Newspaper Album

Radiohead is now offering an “upgrade” to the “newspaper” edition of King Of Limbs. Of course, they’re not being particularly clear about what, exactly, that is. The description is “Newspaper only.”

To get the upgrade, you have to log into their site. Their site has improved, but still sucks. After you log in, it shows your past purchases, but when you click the upgrade pre-order button, it asks you to create a new account. But I just logged in! They accepted the same username/password as before, so I don’t think that’s a problem. But they do insist on getting a phone number for some reason.

The savings on the “upgrade” is about the same as having pre-ordered the digital album, so there’s no advantage to having purchased it either way. Here’s what the web site says about the “newspaper” album:

Radiohead’s new record, The King Of Limbs, is presented here as the world’s first* Newspaper Album, comprising:

  • Two clear 10″ vinyl records in a purpose-built record sleeve.
  • A compact disc.
  • Many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degradeable plastic to hold it all together.
  • The Newspaper Album comes with a digital download that is compatible with all good digital media players.
  • The Newspaper Album will be shipped from Monday 9th May 2011 you can, however, enjoy the download now.
  • Orders placed on or after 21st February 2011 (UK time) will ship from 1st June 2011
  • Shipping is included in the prices shown.
  • One lucky owner of the digital version of The King Of Limbs, purchased from this website, will receive a signed 2 track 12″ vinyl. Competition closing date 28th March. (Competition now closed)

* perhaps

I gather the upgrade is for the vinyl, physical CD, and a bunch of artwork. Should be interesting to see what is involved when it arrives.

The big question for me is “what’s a purpose-built sleeve?”

The OXO-degradable plastic box is an interesting choice. Good for them not wanting to foul the environment, but OXO degrades within months (much quicker than conventional biodegradable plastics), so are they assuming everyone will throw it away immediately? Is this not meant to sit on a shelf? What’s the expected shelf life?

And I still don’t get what makes this a “newspaper” album. Maybe that will be clear when I have it in my grubby little hands.

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