What was to be a trickle of new track samplings to whet the appetite of U2 fans turned into a brief flood on Friday.
U2, arguably the biggest band in rock 'n' roll, is followed by some of the savviest fans in the business, who took advantage of U2.com's preview of Walk On and Elevation to unlock the gates of other tracks.
With some quick adjustments to the browser, for a brief time samples of all the tracks on the new album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, with the exception of When I Look at the World, were found stashed away on the band's official website.
In hopes of further whetting the appetites of their fans following an early snippet of Beautiful Day, U2 promised the unveiling of two more 30-second tracks, Walk On and Elevation, on Friday.
The plan was to roll out samples of all the tracks in small waves during the weeks prior to the album's release. That timetable was sped up a bit with the unexpected availability of almost all the tracks. However, the surprise preview was short-lived, as the premature samples were removed within a couple hours.
That was enough time for some fans to download the samples and make them available elsewhere on the 'Net, including www.Interference.com and of course here at www.ZooNation.com.
Those who took advantage of the preview had high praise for the new efforts. Via Wire, the fan-based Internet community, comments on the 30-second sound bites were being digitally dispatched.
Sentiments included Joe's comments that "...All That You Can't Leave Behind may well be the artistic statement of the band's career. Looks like Bono and the gang lost their 'swagger' only to have it returned a thousand-fold."
"Overall, U2 have once again completely changed their style", Todd noted. "Great musicianship is what I heard the most. And I don't even think of Achtung Baby or Joshua Tree. These songs belong on All That You Can't Leave Behind, nothing else."
Other fans have taken a pledge to not download any advance material, even from U2's own website, in favor of waiting for the old-fashioned radio and video channel releases.
Bono once commented that the new album's release was going to be noisy. That noise is building to a crescendo as fans have helped put the first single, Beautiful Day, on MTV's Total Request Live on-line ballot after initially being a write-in candidate.
The track also debuted at number 16 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart, which is based on radio airplay, and was awarded the Airpower moniker after having appeared on the Airplay and Audience Top 20 charts for the first time.
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