Last year, U2 had been hoping and planning to release their new album in December 2013, but those plans got derailed when movie producer Harvey Weinstein called them to see if they’d contribute a song to the soundtrack of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
“When we got the call from Harvey to say, ‘It’s happening, are you in?,’ it was like, ‘Oh man, really? Now?'” guitarist the Edge said in a recent interview. “But we just had to do it, with the history that we have with the man and the cause.”
“This was the one project you just couldn’t say no to,” bassist Adam Clayton said. “For our generation, South Africa was a real illustration of how music could affect change in the world, and it was a rite of passage in terms of our political awareness.”
After “Ordinary Love” was released, the band took more time out from recording to help promote the film, and then to mourn Mandela’s death. Now, U2 are eyeing a summer release for their as-yet untitled 13th album.
“The album won’t be ready ’til it’s ready. . . . There’s a couple of songs that are part of the story we haven’t quite finished,” singer Bono said. “We know we have to spend a couple of years taking these songs around the world, so they’d better be good.”