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Why I wouldn't recommend that you remix Radiohead's "Nude" 01.04.2008

When I read the headline, it sounded good, but I think this might be taking the crowdsourcing-gimmick to the point where people get pissed off. Before I bitch more about it, let me run the details past you.

From the official remix website:

To make remixing easy, the separate 'stems'* from the song are available to purchase from iTunes _here_. The 'stems' available are bass, voice, guitar, strings/fx and drums. You can mix them in any way you like, either by adding your own beats and instrumentation, or just remixing the original parts.

Of course there are certain terms for creating this remix, and I'd like for you to go read them now before we continue.

NudeRemix in iTunes


Good, because now I'll get back to the bitching.

Here's a translation of the terms, the way I read them.

  1. Whatever original work of art you submit, will no longer be owned by you. We here at Warner/Chappell Music will.
  2. You won't be credited for making the remix of Nude, not even if you actually made original compositions in order to create your remix. Radiohead will take it off your hands, because it's their track, and you know it.
  3. Oh, btw, that copyright thing — actually that's for Radiohead and Warner/Chappell Music as well.
  4. You're welcome
  5. If you use any of the 'stems' in another concuction than the Nude remix, your next move should be applying for a new identity, or collecting money for the fine we will send your way, because you broke the terms.


I can't believe I'm seeing people uploading remixes based on those terms, and I can't wait to hear what Trent Reznor of NIN has to say about this, as he's been after Radiohead about the whole In Rainbows-hooplah for being insincere and shrewd before:

[...] if you look at what they did, though, it was very much a bait and switch to get you to pay for a MySpace-quality stream as a way to promote a very traditional record sale. source

Instead, let me recommend you download Amplive's remixes of In Rainbows, at least they are still credited to him.

Via Henrik Moltke, who's a bit disappointed as well.

(I know it's the 1st of April, and this whole thing might be an April Fool's joke. If it is, I've been totally had! (: )


Tore | web | @ / 11:43 / 2nd of april / 2008

Great translation of the crappy terms, Jonas.

However don't I agree with Reznor's Myspace metaphor. I really can't hear that I'm listening to inferior quality music when I listen to the album, when I compare them to my other mp3's. Also I can live with the inferior quality I get from compressed files rather than having fecking Ogg Vorbis files taking up craploads of storage, srsly.

Besides, we all just need coat hangers and not cables. In other words, sounds good on paper but my ears can't really tell the difference.

Jonas | web / 18:14 / 2nd of april / 2008

I agree with you on the quality aspect, personally, I can't tell the difference either, and I don't care. What I think Reznor's gotten right, is the choice. If you're an audiophile, you can get, say, Saul Williams album in FLAC format. If you don't care, you can get it in mp3.

The In Rainbows campaign only offered the album in one version, I think (I might be wrong), and that is a lesser solution for the consumer.

Tore Vesterby | web | @ / 9:10 / 3rd of april / 2008

There was only one version of In Rainbows available, so you're right on the money there.

Would be relly cool to get some stats on the Saul Williams thing - I remember you blogging about it a while back. Sure it's easier to offer two or more formats over the internets, but isn't it really a company's choice of how much they want to do for their given target group? Then again the long tail may be in effect here - maybe there is a large percentage of the 1000 fans that want the über quality. I really don't know.

On the same note one could attack Reznor for releasing songs for remixing only in garageband format a while back, but I don't have the facts straight on that one, so I'll shut me gob.

Henrik Moltke | @ / 23:56 / 16th of april / 2008

Nice to see my post "improved" :)

I am starting to get vexed with Radiohead. Oh-so-concerned about the environment, Tibet and the political issue du jour. But when it comes to the ecology of ideas and the GIGANTIC hypocrisies going on in the name of music business, well, mr. Yorke is not so outspoken. I think they have not fully grasped what can be done, and what should be done with culture now.

I have written their managers, press people + blogged extensively about this. I do not pretend I am important, or expect Thom to call me on my cell and explain. But I think that, like many other artists, they are closing their eyes, at least partially, to what is coming.
I understand that they are superstars, and have seen up close how annoyingly in love their fans are. But still, this is just not good enough.

I love Radiohead for their great music and the fantastic live performances I have seen. It´s a shame that they can´t take this one, bigger step than the others - and let their music free. As in free speech.

NickRhodes | @ / 1:31 / 20th of april / 2008

how much does a REMIXER usualy get? as in percentage % out of the remixed product? cheers ;o)

Jonas | web / 22:26 / 20th of april / 2008

Hi Nick, I don't know actually, but I'm curious. Do you know? Usually a REMIXER gets the credit for it, but I have no clue about the money side of it?

Jonas | web / 23:04 / 20th of april / 2008

Thanks for your comment Henrik, I too would like to see them take that final step that would really affect the music industry. Here's to hoping.

NickRhodes | web | @ / 2:27 / 21st of april / 2008

it all depends of the deal between Artist and "Remixer" .. it's either you get a Credit or if you're a Newcomer, you get a low fee or if you're a big shot you get big bucks ;o)

my question though was concerning the percentage, that is you don't pay an upfront fee ... like how much % ... 5%, 7% ???

Jonas | web / 10:55 / 23rd of april / 2008

Good question, I have no clue about that actually. Anyone out there know how big a cut a remixer gets for a track, on average?

› Bio (sort of)

Bio is the personal website of me, Jonas Voss, and this is my blog. I've lived in Dublin, Ireland from 2005-10, currently live in London, and was born and fully customized in Copenhagen, Denmark. I write about anything that comes to mind. Really.
You can send me an email at my first name at my last name . co - if that's how you roll.

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