Belfast Telegraph

U2 Songs Of Innocence download: Paul Brady takes bite at band over $100m Apple deal

By Aoife Kelly

Northern Irish singer-songwriter Paul Brady has launched a withering attack on U2 after they were paid a reported $100m for their new album by Apple.

U2 pulled off the "largest album launch of all time" by uniting with the tech giant as it announced the iPhone 6, which costs up to £700.

The band was paid the eye-watering sum by Apple for its new album Songs Of Innocence, which Apple then gave away for free to its half-a-billion iTunes users.

But there has been a considerable backlash with several high profile outlets including the Washington Post and LA Times questioning the move.

Many iPhone users have complained about the album downloading onto their expensive devices without their permission. Some even described it as a virus.

Last night, Apple bowed to the pressure and released an app –which is available at – to remove the album after account holders complained they didn't know how to delete the tracks.

Fellow artists have also voiced their disapproval and folk and pop musician Brady is the latest to reveal his contempt via Facebook.

"So U2 gave away their album? I guess any of us would give away our work in return for reputedly $100m," the Strabane native wrote." But what about the rest of the musical artists in the world who were kind of hoping that proceeds from the sale of their records to the public might go some way to offsetting the cost of producing them?"

Brady went on to imply that U2 were further undermining an already-struggling music industry.

"This is a further and highly visible nail in the coffin of a sustainable music business from a band that continually waffles on about fairness and human values," he wrote.

"Music costs money to make. It has value. It should not be given away free. Shame on you, U2."

NME gave Songs Of Innocence just four out of 10.

While his Irish compatriots are now as well-known for their political activism, massive world tours and tax affairs, Brady has continued to compose and record to critical acclaim.

He began his career performing traditional Irish music with The Johnstons in London and New York in the late 1960s and 1970s, before returning to Ireland in 1974 to join Planxty, a band which revolutionalised Irish folk.

His 1978 solo album Welcome Here Kind Stranger won him considerable acclaim.

Hard Station in 1981 marked a new departure, mixing folk and pop. Some disliked how he had broken with tradition, although most recognised its ground-breaking qualities. Widely respected Brady has recorded 15 albums in total since he went solo, and was name-checked by Bob Dylan in his 1985 box set, Biograph.

Yesterday Apple revealed that there had been four million pre-orders of its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 24 hours, exceeding its initial pre-order supply.


"But it doesn't matter what they're giving away, the fact it's free makes it seem cheap. And on this evidence they've devalued their own brand because, quite frankly, this is a serious mis-step that might win a week's worth of good publicity, but could foreshadow a year's worth of bad."

NME's Ben Patashnik reviews U2's Songs Of Innocence

New U2 album Songs Of Innocence offered as free download on Apple's iTunes

Apple Watch clocks in beside iPhone 6 

Belfast Telegraph


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