Music for free (with strings)

Neil Young has introduced his new album on his website for free. The interesting thing is it forces you to listen to it in its entirety—the actual website consists of two interacting swf file and a GIF used to track stats.

Living With War

This way it won’t undercut sales of the CD or downloads when it is released on Tuesday. Pretty clever.

(The spin on this form of delivery is quite clever. From The New York Times review:

Mr. Young wants the album heard as a whole. The online streams play through from beginning to end; until the CD is ready, the downloadable copies will be available only as a bundle of the full album. “That first impression is so important,” he said. “Instead of just going to ‘Let’s Impeach the President,’ people will have to absorb the whole thing. To understand the songs, you need to understand where the whole album’s coming from. It protects my right as an artist to have the work presented the way I created it.”


Note that this New York Times article is pretty well done. It subtly notes a favorite observation against the Right Wing pundits who have already spoken out against this without having listened to it have launched into an indictment of Neil Young’s citizenship: “After 9/11 Mr. Young wrote “Let’s Roll,” a song about the passengers who brought down a hijacked plane in Pennsylvania, and released it free online.”

The promotion is well thought out: From a blog, to the internet delivery, to a link so you can host this album on your site.

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