NEW YORK – Whatever the price, Radiohead's "In Rainbows" is a top-seller. The band's seventh album was No. 1 on the week's music charts with sales of 122,000 copies, according Nielsen SoundScan figures released Wednesday.
The physical, standard priced release sold fairly well even though Radiohead three months ago made a digital copy of the disc available for download on its Web site with optional pricing.
Radiohead has declined to announce how many copies it sold or how much money it made from the digital release, but many in the music industry wondered how it would affect the sales of the physical copy.
The band released the disc on Jan. 1 through TBD Records, a sublabel of ATO Records. For its first six albums, Radiohead was under contract with music giant EMI Group.
"Hail to the Thief," the band's 2003 disc, sold 300,000 copies in its first week and eventually sold approximately 1 million copies. Early January is generally considered a slow period in CD sales, but the disparity between "Thief" and "Rainbows" sales was likely due to the earlier digital release.
The list price of the hardcopy of "In Rainbows" is $13.98. For the digital release, which was downloadable in a sound quality less than that of CD, fans could pay whatever they wanted, or nothing at all (The download was removed from the band's Web site before the Jan. 1 release).
Radiohead also announced Wednesday that it will embark on a North American tour that will take place in two segments, one before and one after a planned European tour. Dates and venues will later be announced.
Following Radiohead on the charts was Alicia Keys, whose "As I Am" sold 112,000 copies in its eighth week of release, and Mary J. Blige, whose "Growing Pains" sold 89,000 copies in its third week.