Entertainment behind the scenes
U2′s fans not “groovy” enough?
As U2 enters the third week of its North American tour, smashing sales records along the way, the big elephant in the room is the disappointing sales of the band’s new album. “No Line on the Horizon” has sold about a million copies in the United States since its release in February, according to Nielsen SoundScan, becoming one of U2′s least-commercial efforts.
“I walk out and sing (album track) ‘Breathe’ every night to a lot of people who don’t know it,” frontman Bono says in a Rolling Stone magazine cover story. (We have pictured drummer Larry Mullen at left, playing in Chicago on Sept. 24, since he and bassist Adam Clayton were omitted from the cover.)
“They’re great songs live, and I think it’s a great album,” Bono added. ”I think it will be seen as ‘Gosh, one of their more challenging albums.’”
None of the album’s three singles managed to click with fans, particularly the first single “Get On Your Boots,” which stalled at No. 37 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart. With the exception of guitarist The Edge, the band now acknowledges it was the wrong choice, according to the article.
“Look, sometimes our audience isn’t as groovy as we’d like,” Bono said. (Rolling Stone said he was smiling as he said that.) “People are not sure about the club side of U2. They want ‘Vertigo,’” the big crowd-pleasing single from the band’s previous album “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.”
But the masses are still happy to see U2 on stage. The band’s most recent show, at Giants Stadium near New York City, pulled in just under 85,000 people, which Bono told the crowd smashed a 14-year-old record held by Pope John Paul II. U2 manager Paul McGuinness said in the story that the tour is on track to become the biggest of all time, supplanting the $558 million haul of the Rolling Stones’ 2005-2007 trek.
The next show on the itinerary takes place in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Dates for the North American leg are on tap through Oct. 28 in Vancouver.