In the past twenty-four hours, Coldplay announced that their next release, a live album called LeftRightLeftRightLeft, will drop for free on May 15 and Wilco offered a free download of a Woody Guthrie cover song that features Feist. The interesting bit about these two huge rock bands releasing free music, however, is that they both cite the recession as their motivation.
“Sorry, I’m unemployed / underemployed or otherwise broke,” one of Wilco’s download options says. “I’ll download the track and I’ll make it up to you later, I promise.” In the third option, Wilco takes a funny swipe at some people in recent headlines: “I am/was a banker/hedge fund manager/credit default swap trader. I know times are tough, but I’m just fine thank you. (Suggested minimum donation $100.00)”
Coldplay doesn’t get quite as specific as Wilco, but in a posting on their site they call the free release not only “a thank you to [their] fans,” but also “a recession-busting mark of gratitude to everyone who’s supported them.”
There’s no word yet if Wilco’s forthcoming Wilco (the album) will be offered for free as well, but it’s nice to know that some rock stars are looking out for us during tough times.