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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 March 2008, 13:13 GMT
Raconteurs release surprise album
By Kev Geoghegan
Radio 1 music reporter

The Raconteurs are to rush out their new album, Consolers of the Lonely, in just a week's time.

Jack White
Jack on stage with White Stripes
The LP will be released simultaneously on vinyl, CD and digitally across the world on 25 March.

In an attempt to stop the album being leaked, the band have also chosen not to send review copies to music journalists.

On their official website, the band, led by White Stripes frontman Jack White, explain they would "rather the release not be defined by its first week sales, pre-release promotion or by someone defining it for you before you get to hear it."

Criticism of iTunes

The Raconteurs are also the latest band to criticise sites like iTunes for selling individual album tracks.

The band say they "prefer fans buy the album as a whole rather than breaking up the tracks."

The statement reads: "Until iTunes and other digital services allow bands to release their albums with the option of not breaking it up, it will be sold in that fashion on those sites."

The Raconteurs are not the first band to express concerns over the future of the album format.

We prefer fans buy the album as a whole rather than breaking up the tracks
The Raconteurs
Speaking to Newsbeat, Elbow singer Guy Garvey agreed: "I think it should be up to the artist how their music is sold.

"We're an album band and we'd like to sell our album as one thing rather than breaking it up into small chunks.

"I suppose it's the difference between a collection of short stories or a novel with chapters."

In contrast, Muse recently suggested they may quit the album format in favour of releasing single tracks.

Last summer, Irish rockers Ash announced they were not going to release any more albums to focus on individual tracks.



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