Mtv.com reports: The music industry is suffering a pretty big hangover this week, thanks to the year that was 2007. CD sales dropped 20 percent, and many fingers were pointed at one band in particular ? Radiohead ? for turning the industry inside out with the name-your-own-price digital release of In Rainbows, their latest album.
Well, sorry, haters: It's going to be hard to shake off those memories, seeing as how Radiohead are ringing in the new year with the CD version of the effort, which made many critics' best-of-'07 lists.
So does this mean the physical release will do for CD sales what the digital release did for the online world? Um, we'll say no on that one. In fact, when a band as big as the Smashing Pumpkins are also bypassing terrestrial stores by putting out a new effort online only ? in the U.S., at least ? it's safe to say that this year will see even more digital action than '07 did.
Surprisingly, the Pumpkins' set will only be available on iTunes in the States, with CD versions of the release hitting other stores across the world. Also curious is that the item is an EP containing four all-acoustic songs: "The Rose March," "Again, Again, Again (The Crux)," "POX" and "Sunkissed."
"We have always regretted not recording more in between tours because albums have never caught the full story of the group ... it's sort of Zeitgeist+," frontman Billy Corgan said in a press release about American Gothic, the title of which he called a "continued comment on the state of our country." Corgan added, "I had written a bunch of material during the residencies in Asheville [North Carolina] and San Francisco [in 2007], and fans kept asking us if we were gonna put any of that stuff out. iTunes came to us wanting to do something together, so it just felt right."
The Pumpkins recorded the EP at the Pass studios in Los Angeles while on a break between their 2007 U.S. and upcoming European tours, with Corgan, drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and legendary Queen collaborator Roy Thomas Baker producing. Fans looking to get their mitts on the artwork can download it for free at SmashingPumpkins.com.