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Has-beens jump on free downloads bandwagon

Oasis: still going, apparently

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Past-it pop stars are tripping over their Zimmer frames in the rush to give away their music for nowt.

Oasis and Jamiroquai are considering making their next LPs available as a free internet download, according to reports.

Proving they can be as derivative with their marketing as they are with their music, both the Mancunian Dad-rockers and the tedious chicken-in-a-basket jazz-funk noodlers are considering aping Radiohead's gimmick. Radiohead is giving away its album in digital format, ahead of an $80 coffee table release of the CD.

Like Radiohead, both acts are currently out of contract with a major label. Prince was on a single album deal when he made his latest album available as a newspaper cover mount recently. All these acts have something else in common: artistically and commercially, they all peaked several years ago.

Another blast from the past, Nine Inch Nails, parted company with its record label this week hinting at "a direct relationship with the audience" for the future.

So how long does a novelty remain a novelty, when everyone's doing it?

Meanwhile, Radiohead's first LP for four years In Rainbows is available for free today. Thoughtfully, the right-on geezers have set a mandatory 45p donation to the hard-pressed finance industry - which should go some way to making up for yesterday's modest tax squeeze on the City.

Stick it to the man, guys! Er,... unless it's a credit card company man. ®

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