Philip Selway of Radiohead have began a debate over U2’s controversial giveaway of their new album. That’s right. U2 are giving it away! The Radiohead drummer, Philip Selway says that, while he can appreciate U2 acting from a base of good intentions in arranging for the record to be uploaded to the accounts of 500 million iTunes customers, the Dubliners might have cause to regret the strategy.
As per Hot Press, “There’s a lot of noise around it isn’t there,” said Selway, who has just released his second solo album. “It seems to have attracted a lot of negative comment. When you are trying to rethink ways of distributing music, getting it out to people, sometimes you take risks that, in hindsight, you might not be happy with.
“At the time, you jump in with both feet, probably from the best of intentions. Given some time to step back from it, you realise that, actually, it might not be the best way. But, you know, everyone is trying to find new and appropriate ways to getting your music out there.”
Some 26 million iTunes users are estimated to have downloaded and kept the U2 LP, Songs Of Innocence. However, the group drew flack over the fact the record was forwarded to users’ inboxes without their permission, for which Bono this week apologised.
Selway told HP‘s Ed Power that Radiohead had no inkling that the decision to offer their 2007 album In Rainbows for free download (fans were invited to pay for what they wanted for it) would create the fuss it did.
“It was an experiment on our part. We were taken aback at the time by the attention it drew –you see it being referred to as a reference point again and again. We were surprised. As I said, you jump in with both feet and hope it’s the appropriate thing to do.”
He also weighed in on the debate surrounding streaming service Spotify, which Radiohead’s lead singer and producer have essentially boycotted because of its royalty rates but which carries both of Selway’s albums.
“Thom [Yorke] and Nigel [Godrich] have been very present in the debate….I like the platform of Spotify. I listen to a lot more music through it. Also, wanting to work with [record label] Bella Union… I wanted to do justice to a release through them and to the channels that best support what they do.”