Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Radiohead is releasing a newspaper

by Jonathan on March 25, 2011

The Universal SighIf you haven’t heard, Radiohead will be distributing a free newspaper at 61 locations worldwide to promote the physical release of the King of Limbs, which comes out on Monday everywhere except North America, which must wait until Tuesday. The band have worked with long time collaborator and artist, Stanley Donwood, to produce a wholly undigital ink-and-paper handout called the Universal Sigh.

From the band:

The Radiohead album ‘The King of Limbs’ will be available for purchase in all good record stores everywhere on Monday 28th March, except in the United States of America and in Canada, where for reasons beyond the purview of this writer it will be available from Tuesday 29th March. On VINYL! On COMPACT DISC! As a DOWNLOAD!

To commemorate this momentous occasion, Radiohead have produced a newspaper which will be given away, free, gratis, without cost to the consumer by accredited vendors from a multitude of locations WORLDWIDE! In the USA, in the Netherlands, in Belgium, Poland, Germany, Austria, in the Czech Republic, in Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Ireland, France, Italy, Slovakia, Finland, Greece, Norway, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Australia, Latvia, Iceland, Romania, New Zealand, the UK and a load of other places around the globe, our dedicated teams of newspaper delivery people will be handing out copies of  THE UNIVERSAL SIGH to anyone who wants one, until we run out!

In conjunction with this unbelievable offer, Radiohead have established THE UNIVERSAL SIGH as a website on the internet, where details of your nearest vendor can be found, as well as more informations and a photogallery where we will be posting photos and the lucky owners of the gratis tabloid are invited to post pictures of themselves and their friends reading the newspaper in locations diverse and unusual. There will be other stuff too, but we haven’t thought of it yet.

More information can be found at http://www.theuniversalsigh.com/

Radiohead points out the following important info:

This newspaper IS NOT the newspaper that accompanies the Newspaper Album version of The King of Limbs.

This event WILL NOT be repeated.


This event IS NOT a live performance by Radiohead.

The Universal SighFor a peek at the newspaper, a copy has turned up on eBay, of course. An interesting note in the auction description mentions that you’ll receive a unique code with the newspaper. What you can do with that code remains a mystery. Some think that it could unlock more songs/content from a website. Perhaps a second half to the King of Limbs that has been rumored ever since the album was released? Who knows.

What do you think? Knowing Radiohead, anything is possible at this point.

Let us know in the comments your thoughts and if you’re planning on trying to snag a copy!

UPDATE: More photos of the newspaper can be seen here.

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  • Emilyjane

    I live in Utah! I’m nowhere near a distribution sight. That sucks.

  • FLhater

    same here buddy! Damn you Florida!! you’re a boring state!

  • Manah

    Maybe they’ll include a few articles explaining why The King Of Limbs was so fucking terrible…

  • Jarod

    There’s gotta be a way i can get one of these without dropping a small fortune for one on ebay.

  • Muse1009

    I wish there’d been distribution in more US cities versus multiple distributions in the same cities. The midwest, specifically Ohio where I unfortunately live, always gets shafted. I do get excited by this kind of thing, for sure, but I’m sure I will never see one.

  • Jeosy


  • Skatterbrain’d

    And none of the locations are in Latin America… that just sucks…

  • Fa

    king of limbs was great.

  • Opaquiosq

    Don’t worry…even though I live in NYC and there are multiple distribution sites here, I will be slaving at work at the appointed hour. So I’ll unfortunately be as out of luck as you are.

  • Bradley21

    The King of Limbs site is down. Something’s telling me it’s being updated with whatever we’ll be able to download with the code from the newspaper.

  • Pentoctogon

    Ticket pre-sale? looks like the venders are where shows have been played..

  • Mephistopheles

    If anybody who has already recieved a copy of The Universal Sigh could tell us what the codes unlock i’m sure everyone would appreciate it.

  • I bet a lot of not-english-speaking fans will not understand that “12pm” means “noon” and will be there at midnight. What do you think ?

    I think it’s unclear. I even created a prediction about this: http://www.beansight.com/prediction/radiohead-s-newspaper-worldwide-operation-will-confuse-some-fans-because-of-the-unclear-meeting-time

  • Kyosti

    There’s information for every location on the universal sigh page. Tuesday is the day everyone in north america has to go and get it, for me (in van), it says 1 pm. Just click your location on the site to avoid a pointless trip!

  • Jeebus

    This is great… if you happen to live in one of the few cities that has them. Otherwise it just sucks ass. They could at least ship it with the newspaper album for folks like me that were kind enough to give our hard earned cash to the band yet don’t want to spend a day driving to get one or fork over astronomical prices on eBay.

  • gmch

    I live in a distribution city but might not get one either. The addresses for Washington DC are all screwed up. They’ve already been changed once, and it didn’t make it any better (worse, actually). I’m not sure I can take time off to potentially go and stand on a non-relevant street corner somewhere.

  • Eldi

    Certo, I’m a big fan, but true as of now it isn’t that great, lets see if the other tracks are good.

  • Gray
  • PissedInDayton

    I’m with Muse1009. I’m also in Ohio and we didn’t get a single city. Yet, CA gets 3 locations in Los Angeles. NYC gets 2, Chicago gets 2, even douchey Philly gets a location. It’s total BS. A really cool idea on Radiohead’s part for sure, as I’m sure logistically it was a difficult undertaking, plus they apparently footed the bill, but it’s sort of like hearing your favorite band is throwing a super cool free party for their fans but have only invited their hipster friends from major urban areas all of whom get several nights of shows every tour anyway. It feels shitty.

    Should have called it “the Non-Universal, Privileged Sigh”.

    I just hope Radiohead at least has the decency to ensure that the winner of the 12″ vinyl is someone who ordered the album that does not have a shipping address within 5 hours of any of the locations selected for the Universal Sigh distribution… that’d be at least a little closer to fair.

  • PDF download found it here for those in areas where the physical is not making an appearance:

  • dave

    Since that newspaper from seems to have been a promo (hence being out early) I assume the download code is for a promo copy of the album (ie the same copy everyone was able to get already but the copy would be gratis to the person the code was for). At least I hope so, b/c I didn’t get a download code at the boston location.

  • Jeebus

    I couldn’t agree more. The locations should have been more distributed. And why does Minneapolis need two locations? Every time they go on tour I have to drive at least 4 hours or so to see them. And it’s not like I’m living in the middle of nowhere.

  • Eldis

    Don’t think that not speaking english will make you estupid, midnight is 12 am.

  • stuporhuman

    couldn’t agree more – I’m a hardcore radiohead fan, but bloody hard to get a paper when they don’t even come to your continent. Last tour, which was too long ago, was cut short b/c Thom lost his voice……time to look after the fans again I say!!

  • PissedInDayton

    You know what would be so F’ing awesome? They’d never do this, but it would be so amazing if the next time Radiohead goes on tour, they do a worldwide tour, but they don’t play any nights in any large previous cities like NYC, LA, San Fran, Chicago, London, Paris, Tokyo, and they made all those spoiled city bastards finally have to sack up and drive 5-10 hours somewhere to see a band! Oh my God, talk about revolutionary! Radiohead would be indisputably the greatest band ever for that.

  • dave

    Guess I was wrong… Europe got codes, and North America did not. What were the codes good for?

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