Page last updated at 09:09 GMT, Friday, 19 December 2008

U2 to release new album in March

U2
It is U2's first release since 2004's How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

Irish rockers U2 are to release their new album in early March 2009, it has been announced.

No Line On The Horizon is the group's 12th studio album and their first since 2004's How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.

It was originally expected to be released by the end of 2008, but the band announced in September they would continue to write more songs.

The album will be released in the UK on 2 March, with its debut in North America coming a day later.

'Versions and incarnations'

The band began work on the album a couple of years ago with US producer Rick Rubin, who is best known for working with Run DMC, Johnny Cash, Beastie Boys, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

However, these initial sessions were eventually shelved.

"We actually laid all that stuff to one side," guitarist The Edge told Mojo magazine last month. "None of the Rick material went into this project. Everything has been written subsequently."

However, the star added the band will "get back to the material we started with Rick at some point".

Long-time collaborators Brian Eno and Danny Lanois were drafted in, recording in Morocco, New York, London and the band's own studio in Dublin.

When asked what the album sounds like The Edge said: "It's a record of two halves. One half is songs that came virtually fully-formed out of sessions we did with Brian and Danny.

"Then the other half is material we've kicked around a while and went through the usual cycle of versions and incarnations.

"It sounds like a U2 album but it doesn't sound like anything we've done before and it doesn't really sound like anything that's happening at the moment."

The group's last record sold more than nine million copies worldwide, and picked up eight Grammy awards, including album of the year and best rock song for lead single Vertigo.

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