herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Slash defends U2's deal with Apple

GUITAR legend Slash has defended U2's controversial decision to team up with Apple and release their new album free to iTunes users.

The band was criticised by some in the music industry for giving away their LP Songs of Innocence to 500 million Apple iTunes customers.

And negative social media reaction also forced Apple to release a tool to remove the free album from its customers' accounts, with a dedicated webpage providing step-by-step instructions.

But Slash, former lead guitarist with Guns 'N' Roses, insists it was a clever marketing tactic, adding that it was a deal that only a band as big as U2 would have been able to cut.

He said: "There's a lot less opportunities in the record business to get a deal and get a record out there, and there's not a lot of radio play for it.

"The music business is like the wild, wild west right now and it was one of those kind of tactics that only U2 could really get away with doing."

In an interview with Ultimate Classic Rock magazine, the 49-year-old rocker added: "I'm sure it was a very viable move for them and if you have that luxury of making sure it's on everybody's iTunes, that's great.

"But I don't think that particular model is available for everybody."

His comments follow a radio interview with Bono in which the unapologetic Dublin singer hit back at critics over the band's relationship with Apple and likened them to graffiti artists in public toilets.

He said: "There's been some real deliberate misunderstanding of this relationship with Apple. This is a company which has, more than any other technological company, sought to get musicians paid.

Rich

"There's lots of other technology companies who've become very rich on musicians not getting paid. So it's a perfect relationship to work with them."

It's also emerged that the union between U2 and Apple is set to continue, with the partners now embarking on a "secret project" to create a new digital music format, which will compensate musicians for their efforts, and aims to revive the dying art of listening to a complete album.

hnews@herald.ie

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