New Radiohead Album Available for Download on Saturday, February 19By Joseph Oliveto
For a band that clearly places quality over hype, Radiohead still does a very good job of promoting their new material, albeit for positive reasons. Although bands had been releasing albums for free long before Thom Yorke and his bandmates got in on the act, their pay-what-you-want policy for In Rainbows was a major talking point among music fans and writers for a year.
Now, with Spinner reporting the band’s surprise announcement that their new album will be available this upcoming Saturday, February 19, they’ve found a new way to spark listeners’ interest.
First of all, we hate to deflate the hopes and dreams of Radiohead enthusiasts out there, but no, there is no flexible pricing policy this time around. But with Radiohead you can be fairly certain that you’ll be getting your money’s worth.
While physical copies of the album, which is called “The King of Limbs,” won’t be shipped until May 9, later this week fans can pay for digital copies in the form of MP3 or WAV files. In the age of iTunes, that’s probably all that most fans customers will need anyway.
But of course there are some of us devoted fans who think that an album isn’t just the recorded music, but also the liners notes, lyric books and bizarre works of modern art stuffed into the package, and for those fans, Radiohead has…a treat? A surprise? We’re not really sure what to call it yet.
The band refers to the release as “the world’s first…Newspaper Album” (your guess is as good as our’s). They do elaborate, explaining that the album will contain “many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degradeable plastic to hold it all together.”
Hmm, ok then, sounds interesting. Although we’re sure there will be a bare-bones CD edition available someday in the future, as of now, the physical copy of the album that you can pre-order on the official site includes two vinyl records, a CD of the album, as well as an MP3 or WAV copy (depending on which you choose to order).
This whole “you can buy it now for your iPod or get it later for your record collection” scheme seems like the oppostife of something Radiohead would do; they knew that some fans will do both, which just means more profit. But, because they are still one of the best bands ever, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.
Are you looking forward to a new Radiohead album as much as we are?