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Radiohead goes out on a limb with 'newspaper album'

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Radiohead have declared their new album The King Of Limbs will be available for fans to download for between £6 and £9 depending on the format from Saturday 19 February.

Separately, the Oxford group, whose last studio effort In Rainbows was released in 2007, will spin out what Radiohead have described as a "newspaper album".

That format won't hit shops until 9 May, however, and comes with a hefty £30 price tag.

In effect, Radiohead are once again hoping to get fans to pay for their music twice. First, the group will offer up a download in either the pricey .WAV (£9) or less-expensive and crappier .MP3 (£6) format, and then they will release a package that includes two clear 10" vinyl records in a purpose-built record sleeve in May.

The "newspaper album" format, which we think is a Radiohead in-joke about free CDs being given away with weekend nationals, will also come with a compact disc, large sheets of artwork and a digital download.

A tracklisting of the album is yet to released by the band.

Radiohead singer Thom Yorke said in April 2008 that his band wouldn't be repeating their digital deal, which allowed users to download a version of In Rainbows for free.

"I don’t think it would have the same significance now anyway, if we chose to give something away again," he said at the time, describing it as a "one-off response to a particular situation".

The band's previous album was unleashed onto the interwebs in October 2007, when fans were able to pay as little as 1p – plus a mandatory 45p credit card fee – for In Rainbows in what was dubbed the "honesty experiment".

Like the upcoming The King Of Limbs, that release was also made available in physical form, at £40-a-pop for a box-set version. We guess that the band's beancounters have shaved £10 off the price of the touchy-feely physical form of the latest album because they've successfully nailed how to best spin some cash out of the digital branch of Radiohead's universe. ®

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