back to article Radiohead top UK album chart

Radiohead's In Rainbows has climbed straight to the top of the UK album chart in the week following its physical release on CD and vinyl, apparently proving frontman Thom Yorke right in his assertion that fans want a tangible "object". The album was released online last October on a "pay-what-you-like" basis (ie, generally …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    ... that Radiohead fans are in fact stupid.

  2. Andy Worth

    All it proves.... that people will buy any old shit, if it's pushed in front of their faces. It certainly says something when people can't even be bothered to download it when they could get it for free.

  3. Vulpes Vulpes

    Not wanting to be a party pooper, but...

    I thought that in this age of downloads and EmmPeeThrees, you only needed to sell 27 copies of the actual CD to get a Platinum disc and enrolment in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

  4. eddiewrenn


    Where can we get these, 'artifacts'?

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Can't wait for the RIAA take on this

    People could have the album for free(nearly), but still chose to pay money.

    IE if you produce product people are willling to pay for, they'll pay for it, and piracy isn't a problem. IF the product is valuable enough to enough people.

    But if the only product you have is a stream of formulaic cloned indistinguishable junk, you'll have a problem finding lots of people willing to pay for it. What a surprise.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought the point was...

    ...that people did download it. And then they bought a copy too. I like physical objects with pictures and lyrics and a bit of blurb. For convenience I want my music digital and unencumbered that doesn't mean I don't want the 'artefact'.

  7. David H

    Don't forget...

    Unless the music file has been encoded in a lossless format (still all too rare an occurrence), music played from a CD will have better sound quality than MP3/AAC/WMA files as long as your sound system is of half-decent quality.

  8. Cameron Colley

    RE: All it proves....

    "It certainly says something when people can't even be bothered to download it when they could get it for free."

    I wasn't aware that this could be downloaded as an ISO image for use in high-end CD players, or FLAC for people with decent soundcards.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    "The downloadable version of the album is no longer available."

    Oddly, having checked a couple of torrent sites, it appears that not only is a downloadable version available, but at a significantly better sampling rate.

    What seems to be no longer available is the option to pay money to Radiohead for downloading it...

  10. Ash

    Bought it...

    ... ripped it, stuck it on my iPod. Granted I could have done that for free, but then I would have to listen to it through some fairly crap speakers on my PC instead of a decent stereo system.

    Produce quality: Get paid.

    Produce shit: Get bent.

  11. Simon Painter

    @Andy and Anon Coward

    Alternatively you could look at this as proof that music piracy is not doing any harm whatsoever. When it was released online many people downloaded the album for free and many people who would not have bought the album got a taste of the music.

    I often download music from peer to peer services and if it's something I enjoy then I will happily buy the album or single later. I do the same with movies, I will watch them at the cinema or on a download and then buy the DVD later if it is something I enjoy, even if it is shown on TV and I could just record it from there. It seems from this evidence that I am not alone in the 'try it before you buy it' mentality.

  12. Stephen Stagg

    @David H

    Actually, this is rubbish. If someone who knows what they are doing made the MP3/AAC/WMA, and they were encoding from a studio/prepress recording, the quality of the download could well be higher than that of a CD.

    Of course, I haven't actually seen/heard any of the Radiohead downloads, so I don't know in this particular case, but this myth that CD is always better than MP3/AAC/WMA is just a myth.

  13. W


    I eagerly await the press release from the Wax Cylinder Industry Association...

  14. Chewie

    rockin in the free world!

    It proves that real artists who make real music, have a fan base of intelligent people who wish to support the bands they like by giving them their money. This unselfish theory (for those who cannot figure it out) of course works in that if they support the bands they love - the bands will be able to produce more music in the future. A fair enough deal i think.

    I can't imagine the same 'free download followed by a physical release', approach would work for a lot of _pop_ performers (y'know the ones - perhaps some of those performers who require a 12 week long prime-time TV programme in the run up to xmas to sell their wares).

