In what I think is a pretty genius/ballsy move–not only for the way it circumvents “leak culture” for a band that’s essentially giving away its music for free, but for the way it guarantees even more publicity for an act that really doesn’t need it right now–Radiohead has announced (via its PR company, Nasty Little Man) that it won’t be sending out advances of In Rainbows prior to its Oct. 10 digital release date:
There will be no advances, promotional copies, digital streams, media sites, etc. of RADIOHEAD’s In Rainbows.
Everyone in the world will be getting the music at the same time: Oct. 10. That includes us. We don’t have anything to play anyone in the nine days until the record is available. Everyone at nasty has put his or her order in and just to clarify: you are not being asked to pay for a promo (as some have inquired). you can pay nothing or as much or as little as you want.
There will be no promotional copies of the discbox either, as each discbox is being made to order. Sorry.
I’m sure that a bunch of e-mails from frazzled editors/high-on-their-horse bloggers necessitated this response from Nasty, and I’m sure that this response is making some of them climb the walls right now. (Especially the part about no free discboxes. How many “packaging specialists” do you think asked for that as their advance? Talk about chintzy.) Yes, you can argue that bands that don’t have the press clout/name recognition that Radiohead do simply can’t afford to gamble like this and potentially piss off the people who they want to cover their stuff, but at the same time, you know that there’s going to be no way this thing leaks before the band wants it to, even if it is free.
Not to mention that the news that In Rainbows will be coming out as a plain ol’ CD next year kind of makes this whole run-up seem like a very, very well-executed advance marketing strategy, one that Kanye West will no doubt be paying homage to when he releases his next album.