Tag Archives: English rock

Coldplay: “Violet Hill”

On Tuesday, mood-meisters extraordinaire Coldplay released the first rocking single, “Violet Hill”, from their upcoming album “Viva La Vida”. But the big news isn’t the song itself — which is awesome! — but the fact that it is available for one week only for FREE on the band’s website! Yeah, you heard me…free.

Even non-fans of the band will have a hard time resisting the simple beauty that is “Violet Hill”. Perhaps as a reaction to criticism that their sound was becoming stale — especially in light of the flood of like-sounding imitators they have spawned over the years — the band has really changed up their sound this time.

Not only is Chris Martin’s usually smooth, melodic voice a bit raspier than usual, but the song itself is infused with a lush, orchestral vibe that will leave you a little bit breathless. Seriously, it’s kind of hypnotic…

And did I mention it’s totally free? Apparently borrowing a page from fellow UK mood-meisters, Radiohead, Coldplay is offering the single as a free download for one week only. And whether the free song is a callous marketing gimmick, or a heartfelt thank-you to their die hard fans hardly seems to matter as the single was downloaded a whopping 600,000 times in the first day alone.

And the free download is just the beginning as Coldplay has also announced plans to stage two free shows for fans in New York and London in June. Cool, huh?

So, until Chris Martin and company announce plans to put on a free show in Los Angeles, I guess I’ll have to take solace in my free MP3. To download the song for yourself, check out the band’s website at: coldplay.com, and remember to act now as the song is only free until May 6th.

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“In Rainbows” Album Art!

With the upcoming release of the CD version of Radiohead’s previously download-only album — the staggeringly beautiful “In Rainbows” — I was thrilled to see that the band has finally released pictures of the actual album cover art. Yeah!

True to form, the bold cover art was designed by frequent Radiohead collaborator, Stanley Donwood. Wow…all those crazy cool colors on the outside kinda makes me wanna buy the album (again!) just to see the artwork inside.

Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” cover art! (Dec. 20, 2007)

Still no new pictures of the more expensive Radiohead Discbox version of “In Rainbows”, but I did find this rocking pic of the contents (and coolly futuristic container!) of the brand new, limited edition Radiohead Box Set.

Containing all seven of the band’s full-length EMI-era albums — Pablo Honey (1993), The Bends (1995), OK Computer (1997), Kid A (2000), Amnesiac (2001), I Might Be Wrong (Live/2001) and Hail To The Thief (2003) — the Box Set also features new packaging for the albums but retains the original album artwork and liner notes for each CD. Very cool.

Radiohead’s new Limited Edition BOX SET (Dec. 20, 2007)

Available on Amazon.com for a limited time at the super low price of $71.99 (that’s like, $10.28 per album!), the set is a must have for any new Radiohead fan. I say new, because any true fan has all those albums already (that’s right!) and probably doesn’t need the box set. Or do they?

I mean, seriously, that white “Star Wars” box they come in is pretty damn cool…

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Radiohead: “In Rainbows”

Avid Radiohead fans rejoice! For today, October 10th, marks the release of the band’s new package-free download-only album, “In Rainbows”.

Their first album — not including Thom Yorke’s 2006 solo outing “The Eraser” — since 2003′s incendiary “Hail To The Thief”, “Rainbows” marks a turning point in the band’s career and the music business in general, as it has no set retail price.

That’s right, go the album’s website: www.inrainbows.com create an account with an active e-mail address and then pay whatever price you like for the download. Could be $10.00, could be $0.00. Pay what you think is fair and the album is yours to download. Crazy, huh? Or brilliant?!

Radiohead Discbox!

Bypassing the major labels and the superstore chains altogether, the band is betting that their true fans will pay for the album, which judging by their hip, generally older-skewing demo is probably true. Christine and I ordered the album last weekend and paid somewhere around $11.00. The price is a little murky as it is listed on the website in pounds, but seems fair considering the price of CD’s these days.

After three sleepless nights of waiting, the link to the download page arrived in my inbox this morning and aside from a few technical difficulties (which they promptly addressed via email from London!) the album has been playing on my Macbook ever since. And all I can say is…wow. Totally worth the four year wait!

Hauntingly beautiful and surprisingly accessible, the album positively shimmers. So far my favorite track is a thumping, ethereal number called “Reckoner” but really, the whole album rocks. It is definitely worth 5.4o pounds or whatever other price you chose to pay for it.

And for die-hard fans with deep pockets there is a larger packaged version of the album (pictured above) due out in December. Called the Discbox, this version includes a hardback book, a couple of vinyl records, a slew of extra songs and a price tag of roughly $80.00. A bit steep for my blood at the moment, but hey, Christmas does fall in December, so you never know…

Anyway, check out the album, pay what you can and most importantly enjoy the supersonic splendor that is Radiohead!

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