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Stanley Donwood: Discbox is worth the money

In an interview with Stanley Donwood, published by, he comments on the £40 price tag on the Discbox version of Radiohead’s new album ‘In Rainbows’, which features a download, two CD’s and two 12-inch vinyl records and a lyrics book full of new artwork by Stanley Donwood.
If the download could be a steal, this is a serious financial commitment. Is it worth it?

Stanley Donwood: “It depends how rich you are! If you’re on the dole, of course it’s a hell of a lot of money. But it costs about that much to go to a Premier League football match, and this project has taken an incredible amount of work. It’s been a long journey over 10 months, with the artwork evolving as the music has evolved. And it weighs about half a kilo.”

For In Rainbows he’s been trying a photographic etching technique, putting prints into acid baths with random results. He keeps the finer details close to his chest, and the band refuse to show off the box properly until the release date, but a small picture at shows multicoloured, blocky text contrasting with scratchy grey abstractions. “The finished product is quite a lush thing. It’s the most over-the-top project I’ve done with them.”

He studied Fine Art with Yorke at Exeter, and admits that the friends share a similar bleak worldview. “We shout at the same bits of the news.”

[thx Richard & Nithan]

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  • not that I need much reassuring because I feel Radiohead deserves every penny from my 40 QUID, but I had a feeling the picture they uploaded of the discbox wasn’t going to do it justice…of course there’s more than meets the eye to this product…they wouldn’t charge ZIPPO for an album and try to rip off die-harders with an 80 bucker…it’s going to be quite special and gooooorgeous!

  • half a kilo?

  • thats about a pound…

  • music is sold by the pound, like food ?

  • I heard album art will be a thing of the past soon, in many ways it already is.

  • I think it is worth the dosh. I’m a good example. I’m getting the thing posted to Australia! Normally that would cost a whole heap of money just on postage. But postage on the discbox is free!

  • I’m a huge supporter of album art and I’m glad to see media players like Apple’s iTunes keeping the artform alive in the digital world with their coverflow feature. One of the main reasons I still purchase music in cd format is for that very reason but it’s good to see that a number of different digital media services promote it instead of letting it die.

  • I ordered two, by accident!

  • I was hoping the booklet(s?) would contain
    more art by Stan and Thom, cause I was
    kind of disappointed by the outside artwork.
    I’m definitely reassured now 😀

  • Thanks to those of you being positive about this. I can see some people have put more thought into it than others- some need to get a life. My point is that over the past sixth months i have heard a lot of complaining and anticipatory garbage but now that the album IS coming all many people are still being incredibly negative. Get the album how you see fit, I know we will all enjoy it immensely.

    Ps- The harmony for “all I need” has been stuck in my head since Bonnaroo )’06 I am thinking that on Tuesday I will be able to think again. If you missed Bonnaroo ’06 you may have missed the greatest Radiohead show ever. Peace, love, and a smile.

  • Stanley is funny. For such morbid doodles he really is a stitch….

  • Half a kilo? Jesus, I’m going to have to pay a lot of extra money for this thing in customs.

    The evil twin in me wants to order another one to sell on ebay in a few years. It will definitely be a good investment if it stays in the plastic but meh, these schemes aren’t for me.

    and to the one who wsa talking about Bonnaroo I think Radiohead mentioned releasing it on DVD sometime. Hope they will. I’ve heard nothing but excellence about that performance.

  • this sounds great.

    i’ve tried to stay away from the new songs live, but All I Need always reminds me of that Primitive Radio Gods song that was hit – sitting outside in a telephone booth or something like that

  • Where the FUCK are my hard-boiled eggs?!

  • Oh man I want this so much. Just ordered the download though n that’s stretching me financially (paid £5 for it). Part of what I love about Radiohead is how they always go the extra mile with the album packaging ever since Kid A’s hidden book. Looks like they’re taking it to a whole new level this time

  • fucking yes!

  • what the hell time is it in copenhagen?

  • what if a 16 year old sixth form student with no ema wants the discbox? 🙁

  • How has the harmony of “All I Need” been stuck in your head since Bonnaroo, RYINTOKYO? It was first played the second night in Chicago which came after Bonnaroo. Is that what you meant?

  • They should have put the download possible for all the 18 tracks.

  • “I heard album art will be a thing of the past soon, in many ways it already is.”

    Bah! I don’t think music presented in some physical form will ever die out. I heard a great quote from a fellow called Bosco in the group The Dap Kings on the radio last night:

    “It’s really hard to roll a joint on an MP3.”

  • No way, splitting it up keeps the excitement up for the discbox, i can’t wait to hear Down Is the New Up on vinyl, I’m foaming at the mouth…

  • Hmmm. I’m so in two minds about this. I mean, hell what a great package but it just isn’t affordable too most, and one thing music should always be is affordable. A ‘lot’ of people with income reserved for living expenses are going to stretched financially with this and that’s a bit poo. But what self-respecting Radiohead nut ‘isn’t’ going to get it? I mean with the name-your-price download you don’t even get full album.

    One thing is for sure i’ll be getting the package, i’m a big fan but i can’t decide whether the price is fair or not.

    Either way Long Live Radiohead. 😀

  • but hey!
    i have ordered the discbox but i have paid 2£ for shipping!
    i want them back for my dope!

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