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U2 finds new home

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  1. #1
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    U2 finds new home

    from www.eonline.com

    U2 Votes Itself Off Island

    by Josh Grossberg
    Oct 9, 2006, 2:25 PM PT



    U2 has found what it's looking for--a new home.

    The Irish rockers have decided to bolt Universal Music Group's Island Records, the label formerly owned by music impresario Chris Blackwell, who launched the band's storied career over a quarter-century ago, and take up residence at Universal's Mercury Records.

    The split was said to be amicable and reportedly came about because of U2's desire to maintain its relationship with music executive Jason Iley, who transferred from Island to Mercury last year.

    "We foster strong relationships at Universal Music," a UMG spokeswoman told Reuters. "We have the best artists and the best executives and we're proud of how closely they work together."

    The rep rejected earlier reports in British newspapers that U2 was unhappy with Island executives "hands-off" approach toward the band, which has sold upward of 170 million albums worldwide, has won 22 Grammys and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    After gaining a cult following gigs in their hometown, Dublin, and London in the late '70s and the release of a couple of 12-inch singles, U2 signed with Island in March 1980. Six months later, the label released the band's landmark debut, Boy, and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Blackwell sold the label to Polygram in 1989 and, after a series of mergers and acquisitions during the 1990s and 2000s, Island is now under the control of Vivendi-owned Universal Music Group, which also owns Mercury Records.

    During their tenure with Island, Bono and the boys recorded 11 studio albums and issued two compilations

    The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers' final release for Island will be another greatest-hits CD. U218 Singles, set to hit stores Nov. 20, features 16 of the band's greatest hits along with a cover of the Skids' track "The Saints Are Coming," which U2 recorded with Green Day last month under the aegis of producer Rick Rubin at London's Abbey Road studios. The two bands debuted the song live at the reopening of the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans two weeks ago during Monday Night Football.

    Proceeds from the sales of that single, which was released for download via iTunes last week, will go towards the Edge's Katrina charity, Music Rising, a program that aids struggling New Orleans musicians.

    The album's final track, which hasn't been announced yet, will also be a new cut.

    U2's label switcheroo and new album aren't the only thing keeping the band busy.

    There's a new autobiography, U2 by U2, to plug, and yet another leg of the Vertigo World Tour to complete. U2 is set to play a series of dates in Asia and Australia that were scuttled due to a family illness.

    In other news, according to the Irish Times, U2 just filed an application with Dublin's development authority to construct a 30-story twisting tower. Not only will it be the tallest apartment building in the city, but it will also be topped by the band's penthouse as well as a recording studio.

    How's that for vertigo?

    If all goes well, the so-called "U2 Tower" will be completed by 2009.

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  2. #2
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    Re: U2 finds new home

    Glad to hear that older, established artists are getting the respect they deserve. A lot of other artists would've been given grief for such a move. It works well for both parties since Vivendi owns both labels. As for the new compilation, I'll probably pick up a copy, even though I already have both of their Best Of packages. I'm a sucker for complete catalogues.

  3. #3
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    Re: U2 finds new home

    The guys are in Australia at the moment, I can't wait to see them. 8 days and counting...
    BON JOVI ROCK!!

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    No.1 ALIAS fan
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