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Radiohead’s In Rainbows — Debacle or Brilliant, Forward-Thinking Scheme?

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I don't know what to make of this. On the one hand, I applaud Radiohead for striking out on their own, doing things their own way – the state of the music industry pretty much assures successful bands that they'll have even more success on their own, without the greedy fingers of industry reaching into their pockets at every turn. However, I'm not sure how I feel about how they've chosen to go about releasing their latest album In Rainbows. You see, they're doing something unique, from what I can tell. The album will be available to download October 9. You just pull up the band's In Rainbows site, and choose one of two options.

The first option is simple – a download, and that's all. There's a twist, and this is an interesting one: you can choose to pay whatever you feel like paying. That's right – if having the new Radiohead feels like it's worth $10 to you, go for it (in whatever that equates to in British pounds, that is). If it's worth 50 cents, go for it. If it's not worth anything, you're still good. All you have to pay is a small credit card fee (something like less than a dollar, from what I read). And then you download your DRM-free mp3s. That's right – not only do you choose what to pay, you also get music that you can choose to do with as you please, no hobbling from some ridiculous rights-management scheme that tells you where you can play it and what you can do with the files.

The other option, however, is where things get complicated. The band will be pressing up CDs of the new album, and they'll be included with two vinyl slabs of the music as well as an additional disc of music from the sessions for the album, all packaged in a special box with artwork and the like. AND you still get a download next week. That's right – not only do you get analog and digital formats on actual media, you get those files just like the "choose whatever price" buyers do. The catch? This option costs over $80 (40 British pounds.) Ouch. "Hail to the Thief" indeed.

What remains to be seen is if the band will find a route through which to later offer the album – and maybe that bonus disc of material as well. Oh, and it also remains to be seen if this venture is a complete financial disaster for the band. Who but the most die-hard collectors will be buying that box? Who but the most honest of listeners will pay more than a few dollars for the download, knowing there may be something in the form of a hardcopy at a later date? We have all been burned by "deluxe editions" only months after the original version came out, after all . . .

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About Tom Johnson

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    I honestly don’t know what to make of this.

    I heard quite a few of the songs — at least in their early form — when I saw Radiohead in Berkeley last year. And they are quite good. I’m not sure if they are “$80. good” (remember I’m the guy who bitched about Neil Young’s ticket prices in an article here). But I know I’ll be taking advantage of the downloads, cause I love Radiohead.

    I don’t know though, call me old-fashioned but I just like to have something tangible that I can hold in my hands. I also liked what I saw of the artwork. I just know if I’m ready to shell out eighty bucks for it.

    This whole thing really brings up the larger questions of how music is being marketed today. Change is clearly in the air, and something has to give here. I just don’t like the extremes being offered — give it away on one end, restrict it to millionaires on the other ya know?

    I really think that the whole digital revolution is a double edged sword. What I know I don’t like is the way music is being depersonalized and the way things have become more song driven than album driven.

    What motivation is there for the next Brian Wilson to make the next Pet Sounds ya know?

    Like I said, color me old-fashioned I guess.

    -Glen

  • http://sterfish.blogspot.com Sterfish

    I think this is a brilliant idea for Radiohead. They’re essentially monetizing an album leak. Hail To The Thief was widely available on the net before it came out but still managed to debut at #1 in the U.S.

    Many Radiohead fans (including me) will probably download the files and pick up the eventual standard CD release. Those of us who want to support the band can do so directly by paying for the download, even though we don’t have to. The discbox that’s available is pretty much an extreme version of the limited editions that Radiohead has always released.

  • http://www.thepeopletheydontknowus.blogspot.com Chicken

    Im still a bit aghast that people actualy think that $80/£40 is too much for this discbox.

    I think they are near throwing it away for that price, you get plenty from it, each format and extras, so whats up? :)

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    You forgot the 3rd option: Download it for free.

    Seriously, though I’m not a fan, I think this was a decent concept as the people who really dig their stuff will shell out the cash and the people who just want a glimpse will take the Mp3s.

    I think,essentially,the question(or focus)should be:
    What streaming quality are the Mp3s that are available for d/l? If they are a mere 128kbps then I would suggest waiting for the CD release.

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    I wish I had enough money to see an $80 price tag as “throwing it away.”

  • Jason H

    so far, the box set is actually the most popular, the website have been having troubles cause the number of people preordering it are much higher than anticipated. I think that’s saying something.
    and I think its rediculous to say that 80 bucks for that big of a package is “Hail To The Thief”, because you know as well as i do that the record industry would sell such a set for a much higher price.

