Within the first hour of its release during Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast, U2’s new song “Invisible” was downloaded from iTunes one million times, Bono recently told Zane Lowe during a phone interview on BBC Radio 1. During the following 35 hours the tune was available as a free download, over 2 million additional downloads were logged—and with Bank of America donating $1 per download via the nonprofit (RED) toward the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, that translates to about $3 million in charitable funds.
Not to mention “Invisible” is a great song to re-introduce U2 to the world.
Bono told USA Today that the new tune is not officially the new album’s first single, but rather a “sneak preview—to remind people we exist,” adding, “It’s the first one we finished.” Bono further told Zane Lowe in the radio interview that the band had gone back to their roots—back to “why we wanted to be a band in the first place”—and drew from early punk and electronic influences for inspiration. “We were listening to the Ramones and Kraftwerk, and you can hear both of these things on ‘Invisible,’” he said.
Indeed, combined with the production value of Danger Mouse, that’s exactly what comes across on the new track. Even more importantly, there are moments that are simply classic U2, from the opening drum machine reminiscent of “Beautiful Day” to the closing inclusive lyric “There is no them / There’s only us.”
The new album is still untitled, still in the works, and should be completed in a couple of months, according to Bono. He says of the record, “We were trying to figure out, ‘Why would anyone want another U2 album?’ And then we said, ‘Well, why would we want one?’ There was some unfinished business.”
Bring it on, boys.