U2 admits to 'megalomania' with Apple album launch

U2 frontman Bono has apologised for pushing the band's latest album out to iTunes users worldwide, saying the band "got a little noisy" in its "self-promotion".

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Claire Reilly
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Bono apologies for being "too noisy" in promoting U2's latest album. Screenshot by Claire Reilly/CNET

U2 has issued a mea culpa for gifting its new album "Songs of Innocence" to millions of Apple users the world over, saying it may have been caused by "a touch of megalomania".

In an interview session filmed for Facebook, the band members of U2 answered questions sent in by their Facebook fans, including their favourite gigs and why Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton don't have "cool names like The Edge and Bono".

In a question directed to Bono, Facebook user Harriet Madeline Jobson asked: "Can you please never release an album on iTunes that automatically downloads to people's playlists ever again? It's really rude."

In response, Bono apologised, saying the band might have become "a little noisy" in its promotion.

Oops. I'm sorry about that. I had this beautiful idea -- might have got carried away with it ourselves. Artists are prone to that kind of thing. A drop of megalomania, a touch of generosity, a dash of self-promotion and deep fear that these songs that we'd poured our life into over the last few years mightn't be heard. There's a lot of noise out there. I guess we got a little noisy ourselves to get through it.

Bono took to the stage with Apple CEO Tim Cook at September's iPhone and Apple Watch event to announce that the band would be gifting "Songs of Innocence" as a "treat" for all iTunes users. However, the band faced a quick backlash when it emerged that the album had been automatically downloaded to some users' iTunes purchase history.

Apple later issued a fix, allowing users to remove the album from their iTunes library and purchases list, announcing that the album would need to be redownloaded if users wanted it back. "Songs of Innocence" was available as a free download until October 13.