  • Bernie

    This is just brilliant from every perspective. According the multiple articles and research, the average artist makes approximately only .80 – $1.13 per album sold (after record label take, record costs, and retail costs). Radiohead is about to make pure profits from selling their album via mp3s alone (I’m not going to even think about their disk set). Even when they release their CDs in 2008, they already have enough pocket money from the mp3 donations to not even care. All they got to to is average $10 for every 10 albums download and they make the average profit of a normal CD; plus I’m sure their huge rabid fans will pay more than average. Freakin’ brilliant brits.

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    I think the website has just been having problems handling the load, period, Jason – not that it’s purely the Disc Box purchases that are causing the problems.

    And, Bernie, it’s brilliant for them, but I really wonder if it’s brilliant for us fans. If this works, can we expect to see more things like this? More ridiculously expensive packages and dirt-cheap/free downloads for just the audio? I don’t particularly like the idea of that. I’d really rather the band offer downloads with a purchase commitment for a yet-to-be pressed CD. That way the band doesn’t waste money pressing up more copies than they can sell and they continue to offer up the complete package that they seem to want to offer (otherwise, why bother with this Disc Box at all?)

  • Constantin

    You also forget that is the dollar going down that makes the box package so expensive. Another thing, overseas cd-s cost more than in US, I remember I bought a Shankar cd for 140 francs($24 at the time)and that was from Hyper Media which is like Best buy in US.

  • http://workman.blogspot.com Workman

    I agree with those who think this whole setup is brilliant.

    The people buying the $80 deluxe sets are pretty much subsidizing the kids who pay almost nothing for it.

    What I’m curious about is bandwidth. If they’re surprised by the traffic now, imagine what it’s going to be like on October 10th. If the server crashes, it won’t seem like such a brilliant move after all.

    Either way, we’ll know in a week.

    As for the songs, I heard some of the new stuff in Los Angeles last year, and I thought it was excellent. In Rainbows has the potential to be a great album.

  • Dave

    I think it’s amazing. Radiohead will make more money on the digital side (without even taking the $80 version into consideration) than if they had released it through EMI as a regular release (as they did with Hail to the Thief). Record companies, for the most part, have become bloated fat cats that sit around and do little and collect a lot. I’d rather the artist make 100% (or as close as possible) of whatever than a label take 15%, the distributor take 25% and the artist wind up with about 10% after all of the deductions etc. Do the math. I applaud the revolution.

  • John

    What I still am fuzzy on is why anyone would pay anything for a lossy format like mp3. I don’t understand I-tunes, napster, etc., and this is just another extension – albeit one that at least gives the money to the artist. Until technology is advanced enough to download 44.1Hz, 16-bit .wav files at a minimum, this is not an acceptable option for those of us that like to listen to music somewhere besides our I-pods.

  • Junior

    I love the digitalization of music. I have a subscription through rhapsody and pay $15 a month (way less than what I normally would spendn on CD’s) to download whatever I want and put it on my player. Yeah I like looking at album art but CD’s are going the way of the Tape cassette. Look at tower records. I think its a survival move for Radiohead. They wanna make money but probly dont want to constantly tour.

  • seymour

    The old model of the music business is a corpse. Sharing digital media is so unstoppable its naive to continue basing your model of profitability on songs themselves. Bands and record labels have to get creative like this to test out the best means to have that balance; providing a quality product and making a profit. Its inevitable that the truly tangible aspects of music are going to be the most profitable in the future; performance and physical media such as art, books, clothing and the like. Whatever judgement you tack onto it is irrelevent. Its simply a reality for now and will only continue to evolve in dramatic ways in the future.

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    By your logic, isn’t it naive for Radiohead to think anyone would pay anything for the album? The truth is that people want to buy music, and the reaction to this shows it (as well as Itunes.) I also believe that we’re going to see the market divide where some people only want files and don’t feel any particular tie to the music in a physical way like they do books, and the others do regard music like books – something to be collected and stored in a way that can be viewed and referenced. It’s just a reflection of what music means to people.

  • seymour

    Actually, I think its quite brilliant for them to do this. Yes, people are willing to pay, and will continue to. But, music is a business plain and simple and the woes of the industry are directly the result of file sharing. The economics of the business have divided like you say, but its gone to wide extremes; people who who want it all free and people who fork out $2,500.00 a ticket for a live show. I think Radiohead’s approach is great because it directly taps into the heart of you point; let people fork over what value they feel they get from the music. If this all helps sustain artists in a profitabel way….its all good !

