We recently suggested here that perhaps vinyl-only album releases could be a method to combat piracy. And that in light of the format's 22% rise in sales from the previous year (close to 800,000 units sold in 2007; just above 600,000 in 2006, according to Billboard) it would be interesting to see how it would pan out. Well, now we have ourselves a guinea pig.
After stating in the Dec. 2007 issue of Mojo magazine, that he was "not of a mind to record anymore" and calling it pointless at this juncture, on April 22nd, Elvis Costello's newest album, Momofuku will be released exclusively on vinyl. (Enclosed will be a special code for downloading the album.) Like Radiohead's pay-what-you-want experiment with their album In Rainbows late last year, this is an established artist taking on a fresh, new approach--did you ever think releasing music on vinyl exclusively would ever be considered an innovative endeavor in your lifetime?--that's not recommended for just anyone. But the thing of it is, it also happens to be an historic move: the first official new studio album release by an established artist not to be made available on CD in possibly 20 years.
How will it do sales-wise? And who will be buying it? Well, Costello will be doing his bit to promote it: he's the opening act on The Police's North American tour this summer, which kicks off May 10th, in Chicago. (What year is this?)
Momofuku is Costello's first album with his backing band The Imposters, since their debut together, The Delivery Man, in 2004. Both albums are on the Lost Highway label.