Marillion confirm free online album release

Enduring cult rock act, Marillion, will make their new album, ‘Happiness Is the Road’, available for free download through file-sharing websites.

The band plan a slice of pester power, though – tracks will include software to cause a little pop-up box to appear on screen when the tracks are first played – but all this will ask fans to do is give the band their email address.

There’s future benefits, also, downloaders will in future be contacted with offers of gig tickets and other merchandise, to try to make some money back for the band.

“We’re willing to try new things and we want to see what happens,” said keyboard player, Mark Kelly, speaking to BBC News.

Kelly observed the band’s audience to be a loyal lot, used to buying their music on CD or vinyl, possibly because Marillion fans are a little older. And while he said giving the music away for nothing went against his natural instincts, he believes fans will still buy the CD when it ships in October.

And he also had a big counter-argument to label bosses who said Radiohead’s In Rainbows’ experiment was a failure. “People forget Radiohead were still number one in the album charts.”

Happiness Is The Road is a 110-minute 2CD double album; the first album, entitled ‘Essence’, is an adventurous musical trip exploring life’s biggest question: “What’s it all about?”

Lots more information in the original report, meanwhile, here’s the band’s message to fans and a quick electronic press kit about the new album.

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