Love, others may follow Radiohead's no-label lead

Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:35pm EST
 
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By Antony Bruno

DENVER (Billboard) - Rock band Radiohead's decision to release its new album "In Rainbows" by itself -- online, without a record label's help and at any price the user chose -- rocked the industry last fall.

Some hailed it as the beginning of the end for record labels. Other dismissed it as merely a publicity stunt. Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher told Reuters the group would follow such a strategy "over my dead body."

But everyone wants to know: Who's next? The following 10 acts represent where the smart money is on such speculation. Let the games begin.

PRINCE

He's already shown a willingness to distribute music outside traditional label structures by releasing new music on his Web site, via his NPG Music Club and by offering his latest album as a covermount with the Daily Mail newspaper in London. Prince is also staging a massive effort to "gain control of the Internet" by suing the Pirate Bay and forcing independent fan clubs to remove images and other content, suggesting perhaps that he wants all eyes on his site in the future.

TRENT REZNOR/NINE INCH NAILS

After a highly publicized departure from label Interscope and Universal Music Group, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor came right out and declared his intention to release the group's next album from its Web site for $5. He also collaborated with Saul Williams on the "Niggy Tardust" release, which was offered online in a Radiohead-like fashion. This one is money in the bank.

COURTNEY LOVE   Continued...

 
<p>Entertainer Courtney Love arrives for the Marc Jacobs 2008 Spring collection show during New York Fashion Week, Sept. 10, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>