First, let us start with a belated "Happy New Year!"; we hope that 2009 is a good year for all of you!
We have some exciting news! Following on from our experiment to release our new album "Happiness Is The Road" through the internet only, we're happy to announce that we have been approached by EMI to consider a CD release to retail. We're delighted, as this means that as many people as possible will have access to what most people agree is a wonderful album.
"Happiness Is The Road" will be released as a double-album into retail shops in the UK, Holland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Scandinavia on February 2nd, 2009. It will be on our own "Intact" label through EMI.
That's the end of the good news really, but if you're a little confused as to how this came about (and who could blame you?!), read on..
"We're so "cutting edge" we cut our sales!"
Our internet-only release-strategy to date has been an attempt to answer the long-standing question: "Would ALL our fans be prepared to buy the new work directly from us if there was no alternative?" This question could only be answered by going ahead and biting the bullet, so we bit it! And now we know.. It turned out to be about one-third of you. We'd like to say many, many thanks to those of you who came directly to us - you have literally made the continuation of the band, and its music, possible.
We have been able (through our internet-only campaign since November 2008) to maximize the number of people who might be prepared to buy directly from us at Racket Records on www.marillion.com. In this way we received 100% of the profit available from this project (many more times the profit we earn from retail shop sales). This will keep the band alive-and-well going forward and will finance us through the creative period ahead.
However, we received many, many emails and messages from fans who preferred not to buy on-line, lamenting the fact that they could not simply walk into a record shop and buy our new CD. We are, by now, aware (even sure!) that this view is held by a significant proportion of our overall fan base. So this year's "new" relationship with our long-standing allies at EMI will provide the machine required to put "Happiness Is The Road" into record stores across Europe and those of you who prefer not to buy on-line will have "high street" access to it. At this stage in the life of the album we think that's great news!
From our point of view, what's important is that our music is heard by as many people as possible whilst, at the same time, providing us with enough income to continue together. Direct sales have provided the income. The retail release will now complete the picture.
"But hang on a minute!" we hear you say.. "Aren't Marillion THE "Internet Pioneers?"
Well, that's what they like to call us these days.. But if we have learned anything from the last 15 years of using the Internet, it's to listen to our fans when they communicate with us - and loads of you are telling us that you simply want to go into your local shop and buy our new CD. Not a download, not from iTunes, and not from Amazon.
So there you have it, folks. We hope this helps! Have a great year 'til we see you again. (It might not be too long.. See www.marillion.com/tour!)
All the best,
H, Ian, Mark, Pete, and Steve