More music in ’02 from U2?

U2 could release some new music this year

U2 fans who were disappointed that the band won’t go ahead with a rumoured summer tour of Europe can take some comfort in news about how they’re spending their time instead: in the studio.

The band’s manager, Paul McGuinness, has announced that the group has already begun work on a follow-up to “All That You Can’t Leave Behind.”

The results could see release before the end of the year.

“U2 would like to clarify that, contrary to certain speculation in the press, they will be neither touring Europe this summer, nor splitting up,” McGuinness said in his statement.

“Instead, they are spending time in the studio working on new material for a possible release later this year.”

Recording a quickie follow-up the multi-platinum, Grammy-snagging “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” will mean an accelerated release schedule for the Irish quartet. There was a three-year lull between “ATYCLB’s” release in late 2000 and “Pop,” which was issued in 1997. The latter album came four years after “Zooropa,” which came two years after “Achtung, Baby” in 1991.