The world was surprised today by the release of U2’s “Songs of Innocence” as a free download on for iTunes account holders and streamed on Beats Music you will not see the album make the Billboard top 200.
Yup since the album really does not go on sale until October 14th pretty much knocks it out of Billboard and also knocked them out of Grammy consideration. Rules for Grammy consideration are very clear.
"The album must be commercially available in order for it to be eligible, and the official release date determines its eligibility in a particular awards year," a Grammys rep told Billboard. "In this case, the album is commercially available on Oct. 14, 2014, so it will be eligible for consideration for the 58th Grammy Awards."
Apple has a spend of in excess of $100 Million on an ad campaign supporting the release of the new devices which includes the single "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone." No word on how much Apple paid U2 for the single or the early release of the album however you can be sure that Bono and the boys did not let it go out the door cheap.
Now U2 and management will have a chance to talk to the Academy to get some understanding on the rules however for now is a celebration for U2 fans and for the band to finally release some new music.