King of Limbs

Cover of the new Radiohead album King of Limbs

King of Limbs album cover

Checked my Facebook account this morning and it dropped this bomb on me, a new album from Radiohead entitled King of Limbs, their first album since the release of In Rainbows in 2007.

I’m amazed that they’ve managed to keep the launch of this album, as well as In Rainbows, so secret, their records must be amongst the most highly anticipated record releases in the world.

Also read this interesting article on the Guardian:

Will Radiohead’s The King of Limbs save the music industry?

Radiohead’s The King of Limbs, which breaks with the honesty-box tactic of In Rainbows, may provide clues as to how the industry could find salvation in a time of flagging sales.

Can Radiohead rescue two ailing industries? Tomorrow night sees the Brit awards take place in London, and with admirable intent, the plan is to focus strictly on the music: the show is being moved from Earls Court to the O2, presenter James Corden is under instruction not to insult the talent and the evening will climax with the announcement of album of the year. But this is set against a 7% decline in sales last year, a growing realisation that digital revenue will always struggle to replace the once lucrative CD market, and a lineup intended to celebrate the best in British music, but which boasts the likes of Mumford & Sons. If that’s the best we can muster, the feeling is that the industry really is broken.

I can’t remember the last time I bought a CD, I buy mostly vinyl and some MP3’s or stream music on Spotify. I’m amazed how slow the music industry has been in embracing new technologies and strategies to exploit a rapidly changing market. It seems fairly obvious to me that the sales of music, physical or digital, are unlikely to generate the kinds of profits seen in the past unless artists can be a bit more creative and produce more alluring products at the high end like the ‘newspaper edition’ of The King of Limbs.

Radiohead are in a fairly unique position though, they could probably sell millions of albums in advance of the release date without anyone even having heard any of the music from it, there aren’t many recording artists that could do that, the Radiohead ‘brand’ is clearly very strong.

One thought on “King of Limbs

  1. Interesting when you mention the Radiohead brand. I think the way you are supposed to use digital media or social networking is to have a following and then if you have something to sell you have a chance. Its a more direct communication these days between the artists and the public or fans. I see artists who embrace this as the ones who can still do well. the record companies have become the real boogey man. Anyone who communicates through their record company seems really out of date these days.

    And I couldn’t help feeling pleased to see cheap CD’s in HMV the other day. Lets not forget that when CDs first came out the recording industry hiked up the price to cover their new technology costs but crucially never increased the royalty to the artist even when this new technology became very cheap. I think part of the stealing that goes on is a two fingers to an industry that has taken the mickey for too long.

    Also lets not forget that Radiohead have been talking directly to their fans through the internet for over 10 years through their website going way back to the blogs form the recording sessions for Kid A and Amnesiac so they have essentially had a head start and deserve the rewards they are reaping now that they are independent.

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