So U2 finish mixing their album in late June, and all is well with the world.
A couple of weeks ago, the band is on a photo shoot in France, and the Edge happens to bring along the CD to listen to in a portable player. The CD player ends up missing, and nobody is sure if it was a theft or if it was just Edge misplacing it or accidentally knocking it down a sewer or Adam Clayton trying to smoke it or what.
The upshot of it is that Bono has said that if the tracks show up online, the band will release the album over the Internet within the month, and still release the full record properly in the planned late October/early November time period. This could still seriously bite into sales, though since U2's fan base is generally a bit older, perhaps they're still accustomed to buying CDs in a CD store.
If the tracks show up online, I'm going to be a good boy and just wait until the record comes out. If it were any other band I'd probably just download it, but U2 are my favourite band, so I'm happy to give them my money. I just hope that when they say the album is done being mixed, it's actually DONE and not in a state of near-completion since it would be a shame if songs got out without being the versions that U2 wanted you to hear. U2's other two 'unfinished' albums, October and Pop (Bono lost the October lyrics and had to rewrite them from scratch to quickly record them, and Pop was rushed out to meet the opening of a tour) were two of their weakest regarded discs critically, so I'm hoping that the band got things done up properly this time.
Also, the new album's name is rumoured to be either 'Vertigo' or 'How To Defuse An Atomic Bomb.' I'm really hoping it's the former, since the latter is just too goofy and pretentious.