. Still we do 🙂

          • Tom Fury

            Ække no gæli i å værra norsk Tommy 🙂
            Flere burde være det så går ting så meget bedre. Tenk om U2 var norske? Da hadde det regnet fårikål i Afrika og Aune Sand hadde vært Bono! Men det er i en ideell verden… neida… spøk til side. Hadde vært bedre om dem spurte folk mener jeg, that’s it

    • Shane99

      Why do people keep saying this?

      The album was not forced on you or anyone else. You had to go through a couple steps in order to get it into your library. I know this because I chose to download it, it was not just there.

      The only way it automatically ended up in your library is if you gave CONSENT to automatic downloads.

      • Corndog

        Agreed, it wasn’t in my Itunes automatically either. From what i had read online (similar content to Tom Fury’s post) i assumed that it would just be sitting there in my library when i logged in.I put my laptop on with express intention of deleting it only to discover that despite what i had been reading, it had not been shoved down my throat and i had not been forced to download it at all. It was not necessary to delete it, because it was not there. Did anyone actually check ITunes before going online to bitch about it?

        • Shane99

          That’s what irritates me about it. People are just bitching about what they’ve heard everyone else say.

          If it HAD been already in peoples’ music library, I would fully understand and support the backlash, since it could have been my library with some band that I hate.

  • God

    I for one HATE absolutely HATE Free Music!

    • David Fernandez

      Geez. If you don’t want the album then F***ing delete it.
      It’s not hard. I can’t believe the cry babies on here that act like they just contracted a disease. As the Eagles song says. “Get over it”

      • God

        I was being sarcastic Brah! I love free music.

        • David Fernandez

          I wasn’t directing this at you but to all the people are bitching about this.

  • LordSunday

    I have no problem with bands trying to find new ways for their music to be heard. Looking at the situation objectively, I’m a bit baffled on why so many have complained about the chance to get free music.