Surprise! Radiohead Releases ‘King of Limbs’ a Day Early

Band’s new album already available through its website; CD to release on March 28

Last Updated: February 18, 2011 @ 7:51 AM

Earlier this week, Radiohead made the surprise announcement that they had completed a new album, and it would be released it on Saturday (Feb. 19) through their website.

On Friday, Radiohead had another surprise for fans, making the album, "The King of Limbs," available a day early. As in today.

“With everything ready on their website, the band decided to bring forward the release rather than wait until the previously announced date,” the band said in a statement on the website.

Radiohead also set the street date for the CD release in stores: March 28.

They also released a video for one of its songs, called "Lotus Flower," featuring frontman Thom Yorke in a tophat (scroll down to view).

"The King of Limbs" is Radiohead's first since 2007's "In Rainbows," a record that doubled as a pay-what-you-want, quasi-experiment in new media marketing and distribution.

This time, Radiohead is going to charge everybody.

The digital only version is priced at $9.00 for MP3 files ($14.00 for higher-quality WAV) while a "newspaper album" — that includes the digital download, a CD, two clear 10" vinyl records, "many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degradeable plastic to hold it all together" — is $48 for the version that comes with MP3s, $53 for WAV.

The physical album package will ship on May 9.

With no record label obligation — having fulfilled their deal with EMI in 2003 with "Hail to the Thief" — the band has moved at their own pace on purpose.

"In Rainbows" was announced just 10 days before its release through Radiohead's website. With "The King of Limbs," they've cut that window in half to four.

"I like the people at our record company," frontman Thom Yorke told Time while recording "In Rainbows." "But the time is at hand when you have to ask why anyone needs one. And, yes, it probably would give us some perverse pleasure to say 'f— you' to this decaying business model."