clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bono is sorry-not-sorry for forcing his album onto everyone's computers

Sunglasses-wearing mega-rockstar Bono apologized Tuesday for thrusting the new U2 album onto the iPhones and computers of every Apple user—approximately half a billion people.  The new album Songs of Innocence automatically downloaded to every iTunes user's account after the iPhone 6 announcement on September 9, whether they liked it or not.

In a Facebook video Q&A on Tuesday, Bono responded to a fan's question that asked "Can you please never release an album on iTunes that automatically downloads to peoples playlists ever again? It's really rude."

To which Bono responded:

"Oops...I'm sorry about that. I had this beautiful idea," Bono said. "Artists are prone to that kind of thing. Drop of megalomania, touch of generosity, 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."

First off, this is a terrible apology. It's really more of an excuse. But let's work through it anyway:

"I had this beautiful idea"

I also have some beautiful ideas like giving everyone free candy and declaring all Tuesdays national holidays, but I am not a multi-millionaire and bffs with Apple, so no one cares. Just because you have a "beautiful" idea doesn't mean it's a "good idea." Unlike getting rid of mandatory workplace Tuesdays, which is a great idea.

"Artists are prone to that kind of thing"

Artists are prone to a lot of things. People are prone to a lot of things. It doesn't mean you can just put whatever you want on everyone's phone.

"Drop of generosity"

Is this generosity? Because it feels like a whole lot of you forcing something on people that they might not want. An unknown Indie band would almost certainly love to share a drop of generosity with the entire world. Also, Apple paid $100 million dollars for this album, so it's hard to call this alliance one based purely on generosity.

"Dash of self-promotion"

Just a dash. A teeny tiny dash of self-promotion heralded as the "largest album release of all time."

"deep fear that these songs that we poured our life into over the last few years might not be heard"

BONO. Listen to me. You are the frontman of a massive rock band. You have sold millions of albums and won countless awards for your music. It is absurd for you to have this fear, unless you genuinely believe the album is being poorly marketed, in which case you should get a new marketing company! Additionally, Apple used one of your songs in a commercial, which is a known way for songs to get popular. You didn't even need to force it on us! The television would have done that anyway!

"There's a lot of noise out there"

This is a fact. Music is a particular thing, and not everyone likes all of it. The stuff we don't like, we dub as noise, which is what happened for a lot of people with Songs of Innocence. Of the 500 million people who got your album, only 26 million of them actually downloaded the whole thing. And a lot of those people probably still don't realize they have it in their iTunes. Be better at apologizing, Bono!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.