Radiohead is closing in on a deal for the physical release of its new album, "In Rainbows," sources tell Billboard.biz A band spokesperson said earlier this week that the album, which will be available for download Oct. 10 via Radiohead.com, would not be released widely on CD until 2008, but Billboard understands that timetable may move forward.
Radiohead.com is also offering a "discbox" with "In Rainbows" on CD and vinyl. The package will ship "on or around Dec. 3," according to the site.
ATO is seen as the front-runner and potentially most attractive home for Radiohead, who recorded for EMI until 2005, for numerous reasons. For one, Phil Costello, Capitol's former senior VP of promotion and marketing, is now at ATO.
Further, Red Light Management has just launched a new offshoot label, Side One Recordings, in conjunction with ATO (Red Light owner/founder Coran Capshaw is also a co-founder/co-owner of ATO). The label's first release is veteran U.K. electronica duo Underworld's "Oblivion With Bells," due Oct. 16.
Most ATO releases have been distributed in the U.S. by RCA, although some went through RED. The Nov. 13 release of David Gray's "Greatest Hits" will mark the debut release by ATO as a fully independent, RED-distributed label. Side One Recordings is also distributed by RED.
EMI is also angling to re-establish ties with Radiohead. The group's six studio albums for the company have sold a combined 8.5 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Another likely suitor is Warner Bros., which has been after Radiohead dating back to when the band was still affiliated with EMI. Perry Watts-Russell, who was senior VP of A&R at Capitol during Radiohead's tenure, is now in the same position at Warner Bros.
The company has lately enjoyed success distributing artist-run labels like Jack White's Third Man, to which the White Stripes are signed. The Stripes' latest album, "Icky Thump," has sold 603,000 copies.
There was some speculation Radiohead would not sign a new deal with a label at all, but group managers Chris Hufford and Bryce Edge told BBC Radio today (Oct. 4) that it was a necessary step.
"The band think they [are] incredibly proud of this record and feel that it deserves to be brought into the mass marketplace," Hufford said. "That's why we need a record company who have that infrastructure to deliver the CD."
An ATO/Red Light/Side One Recordings spokesperson declined to comment. Radiohead's publicist says the band has not yet made a decision on a label partner.