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Radiohead Publishers Reveal "In Rainbows" Numbers

October 15, 2008 1:38 PM ET

A year after its release sent shock waves through the music industry, the publisher of Radiohead's In Rainbows has finally revealed some details about the success of the "pay-what-you-want" experiment. While exact figures have not yet been released, Warner Chappell confirmed that "Radiohead made more money before In Rainbows was physically released than they made in total on the previous album Hail To the Thief," Music Ally reports. In all, there have been three million purchases of In Rainbows (including CDs, vinyls, box sets and digital sales) since the band began selling the album officially on New Year's Day 2008. Warner Chappell didn't reveal how much the band actually made total in the "pay-what-you-want" facet, but admitted more people downloaded the album for free than paid for it. Still, the three million in total sales — 100,000 of which came from the $80 box sets — is a hugely-successful number considering the album was both given away for free and that it was actually downloaded more times via Bit Torrent than free and legally through Radiohead's own site.

Related Stories:
On the Charts: Radiohead's In Rainbows Takes Number One Three Months After Debuting Via the Web
In Rainbows Quandary: Downloaders Stealing Free Music
Cover Story: The Future According to Radiohead

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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