The Raconteurs surprised the music world when they announced Monday that their new album Consolers of the Lonely would be released this coming Tuesday, March 25th. Well, Tuesday came early, as the album is now available on iTunes. The band intended for the album to be released in all formats on Tuesday, as the press release stated, "The purpose: to get the album to the fans as soon as possible and as we promised. We wanted to get this record to fans, the press, radio, etc., all at the EXACT SAME TIME so that no one has an upper hand on anyone else regarding it's availability, reception or perception."
It turns out iTunes users have the upper hand. The Raconteurs also stated that they "prefer that fans buy the album as a whole instead of breaking up the tracks, but until iTunes and other digital services allows bands to release their albums with the option of NOT breaking it up, it will be sold in that fashion on those particular sites."
UPDATE: That was fast. iTunes has pulled the new Raconteurs album from purchase. People late to the game are now greeted with a "No Longer Available" message (screencap after the jump). Thankfully, Tuesday is four days away.