As many of you may recall, I spent a great deal of my misspent youth
obsessed with Thom Yorke & compatriots. But I was put off by Amnesiac,
a record that I found, on all levels, utterly uninspired. But this did
not stop me from shelling out $60 to see them live last Friday, and let
me tell you, it was $60 well spent. What a show. What a fucking show.
Two hours and fifteen minutes of sonic overload, and I loved it all. I
owe those boys an apology for all the nasty things I said about Amnesiac.
Which sounds great live. Plus a smattering of OK Computer and a huge
selection of good stuff off The Bends, and a vicious, snide, perfect
rendition of "Talk Show Host" which reminded me again just how brilliant
their b-sides are, and which inspired me to spend all of Saturday listening
to the Radiohead canon in chronological order by date of release, including
singles, and also to go to amazon.co.uk and buy all four Amnesiac singles
and the Fake Plastic Trees single.
Which is the point of this page, actually. Here's what I learned from my friend Amy, who used to work at the Union Square Virgin Megastore: all singles of foreign bands are imports when sold in the U.S. Radiohead is a perfect example of the phenomenon. Their label is Parlophone, which is part of EMI, which in the United States is Capitol. Radiohead LPs, such as OK Computer, Amnesiac, whatever, are released by Capitol in the U.S. However, Capitol does not release the singles: only Parlophone releases the singles. This means that HMV has to import them, and since they are imported for commercial use (ie., to be resold), they are subject to customs duties, which as we learned from our brother the Econ major, are passed on to the buyer. Plus the record store gets to charge a bucketload more for them due to the fact that they've got that little "Import" sticker on them and therefore they are exotic. However. If you import something for your own personal use, as long as it costs less than $2000, you are not required to pay any customs duties on it. This from the U.S. Customs Service. And if you're buying it from a country where it's not an import, then it's not exotic, and it's sold at real cost.
Point being, each of the Radiohead singles cost $10.99 plus S&H from cdnow.com, but at Amazon.co.uk, they cost £2.99 apiece. And five singles plus S&H cost £17.50, which is about $35.00. Which is where it's at.
Such are the wonders of the internet economy.
(Hell Amy, maybe you're right. Maybe nations are becoming obsolete.)
Here's one link.
If that doesn't work, go here instead. I'll be waiting. With a gun and a pack of sandwiches.