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “the way things have become more song driven than album driven.”

    That’s the way music was before the albums of the late ’60s, so I don’t see that as an issue. Plus, if there had ever been a point where music was truly album driven, why would best-of albums be so successful? I am sure The Eagles are fine with the way it’s gone. If an artist wants to make a long piece of work, there’s nothing stopping him/her.

  • http://whatanidiot.com Jeff Slider

    “‘Hail to the thief’ indeed?”

    Are you serious? Or were you just trying to get a rise out of people to boost your traffic?

    This band has just changed the landscape of the music industry. How can you possibly knock someone who defies the greedy record labels with such a bold, kick-ass move like this? If they were really all about the money, you think they would be offering the download for free?

    I give up. Deducing your logic is like pulling shit from a pig’s ass

    I can’t believe I even landed on this page…

    go back to Devry and have them re-name your site to ‘BestBuy.com’

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    “‘Hail to the thief’ indeed?”

    Are you serious? Or were you just trying to get a rise out of people to boost your traffic?

    so you don’t see $80 for the discs and packaging as being a little steep?

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    El Bicho: I think that’s the real future of music. Some artists (certainly the pop music ones) will put out singles or maybe EPs, others will focus on albums as statements. I think there’s going to be a strong, viable market – albeit a smaller market – not only for the album but for the album as a physical product for a long, long time.

    Jeff Sidler: Absolutely serious. I’m not knocking Radiohead for doing it on their own – if you read my whole piece you’d know that already. Radiohead could have chosen a number of ways to approach self-releasing this music, as many, many other bands have, but chose to go this route which is the most inconvenient for fans in order to make a point. They could easily have offered the downloads for “any price you want,” then offered a single CD of the album at a higher, set price, plus an even higher price for the full two-disc set of music, and finally the very expensive disc box. It would not have cost them significantly more – they could still have opted to go with minimal artwork for the single disc and more elaborate artwork for the two disc, saving the best for the box. This is what many other truly independent artists would and have done. But they chose not to, and to what end? Who does this serve? Them – it gets their name in the news more than a sensible, fan-friendly approach. I love Radiohead, but this aspect of them – always trying to be controversial and provocative (and this is outside of their music) – has gotten very tiring.

  • Frankie G

    If you want somthing you can hold in your hand then burn a CD. This is the future of music and that is kinda sad in a way. I too love the album art but most people don’t care about it. Everyone is getting pissed about the extra CD… you can d/l the extra tracks on limewire if you want them that badly

  • Frankie G

    Just found out that there is a hard copy that is going to be in stores in 2008

  • Arie

    {Who but the most die-hard collectors will be buying that box? Who but the most honest of listeners will pay more than a few dollars for the download…}

    *Chuckles*

    Oh honey pie, you don’t really know much about this band or their barking mad fan base, do you? ;)

  • RyanWM

    Tom Johnson: “Who does this serve? Them – it gets their name in the news more than a sensible, fan-friendly approach.”

    As Arie pointed out, Radiohead fans are more than happy to go over the river and through the woods to get their hands on new material (see Worm Buffet). If it’s too much for the Johnny Come Lately’s then piss off! And of course they want their name in the news. What better way to distribute fear to the record industry than to make such ado over it? If you have to ask, then just give up trying to understand it…..

  • Mark

    This is my question. Do we really have the option of either buying the album for whatever we want or spending $80 for the special edition, or is it REALLY that we have the option of either paying for HALF an album, or paying $80 for the WHOLE album, as a means of having this expensive vinyl crap forced on us?
    What other Radiohead cd has had only 10 songs? I’m pretty mad that Bangers and Mash isn’t on the album but Nude is..

  • http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pageartist.cfm?bandID=463156 JC Mosquito

    I think this will be the test case – if they turn a few dollars, you’l see others do this. If it’s a washout….

    Does anyone remember when Frank ZAppa played I think it ws Joe’s Garage in it’s entirety on an LA radio station and told people to record it as a protest against his record company – did it hurt his sales? Is this the same idea?

  • http://www.murphy60.fsnet.co.uk/ Patrick K Murphy

    I read that the album was to be “only digital download”, which it clearly isn’t. However It should be at a decent bit rate 192kbs at least. Too much “CD quality crystal clear” digital output is at pathetically low bit rates! The website should say what the rate actually is!

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    Hate to be the bearer of bad news, Patrick, and others, but I just got an email from WASTE and the files are going to be 160kbps mp3s. Very, very disappointed.

