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Radiohead Plan New Album Release PDF Print E-mail
Written by DJ Space   
Friday, 24 September 2010 08:17

Radiohead Plan New Album ReleaseIn an article written for Index on Censorship, Radiohead's bassist Colin Greenwood reveals that they "have just finished another group of songs, and have begun to wonder about how to release them."

Index on Censorship is "Britain’s leading organisation promoting freedom of expression." In his essay, Greenwood explains why the band released their last album direct to their fans, "This desire to use the technology was driven by distrust and frustration with trying to broadcast our music via traditional media, such as radio and television." He adds, "With In Rainbows, we were able to be the first people to digitally release our record, directly to people’s personal computers."

In 2007, the band released their seventh album, In Rainbows, as an internet download for which fans could pay whatever they felt was appropriate. On the merits of the experiment, he writes, "For all the giddy prognostications, the most important reason for the success of In Rainbows was the quality of the music. I am optimistic that if you make good work you can secure the patronage of your fans."  He continues, "Three years later, we have just finished another group of songs, and have begun to wonder about how to release them in a digital landscape that has changed again."

As Time magazine put it in October 2007, "Radiohead is on a sustained run as the most interesting and innovative band in rock, but what makes In Rainbows important — easily the most important release in the recent history of the music business — are its record label and its retail price: there is none, and there is none."

Greenwood writes about their "bad experience on the previous record, when someone had taken some of the songs from a computer and put them online, well ahead of the official release," and says,"The success of keeping the music off the net until release proved very powerful. A pre-digital album launch would involve some shows perhaps, record shop queues if you were lucky, and plans by the record company to mark the release as an event. In the digital world, with the ease of music escaping online, that sense of an event is diminished."

In his piece, Greenwood also admits he has some regrets, "I understand that we have become our own broadcasters and distributors, but I miss the editorialisation of music, the curatorial influences of people like John Peel or a good record label," and then he reaffirms his belief in the club music scene, "I’m unconvinced that the internet has replaced the club or the concert hall as a forum for people to share ideas and passions about music."

In June, The London Evening Standard reported that "Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has warned budding music stars to abandon any dreams of signing with a major label, claiming the mainstream recording industry is dying." Yorke granted a rare interview to the authors of the textbook The Rax Active Citizenship Toolkit. In the interview, Yorke suggests it will be “only a matter of time — months rather than years — before the music business establishment completely folds." Yorke also offered advice to students considering a future in music, advising them not to sign with a major label and instead to venture out on their own. "I guess I would say, don't tie yourself to the sinking ship because, believe me, it's sinking." He added, "When the corporate industry dies it will be no great loss to the world."

Also in June, guitarist Ed O'Brien announced during his guest DJ spot on BBC 6 Music this weekend that Radiohead are currently back in the studio putting the finishing touches on the "best album we've ever made." He added that the new disc will hopefully be released by the end of the year. "It's genuinely exciting, it's very different from what we did last time. It's so good to be making music with a band that you feel is as good as it's ever been."

In an interview with The A.V. Club earlier this month, Radiohead's longtime drummer, Phil Selway, spoke about Radiohead's 2007 In Rainbows release and is reported as saying that they haven't yet finished their new album. "I spoke with those guys about how that approach captured imaginations, but at that time, it just felt like the most exciting, appropriate way of getting the music heard. Whether we’ll do that again, I won’t know until we’re finished with the record, Once we’ve finished with the record, which we’ve not yet, then we’ll get a better idea of what’s appropriate for the record."

Yorke has played new tracks over the last year while touring solo or with Atoms for Peace. However, Yorke hasn't confirmed whether the songs are planned for the follow-up to his solo album The Eraser or Radiohead's next LP. Radiohead released the track "These Are My Twisted Words" as a free download to fans on their official website in August last year. At the time, lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood wrote, "There's other stuff in various states of completion, but this is one we've been practising, and which we'll probably play at this summer's concerts. Hope you like it."

In the conclusion to his article, Colin Greenwood had the following to say about their forthcoming release, "We have yet to decide how to release our next record, but I hope these partial impressions will help give some idea of the conversations we’ve been having. Traditional marketplaces and media are feeling stale – supermarkets account for around 70 per cent of CDs sold in the UK, the charts are dominated by TV talent-show acts – and we are trying to find ways to put out our music that feel as good as the music itself. The ability to have a say in its release, through the new technologies, is the most empowering thing of all."

Footnote: According to Rolling Stone magazine, Radiohead's publishers have previously revealed that the band made more money from the pre-release of In Rainbows (including the combined sales of the "pay what you want" and boxed set options) than they made on their last major label album Hail to the Thief — in total. Despite essentially giving away their album for free two months prior to its physical release, In Rainbows still debuted at Number One on the Billboard charts on January 1st, 2008. (Radiohead admitted that most people opted to pay nothing to download the album.)

Last Updated on Friday, 24 September 2010 10:12
 
(UK)

Newsflash Archive

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Montreal rock band Arcade Fire illuminated the top spot on the U.S. pop chart for the first time in its career on Wednesday.

The group sold 156,000 copies of "The Suburbs," its third release, during the week ended August 8, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Its previous album, 2007's "Neon Bible," debuted at No. 2 with 92,000 copies.

"The Suburbs" reaped the benefits of a week-long sale in Amazon's MP3 store, where it was priced at $3.99. Apple's iTunes Store offered the set for a standard $9.99. While SoundScan's data do not reveal how many were sold only through Amazon's MP3 store, downloads from all retailers made up 62% of the album's first week (97,000 downloads out of 156,000 total sales). Comparably, "Neon Bible" saw 30% of its first week come from digital sales (27,000 of its 92,000 opening frame).

Last week's No. 1, Avenged Sevenfold's "Nightmare," slid to No. 3 with 45,000. Eminem's "Recovery" held at No. 2 with 152,000.

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