Since last May/June:
- They've released (by my count) 27 tracks. 27.
- The lead off album track was a free download (on their web site) for a week.
- The album's signature track was available for purchase prior to the albums release. This isn't a new idea, but at least it wasn't a free 30 second clip.
- There was a vinyl 7" made available with an exclusive session outtake.
- The 12" vinyl version of the album had a promo CD of the album enclosed.
- To celebrate their tour's launch, they released another song (a short little ditty) as a download-only track on their web site... for free. (The song ended up being performed by the band in the middle of the audience in the back of whatever venue it was. A thrill for the cheap seats.)
- They made music videos (remember those??) and offered one on iTunes for a week... for free. One of their videos was a first ever "video cover version."
- Their live appearances on TV weren't necessarily centered around the "single of the moment." The "venue" dictated which song was used.
- They issued a promo CD for Lost! with a unique Instrumental version. There were just enough of them made so any resourceful fans could find one.
- A re-release of their album (later in the year) added an 8 track EP: 5 new songs, 3 remixes.
- One of the best tracks on the album, Lost!, was issued on Violet Hill's CD single in "acoustic" form weeks before the album. I learned the song before I got the album and was never, I mean never, so floored than when I heard the album version at last.
- Their latest single, out last week, has an outtake called The Goldrush. The lyrics were printed in their tour's concert program suggesting it may have originally been planned as another hidden or bonus track for the album. It may have been edited out and put here instead... but it's another example of how good even the outtakes are.
And they did all of that while carrying out 2008's most successful concert tour in the world.
I have dreams that Jeff Lynne projects yield nearly this much. But Jeff Lynne projects don't get Coldplay's budget, do they? The link I personally find between the two is the quality of their recordings. Anytime both make records, every sound is extremely well thought-out and laid-out.
So, my money's on a big night for Coldplay. If that doesn't happen, oh well. At least they're a rare example of how fans became a top priority... and how so many fans were willing to actually shell out money to hear more.