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?!
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!