Glad to Be a Cynic

Not that I’m one to say ‘I told you so’, but, ‘I told you so’.

Radiohead’s management has just confirmed to the Music Week that the Radiohead giveaway is simply a tactic to sell CDs. Bryce Edge of Courtyard Management said

“If we didn’t believe that when people hear the music they will want to buy the CD, then we wouldn’t do what we are doing.”

A full release for the CD is planned with EMI and three other majors at the negotiating table. Like I’ve said again and again, the music industry needs record labels.

As for the album…well it’s pretty much what I feared it would be…self important and bland…one of the tracks even rips off the chord structure note for note from an underground techno track. Of course I’m paid to be a music industry analyst not a music critic so feel free to ignore these comments.

But, taking a more impartial view, the album is probably best termed as “un-commercial” which raises questions about the tactics and the ability to generate mainstream sales from all the free publicity. It will be really interesting to see, beyond the box set sales, just how many people buy the album. Much as many core Radiohead fans are still likely to be CD buyers, I’d wager a large portion are downloaders too. So maybe they’ve gambled a little to far?