Monday, August 21, 2006

Towering Above the Rest

Radiohead-Towering Above the Rest is 186 tracks spanning the length of 10 cds of rarities, live performances, promos, demos, b-sides, and other assorted hard to find tracks. Covers and collaborations range from Glen Campbell to The Posies, Carly Simon to Michael Stipe.

My kids somehow downloaded this onto their iPod, apparently the only way to get it--you can’t buy it anywhere. The originality, playfulness, and breadth of styles is, well, shocking. I just never had a clue these guys were this good. This isn't top of the pops-but way beyond-pop music as Zen. I really enjoy the latter studio albums by Radiohead, but after hearing what this band is really about, the studio albums seem narrowly focused and a bit tame—probably at the direction of their record label (Capitol) to ensure a palatable mass market 'product' and mega-million sales figures.

Now, it’s becoming clear why the record companies are so adamant about controlling downloads—their marketing and distribution model is irretrievably broken. What once appeared as breach in a dike is actually a tidal wave of musical creativity that won’t be stopped or controlled.

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