U2‘s Songs of Innocence rollout is about to enter stage two. On October 13, the band is scheduled to release its new album on CD and vinyl. At the same time, Apple will stop offering the record for free on iTunes (see our contributor Eric Harvey’s essay, U2 and Apple: Partners in Smarm). It only stands to reason that, rather than the white record sleeve that showed up with the full-length on users’ iPhones, the Songs of Innocence you can hold in your hands would have its own proper artwork. And here it is, below.
U2′s physical Songs of Innocence cover art is a black-and-white photo that depicts drummer Larry Mullen Jr. embracing his son. According to a post on U2′s website, Mullen is “protecting” the 18-year-old and the images relate to the new songs’ inspiration in U2′s Dublin teenage years. The post also cites similarities between fashion photographer Glen Luchford’s image and the famous covers of 1979′s Boy and 1983′s War.
“‘We’ve always been about community in U2, about family and friends,” Bono is quoted as saying in the post. “Songs of Innocence is the most intimate album we’ve ever made. With this record we were looking for the raw, naked and personal, to strip everything back.” He adds that the themes in the art, including how “holding on to your own innocence is a lot harder than holding on to someone else’s,” should be familiar from the ideas on the album.
Songs of Innocence is available for pre-order here. The single-CD format packages the 11-track album with a 24-page booklet. The deluxe-CD version offers two discs, with bonus tracks including a six-song acoustic session and alternate mixes. The vinyl edition is a white double LP with the bonus “Crystal Ballroom (12-inch Mix)” on side four.