I thought The Raconteurs’ announcement that their latest disc, available both digitally AND physically this Tuesday, one week ago was pretty fucking right on as far as dealing with the whole album leak thing. The notion of just getting it out there and then promoting after it was available seems pretty in step with where the industry is headed, and I still don’t know how they wrangled all the physical distribution channels so quickly and so quietly.
I guess they didn’t count on someone over at Apple posting the disc as being available on iTunes yesterday, leading to a bunch of folks buying the disc 5 days before it was supposed to be released. In a digital file-sharing culture this is the same as leaking the album 3 months ago, since the internet critics will be falling all over each other to give their definitive views of the album.
Personally I’m going to hold off until Tuesday. Waiting week for an album is nothing tome … heck I used to have to wait months before I could hear something, and that was even backing the days when we always got mailed physical promos due to long lead times (a practice that is quickly growing extinct). I understand folks are excited about new music, and especially excited about anything with Jack White and Brendan Benson’s name on it, but just this once, when the band went through great lengths to a) NOT keep everyone waiting and b) expose everyone to their new album at the same time, would it have killed folks to wait it out the extra few days?
Additionally, his isn’t the first time a greatly anticipated album has “accidentally” been offered for sale through iTunes prematurely, so shouldn’t someone be asking some serious questions about just what the heck is up over there?