Ok, so the wait is nearly over and the new album is on the way. So what do we know... and what do we not know!
There's still a lot to be revealed in the coming weeks, but, when you pull it all together, quite a few of the vital statistics are already out there. We figured it might be time to separate some of the facts from some of the wilder flights of virtual imagination and online chatter. Of course, some of these outrageously speculative stories may yet turn out to be bang on the money - others will fade within days into the obscurity of rock'n roll trivia quizzes.
So here's our top ten checklist to guide you through the jungle of rumour and speculation.
1. U2 have been recording a new set of songs over the past two years. Set for release on November 22nd, the album is called How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.
2. According to Edge, at least one of them is called All Because of You. Or at least that's what the track was called when they were recording it. See our earlier story here.
But what we do know for sure are titles of six other tracks on the album. Check them out here.
3. A handful of influential people - outside of the band - have heard some of these songs. The unanimous verdict seems to be that it's a pretty dang hot collection. Take Bill Flanagan, sometime U2 biographer, who says: 'I've heard it, it's great. It's the best album they have ever done. It's going to knock them out!'
4. In case you were hibernating or holidaying on Mars, earlier in the summer some of the new material went missing during a photo shoot with the band in France. 'A large slice of two years work lifted via a piece of round plastic.' reflected Edge.'It doesn't seem credible but that's what's just happened to us....' See our earlier story here.
5. The first single will be on air before the month is out. It's called Vertigo and comes complete with a Kraftwerk cover and live studio performance. Complete story here.
6. The album has been produced by Steve Lillywhite, his first time at the desk for a whole U2 album since he produced the bands' first three albums, Boy, October and War. But others have been in the studio too - including Flood, Jacknife Lee, Nellee Hooper and Chris Thomas.
7. Any clues about the sound of the record ? Lillywhite says, 'I've heard some great songs. The Edge is playing some really great guitar.' Time Magazine, which also claims to have had an ear to the studio wall, is delighted that 'there's no crunk-style rapping, no gospel choirs or techno experiments.' 'Instead, this as-yet-untitled album is just full of confident, expansive guitar rock from the masters of the form.'
It will, according to Bono, 'be our first rock-n-roll album'.
8. Oh yes, the title. Well, in case you missed it above - the album is called How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.
9. When Vertigo goes to radio later this month, expect to find U2.Com undergoing its own revolution in look and content. When the album arrives, expect even more startling changes.
10. Plans to tour are also underway - the date of the tour will be 2005. (Rest assured, you'll have the dates first from U2.com, just as soon as they're buttoned down.) Paul McGuinness says the tour will be defined by 'the character of the new album and the new production.' So we can speculate more on the tour, when we've heard the album!
(Throughout September and October U2.Com will be posting official confirmation of all new U2 releases - as and when we get it!)