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U2's back catalog gets sales bump after surprise album release

Rockers U2 have seen an unexpected sales bump of their music catalog despite mediocre download figures for their new album.

The Beautiful Day hitmakers made a groundbreaking move last Tuesday (09Sep14) when they teamed up with bosses at tech giant Apple to offer their highly-anticipated Songs of Innocence record for free on iTunes.


The album reached half a billion iTunes users around the world, and while Billboard.com reports suggested just 200,000 fans had downloaded the record on the first day, a Universal Music Group spokesman says the number is "completely inaccurate".


While label and iTunes bosses have yet to reveal the final figures, 24 of the Irish band's titles had reached the Billboard top 20 since last Tuesday.


Albums including The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, War and two versions of the singles collection have made it to the top 50 chart, with Rattle and Hum and The Unforgettable Fire following close behind.


In addition, their U218 singles record has also made its way to the top 10 in 46 countries.


Songs of Innocence will go on sale in stores next month (Oct14).