Oct 18, 2007
Rock n Roll is still rebellious
You can't imagine how sad I feel when I download music from internet.And when that music belongs to the Gods like Radiohead the guilt is just too much for me to handle.And so I am forced to buy their CDs from time to time even if I already have their high quality mp3s on my comp ( just to wash away some of my sins). Oh yeah, 192-320 kbps is good enough quality for me , even though I can make out a distinct difference between a mp3 and a CD sound.
Mind you , I don't use the term "God" very liberally.Apart from Radiohead , I have used it only for Pearl Jam and Pink Floyd.And in other fields,say sports, I have used it for Zidane and Ronaldinho and now I use it for Messi.I have used it for Federer too. While Federer's God-dom looks challenged by a 20 yr old dude from Serbia who can imitate Sharapova better than Sharapova( don't tell me you haven't seen his videos); Messi it seems, won't have any competition for some years.Obviously this conclusion is contingent upon some assumptions like :
1) Other lesser football players won't take out their frustration of their wives' infidelity on poor boy's shin.
2)Messi won't become fat due to drinking and over eating or would not be involved in other controversial stuff like rape charges ( like other famous dudes from Argentina). This ain't a very improbable assumption, considering that Messi is a mama's boy who sleeps at 9'o clock every night.But then it doesn't take much time for a mama's boy to grow up.
And my habit of deviating from the topic............
Coming back to Music , coming back to musical Gods. While Pink Floyd has stopped producing any new music and Pearl Jam's last two albums were mediocre to say the least , Radiohead just won't let go of its genius.And I thought after Hail to the Thief , enough is enough ( just how long can a band keep on producing amazing stuff. Even if all the other tracks were rotten, I would still rate Hail to the Thief 5/5 just for one "Where I end and you begin" . And surprise, surprise other tracks were also classics). But well its Radiohead, and their latest album "In Rainbows", might not be as brilliant as Kid A, Bends, Ok Computer or even Hail to the Thief , its still a Radiohead album. Any other band would die happily the day it produces an album like this.
But this post was not meant to be a review of In rainbows.
Whenever Radiohead is about to release any album, there is an unbelievabale amount of buzz in whole world.And well, when Radiohead decides to release an album which you can download( even for free) from their own website you can imagine how much crazy millions of people will go.
Their contract with EMI expired few years ago and boy did they pull off some stunt!Its as simple as it gets , you go to their site www.radiohead.com , where they say its upto you how much money you want to pay to download their album , and yes you can enter zero also. If you are a bit suspicious you can click at the "?" mark and then they'll say: "No Really. Its upto You."And obviously since its readily available on their site, its readily available on numerous other sites from which you can download ( if you don't even want to enter your credit card number).
No prize for guessing, who is pissing in their pants- the record labels.But rock bands have always had this burden to rebel against the authority, haven't they? Now you tell me who deserves the Nobel Peace Prize - Al Gore ( no disrespect to An Inconvenient Truth) or Radiohead for spreading peace and unity through their freely distributed music?
Not that Radiohead is very philanthropic or anything.They released their album on 10th October and more than 1.2 million people downloaded the album from their official website on the same day ( obviously they had pre-ordered the album).If this number is not mind-boggling enough, the average amount that their fans paid for their album was 4 pounds or $ 8.1 !! So that makes it an earnings of more than 9 million dollars on the first day itself! (and this time there is no fucking middleman.)
What the Fuck?
And this is not all, Radiohead will definitely sell a lot of their conventional CDs when they come out early next year.As Jonny Greenwood puts it very candidly - ".......people will listen to our new album and if they like they'll definitely buy the CDs where they'll get the better sound quality"
Maybe thats why they have kept the bitrate of mp3s to 160kbps.. (which infact has infuriated many of their fans....bloody people. what more do they want for free? Now even 160kbps is not good enough for you? what about iTunes?what about old Kazaa and Napster days where you could get only 128 kbps?).
So Radiohead might actually end up earning much more than what would they have done if they had released it conventionally, plus they have made millions of new fans. They have become the Robin Hood of music industry.Radiohead is not the first band to do something like this, but they definitely did it in style and obviously their already huge fanbase helped .
Many other bands will follow suit, but I am not sure how much money will a less famous band make out of this marketing scheme.
Whatever may happen in the future , most important thing is that I won't ever have to be shamefaced when I download music from the net . :)
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