Tuesday, March 4, 2008

New Nine Inch Nails Album Released Online

About 6 p.m. PST on Sunday, Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor released a 36-song instrumental collection, "Ghosts I-IV," direct to the Internet via his official website. The album is available at a number of pricing options, beginning with a free sampling of nine of the songs.

All 36 cuts can be had for as low as $5 (download), or for as high as $300, a signed limited-edition set that will ship in May (pictured). There's also a $10 double-disc CD set, which includes a 16-page booklet and ships on April 8, or a $75 package that includes two discs, a DVD and a deluxe book.

Four hours after launch, site traffic appeared to prevent me from purchasing any of the options, as the site would fail to load when attempting to check out. However, "Ghosts I-IV" is also available via Amazon.com for $5, which downloaded without any hiccups. Reznor utilized TuneCore to deliver the album to Amazon.

This is how Reznor describes the album, the result of a 10-week musical experiment, on his site: "I've been considering and wanting to make this kind of record for years, but by its very nature it wouldn't have made sense until this point. This collection of music is the result of working from a very visual perspective -- dressing imagined locations and scenarios with sound and texture; a soundtrack for daydreams. I'm very pleased with the result and the ability to present it directly to you without interference. I hope you enjoy the first four volumes of Ghosts."

It's long been expected that Reznor would be the next high-profile artist to follow Radiohead's pay-what-you-will, variable pricing model, which the band utilized in October of last year for "In Rainbows."

Reznor, in fact, has already experimented with the model. Last year, Reznor collaborated with Saul Williams, and released the album, "The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust," online in November, allowing fans to freely download it or pay $5 for a higher quality version. Initial stats released by Reznor revealed that about 80% fans opted not to pay for the album. Radiohead and its management have refused to release any numbers.

Billboard.com is already reporting that "Ghosts I-IV" will receive a traditional retail release on April 8 via Red Distribution. Owned by Sony BMG, Red distributes a number of independent labels, including ATO Records, which released Radiohead's "In Rainbows" on Jan. 1.

Photo courtesy of http://ghosts.nin.com

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