Earlier this week, U2 unexpectedly released their new album Songs of Innocence for free on iTunes, making it the largest album release ever. Though this method of putting a new album into everyone's iTunes library is pretty cool and groundbreaking (and not "invasive," stop whining), there are plenty of other bands we would have rather gotten a free surprise album from than U2, who aren't exactly at the top of their game musically. Here are eight artists we would have rather gotten a free surprise album from.
Radiohead pretty much invented the idea of the surprise release when they announced their album In Rainbows with just ten days notice in 2007. However, now that artists like U2 and Beyoncé have upstaged them by releasing albums with no warning at all, ten days seems like an eternity, so I'm very much looking forward to waking up one morning next year to see Radiohead's ninth album suddenly in my iTunes library.
2. Wu-Tang Clan
Since the Wu-Tang Clan decided to create just one copy of their latest album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin and sell it for millions, it's only fair that their next album is released in the exact opposite fashion, with an infinite number of free copies floating around the Internet, available to anybody who wants it.
3. Modest Mouse
Modest Mouse, it's been seven years since your last album. Seven years. What's the hold up? You're obviously still a band, and you've been playing shows pretty consistently this whole time. It's been so long at this point that if you announce a release date and then promote and hype the hell out of it, I can pretty much guarantee that people are going to be disappointed no matter how good it ends up being. Your best bet now is to just suddenly release it for free online, and everybody will at least be pleasantly surprised.
OutKast is in the same boat as Modest Mouse, but even worse. Their last album was the 2006 soundtrack to their movie Idlewild, and their last album that people actually cared about was 2003's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. People freaked out when they started performing live again, so imagine how excited everyone would be if we suddenly got a brand new OutKast album.
5. Kanye West
Even though Kanye's albums keep getting better and better, their sales keep getting smaller and smaller, so at some point it would probably just be better for him to give away his albums for free and expose as many people to them as possible.
6. The Flaming Lips
This seems like something the Flaming Lips would do, right? This is a band that has released a 24-hour song on a flash drive inside of a real human skull, so releasing a free album on iTunes would probably be the sanest thing they've ever done.
7. David Bowie
Though I'm a little disappointed that the new music David Bowie promised "soon" turned out to be just a single and not a full album, he could still surprise us with an entire new album in our iTunes library in the next year. His last album The Next Day was surprisingly excellent for someone's who's been in the business for so long, so there's no reason to expect anything sub-par either.
Björk has already worked with Apple before, creating a multimedia version of her last album Biophilia specifically for the iPad, with a different app for each of the album's tracks. I wouldn't be surprised if she was able to develop the technology to beam her next album directly into our dreams.