Free Album, Free Publicity

I should never have Google’d it. I’m gonna be sat here all day adding reviews, ain’t I? Good reason for it too… have a read of the below and you just might find out (though again, it’s not like I’ve had time to read em myself yet…).

The top audio story at Pocket-lint today is The Crimea’s free album download. It’s not much you won’t have read already.

Secrets Of The Witching HourIt’s top story for the whole site on Strange Glue, so just visit to say thanks.

Second top story on ICWales’s Arts & Ents section is a slightly longer “Free” article with a Welsh twist.

The story’s one of the top three at and if you’re wondering why, you really wanna read this one.

Music blog Musical Justice just reference ye olde Guardian article, but add just a little extra something. Yes, you wanna read this one too, but I’ll give it a bigger mention later today.

Proving that
a free album has at least a little wider intrest than just within the music industry, technology blog Tech Digest gave the story a mention yesterday. Again, the story ain’t new, but the audience sure is.

Possibly the best article of the.. err… last hour (gimme a break, they’re coming thick n fast today)… is from DJ Ivi’s blog at music website MOG. If you’re tired of the last 24hr’s hype, this guy tells it how it is. Well, dunno about the pop bit…

And another tech blog, Gadgetell, also have an article on the free album story.

Indie band release free web album

The Crimea release “Secrets of the Witching Hour” online for free

Indie band release free web album ImageAn indie band has opted to release its second album for free on the Internet to drive sales for concert tickets and merchandise.

Taking the brave leap to give something for free in hope of return is the critically acclaimed indie band, The Crimea. The band who lost their record contract with Warner Bros Records, is hoping that offering the album for free online will broaden their fan base.

Their 2005 album, Tragedy Rocks, achieved one Top 40 hit. “We want to harness the power of the Internet”, Owen Hopkin, the band’s drummer, explained. “If it’s on there for free we’ll reach more people than the orthodox route of selling the record.”

The Crimea do plan to sell the album on CD, but hope that the free digital version will cut costs and increase their profit share because they will owe a record company nothing and they will get a greater share from tickets and other sales revenues.

Article by Ryan Haynes for Pocket-lint, 01/05/07.

Will All Music Soon Be Free?

The Crimea LiveThe Guardian reported an interesting development in the music industry today – indie band The Crimea look set to break new ground by giving an entire album away.

Their debut album, Tragedy Rocks, sold 35,000 copies and they also scored a top 40 hit with the single Lottery Winners On Acid. But that was not enough to save them from being dropped by their label – Warner Music.

After self financing their new album it seems they have done the maths and deduced that they can make more money from touring and merchandise which would follow from an increased fanbase.

Hence the decision to give the album away freely. This development may well leave many record company executives twitching nervously, since the majority of their huge profits is recouped by taking a large cut of record sales. If many more bands follow The Crimea’s lead we may well be set for the next music revolution.

Photo courtesy of zimpenfish

Article from Strange Glue, 30/04/07.

Crimea’s second album is free

WELSH band Crimea will make history this month when they become the first established act to give away an album for free.

The band, who formed in Aberystwyth, will make second album Secrets Of The Witching Hour available from a secret place on the web.

While bands like the Manic Street Preachers have allowed singles to be distributed for free, the release of a whole album could mean changes for the industry. The Crimea, which features Welsh drummer Owen Hopkin, decided to release their second album after being dropped by Warner Brothers.

The band had sold a respectable 35,000 copies of their debut album Tragedy Rocks, received plaudits from the late John Peel plus current DJs such as Radio 1’s Zane Lowe and had a top 40 hit with the single Lottery Winners on Acid.

Conscious of the growth in file sharing and illegal downloads the band hopes that releasing the album for free will help to strengthen their audience on the live music scene.

Owen said, “We want to harness the power of the internet. If it’s on there for free we’ll reach more people than the orthodox route of selling the record.”

While the band promise that it will be free forever on the internet, they are not going to turn down offers of money for their new songs. You can also buy the album on their website.

The band says, “This is for those of you who like something solid in your hands from time to time. And who can blame you. It’s a shiny disc, with full artwork, lovingly crafted by our very own J Udwin. It’s the option for traditionalists, for purists, for people who need something a little more… well… round.”

The album is released on May 13.

Article by by Claire Hill for ICWales, 01/05/07.

The CrimeaIndie Band Takes Us One Step Closer To Free Music

A little known indie band from Camden, London may be about to revolutionise the music industry.

The Crimea, who were dropped from Warner Music after one modestly successful album, will give away their second album in its entirety, reports British newspaper ‘The Guardian’.

With physical album sales in freefall, they feel that by giving the album away they will significantly increase their fanbase, thus maximising their ability to make money from touring, merchandise and licensing deals.

