Bono and co. shocked the audience at Apple's press conference in Cupertino, California, by announcing the release of their latest studio album, Songs of Innocence, which is available now on iTunes for free as a gift from the tech giant. U2 also capped the live-streamed event with a performance of the album's first single, "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)."
"With this, we wanted to wait until we had one that was as good as our very best work," Bono told Apple CEO Tim Cook on stage. "The question is now, how do we get it to as many people as possible, because that's what our band is all about. I think you can help us."
Seconds later, the album was available free of charge via iTunes.
"We wanted to make a very personal album," Bono told Rolling Stone. "Let's try to figure out why we wanted to be in a band, the relationships around the band, our friendships, our lovers, our family. The whole album is first journeys – first journeys geographically, spiritually, sexually. And that's hard. But we went there."
Songs of Innocence is U2's first full length album to be released in five years. It was recorded in Dublin, London, New York and Los Angeles, and is produced by Danger Mouse, with Paul Epworth, Ryan Tedder, Declan Gaffney and Flood all contributing. A physical version of the album will be released to retailers on October 14.
Now what are you waiting for? Go download the album and let us know: what do you think of U2's new music?