Some news we missed from last week… in a sign the model is gaining greater acceptability, Idlewild, one of my favourite acts, is asking its fans to help finance the production of its next album.
The band is making a pre-order package available for £15 giving a limited edition CD with bonus track, a free download counterpart, fans named in liner notes and online, 15 free live tracks for download, members-only web access with blog updates from the band on their album’s progress plus photos and videos from the recording process. Idlewild had been with EMI imprints from 1998 but were either dropped or left the label in 2005 and released their next recording, Make Another World, on Sanctuary…
Their web statement: “After 11 years of recording and releasing records within the constraints of the record industry, we now feel that the time is right and the technology exists for us to deal more quickly and directly with the fans. It also allows us total control of our music and will ultimately mean that, should you choose to get involved, you will hear our music as soon as it is available. Although the album will have a more traditional release some time later in 2009 we hope you will support us in our efforts to try something new and choose to pre-order the album now.”
Some will make Radiohead comparisons, but Radiohead was not looking to fund In Rainbows, which it had already recorded, through online pre-orders. Instead, Idlewild will have inspired by Marillion, the ’80s prog rock act that has built a relationship with fans that lets it tap its most avid listeners for hundreds of thousands of pounds when it wants to go in to the studio. Marillion offered a similar pre-order package for its latest album. Idlewild may have proved too unviable for EMI, but many of us still love their writing. The chance of them breaking up would have been a loss, but the internet now lets them continue by raising funds from those who care most.
(Picture credit: rich/tlobf, some rights reserved)