  • Robert

    A guy named derek webb did this with one of his records, offered it for free online. He is a guy who sold only around 20,000 records each album but when he offered it for free 80,000 people downloaded the album. People want free music and so he gave them what he wanted in order for others who never heard of him try his music and see if they liked it. It worked to, people bought his album and he even saw his past discs spike in sales as well. Cant wait to see what will happen if a bigger band such as this trys this technique and see what the payoff is.

    This is the most excited i have been about what music is doing now a days than i have been for a long time.

  • Josiah Weinhold

    By releasing their newest album online, Radiohead is acknowledging a simple fact that the record industry has been painfully aware of: most people do not buy music anymore. In eschewing the traditional CD release, they are making a statement that echoes the reality the industry is too stubborn to face. CD sales have declined dramatically over the past 15 years, a fact that is not only due to the file sharing boom, but also the decline in the quality of what is being released. When 50 Cent and Kanye West have to perform a silly charade of ingenious threats and feuding just to sell more records, the listener is aware that the music industry is starving for more gimmicks, not talent, to sell records. While the record execs gnash their collective teeth over lost yachts and Parisian summer homes, another recently declining entertainment industry, film, has seen a resurgence in attendance this year. This demonstrates that there is something you can do to bring customers back. Just simply be Radiohead.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Josh, you said it!! The RIAA is so concerned with gathering what’s rightfully theirs instead of finding a way to harness the technology in front of them. The labels should support more artists that they don’t feel are an instant success formula by providing them with a similar business template.

  • bones

    A free album? What a bunch of jerks!

    I’m kidding, obviously.

    WE SALUTE YOU RADIOHEAD. THANK YOU FOR BEING AWESOME ANARCHISTS WITH A LOT OF TALENT.

  • Matthew

    Lets remember that its only 40 euros,(pounds and pence or whatever) where they are from. Its not radioheads fault the American dollar is crap

  • Tim

    I’ve paid my 40 British Punds for my box set and can’t wait… £40 is pretty reasonable considering what you get, vinyl, cd’s, download, a booklet/art – what ever it is i’m actually getting i can;t wait!!! listenign to the album now after – im on the second listen and it gets better and better

    I also heard/read that they will release the album as a standard album in January next year…

    Enjoy it… I am!

    Tim (London, England)

  • DK

    I was expecting this to be a big disappointment, but actually it’s a pretty nice surprise. It isn’t going to change my life, but it’s one of the best albums I’ve heard this year.

    I think the people complaining about the bitrate should actually give it a listen before judging it. They’re using a decent MP3 encoder, it’s not like a lot of the MP3s online that are encoded with an old version of mediocre software. It’s surprising how decent 160Kb files can sound when they’re done well. It would have been nice if they’d used VBR, for higher quality at the same file size, but I think they’re fine as they are.

    Well worth giving them a few $ even if you aren’t normally someone who buys music. What they’ve done here is a very interesting experiment, I hope it works out for them. I hope other bands follow their lead and cut out the music industry middleman.

  • http://PussyMan The Atheist

    You’re lame bro. How dare you call them thieves. No one wants our money anymore, America is going to shit so deal with it. Maybe if you stopped you’re crack habit you can afford it.

  • Tamjam13

    So this is what Radiohead meant by OK COMPUTER, They actually are putting those words into action. It’s the computer age and it can either kill us or we can use it to better us and fight the evild around us like record companies. They take an artform like music, water it down, and feed it to the masses. Instead they should let the people decide what they want to listen to and how much they are willing to contribuite in order to kepp the artist alive. If people don’t like the artist then they will starv and die off. It’s survival of the fitest, only the best material can survive now.

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    I’ll ask once again, both here and in the other piece I wrote: if you had known there was going to be a CD release, would any of you have paid anything for this? If so, would you have paid as much as you did this time?

  • mjike

    okay, look, i dont claim to know what radiohead is up to with this latest stunt. if indeed it is a stunt. maybe its just an experiment. i wonder if they are trying to find out if making the record available for (basically free) download will hinder their record sale next year. i did download the album (for free), but i will be purchasing the release next year as well. while i cant really afford to buy the currently available deluxe set, i still enjoy holding an actual physical album in my hands. and i dont mean some burned copy. i guess the record collection is that important to me. say what you will, but good music is important enough to me to pay for it. oh, and as a side note, i also do not think the $80 is too much to pay for the current package deal. i mean, considering the materials included.

