Sunday, October 7, 2007

The In Rainbows Revolution

Everyone reading music news on the web knows that Radiohead has announced the release date, title, and release format of their 7th album. It's called In Rainbows, it comes out on Tuesday the 10th of October, which is just a few days.

Now, the songs that are on the album aren't exactly a collection of brand new material. In fact, most of it is material that dates back to the Amnesiac/Kid A sessions or the OK Computer sessions. I'm not really sure how to feel about that, but considering the live versions of almost all the songs have been available for over a year now, I know the songs still sound great. The studio versions are bound to sound a little bit different, but I still think it will be great. Not "Album of the Year" great, but yet another fantastic addition to the Radiohead catalog.

What I find more interesting than the fact that we already know all of the songs on the album is how the band is choosing to release it. The album is currently only available to order on one website, which you can find here. As most of the internet has already said, you choose what you pay for the album, provided it does not exceed £100.

Radiohead has always been pretty much at the forefront of putting up their middle fingers at the recording industry ever since "Creep" became a hit. They've spent a little more than ten years diving down an artistic rabbit hole over the course of their career, and enough fans followed them through that process to make sure that for the rest of their lives they will be able to do things their own way. This surprise announcement is the strangest thing they've done yet, but there is talk that they will sign a one album deal so that a record company can cash in with a "proper" release of the record.

You can find almost all of the songs across the two discs everywhere on the net, so go listen to some of the live versions. I think I'm going to try downloading the album for free (it's not really free, there's a transaction fee of $1.00, so go figure), and then deciding whether or not to pay a little more money after I listen to it. I think that's a good way of releasing albums in the future, because at least then people could decide which bands survive by paying money for the good ones to keep making music. Of course we could end up with a bunch of least common denominator bands because of the buying power of Middle America, but who knows...

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