Bad news U2 fans: it looks like we’re still a good year away from a new album from the Irish lads, possibly 18 months.

Blame “Spider-Man” and the never-ending 360 Tour. Both have sucked time away from the recording process that started in 2009 after the release of “No Line on the Horizon.”

After months of working with RedOne, best known for his work with Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, and Danger Mouse, the band finally realized that its hopes of finishing the set in time for a 2011 release were nil, as there was no time when they could get back into the studio. “We just realized that we couldn’t,” bassist Adam Clayton tells Rolling Stone. “To be honest, everyone was a bit gutted. But it was the only sensible decision.”

He adds that the Danger Mouse songs will likely surface on the new album, but the RedOne tracks will not. “We have to focus on what we do best, and the work we did with Danger Mouse came closest to that,” Clayton said. “In the end, the thing we did with RedOne doesn’t feel like the right fit.”  The hope is to now have the album ready by the end of 2012.

By the way, by the time the 360 Tour wraps up 20 dates or so from now (dates postponed from last summer following Bono’s back surgery), it will grossed more than $700 million, making it the highest-earning tour of all time.  And if you’d like to feel older,  2011 marks U2’s 35th anniversary. Gulp.

In related Spidey news, “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” will have its real opening June 14, we promise. After more delays than we can count, the musical, for which U2’s The Edge and Bono, wrote the tunes, is finally ready to go. For anyone who’s counting, the show has had 177 preview performances, making its preview season much longer than most Broadway shows ever run after opening.