The album, ‘Secrets Of The Witching Hour’, was funded by the band and is now available to download from their website,

Crimea drummer Owen Hopkin told the paper, “We’ve always strived to get the music out to as many people as possible. We want to harness the power of the internet. If it’s on there for free we’ll reach more people than the orthodox route of selling the record.”

The experiment will undoubtedly be watched closely by both the music industry, and other indie bands undoubtedly excited at the prospect of bypassing the increasingly archaic routine of seeking a recording contract.

FREE DOWNLOAD The Crimea: Secrets Of The Witching Hour

Article by Daniel Zugna for, 01/05/07.

Cheap Thrills: The Crimea – Secrets Of The Witching Hour

The Crimea are giving away their new CD, Secrets Of The Witching Hour. The Guardian writes up the offer here “Album giveaway could ignite music revolution

“We’ve always strived to get the music out to as many people as possible,” said the Crimea’s drummer, Owen Hopkin, who has taken on many of the group’s organisational and administrative duties. “We want to harness the power of the internet. If it’s on there for free we’ll reach more people than the orthodox route of selling the record.”

Go here for the free, legal download

MJTV: The Crimea – Bombay Sapphire Coma

My favorite tune from the Crimea’s last one…

Articles from Musical Justice, 30/04/07.

UK indie band The Crimea to give away album online

the crimea album coverBritish indie band The Crimea is to give away its new album “Secrets of the Witching Hour” for free online, in an attempt to build a fan base.

Although plenty of unsigned bands give away their music in this way, The Crimea are possibly the biggest band to go down this route.

Stephen Taverner, The Crimea’s manager, said, “They are hoping that because it’s free it will open the band to a wider audience and make more money from live income. The other thing that’s important is that all of this is irrelevant if the music isn’t any good.”

The Crimea

Article by Andy Merrett for Tech Digest, 30/04/07.

The Crimea – New Release, Free

UK indie pop musicans The Crimea, are officially indie. The real indie, as in independent. Not just because Warner dropped them from their american label last year, more so because their upcoming new release Secrets Of The Witching Hour will be available as a net release -starting May 13th-. Total cost to download – $0.00. It’s free. It is a ploy to attract more fans, more future record buyers. But, isn’t that the way music should be marketed? If you enchant enough people that want to hear more of your music, enough to support recording another album, then do you really need all the other hassle? The Crimea are certainly worth a listen. This music isn’t my cup of tea, but i like it enough to suggest it to people who like enchanting pop music. Not Bjork enchanting, but maybe Spiritualized when they aren’t playing Spectrum stuff. And i fully support the DIY punk ethic behind it. i LOVE net releases! So do go check it out!

They just released this late breaking news :

‘The Witching Hour is Upon us…’ – Monday, April 30, 2007
To be super quick, we’re pushing the free on-line release to… now!!! ‘Secrets Of The Witching Hour’ is ready to go, and awaiting your MP3 player of choice everywhere as of NOW.
Just head towards and let your mouse do the work. Nice and simple.

That’s it for the moment. We’re in Beijing at the moment and are proud to announce we’ve been made cultural envoys of the Wang Jing district, Beijing. Come and see us on our UK shows for a full explanation, it’s a bizarre one, but worthwile…

Lots of Love

The Crimea

You can listen to a few tracks on the band page.

Article by DJ Ivi from, 01/05/07.

Music free? Bands to make living off tours?

The recording industry is collectively holding its breathe as established band The Crimea is set to release its anticipated 2nd album, Secrets of the Witching Hour – absolutely free. The band is preparing a “secret spot” on the internet where you’ll be able to download it all, free without strings.

From their website,

“Let’s cut to the chase here, our second album, Secrets Of The Witching Hour, will be available from May 13. What’s more, it will be available for free, for ever, for you, from a secret location on the web that we’re currently working on. And you read that right, by the way. It’s free, folks. Free as a bird, Free as that dodgy band that sang ‘Alright Now’, free as something you have to pay nothing, zip, nada, nien for.”

The band sold 35,000 copies of it’s first album, even making the top 40 with one track; so they are not unheard of. They were, however dropped by their first album label , Warner Music, so the band decided to give up on making money by sales of its music in exchange for wider promotion (free music) and make it up with touring and merchandising.

Live music seems to be booming and the industry continues to fret over illegal downloads so this play seems to be at the right time and the right place. Will this be the new business model? It certainly has potential.

Perhaps Mel Brooks was right in the movie Spaceballs, “Merchandising, that is where the real money…is made.”

Read [The Guardian]

Article by JG Mason for Gadgetell, 01/05/07.

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