Radiohead Set to Release New Album Online

Thom Yorke and friends sent a Valentine's Day surprise to their fans.

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    One of the world's most enigmatic and influential bands surprised its fans with a most unsuspected, but happily welcomed, Valentine's Day gift.

    British alt rockers Radiohead announced that they will release their eighth studio album, The King of Limbs, online Saturday, February 19, reports the New York Daily News.

    A message on the band's website noting the release of the EP simply read, "Thank You For Waiting," and provided a link for pre-ordering the record.

    The digital version of the album will come in two formats, MP3 and WAV, and will cost $9 and $14 respectively and will be ready to download this weekend.

    But as is typical with an act as mercurial as Radiohead, there's another twist to the story.

    The band is also releasing what it calls "the world's first "Newspaper Album," which will include a CD version of the new material and two 10" vinyl records. In addition to the music, the album will also come bundled with "many large sheets of artwork" and "625 tiny pieces of artwork."

    The "Newspaper Album" will also come in two editions. One will cost $48 and can be downloaded digitally in advance of the physical version, which will ship May 9. The other version, which comes with "full CD quality uncompressed" WAV files, will cost $53.

    This marks the second time that the band has essentially disregarded the standard method of distribution, which usually involves having a record label do the heavy lifting. For 2007's In Rainbows, the band famously employed a pay what you will system for the album, allowing fans to name their own price for the digital download. A "discbox," which included a CD, vinyl records and artwork, was released at the same time as the digital version and was priced at $80. A standalone physical version of the album was also eventually released and sold through major music stores.

    Selected Reading: New York Daily News, MTV, Entertainment Weekly