Radiohead releases new album ahead of schedule
PARIS, Feb 19 — British rock group Radiohead pulled yet another trick yesterday by releasing their widely anticipated eighth album “The King of Limbs” online one day ahead of schedule.
Internet users discovered a first track, “Lotus Flower”, on the band’s site early Friday which also showed a black-and-white video of lead singer Thom Yorke, coiffed with a bowler hat, dancing and miming alone.
Only seconds later fans were surprised and delighted at being able to download the whole album’s audio file without having to wait.
“It’s Friday...it’s almost the weekend...it’s the full moon,” wrote guitarist Ed O’Brien on the site as the single explanation for the album’s advanced release.
Several hours earlier, numerous fans had gathered in Tokyo following a brief message in Japanese on Twitter, indicating the time and location of the meeting place.
But the event was cancelled at the last minute by Radiohead for security reasons due to the rapidity with which the news swept through the net.
The five-piece band formed in Oxford, central England, in the 1980s and reached global stardom with hit albums “The Bends”, “OK Computer” and “Kid A”, featuring gloomy, atmospheric sounds and Yorke’s high-pitched voice.
But since parting ways with EMI’s Parlophone label in 2007, the quintet has upset the protocols of an industry in crisis.
Radiohead caused a major stir when they told listeners they could pay whatever they wanted to download their album “In Rainbows”. At the time the website said “It’s up to you” in place of a price.
That was viewed by some as an attempt to tear down the clunky management behind a major label release including press reviews, magazine cover shoots and hefty marketing costs.
But earlier this week the group surprised fans and critics by saying it said it had abandoned that experiment, this time allowing “The King of Limbs” to be downloaded for £6 (RM30).
The album will also be available on vinyl and CD from May 9 via the XL independent record label, in a special “newspaper album” edition featuring more than 600 pieces of artwork.
“By offering two versions — the music-only download, and the ‘premium’ physical edition — they’re embracing the digital era while rewarding more committed fans,” musical reference magazine New Musical Express wrote yesterday.
“Releasing at such short notice is also a minor screw-you to the music press... Who needs critics when you can speak directly to your fans? But most of all it’s an object lesson in how to make the announcement of your eighth album into a genuine event.”
The name of the new album relates to a gnarled oak tree in Savernake Forest in southwest England, thought to be around 1,000 years old. The forest is near Tottenham House, a listed country house where Radiohead recorded “In Rainbows”. — afprelaxnews.com