Radiohead: In Rainbows. In Stores. In the News.
Radiohead is all over the music blogs and newswires this week, as they celebrate the launch of their latest album, In Rainbows, in its traditional, physical CD format. To inaugurate the occasion and the arrival of the new year, the band webcast their studio performance of the entire album on Radiohead.tv and the Current TV channel, and released a terrific video for the song "Nude".
In an interview with BBC, Thom Yorke stated his love for the song "Videotape" and declared it "my favourite thing we’ve ever created." Yorke also responded to media reports that the band parted ways with their former label EMI after demanding a massive advance to record the album.
All of that Radiohead buzz in less than 48 hours since 2008 started. Not a bad way to kick off the new year: on the minds and in the ears of millions.
Radiohead's In Rainbows reached the "traditional" segment of its marketing plan yesterday, when plain-jane CD copies of the album hit big-box stores, record shops, and other places that happen to sell music...The band's last album, 2003's Hail To The Thief, sold 300,000 copies in its first week, and according to the New York Times, approximately 400,000 copies of In Rainbows are being shipped to stores in the US.
Yorke told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that 80% of people still buy physical releases and it was important for the band to have "an object". The album - released via the band's website for whatever price fans wanted to pay - was released in October. A physical version - on CD and vinyl - hit record stores on Monday.
Early sales figures showed it heading for number one in the album chart, although it was only narrowly outselling Take That's Beautiful World, industry weekly Music Week reported.
Yorke said the band would have been "mad" to ignore a physical release, which is being distributed by XL Recordings. "We didn't want it to be a big announcement about 'everything's over except the internet, the internet's the future', 'cause that's utter rubbish.
"And it's really important to have an artefact as well, as they call it, an object," the musician added.
But what prompted the band to release its album without the backing of their former major label EMI?
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has responded to a report that his band demanded an exorbitant advance from EMI for its next album as well as control of its back catalog, before ultimately deciding not to re-sign with the company.
The Times of London reported Friday that Radiohead rejected a £3 million advance for the new "In Rainbows," and refused to back down from its wish to acquire the copyrights to some of its master recordings.
An EMI spokesperson told the paper that such a move would have resulted in a £4 million loss for the company, which is now owned by Guy Hands' private equity firm Terra Firma. "Radiohead were demanding an extraordinary amount of money and we did not believe that our other artists should have to subsidize their gains," the spokesperson said.
But Yorke paints the situation in a different light, insisting, "We did not ask for a load of cash from ... EMI to re-sign. That is a lie."
"What we wanted was some control over our work and how it was used in the future by them. That seemed reasonable to us, and we cared about it a great deal," he continued. "Mr. Hands was not interested. So, neither were we."