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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    The Radiohead Revolution

    Immerse your soul in love because it’s finally here! After 4 long years of anticipation, Radiohead fans can finally have another taste of the glitch, guitar rock they have been aching for since the 2003 release of Hail to the Thief. Most hardcore Radiohead fans or just music fanatics in general may already know, that as of Oct. 10 Radiohead’s latest CD, In Rainbows, can be purchased online as a digital download through www.inrainbows.com. The cost? Whatever you desire. No really. It’s up to you. Radiohead, who has recently left their record label, is exploring their options as a free agent and we, the fans, are wreaking the benefits. On Oct. 1st, Radiohead finally put an end to tantalizing rumors by announcing that they would release their 7th LP, In Rainbows, featuring a collection of songs the band has already played during their 2006 tour. The CD is now available in three different forms. The first being a digital MP3 download where you have the choice to pay tribute to Radiohead however you like. You can choose to go the cheap route and download the CD for free, only this time you can rest your paranoid head because it’s legal. Or you can scrounge up a little dignity and pay as little as $5.00 to show your appreciation for the band’s work. The second form being offered is a discbox set which includes the In Rainbows album featuring 8 bonus tracks, two 12″ heavyweight vinyl records complete with lyric booklets, digital photos and artwork. Unfortunately, Radiohead hasn’t completely lost their mind. The discbox set, which will be mailed to all prepaid customers around Dec. 3rd, is priced at $80. Lastly, it is rumored that In Rainbows will hit music stores sometime in 2008. It’s not just the fans that Radiohead has in a frenzy over this crazy, yet ingenious, album release. People everywhere are buzzing over what this means for the future of the music industry. One of the main questions now lingering over record labels nationwide, seems to be that with one of the best rock bands out there practically giving away their music, who will ever go back to paying $20 for a CD? To add to the stress of declining sales in the music industry, other bands without record labels are following in Radiohead’s footsteps. Oasis, Jemiroquai, Charlatans UK and Nine Inch Nails have all announced that, as free agents, they too will be releasing their CDs as digital downloads using the donation payment method. An increase in digital downloads means that record labels are now faced with the challenge of having to compete with reputable bands like Radiohead and Oasis, who can afford to take a risk by potentially offering their CD to the public for free. If all else fails, bands like Radiohead, with a strong fan base will still be able to make money through merchandise sales and concert tickets. This poses a threat to record labels trying to sign and promote new artists because most people are not willing to pay for music by artists they don’t know, especially when they are given the choice to pay nothing at all. Leading us right back into the current problem with the music industry today. If music is available for free, why pay for it? Radiohead has not yet released the number of fans who have ordered the CD through digital download but with the heavy traffic of their website, I’m sure it’s safe to say their plan did not backfire. As for now, while analysts wait in agony to find out whether Radiohead’s move was genius or pure insanity, fans will just have to be content with the fact that “Nude” has finally been released.

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