Radiohead is selling its latest album, In Rainbows, online and DRM-free for anything punters want to pay -- and that includes zero dollars and zero cents.
Prove your fan status by buying the boxset
The band that many regard as currently the "world's best" has announced details about its latest album, In Rainbows. The 10-track album will be on-sale from 10 October (UK time) initially via download only; currently it is available for pre-order.
But that's not the big news though. Purchasers can nominate the price they're willing to pay for the band's seventh studio album -- and that includes nix, zip and zero. All downloaded tracks will also be DRM-free; this is in stark contrast to their previous album, Hail to the Thief, which when originally released in 2003 was copy controlled to the point where it could only be played back on a computer via proprietary software, and in appalling quality no less.
Those desiring something a little more tangible -- or who wish to prove their fanboy or fangirl status -- can also pre-order a box-set for 40 pounds (AU$92) via the band's Web site. This box-set, which contains: In Rainbows on CD, a second CD with extra tracks and supplementary material, two 12-inch vinyl records, as well as lyric books and associated artwork. The box-set won't ship, though, until 3 December at the latest.
This extraordinary move has come about because Radiohead have been off contract since the release of Hail to the Thief in 2003, as well as the band's well-known dissatisfaction with the music industry. Thom Yorke was quoted in Time as saying:
"I like the people at our record company, but the time is at hand when you have to ask why anyone needs one. And, yes, it probably would give us some perverse pleasure to say 'F___ you' to this decaying business model."
Those wanting a CD, but unwilling to part with AU$92, will have to wait until early next year, as Rolling Stone are reporting that there will be a "traditional CD release ... in early 2008".