Take that, Radiohead. Besting the English rockers' 10-day warning window for the download version of In Rainbows, Jack White and his band the Raconteurs announced today that their second album, Consolers of the Lonely, will be available as a download and in stores next Tuesday (March 25). The move cuts down the traditional four-month lead time required by record labels to set up an album for retail, press and radio, but considering how busy and unconventional Jack White's schedule is, the move isn't that surprising.
"The album was mastered and completed in the first week of March. It was then taken immediately to a vinyl-pressing plant. Then to a CD-pressing plant. Then preparations to sell it digitally began," read a statement from the group's publicist. "March 25th became the soonest date to have it available in EVERY FORMAT AT ONCE. The band has done no interviews or advertisements for this record before this announcement. The purpose: to get the album to the fans as soon as possible and as we promised. We wanted to get this record to fans, the press, radio, etc., all at the EXACT SAME TIME so that no one has an upper hand on anyone else regarding its availability, reception or perception."
Consolers will be available in vinyl, CD and digital formats "everywhere," from mom-and-pop shops, indie retailers, superstores and supermarkets to iTunes, Amazon and the band's own Web site, though the release notes that some stores won't necessarily be able to move this fast, so they might lag a bit in stocking the 14-track album.
"With this release, the Raconteurs are forgoing the usual months of lead time for press and radio setup, as well as forgoing the all-important 'first week sales,' " the band explained in the release. "We wanted to explore the idea of releasing an album everywhere at once and THEN marketing and promoting it thereafter. The Raconteurs would rather this release not be defined by its first week's sales, pre-release promotion or by someone defining it FOR YOU before you get to hear it."
A video for the first single, "Salute Your Solution," which was filmed just "the other day," will be posted online March 25 — presuming it gets edited in time, that is.
"We hope not to confuse anyone with too many options, or deny them the formats that they like best," read the statement. "The Raconteurs feel very strongly that music has worth and should be treated as such."