  • Ivo Wallclimber

    Brilliant. The album, the music, the distribution. Simple, simply brilliant.

    :)

  • Wavejammer

    I think Radiohead thinks were a bunch of dummies! The downloadable version of 160Kbps, a mediocre at best bit rate isn’t even worth my time to listen to no matter how good it is. The only way I’d even think about paying any of my coin for it would be if it were offered in FLAC.

  • http://www.radioheadinrainbows.com/ Greg Kulbert

    Now you may watch most of the tracks of Radiohead album ‘In Rainbows’ at the site Radiohead In Rainbows. These will load from the site itself.

  • Matt

    Surprisingly enough, the album itself is even more brilliant than the manner of its release. All of the naysayers predicting disaster have been proven wrong. In excess of a million downloads were “sold” and the discbox orders exceeded their expectations (they had to hire more people, as these were made to order). I think too many people underestimated how many hardcore Radiohead fans there are, and our willingness to pay a price that we do not see as unfair. With the music world so full of overmarketed, hyper-packaged, unoriginal re-hashed turds lauded as wonderful art, its refreshing to see a truly talented and unique group of musicians with a progressive release aimed at revolutionizing the entire industry to the benefit of the artist and the listener greeted with such a massive response.

  • Matt

    Surprisingly enough, the album itself is even more brilliant than the manner of its release. All of the naysayers predicting disaster have been proven wrong. In excess of a million downloads were “sold” and the discbox orders exceeded their expectations (they had to hire more people, as these were made to order). I think too many people underestimated how many hardcore Radiohead fans there are, and our willingness to pay a price that we do not see as unfair. With the music world so full of overmarketed, hyper-packaged, unoriginal re-hashed turds lauded as wonderful art, its refreshing to see a truly talented and unique group of musicians with a progressive release aimed at revolutionizing the entire industry to the benefit of the artist and the listener greeted with such a massive response.

  • Jackie

    Maybe I’m hard of hearing, but I really can’t tell the difference in sound quality that other people were concerned with. The songs sound CD quality to me. So, Wavejammer, you’re missing out on a fantastic album.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Well, I think the concern wasn’t the style in which the album was delivered but the quality of said album.Unfortunately, if you can’t hear the difference in the compression scale,meaning less than 96kbps to a max of 320kbps, then I would question how much of the actual “music” you can hear. Also, I don’t believe I read anything on here about how “disasterous” the decision was going to be but how they should’ve disclosed the streaming quality,again, of said product.

    I personally feel that an artist by name of NiggyTardust has approached this type of marketing in the manner as which the people here thought Radiohead should have.

  • saat

    i dont go for the download….i’ll buy the cd no matter what they ask me to pay for it :)

  • Wavejammer

    That’s OK Jackie, I have over 4000 fantastic CD’s to hold me over till “In Rainbows” is released next year in it’s truer format the Compact Disc.

    Btw, I’ve owned reference-quality stereo systems (latest is an Adcom preamp/poweramp set-up with an M&K speaker system) for the past 30+ years and Yes I can tell the difference!

  • http://www.mama-roux.com Tim

    I think this is their best album so far (although i love everything they’ve ever done)

    anyone else agree that it;s amazing? so many layers and backing vocals – i hear something different everytime i listen to it..

    can’t wait for the second half of the album

    T

  • Ian

    It’s only 80 dollars because the value of the dollar is at such a tremendous low in contrast with the strengthening of the pound. Just because the value of the dollar has dropped doesn’t mean the band is going to lower the price in pounds. If the dollar was worth twice as much as the pound, Americans would be thinking “Holy fuck, the greatest band that has ever graced this Earth is selling this masterpiece bonus (Vinyl and the whole bit) for a mere 20 dollars.” Would they raise the price then for the Brits just so the Americans now have to pay a closer to actual value amount? The Brits might protest that. Now having the album, the only qualm I have is that the audio quality is 160 kbps. Maybe that’s where they want to goad people into buying the new album. Maybe they thought “Hey, We’ll entice people that haven’t listened before into hearing this, thereby increasing our fan base (how could they not with this album?), and we’ll only disseminate a 160 kbps album. We’ll likely end up with even more people buying the album.” Even if their marketing strategy is designed to bring in more money, they are at least not “thieving” us.
    In any case, it’s a wonderful album.

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    You seem to be under the impression that the British pound was worth less than the US dollar at some point. It wasn’t (aside from a couple of brief blips in the past that have no bearing on today’s prices). It has always been somewhere around 2 times as much as the US dollar.