    I think it is these same pop performers whose audience enjoy a more disposable 'product'.

    And are not bothered really about the people make the music, just the "choons" they can download and listen to on a loop for a month, then move on to their next 'must have'

    At least in the long run the internet and illegal music sharing scene will perhaps kill off such cheap manufactured shite, leaving those real musicians and artists who have a fan base willing to support the bands they love. It's all good in the long run. Bye-bye Robbie et al.

  15. Benedict


    Radiohead? Number 1? Since when has Joe Public enjoyed to wailing of Mr. Yorke?

  16. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Up

    Proof that piracy is not a problem

    It wouldn't surprise me if MORE people bought it once they listened to it for free and realised they liked it.

    (No accounting for taste, of course)

  17. Anonymous Coward

    The X factor

    The X factor should do this, or is that formulaic junk?

    amanfrommars we need your opinion!

  18. Anonymous Coward

    @AC and Andy

    Well no, you can't just download the £40 set box for free can you? What part of extra tracks and vinyl and artwork do you not get? This isn't selling the free tracks, this is selling the free tracks on multiple formats with a decent number of new songs as well. "Fans" of music generally like this kind of thing.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    What is stupid is the first comment!

    I am very happy with Radiohead topping the chart. First because it's a good album. Second because it proves once and for all that suing someone who made 20 songs available on Kazaa will not fix the music industry problems.

    As someone said already: look at quality and people will buy! People want music because it is a form of art, not a business.

    And same applies to cinema; they have turned cinema into another product not a form of art; people are not going anymore and it has nothing to do with piracy.

    We want musicians and film directors; we don't want marketing directors and private equity firms!

  20. Dave
    Dead Vulture


    The ignorance of the /some/* comments is astounding!

    You see children, the downloads are what we call "crap", some people, perhaps not you, but some people, can tell the difference. This is why people are still buying the 'artifact', it's the same reason the iPod isn't the ONLY digital audio player. That and humans like tangible things, we are materialists, yes you are, don't deny it.

    Andy Worth misses the fact that people can still buy the album from iTunes or the like, which is so much less effort than buying the CD.

    I like what AC (RIAA take on this) has to say, thank you sir, I would buy you a drink for that observation, were it feasible. Thanks also to Radiohead for going right ahead and proving that piracy is not (I repeat NOT) a problem.

    I have always believed that piracy will never be a problem for artists and musicians (as opposed to pop/rock stars) who produce quality music, such that is worth our (too) hard earned cash. Personally I always try, often in vain, to hunt down hard copies of music I have digitally. In fact, some things I have on both CD and vinyl, ok I may be a tad obsessive, but still, quality is the word!

    (oh btw, I'm not a big RH fan and don't have this album (or any other) in any form, haven't even heard any tracks from it, but would go for the 'Deluxe' if I did want it)

    *Italics Reg? See icon. You know we folk like to express ourselves. If you don't remedy such short comings I will be sending you a bright red, font-size 72, bold and itallic angry email.

  21. Hugo

    "The downloadable version of the album is no longer available."

    "I wasn't aware that this could be downloaded as an ISO image for use in high-end CD players, or FLAC for people with decent soundcards."

    It is. The inital free 160K MP3 download is no longer available to download for free, but you can buy downloads in lossless FLAC or 320K MP3 from

    "Oddly, having checked a couple of torrent sites, it appears that not only is a downloadable version available, but at a significantly better sampling rate."

    I expect that'll be the 7digital downloads doing the rounds.

    "What seems to be no longer available is the option to pay money to Radiohead for downloading it..."

    That'll be £7 for MP3, or £10 for FLAC+MP3 to you Sir.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    better than lossless?

    @Stephen Stagg:

    You can't have a lossy format of better quality than the original lossless version -- which is what you get on a CD. If you're talking about errors, they're corrected.

    Maybe you're talking about all those troublesome frequencies that are lost during the encoding process? Who knows? Maybe you just don't know what you're talking about?

