The next time U2 manager Paul McGuinness wants to rant about music piracy on the Internet, he may have to add his own boss to his list of targets.
Four songs from the Irish rock band's forthcoming album found themselves on the Internet after U2 front man Bono was caught playing the songs a bit too loudly on his stereo at his villa in the south of France, according to a report in The Sun. An alert passerby on the beach is credited with recognizing the iconic singer's voice and recording what he was hearing. He then supposedly posted the recordings to YouTube, but the tracks don't appear to have stuck around long on the video-sharing site.
The songs -- thought to come from a forthcoming album called "No Line On The Horizon" -- include the title track, "Sexy Boots," "Moment Of Surrender," and "For Your Love."
McGuinness, who wants to fight file sharing by forcing Internet service providers to ban people who pirate music, suggested earlier this year that Apple and other makers of digital music players were wrongly profiting from their "burglary kits." At the time, he placed much of the blame on tech companies, but also pointed a finger at record labels that "through lack of foresight and planning allowed a range of industries to arise that let people steal music."
If this tale rings true, it wouldn't be the first time U2 has lost control of unreleased music. In 2004, just before the release of their last album -- "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb"--the band reported that a CD containing unfinished music from that album had been stolen after a photo shoot in the south of France. The band announced it would release that album immediately if tracks from the CD were leaked online. But when songs from the album began appearing online a few months later, the band said they were finished versions, not songs from the stolen CD.
By Steven Musil