Poor Arcade Fire! Less than eight hours after Merge Records' big little Canadian collective that could won Album of the Year at the Grammys, their triumph was completely overshadowed by news that Radiohead is releasing a new album online in just five days.
"The King of Limbs", like 2007's "In Rainbows" before it, will be available online several months before an elaborately packaged deluxe edition is released. But you can order both now at thekingoflimbs.com.
They've done away with the "pay what you want" model this time out but maintained the leak-thwarting strategy of releasing the album online, by surprise, so that everyone in the world hears it together for the first time.
Radiohead is also billing this as "The world's first Newspaper Album," whatever that means. Some details are below, per Pitchfork's report:
"Radiohead's new record, The King of Limbs, is presented here as the world's first* Newspaper Album, comprising:
* Two clear 10" vinyl records in a purpose-built record sleeve. * A compact disc. * Many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degradeable plastic to hold it all together. * The Newspaper Album comes with a digital download that is compatible with all good digital media players. * The Newspaper Album will be shipped on Monday 9th May 2011 you can, however, enjoy the download on Saturday 19th February 2011. * Shipping is included in the prices shown. * One lucky owner of the digital version of The King of Limbs, purchased from this website, will receive a signed 2 track 12" vinyl.
In the U.S., the mp3 version of the newspaper album is $48 and the WAV version is $53. In the UK, the two sets are £30 and £33; in Europe, €36 and €39; and in the rest of the world.
A digital-only presale version is also available:
"Radiohead's new record, The King of Limbs, is presented here with a choice of two digital formats:
* MP3 version is a 320K constant bit rate file. * WAV version is a full CD quality uncompressed digital audio file. * One lucky owner of the digital version of The King of Limbs, purchased from this website, will receive a signed 2 track 12" vinyl.
The King of Limbs can be pre-ordered now and downloaded on Saturday 19th February 2011."
In the U.S., this version is $9 for mp3s and $14 for a WAV version. In the UK, £6 and £9; in Europe, €7 and €11.
Order: Radiohead - "The King of Limbs"