Radiohead has once again broken music industry convention, this time by releasing digital versions of its eagerly awaited studio album a day earlier than promised. The eighth album from Britain's favorite navel gazers is titled The King of Limbs and offers almost 38 minutes worth of the experimental electronic loops, bleeps, …
I didn't care much for the first disc of 'In Rainbows' at first, but repeated listens have increased my appreciation for it. I guess the same will go for this one, although I was quite annoyed when Yorke started singing at the beginning of the first track, they should have just left it instrumental. His voice doesn't really suit the out-there-acoustics of the track.
I've never really listened to radiohead, but I think I may just give them a chance now - seeing as they are releasing stuff online for a nice price and then also offering a nice collectors edition physical album.
Yay for innovation in the music industry. This is how albums of the future should be released.
Not entirely innovative - NIN did much the same with Ghosts I-IV (an instrumental album in 4 parts). When Reznor got pissed at his record label and decided to "go it alone" (with the NIN brand behind him it wasn't much of a risk). You could:
Download part 1 (in MP3 format) for free
Download all 4 parts in lossless (FLAC/AAC) for about a tenner
Buy all 4 parts on CD for about £15 (though you can now get it for a tenner)
Or buy one of the expensive collectors edition items with all 4 parts and many added goodies (IIRC there was a superfan type edition with a shed-load of extras, posters and god-knows what else in, that there was only a very limited run of, selling for hundreds of dollars, that sold out in a few hours!)
Not a fan....
.... but fair play to them for sticking with this continued digital route.
Personally, I like the physical format and then rip it for potability, but.....
.... this shows the big four Labels that consumers can be trusted and we are not all thieving shysters.
I may even download this and give them a second chance.....
Regarding the trust thing: Their last album was released as pay whatever you want, you could pay as little as a penny, I believe you could even download it for free - it was still all over the torrents - some people just seem to want to download stuff from torrents, regardless.
Yes, you could download it for free, but it seems to me that if you're getting it offered for free, with no DRM, you download it from where you're told to. This is after all, what pretty much everyone who downloads from torrents states as their reason to do so, it just turns out that a minority of those people actaully just want stuff for free.
It'll be interesting to see what happens this time...
Showing the big four labels?!
Excuse me, I don't have to show anyone I can be trusted. Fuck the labels. They can rot in hell.
The most interesting thing to note here is the relative pricings in the UK and the US.
I think this is the first thing being sold online for a decade where the price in the UK and the US actually reflects the exchange rate rather than people directly and flagrantly ripping us off.
Bought and downloaded it last night. Thought it was just amazing, trippy and emotional.
Coupled with a nice bottle of vino it was a perfect way to end a busy, stressful week.
they read my mind
Usually if I buy music I buy vinyl. Very physical experience and feels like you really own the music you buy. But nevertheless it's good to have a digital copy for errrr.. portable devices. I guess that's why I bought it a minute I got the email about it.
These models work for Radiohead - huge publicity and people who don't mind buying music they've never ehard.
Fine if you're established already or have a really dedicated fan base (like Marillion who funded an album by getting people to buy it in advance of them actually recording it).
A bit like the music it seems to me this distribution method was innovative once but now is just re-covering well trodden ground.
All props for innovation in the musical release sphere as it's obvious something needs to change but you could have released something better surely.
Has anyone ever heard The Bends or OK Computer?
I think the new album is excellent - synapse firing, thoughtful music.
But that's me...
I can easily imagine a swathe of people who would just not ... get it.
If you hated Kid A, or In Rainbows, you'll not like this.
If your last 'pickup point' was 'Ok Computer' and you got it because your mate was raving about it and then never listened again... you'll not like this.
If you've never heard Radiohead before, but like esoteric bleeps, whistles, grunge, dub & bass and eerie soulful sounds, you'll like this.
If your name is Dave and you live at No.3 Erstwhile Avenue, Gruntlethorpe, East Gruntstead, you'll definately like it.
On the other hand, if your his neighbour, Jimbo, you'll not care for it one whit.
Having cleared all that up, it's a cracking album full of joyless bleeps, depressing whistles, grinding guitars, soulful wailing and other assorted radiohead shenanagins.
Massive Radiohead fan..
..of pretty much everything they've done. This sounds less to me like a Radiohead album than a sequel to Thom Yorke's Eraser. Not that there would be anything wrong with the latter existing, but I expect a bigger sound from the full lineup. Saying that, I've only heard most of it through once, so if it's a grower then I'll be happy with that. I suppose as a self-proclaimed fan, they've already set the bar pretty high for me, and it'll be hard for them to top themselves.
(That was a little joke for the haters at the end there) :)
So if you pay your £33 for your collectors edition vinyl, the case it comes in is designed to degrade in possibly a few years and possibly a few months? I'm all for being environmentally sound and what-not but that just seems a bit stupid.
I will buy the album when it comes out on an actual physical media though, I much prefer to have music I can browse on my shelves at home when I'm not sure what to listen to that day. I like sleeve artwork too. Don't really like the extra charge to have it in a non-lossy format too :(
Also, yes In Rainbows was "free" but there was still something like a 42p payment handling charge if I remember correctly. So I guess even that was enough to put some people off from actually buying it.
If I recall correctly, you could download In Rainbows for free, if you did so, they waived the payment processing charge.
It still got pirated though.
A good start at post-CD distribution...
Nice to see an uncompressed version available - it made me pay for my first ever music download. Previous, MP3-only downloads were a very poor deal: why pay £8 for a compressed verison of an album when the likes of play.com can send you the oncompressed original, with a booklet and backup media for only a quid more.
As a distribution method there were two things that could be improved:
- A high-res artwork file is provided with the download (yaay), but it's a CMYK JPEG file which, while in spec, is not supported by some media players.
- No metadata! Using WAV means that there's no reliable way to tag the files.
I'd have liked to see an option of FLAC, which allows tagging, or Apple Lossless for the iPodders. Sleevenotes would have been nice (as a PDF or a HTML microsite, included with the download), but only a nice-to-have.
Overall, though, I could get used to buying music this way. There are enough honest people to make it viable.
Very nice but worrying
I hated every Radiohead album since OK Computer on the first listen only to have it grow on me over the next few listens until I could appreciate them properly. This one however I loved on first listen which is worrying, it goes against the flow.
Most of my mates hated it but they've not heard Radiohead since The Bends/OK Computer. Their loss I reckon.
I also thought £30 for the boxed Vinyl/CD/Artwork was a good deal. I paid £40 for In Rainbows and the quality of the package was superb. Though I'm a little worried by the oxo-degradable plastic cover. Do I have to seal it in a vacuum to stop it rotting (or possibly soak it in Bovril)?