This Just In: New Radiohead Next Week (Really!)

Boy, were the music blogs buzzing this morning, and with good reason. It seems Radiohead, the enigmatic Oxford dons whose every move is closely monitored and breathlessly reported across the Internet, has a new album due out soon. As in next week. Sort of.

Through their PR firm Nasty Little Man, Radiohead announced this morning that the ten-song In Rainbows, produced by honorary sixth member Nigel Godrich, will be available for download October 10 on Radiohead.com. In Rainbows is being issued in two formats: a 10-song MP3 bundle and special “DiscBox” edition, featuring CD and vinyl versions of the album, an enhanced CD with bonus songs, artwork and photographs, and the bundled MP3. Pre-orders for both formats are being taken right now on the band’s Web site, with the Discbox priced at £40 (about $81) and no-frills edition on a discretionary “pay-what-you-wish” basis, which according to Idolator, could be as little as $.02 due to the (extremely) weak dollar. Economics can be fun!

For Luddites who insist on going the brick-and-mortar route, Radiohead plans to release In Rainbows on “traditional CD” in early 2008. The band’s contract with Capitol expired after 2003’s Hail to the Thief, making them the highest-profile free agents the music industry has seen since Paul McCartney licensed this year’s Memory Almost Full to Starbucks’ Hear Music label.

The track listing is as follows: “15 Step,” “Bodysnatchers,” “Nude,” “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi,” “All I Need” (presumably not a cover of General Hospital/Melrose Place star Jack Wagner’s 1985 hit ballad), “Faust Arp,” “Reckoner,” “House of Cards,” “Jigsaw Falling Into Place,” and “Videotape.”

Radiohead played several tracks from In Rainbows on their U.S. tour last year, and the songs were said to be heavier on guitar and melody than the experimental electronics of Kid A, Amnesiac and (less so) Hail to the Thief. But, of course, with Thom Yorke’s crew you never really know. Guess we’ll find out next week.

The band last played Houston four years ago today at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on the Hail to the Thief tour. – Chris Gray

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