U2 in Surprise Split from Record Label after “Snub”
Irish Independent by Anthony Barnes and Shane Hickey (2006-09-10)
ONE of the most loyal and long-standing showbiz marriages has come to an end.
After 26 years together and 150 million album sales, U2 have parted company with the record label which became synonymous with the band through their meteoric rise to becoming the biggest group on the planet.
It emerged over the weekend that U2 have left Island Records over what has been described as the label’s ‘hands-off’ approach to the band.
It is understood that the band’s members became tired of the attitude of senior management towards them, despite the millions of album sales.
Friends said yesterday that the final straw came during a recent recording session in London.
While Bono, the Edge, Larry Mullens and Adam Clayton worked on new tracks to add to their latest “Best of” compilation, no one from Island Records dropped by to meet them.
One observer claimed this “put their noses out of joint” and did nothing to help the deteriorating relationship.
The band’s publicist in Ireland was not contactable for a comment on the matter yesterday. However, U2 no longer feature on Island Records’ website among other artists such as The Killers, Mariah Carey and Bon Jovi.
Having been signed in March 1980, the band released their plethora of hit records through Island, its palm tree insignia a feature of all U2 records.
However, their closest ally at the label, former general manager Jason Iley, was appointed managing director of Mercury Records last year, and the band have now followed him there.
U2 have frequently said they owe their career to Island and that its founding boss, Chris Blackwell, was instrumental to their career.
No other label had shown any interest in giving them a deal when the band were signed initially.
Despite leaving Island, the band will remain within the Universal Music Group.
The first release on the new label is a charity single with US band Green Day.