Did U2’s Latest Album Flop Because of a Secret Radio-Station Boycott?


Since its release in March, numerous theories have been advanced as to why U2's No Line on the Horizon has failed to make a dent on either the Billboard charts (it has yet to go platinum) or the American collective consciousness. Some blame the record company for accidentally leaking the record early, some pin the blame on a lack of support from Apple, and others, to be blunt, chalk it up to its being a pretty boring album. However, an artists'-rights group called musicFIRST just filed a complaint with the FCC alleging that something more nefarious is afoot. Namely, that radio stations boycotted the single of an unnamed artist — one that is widely believed to be U2 — because of a recent spat regarding the future of royalty payments.

The filing alleges that after Bono the unnamed artist publicly lent his support to a new effort to try and get terrestrial radio stations to pay musicians royalties similar to what songwriters currently receive, "several stations within a major radio broadcast group notified the artist's label that they would no longer play his single on the air." While we certainly wouldn't put these kinds of bully tactics past the greedy radio industry, if this thing ends up going to court, we suspect that the defense will have a pretty easy case to make. After all, all they'll need to do is bring a boom box into the courtroom, pop in "Get on Your Boots," and let the song play in its entirety. We're fairly confident there's not a jury alive that would blame radio for pulling this single from their rotation.

Complaint says top musician dissed over royalties [AP]