After being dropped from Reprise Records in 2001 over creative conflicts surrounding Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, the Chicago-based band committed what some thought would be suicide -- they streamed it online for free.
The album's subsequent release on Nonesuch debuted higher on the charts than any of their prior releases. That success gave both band and label confidence to try new internet forays: the first-ever MPEG-4 webcast with Apple, as well as more free online offerings of live shows and an EP's worth of fresh tracks. The band's 2004 release, A Ghost Is Born, hit No. 8 on the Billboard charts -- their highest position to date.
How great is that? Proof that downloading doesn't stop people from buying - proof that the RIAA lawsuits are needless and ineffective. I for one am happy that independent artists are able to succeed without the condonement of the Establishment. Let's hear it for the underdog - the little guy! Yayyy!