Up to now, the fans and critics have completely been on Radiohead’s side with the whole download experiment, which they undertook in the second half of 2007 for In Rainbows.
But I wonder if the rumour that the reason the band went down that route was because of their record company refusing to pay the amount of money they’d asked for to re-sign will change people’s minds at all?
According to The Times newspaper, the band left their record company EMI because they refused to even contemplate a deal worth almost £10 million.
Radiohead were supposedly offered £3 million to re-sign for EMI subsidiary Parlophone, which they turned down because they found it un unacceptably small amount of money.
A spokesperson for the label told the newspaper:
“Radiohead were demanding an extraordinary amount of money and we did not believe that our other artists should have to subsidise their gains.”
The agreement is alleged to have meant Radiohead would have claimed copyright back on part of their back catalogue, and asked for a global marketing budget of £3m.
The band dispute this new take on why they left the label, and embarked on their now universally applauded download experiment. One of Radiohead’s managers, Bryce Edge, told The Times:
“We couldn’t move ahead with EMI because (label boss) Guy Hands irrevocably refused to discuss the catalogue in any meaningful way. We sold 25 million records and we have the moral rights over those six albums.”
“We wanted a say in how they are exploited in the future. We were not seeking a big advance payment, or a guaranteed marketing spend as discussions never got that far.”
As well as the online download, the band eventually agreed to release the CD physically through XL. The CD is out on Monday December 31st, 2007.