In 2014, legendary rock band U2 released their surprise album Songs of Innocence for free via the iTunes cloud and Apple pushed it to every user. While it may have caused some backlash, forcing Apple to release a link that would delete it from the cloud, it was a new way of delivering music without paying for it. The album was later released to all retailers including in physical format featuring Larry Mullen Jr. shielding his son in a protective embrace on the cover art. The album was written about the band's early years living in Ireland.
5. "The Crystal Ballroom"
"The Crystal Ballroom" was inspired by a punk club by the name McGonagle's in Dublin but historically goes by the name of the song. It was where Bono's mother and father used to visit once again going back to the band's beginnings. "Ballroom" is featured as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of the album with quite the funky vibe.
A song about a young man with teen angst and perhaps Bono dealing with the death of his mother, the bass heavy "Volcano" is reminiscent of U2's early work heard on their first handful of albums.
3. "Iris (Hold Me Close)"
At the age of 14, Bono lost his mother following a collapse at his grandfather's funeral and it's a scar he's carried with him throughout his entire career. "Iris (Hold Me Close)" looks back at his life without his mother and how that changed his course. The band played the song during the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour which visited the largest cities playing several dates at each venue.
2. "Song for Someone"
U2 teamed up with OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder and producer Flood for "Song for Someone." During the tour promoting Songs of Innocence>, Bono referenced his wife in his speech before singing the song about first loves. Bono met his now wife when he was just 13 and she was 12. Towards the end of the song, riffs are similar to "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" from No Line on the Horizon. There are two videos for the song, one featuring Woody Harrelson and his real life daughter and is considered a mini movie.
1. "Every Breaking Wave"
"Every Breaking Wave" has been called the grown up version of "Without or Without You." "Wave" had been played throughout the years before the release of Innocence and was slated for Songs of Ascent, an album that was never realized. On tour, the song has been stripped down and that version can also be heard on the deluxe edition. A varied live version was played on a handful of radio stations overseas similar to the acoustic version found on the album.