  23. Anonymous Coward

    @Simon Painter

    I'll second that!

    - I've recently been on a couple of buying sprees, last time spending £90 in one go, picking up the CDs of stuff I've checked out and liked through downloads.

    Its nice to be able to chuck away the 'preview' MP3 and updated my media library directly from the CD - *and* have the album art and band info in the CD booklet.

    ...But apparently this makes me a pirate since I didn't pay for the original download.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @better than lossless?

    I suspect they were meaning that if the MP3 etc. were made from the original masters, then you could end up with an MP3 of better quality than the CD - because the original masters will be at least 96khz and not the 44.1khz of a CD (both from memory). So in theory you could end up with an MP3 better than the released CD, although of course you couldn't end up with an MP3 of better quality, made from a release CD.

  25. Rob
    Thumb Up

    Collection Bucket

    The last Radiohead album was leaked and distributed all over the internet long before it's official release date. Same happens to a lot of bands. All Radiohead have done here is leak the album themselves and put out a collection bucket.

    Smart move, especially when you consider the amount of press it has generated.

  26. Dave
    Dead Vulture


    ahem.. seconded.

    Although there is some discrepancies in CD I'm sure, vinyl certainly sounds different from CD too (and not in a 'warm crackle' kinda way), although it all depends on your hardware of course!

    Dead vulture because I still don't have italiics

  27. Stan

    Quality counts

    @Stephen Stagg. As someone pointed out earlier, if mp3 is encoded from high bitrate studio masters it could well be better quality than CD in some cases but it would also be pretty much the same size as CD.

    FLAC is a viable option but it still only gives CD quality.

    Once upon a time, a long long time ago I stuck on a CD. When it was done I put on the same album but this time on vinyl. Since then I have not bought CD's, if I want a low quality format I'll use ogg. Yes, CD isn't bad compared with ogg or mp3 but why do you think pro DJ's and anyone serious about classical chose vinyl every time?

    Anyway...well done radiohead, a real eye opener. And considering it comes on 12" I may well get a copy too, think I'll pull a few mp3's off the net to have a listen first though :)

    Bottom line, sell good sounds on 12", 45's for preference, and I'll pay good money for them. I'll rip it to DAT on the first play though, they wear out eventually :)


  28. Alex

    well I...

    bought the disk box, why? because I wanted it on vinyl and fancied the nice packaging. Listening to music is an enjoyable process for me, not just something that I do whilst I'm doing something else. that said I do have an ipod that I've filled, mostly with CD's I've bought I'd say that there's probably only about 5% 'illegally' downloaded but thats done for a reason, I like to try before I buy and when I find an artist or band I like I tend to buy their catalogue.

    if your interested I use a Garrard 301, original 2009 SME tonearm & plinth with a goldring cartridge - Rega amp - 2 x indigo 3 speakers.

    I'm also on my second powerbook/macbookpro, but I do run XP Pro using VMfusion (unity setting).

    and I'm not sorry ya hear!

  29. Colin Barrow


    "FLAC is a viable option but it still only gives CD quality."

    FLAC can support sample rates of up to 655.35kHz, 32 bit samples (although only 24 bit is widely supported) and up to 8 channels - see

    Agree with you about preferring vinyl to every other format though

  30. Mike Wharton


    My views:

    1. Millions of people bought the CD because they saw the CD and bought it. If they had an ipod they would have gont to Itunes.

    2. Yes CD is better quality but millions of people can't tell the difference. Probably a good 80-90% i wreckon.


    "Bottom line, sell good sounds on 12", 45's for preference, and I'll pay good money for them. I'll rip it to DAT on the first play though, they wear out eventually :)"

    You rip it to DAT? isn't that 48k 16 bit? as opposed to 44.1k 16 bit? what the hell is the point? yes I am sure can, as can I, tell the difference between CD and vinyl but I doubt you can tell the difference between CD and DAT.

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