Radiohead to publish their own newspaper

To promote the physical release of the King of Limbs, Radiohead are to distribute a free newspaper at 61 locations worldwide

Not content with changing the way music is released, Radiohead are to branch out into newspaper publishing. To promote the physical edition of their eighth album, The King of Limbs – which comes out on Monday everywhere bar North America, which must wait until Tuesday – the Oxford band have worked with artist Stanley Donwood to produce a wholly undigital ink-and-paper handout called the Universal Sigh. Their envoys will be at 61 locations worldwide, giving these tabloids away.

This isn't The King of Limbs' first brush with newspapers. While the record's initial release was digital-only, Radiohead are also selling a so-called "newspaper album" version, shipping on 9 May. For £30, fans get a set comprising CD, two 10" vinyl records, and at least "625 tiny pieces of artwork". The Universal Sigh "IS NOT the newspaper that accompanies the newspaper album version of The King of Limbs", Radiohead have advised. "This event WILL NOT be repeated [and it] IS NOT a live performance by Radiohead."

Word of the free newspaper first leaked out via reports from Greece, picked up by a handful of Radiohead fansites. A version of the tabloid was even for sale on eBay before publication. But it was only last night the rumours were confirmed, with the official unveiling of the Universal Sigh website.

Donwood had previously described his work on a mystery project on his blog : "My new project, possibly the most ambitious yet, is taking shape across the digital lines of communication," he wrote. "This new project will, if everything goes to plan, involve many major cities of the world. I feel a little like a Bond villain, hiding from the world in this hilltop fastness, with lists of capital cities taped to the walls of my lair, scrumpled versions of my plans littering the metal floor. I should think up a suitable codename for it, perhaps."


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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