Radiohead’s decision to offer their latest album on a pay-what-you-like basis online “to some extent backfired”, U2’s manager has said.
The majority of fans who downloaded In Rainbows ignored the band’s website and acquired it illegally by other means, Paul McGuinness told BBC 6 Music: “”We should all be aware that Radiohead’s honesty box release of their album to some extent backfired. Even though it was available on their own website for no money at all, if that was what you preferred to pay – 60 to 70 per cent of the people who downloaded the record stole it anyway even though it was available for free.” The album went straight to number one in the UK and US when it became available on CD in January. Radiohead’s representatives were unavailable for comment. U2’s next album – due this year – would not follow the same approach,.
Members of U2 (bar Bono) were spotted at Radiohead’s show last weekend at Dublin’s Malahide Castle. It’s not likely Chris Martin was invited for the afterparty. Coldplay’s Chris Martin says he dreams about U2 and Radiohead: “I always dream about other musicians. And with U2 or Radiohead it’s always, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ And they are never interested in hanging out with us. It’s a permanent feeling of being at school and the bigger boys don’t want to play with you”. Speaking to Q Magazine he said: “I dreamed about Radiohead last night and Westlife the night before, which is the perfect blend of what we’re trying to do musically.”
Independent journalist Andy Gill seems to agree, when hearing the latest Coldplay album: “Their music sounds like Radiohead with all the spiky, difficult, interesting bits boiled out of it, resulting in something with the sonic consistency of wilted spinach; it retains the crowd-pleasing hooks and singalong choruses while dispensing with the more challenging, dissonant aspects and sudden, 90-degree shifts in direction.”
Coldplay could not ‘Do A Radiohead’ with their latest album as Radiohead did with ‘In Rainbows’. Chris Martin told Reuters: “We have absolute respect for the Radioheads and The Raconteurs and people who can do what they like. We’re in contract though, so we’re just going to make the most of it and enjoy the people we get to work with.”