U2 Defy Industry Standards and Release ‘Songs of Innocence’ for Free

The band offers their new album on iTunes completely free

In the face of a music industry plagued by dwindling sales, U2 did the unimaginable.

The band was introduced as surprise special guests at yesterday’s Apple Event in California, then surprised everyone even more by announcing their album’s free release out of the blue.

The thing is, Songs of Innocence was not only given out free – it was also automatically downloaded onto every single iTunes account (all 500 million of them). Not everyone was thrilled about that fact.

Largely produced by Danger Mouse, Bono told Rolling Stone that Songs of Innocence is influenced by the band’s favourite artists from the ’70s. The album is far from outdated, though – trendy Swedish indie-pop singer Lykke Li lent her vocal prowess to “The Troubles”, an ethereal track that closes the album.

The physical release of Songs of Innocence is set for October 13.