One week ago, Thom Yorke released his sophomore solo album Tomorrow Modern’s Boxes exclusively through BitTorrent, at a price of $6. “It’s an experiment to see if the mechanics of the system are something that the general public can get its head around,” Yorke explained in his announcement of the innovative release. It appears that experiment was a success, as more than one million people have downloaded the album over the course of the last six days.
Update: According to a representative for BitTorrent, the 1.1 million download total includes the free bundle in addition to purchases of the full album. “By the artist’s request, we are not disclosing sales figures,” the rep said. “But we have been very happy with what is happening.”
Yorke’s sales total is likely even higher thanks to vinyl sales, but that information has also not been released. Either way, Yorke made good on his mission statement of creating an “effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to people who are creating the work. Enabling those people who make either music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves. Bypassing the self elected gate-keepers.” What remains to be seen, however, is whether artists of lesser stature can reap similar benefits with such a model.
The mystery of Thom Yorke’s secret new record has been solved: the Radiohead frontman has announced the release of his sophomore solo album, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes.
Once again, Yorke has come up with an inventive way to distribute the album. It’s being released through BitTorrent, a move which he says, if successful, could revolutionize the music industry. Click here to download the album now.
“It’s an experiment to see if the mechanics of the system are something that the general public can get its head around,” Yorke explained in an issued statement. “If it works well it could be an effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to people who are creating the work. Enabling those people who make either music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves. Bypassing the self elected gate-keepers. If it works anyone can do this exactly as we have done.”
As of late, Yorke has become a particularly vocal critic of online music distribution, calling into question the royalty rates of streaming platforms such as Spotify. He and Radiohead carried out a similarly innovative release with the band’s 2007 album, In Rainbows, introducing the industry to the pay-what-you-want format.
Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes serves as the follow-up to Yorke’s debut solo LP, 2006’s The Eraser. The new album spans eight tracks and can be purchased digitally for just $6.00. It’ll also be available for purchase on 180 gram white vinyl.
The opening track “A Brain In A Bottle” and its corresponding video can be downloaded for free here
Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes Tracklist:
01. A Brain In A Bottle
02. Guess Again!
04. The Mother Lode
05. Truth Ray
06. There Is No Ice (For My Drink)
07. Pink Section
08. Nose Grows Some02 Guess Again!