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The new Radiohead: to CD or not to CD?

By now we all know about Radiohead's new album, In Rainbows, and its digital release next week (not to mention its deluxe discbox edition). But will the album also get a traditional, one disc CD release via a label? It appears that some people tend to think so. British retailer HMV has a listing on its website for pre-orders of In Rainbows, with EMI/Parlophone down as the album's distributor and December 3 as its release date. That came as news to the band. A spokesman for Radiohead denies the validity of the HMV listing, but doe concede to the fact that the band is "talking to labels at the moment." Interesting.
Following up on the Radiohead spokesman's statement, a fellow spokesman for HMV apologized for the site's misleading listing, attributing it to one rogue staff member.
So, should Radiohead even bother with a traditional CD release? Is the compact disc a viable format anymore? Such are the big questions that arise when the biggest band on earth makes a big, radical move.
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Radiohead

I'm starting to think that the CD format is only there for archival purposes. I think that digital music will be a more widely accepted method of purchasing music, and that collectors will stick to vinyl.

bradford

CD becomes more irrelevant as time goes on. I think they will end up siding with a major label, or at least one with some major label tie-ins, as that has the least amount of headache involved. While it is an exciting thought that the group could "go independent," I would imagine that there is a small portion of their success that's due to the marketing efforts of their label. So it would never seem fully "independent" for Radiohead to be "independent" to me.Vinyl + digital = goodbye CD, happy Chris.

Chris Gliddon

I love how Radiohead are doing this.... just as Sonic Youth are releasing material with fucking Starbucks. This shows how it should just be about the quality of the music and not about 'indie cred', clearly as there really is no such thing and it doesnt matter anyway. Besides, Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre has ALL of his band's material online for FREE for years...Nonetheless, this is awesome of a band the size of Radiohead to do this, truly awesome.

max

I think the only thing keeping me from taking the digital plunge are liner notes. Remember getting Roots albums and tearing open the package, putting the disc on, and reading ?uestlove's long-ass entries? Or reading the shout-outs section? Or seeing what producers did what tracks? So far as I know no one includes PDF's of liner notes, you get album art embedded with the tracks, but that's not nearly the same.

Eric Solomon

Radiohead is playing the game and they just might come out the winners. Know who else will? The damn credit card companies. While you can opt to download the album for free, you can't get away for the unfair interchange fee. It's not even the fee that pisses me off, it's that its 80 percent higher than it needs to be. I've been working with unfaircreditcardfees.com to lower the interchange fee for awhile. You can see how it impacts the price of things.

Triston

Is the CD release a viable format anymore? Oh, I don't know. Is a freaking "discbox" a viable format? I love what Radiohead is doing but when push comes to shove those dudes get me every time. Regular album, deluxe album. They are the only band I will go in for on that sucker type stuff. But your question, in this context at least, is retarded.p.s. F*ck vinyl. And Eric is right. I can't buy digital albums because I love liner notes. Especially for hip-hop albums and for bands like Radiohead who do great things in the traditional CD jewel case format. The CD isn't going anywhere, ya fools!

Josh H.

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