A Study of U2 Album Release Dates

July 24th, 2014

When No Line On The Horizon was about to be released in 2009, I did a some research to see how soon concert tickets would go on sale after a U2 release. I saved that information in a file.

With all the recent U2 November release hype, I decided to open that file of U2 release dates. I wanted to see where a possible Tuesday, November 4, 2014 release might fit in with their prior releases. Here are my findings.

Seven out of 12 U2 records were released in the 4th quarter, five in October and two in November. Four albums were released in the first quarter, two in February and two in March. And the odd duck was Zooropa, released in the third quarter of 1993 on July 5th.

Nine albums were released on a Monday, two on a Tuesday and one on a Friday.

Album Year Date Day Quarter
Boy 1980 Oct. 20th Monday 4th
October 1981 Oct 12th Monday 4th
War 1983 Feb. 28th Monday 1st
The Unforrgetable Fire 1984 Oct. 1st Monday 4th
The Joshua Tree 1987 Mar. 9th Monday 1st
Rattle and Hum 1988 Oct. 10th Monday 4th
Achtung Baby 1991 Nov. 18th Monday 4th
Zooropa 1993 Jul. 5th Monday 3rd
Pop 1997 Mar. 4th Tuesday 1st
All That You Can’t Leave Behind 2000 Oct. 30th Monday 4th
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb 2005 Nov. 22nd Tuesday 4th
No Line on the Horizon 2009 Feb. 27th Friday 1st
Siren? 2014 Nov. 4th? Tuesday 4th


In a discussion on “street dates,” Terry Currier of Music Millennium, who has worked record retail from 1972 to present, explained that “… there did not use to be street date. Some record store may be lucky enough to get an order on Friday and another one down the street may not have got theirs until Monday, meaning one record store had a three day advantage of selling the title and word did get around. So the other account lost out.

Terry went on to explain “I worked in Hawaii in 1974 and went to the airport to pick up the new Rolling Stones album instead of waiting for the truck service to bring it the next day, because I thought the competitors would do the same thing. Later on, street date was established by the industry to eliminate this. With a Monday street date (which we had briefly if I remember right), if there was a shipping problem, they could not fix it and an account might not get [their shipment] for a day or two later. With a Tuesday street date, and with a plan to ship the product to arrive at stores on Monday, if there was a problem, overnight shipment could correct it. It’s really that simple.

Another interesting point is that the U.S. charts come out on Monday, so Tuesday releases get the most days on sale before the next chart is released. In Europe, the sales charts come out on Sunday, thus Monday releases get the most days on sale before the next chart is released.

Considering the facts stated above, and that a Universal Music Group International tweet (@UMusicColombia) stated the new U2 album “Sirens” will be finished in September (that tweet has since been removed, but you can see the screenshot below), and the little “snafu” on u2.com a few weeks back where Live Nation listed the release date for an untitled album under the discography link (see second screen shot below), it is a very good possibility that we will see the new U2 release drop on Tuesday, November 4. 2014.

  Universal Music Group International Tweet from July 25, 2014

U2.com leak that has since been removed

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