Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Radiohead reject the 'album'

It's a sad day when a band like Radiohead ditch the album in favour of internet released singles.

A few days ago, and inspired by the death of World War One veteran (in the true sense of the word - he was 111) Harry Patch, Radiohead released a tribute single with all of the proceeds (£1) being donated to The Royal British Legion. A noble and honourable gesture. But a horrible song, more a barely audible poem set to a trite orchestral backdrop. You have to admire the band's generosity, but also their timing and PR potential.

Returning to the subject, Thom Yorke and the boys have decided not to release any more albums. After In Rainbows I'm not surprised. It is clear from the songs that it was a painful process for everyone involved and they don't want to go through it again, in spite of words to the contrary declaring that a clear direction (the fixed idea about where they were going) got them through it.

Knowing Radiohead this could just be more PR, or a hissy fit against the establishment and more anti-conventional music industry rhetoric. Whatever, one band won't destroy the album. It’s a shame for them to think there is no artistic merit in composing and constructing an album – as a solid body of cohesive work and not just a random collection of songs. But that’s what the band thinks we are happy for them to drip feed us in the future.

Point is…albums get you noticed, and good albums get you fans. That’s how it is, how is was, how it always will be. I’m a huge fan of the album, connecting songs and telling stories. Random singles released on the internet just doesn’t inspire me. Call it the future but I want no part in it…

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