Five years and almost a month ago, I wrote a post called Interesting absence(s) about the disappearance of Radiohead and Sigur Rós from the then-new iTunes Music Store. When I expanded it for Blogcritics, I laid a finger on one of the causes—friction between artists and labels over digital rights and reimbursement. At the time I thought it might take a few months or a year before the Radiohead catalog returned. It only took Sigur Rós until February of 2004 to return, but it took until this week for the Radiohead back catalog to reappear, and then only after In Rainbows proved such a hit on the service.
The Red Herring post makes a few points about the reasons bands hold out, but they don’t answer one question: why is Radiohead only dipping its toe in? There is only one EP on the service, meaning only two non-album tracks, compared to other artists like U2 and Sting who have been far more generous with posting digital rarities—which fans like myself would be motivated to shell out cash for. Perhaps it’s only a matter of time.
(Confidential to Matt F: Hey, Fish, see what you can do about getting Thom and the boys to post some more b-sides and exclusives, won’t you? Much love.)