No interest,even at that price.
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Frank Zappa released Lother album free to public via radio broadcast to show his independency from the record companies that tried to screw him up. Every artist has a right to perform their own music regardless of contracts with recording companies. Free album distribution via iTunes will only uplift their rating(regardless what anyone here thinks about U2 likes-dislikes or similar opinions) and increase size of their audiences when they book a tour. From the artist standpoint, when everyone's sharing digital files legally and illegally it's a smart choice and as I mentioned before, they're not the first and not the last to make that move.
Of course Itunes means mp3 quality only.
I sometimes will buy a .mp3 from Amazon if I like a release well enough to want to own. Then I might go for a CD or higher res copy later if needed/desired.
What U2 has done with this release could be the trend of the future. Its not unlike the old days where one first heard new music they might want to buy on FM radio. As a kid, I bought many 45 RPM releases of stuff I heard first on the radio. Now, you can download your own MP3 and live with that for free on your own terms rather than wait for something to be played by others on the radio. For pop stuff, mp3 can often work out OK, probably better than most radio station sound quality of the past, certainly AM at least.
Some pop MP3s do come close to earbleed territory, but I find that is more a result of the production than the limits of the format itself, though that certainly is a factor as well with a lot of music.
Not only is it free to download, it was loaded onto my iPhone without my knowledge. I didn't know about it until this morning when a friend at work mentioned it was downloaded (uploaded??) onto his iPhone. I checked mine and, sure enough, it was there.
Golly, do you suppose that was done to generate misleading release stats?
I've listened four times now, and I think the album is absolutely fabulous. It rocks, plain and simple. The Edge is on fire, Bono is in great voice, his lyrics are strong, and Clayton and Mullen are as solid as ever. (This, of course, is based on the crappy iTunes sound; I'll buy the vinyl next month when it is released.)
From the first, U2 always reached high, aiming for the stars. Even when the band was new and was playing little clubs, it was striving for something extraordinary. Over the years, it sometimes achieved its goals -- "The Joshua Tree," "Achtung Baby"; on other occasions --- "Rattle and Hum" -- not so much. But U2, unlike so many other bands, never settled, never stayed still.
I won't know -- none of us will -- how this new record will hold up until some more time has passed, but I'm excited to see the biggest band in the world continuing to strive for greatness. It's even possible that they've again hit the mark.
I'd suggest that even those who might be otherwise disposed give it a listen. You've got nothing to lose but your cynicism.
The first time I heard U2 was the Live Aid broadcast. As with most of the UK acts I heard that day, I didn't think they were anything special and felt no need to hear them again. As they've evolved I have grown to appreciate their musicianship but have yet to hear them do anything that grabs me or makes me want to hear the particular song again. But I might grab this freebie and give it a chance.
09-10-14: Azaud1967 was an incredible year, seeing the release of "Jefferson Airplane's "Surrealistic Pillow," "The Doors," Hendrix's "Axis: Bold as Love," and Moody Blues' "Days of Future Past." But the biggest that year--or any year--was "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
In the midst of that incredible burst of creativity, it's a shame that Brian Wilson couldn't bring "Smile" to completion or it would have rivaled those other landmark releases. Other notable releases that year included Cream's "Disraeli Gears," "The Who Sell Out," and the Stones' "Their Satanic Majesty's Request."