  • Alex

    I don’t understand those of you complayning about what they have done, seriously! You dont think a FREE MP3 RADIOHEAD ALBUM even if it’s at 160kbps, is not something we should thank them for? Not to mention what their approach will do to the future of the music industry? If you want to pay for a CD may be you should just go BUY the new Brittney Spears album or Paris Hiltons’. That should be enough to please your minds. Oh yeah, and if you value what they do, $80 for the pkg is not a bad deal AT ALL. What? you dont need the artbook and the VYNILS? How about you just wait for the CD then and stop bitching!

  • Alex

    Oh yeah and Mr. Tom, I don’t think you realize the commitment and dedication of most Radiohead fans. Here’s a story for you… my brother who is paying his way through college with a part time job, never has money and rarely eats well, decided to pay his $2 dollars (which was all he had on the 10th) to get the album and contribute somehow instead of eating a decent hamburger or not paying at all! I applaud him and those like him. ps- I just ordered the $80 pkg, and he is waiting for the CD release to buy that also…
    I guess we just value what they do. Radiohed! CHEERS MATES!

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    Hmmm, that’s funny. That contradicts what I’ve been seeing. It turns out that only 2 out of 5 “fans” chose to actually pay for the album after all, and the band averaged about $2.26 for each download due to that. I guess maybe I do realize the “commitment and dedication” of Radiohead “fans” afterall, huh? Of course, the band denies this but won’t actually tell anyone how they did, which means it likely is worse than that.

    Let’s not forget that there are server fees and such to pay for hosting all these downloads – not a small amount of money we’re talking about, either.

    And I still fail to see how the $80 box is “not a bad deal.” It’s far too much for what you get – two pieces of vinyl and two CDs in a box. The music on the CDs will be available soon, so it’s not like there’s something exclusive here (remember, there was nothing said about CD 2 being exclusive to the box and therefore that material will be out somewhere, somehow.) But if $80 spent on that is a good deal to you, more power to you. I’d rather buy 7-8 other $10-12 CDs, but whatever.

  • http://www.lookoutforhope.com Tom Johnson

    Why were my links stripped out of my previous comment? They were rather important to the point of what I was saying.

  • http://www.buyingone.com Christopher Rose

    Tom, your links weren’t stripped out, you missed the “more than” arrowheads at the end of each url. Fixed now.

  • http://www.asifproductions.com As If

    Artist owns the art, artist does what he wants, and you do what you want. What could possibly be wrong with that?

    I appreciate the fact that people like free music, and it’s cool that Radiohead made that option available – since most major bands offer a couple songs for free and sell the rest through iTunes, the download-only option seems like roughly the same thing to me (i.e., it covers both those bases). But I happen to enjoy giving money (and business) to people whose efforts I support, and I try to avoid giving money (or business) to people I distrust. I bought the set happily, and it’s coming any day now.

    I have no problem helping to support the boys. They deserve it for everything they’ve given me – which is worth a LOT more than the cost of all the Radiohead CDs I’ve bought (all of their full-length US releases). I wish they were here so I could buy them all a round of drinks as well.

  • Josh

    I paid about 3 bucks american for the download, and just recently bought the store released version. Personally I find the downloaded version to sound quite good. I’ll admit that I might not be listening to it on an expensive audio system, but if I spent that much money on a stereo, I would opt to buy the 80$ pack.
    And the reason I would buy the deluxe version is to have a piece of history (maybe a little hyperbole, but who doesn’t want an album made especially for them?) If I had enough money, believe me, i’d buy it as soon as possible.
    on another note, I have rebought some albums I had on CD, this time opting for vinyl.
    We must also remember that the “two pieces of vinyl” have the amazing In Rainbows on them.
    And finally: Radiohead have said several times that the downloadable version was to preempt the bootleggers. That’s what it was, a band sanctioned (and probably better quality) bootleg. I love Radiohead, and hope they continue to make great music, no matter what format it happens to be on.

  • http://www.geocities.com/thomyorke.radiohead/ THOM YORKE FANS

    When you were here before,
    couldn’t look you in the eye.
    You’re just like an angel,
    your skin makes me cry.
    You float like a feather,
    in a beautiful world
    I wish I was special,
    you’re so fucking special.
    it’s all about THOM YORKE expressive face

  • julian

    downloaded it 4 free. got the discbox 4 xmas. 4 those who didn’t get the second disc, it’s just as good as the first. and i consider it their best work 2 date. and i’ve been there since “Pablo Honey”.