U2’s latest album, Songs of Innocence, may have sold just 16,000 copies since its physical release.
According to the Guardian, the album, which was given away free on iTunes throughout September, has entered the UK albums chart at number six following its physical release on October 13 – the lowest chart debut for the band in 33 years.
Every U2 album since War in 1983 has debuted in the peak position in the UK, with the exception of Achtung Baby in 1991.
Although Apple reported that 26 million iTunes users had taken advantage of the free download, Songs of Innocence may have sold just 16,000 copies in the UK according to this tweet:
Songs Of Innocence, the album U2 couldn’t give away, sells 16,000 in the UK. The profit on that will probably only buy The Edge a new hat.
— Eamonn Forde (@Eamonn_Forde) October 20, 2014
To put this in perspective, Ella Henderson’s debut album Chapter One – which tops the chart this week – has beaten its nearest rival, Ed Sheeran’s X, by 16,000 copies. U2’s last album, No Line on the Horizon, sold five million copies in 2009.
The band’s controversial giveaway to 500 million iTunes users stirred up a backlash last month, with Bono, U2’s front man, eventually apologising for the decision. We’re starting to feel a bit sorry for U2…
Main image: Robert Hensley at Flickrcc