“In the war to redefine the music industry, the Delaware has been crossed,” said Ann Powers in the Los Angeles Times. “Artistically minded rock” is becoming “more like classical music or jazz,” and Radiohead is taking it to “a place where it can fully flourish as a serious form of expression, constrained only by the market demands of a self-selected niche audience.” Pop music may be “evolving,” but “rock as we once knew it—rock that arrogantly and gracefully makes its own universe, the way Sgt. Pepper did, or Born to Run or Nevermind—doesn’t want to die.” And Radiohead is here to save it.
Believe it or not, Radiohead fans might be ripping themselves off, said Robert Cyran, Rob Cox, and Mike Verdin in The Wall Street Journal Online. Most CDs cost about $16 on average, and about $6.40 to manufacture, distribute, and sell in stores. But “these costs are essentially zero" with downloads. On top of that, the band “pulled the ripcord on EMI, so it doesn’t have to share profits or help pay the label’s overhead.”
Radiohead’s move is fascinating, said Neil McCormick in the Telegraph, and not just from a business perspective. “It is less a model for the future of the music business than a moral experiment on human nature.” A large percentage of “predominantly young, computer savvy consumers treat music as a free commodity,” but obviously “someone is paying for the music to be made.” Now Radiohead “have thrown the whole thorny problem back into the hands of music fans,” forcing them to “either reward the musician, or acknowledge their own greed.”
- 5 books to read before your 30th birthday
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 6 photos that Facebook controversially banned
- What to expect when you're expecting (100 years ago)
- Is it possible to live forever?
- The logic behind the world's 4 weirdest strategic reserves
- 32 TV shows to watch in 2013 [Updated]
- China's massive pollution problem
- Remembering Nelson Mandela: A tribute in photos and prose
- 11 languages spoken by 11 people or fewer
Subscribe to the Week