Radiohead Album Doesn't Cost A Dime (Unless You Want It To)

Band Lets Fans Decide How Much Their Cd Is Worth

Simon McCormack
2 min read
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What would you pay for a copy of the long-awaited follow up to Radiohead’s Hail to the Thief ? Whatever the answer, the new record can be yours for free and you don’t have to feel the least bit guilty about it.

Radiohead is making headlines around the world because of their decision to let fans pay whatever they want to for a downloaded copy of their new album,
In Rainbows .

Since Oct. 10, the 10-track LP has been available for download from the band’s website. With just a few mouse clicks, an audio file containing the new release was on its way to my computer’s hard drive for as much as I was willing to pay. Paying nothing is completely kosher as well.

The Oct. 1
Time Magazine article linked above looks at the possible ramifications of Radiohead’s decision to completely subvert the record industry. So what role will conglomerate record labels play in the music industry’s future? Possibly none at all.

Fans can also choose to pre-order a discbox with
In Rainbows on CD and vinyl, an enhanced CD with more new songs, digital photos, and artwork and lyrics booklets all in a hardback book and slipcase. The discbox isn’t free and it isn’t cheap (about $80 including shipping) but many fans are still ponying up cash for the “premium package.”

It’s also worth noting that
In Rainbows doesn’t seem like a particularly cheap record to make because of all the orchestral arrangements that pepper the release.

I’m not saying the band can’t afford to splurge on its seventh album after their previous six have made millions, but it’s a good sign the band didn’t compromise their sonic vision to cut corners.

In Rainbows follows the trend set by Hail to the Thief moving the band further from ambient-electro and closer to their previous releases, OK Computer and The Bends.

There’s nothing ground breaking on the album, at least upon first listen, but it’s more accessible and also a bit more experimental than Hail to the Thief and definitely worth getting, especially considering its flexible price tag.

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