U2 want to rework early music

Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:03am EDT
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By Jason Szep

SOMERVILLE, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Irish band U2 gave a prelude to its upcoming world tour with a brief private show on Wednesday for just 950 fans who got a chance to make news by asking the band some tough questions.

Among the revelations from the banter with the crowd: U2 is considering reworking and re-releasing some early work including its debut album "Boy" released in 1980 that included U2's first big hit "I Will Follow."

"I would love to sing that album again and finish that," said lead singer Bono. He said they were rushed from the studio producing "Boy" because they "couldn't afford another hour."

"The early records, there's some beautiful songs that feel a little bit unfinished to us," he said.

Pressed on what he'd like to change, the Irish rocker singled out his "phony English accent" on "Boy."

The back-and-forth with the crowd in Boston's neighboring city of Somerville followed an energetic set of five songs from U2's new album "No Line On The Horizon" which debuted at No. 1 in 30 countries, including the United States and Britain.

An early contender for biggest record of the year, "No Line" is being closely watched by a business seeking to reverse deep declines in album sales. It has been described as the band's most experimental album since 1991.

Mainstream critics have generally warmed to it. Rolling Stone calls it a "five-star masterpiece" and Mojo magazine gave it four stars. But influential music website Pitchfork describes it as "rather pitiful."   Continued...

<p>Members of the rock group U2, Adam Clayton (L), Bono (2nd L), Edge (2nd R) and Larry Mullen (R), attend a ceremony where a portion of West 53rd Street was renamed U2 Way in New York, March 3, 2009. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn</p>