Following the model set by the Trent Reznor/Saul Williams Niggy Tardust project released late last year, Reznor has just released a startling two and a half hours of new Nine Inch Nails audio via the band’s web site entitled “Ghosts I-IV.” Introducing yet another innovation in audio release via the web, Reznor has made the first nine of the collection’s startling thirty-six tracks available for free with hopes that they may entice each user to pay the minuscule $5 for the entire set.
Not to be outdone by last year’s release by Radiohead, Reznor has made a number of fantastic physical versions of the release available for sale as well; via Billboard, “There are several other ordering options available for Ghosts I-IV, each of which come with immediate access to the album in digital form. The standard double-CD set is retailing on Reznor’s site for $10, while a $70 deluxe edition in a hardcover fabric slipcase includes the audio CDs, a DVD with multi-track files for the music and a Blu-Ray disc with high-definition stereo mixes.
For $300, devotees can opt for the ‘ultra-deluxe limited edition’ package, which features all the elements in the deluxe edition plus a four-LP vinyl set and two Giclee prints amid ‘luxurious packaging.’ This edition is limited to 2,500 copies and is autographed by Reznor.”
Slightly under two hours after the release hit the internet the flurry began with digg.com bulging with feedback (well over 2000 “diggs”), one user commenting, “It’s released under Creative Commons! In FLAC, Apple Lossless, MP3, CD, Vinyl, DVD, Book, Art Prints… everything. This is AMAZING.” Not surprising that within a the first two hours the site was temporarily down after feeling the stress from the weight of such incoming traffic.
Personally, I find it grinding when a minimal out-of-the-box action hits mainstream outlets in defiance of corporate music moguls and some overreact calling for “the end of the recording industry as we know it.” As such I’m hesitant to say that this will create much of a ruckus, if any at all, especially considering the recent tallies suggesting a questionable success rate regarding the Niggy Tardust release…but then again, this might be one of those points in time where we may look back years from now and gawk, “Looks like we should’ve believe’d ‘em.”