Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Radiohead: In-Genius

Wow, I just got my Radiohead In Rainbows 'discbox' in the mail today, and let me tell you, it's like they sent a big box of musical porn. Sonic pornography - that's what this is. And it was worth every penny, every pound, every shilling.

(To recap: The radiodudes let people choose between a free 120kbps download of the music, or a great big horking 'discbox', which basically contains all your hopes, dreams and fantasies [sexual or otherwise] from the last three years.)

With the discbox choice, you receive:
- The free 120k download (duh)
- In Rainbows 2 X LP
- In Rainbows CD
- In Rainbows bonus CD
- AMAZING artwork featuring splashes of florescent paint and pantone colors/fonts
- A book of the complete lyrics, embedded within the cardboard packaging
- An awesome 12x12 sleeve to house all this crazy stuff in

I couldn't be happier with it. Take a look at some pics I swiped from another site!

Now, bear in mind, In Rainbows is still growing on me. But it actually is growing, and that's a good thing.

When I first heard it, it had the initial cool factor that any new Radiohead release has, no question. But it didn't instantly reach out and grab me, the way The Bends did once, or even the way Kid A did the first time I heard it. I think it is a good album, however, and one that I will like more as time goes by. Hell, I didn't even like OK Computer the first few times I heard that, and, at this point, I think it's safe to say they did all right with that record. OK, even.

With this idea of an album being "a grower" in mind, more and more, I'm beginning to think Radiohead are absolute geniuses (wow, nobody's ever said that before! let me finish...) in how they marketed this album. Let's review:

  • The initial link lets them make money (or not) on a leak, on their own terms.
  • The discbox option lets them make a lot of money, and provide a great piece of art to their fans
  • Best of all, fans get the digital download early, so they can listen and get acclimated to the album for a few months, and then, they get to listen to it on lovely, lovely vinyl, once they've gained an ear for its subtleties.

In effect, they've coordinated this whole scheme in such a way that they actually help you to enjoy the album more with the discbox.

Clever little buggers.

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