A month after Apple and U2 gave away the band's new album, Songs of Innocence, for free to everyone with an iTunes account, Bono acknowledged he and his bandmates may have gone too far. Responding to people who complained about finding an unwanted album in their iCloud purchase history, the singer apologized today as part of a video interview hosted on Facebook.
In the video, which features band members asking questions from fans submitted through Facebook, Bono is asked: "Can you please never release an album on iTunes that automatically downloads to people's playlists ever again? It's really rude." Bono appears uncharacteristically sad while he tries to explain the band's thinking. "Oops ... I'm sorry about that," he says. "I had this beautiful idea. Might have gotten carried away with ourselves. Artists are prone to that thing. A drop of megalomania, a touch of generosity, a dash of self-promotion, and deep fear that these songs that we poured our life into over the last few years might not be heard. There's a lot of noise out there. I guess, we got a little noisy ourselves to get through it."
More than 26 million people have downloaded the album, according to Apple, and 81 million have listened to at least part of it as part of the promotion. For those less charmed by Bono's megalomania, Apple released a handy tool to purge Songs of Innocence from our iCloud libraries. But this won't be the last we hear of Apple and U2 — in a note posted to the band's website, U2 members say they and Apple will be working on "some cool stuff over the next couple of years," including "innovations that will transform the way music is listened to and viewed." And, perhaps, the way music is apologized for.