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The Radiohead Survey: Who's Buying "In Rainbows" In Stores Today?

January 2, 2008 5:29 PM ET

Since Rock Daily has been following Radiohead's unconventional release of In Rainbows so closely, we figured we better hit our local Virgin Megastore this afternoon to find out who was out buying the physical disc today — and why. Here's a sampling of five typical folks we spied picking up the album. The biggest shocker? All five did not download the album before hitting the store today.

Ryan Campbell, 24
Radiohead fan since: OK Computer
Did you purchase the online version? No.
Reason for buying CD:"I heard the sound quality of the online release was bad, 128k or something. I'm not an audiophile, but it was important enough to buy the album."
 Have you heard the record already? "I've avoided listening to it."

Jennifer Rose, 24
Radiohead fan since: "About four years ago."
Did you purchase the online version?"What?"
 Reason for buying CD: "I don't normally buy CDs, but I heard it at the listening station. I was just feeling it, and I was in the mood to buy something today."

Gene Romero, 26
Radiohead fan since: Pablo Honey
Did you purchase the online version?"No, I wasn't into downloading it. I thought it was amazing, though. I avoided getting this record that way, but I did it for [Saul Williams'] Niggy Tardust."
 Reason for buying CD: "There's something about Radiohead — I wanted to own it. Their artwork is always amazing. It's plain and simple, but effective. It's a whole experience."
Have you heard the record already? "I saw the Webcast, and I said, 'Holy shit.' It's their best in a long time."

Leonard James, 23
Radiohead fan since: OK Computer
Did you purchase the online version? "No, but a lot of my friends did, so I heard it secondhand. They had a listening party. It just wasn't worth my time — I don't have an MP3 player, and my computer sound sucks."
 Do you think other bands could pull off the online model?"Could someone like 50 Cent do it and then still have people buy it in stores? I doubt it. But it could work well for others."

Sharon Jamilkowski, 26
Radiohead fan since: "The mid-Nineties, the one with 'High and Dry' on it."
Did you purchase the online version? No.
Have you heard the record already? "My friends passed around a lot of the live recordings. It's tempting to name your own price, but I need to have a physical copy. There's always interesting stuff in the liner notes."
Are you interested in the disc box? "It's way too expensive — maybe it will be a Christmas present next year."

Related Stories:
The Death of High Fidelity: In the Age of MP3s, Sound Quality Is Worse Than Ever
"In Rainbows" Quandary: Downloaders Stealing Free Music
Radiohead's "In Rainbows" CD2: A Track-By-Track Analysis

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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