Pumpkins smash Virgin with MP3 rebellion

Virgin won't get a penny, as Smashing Pumpkins bypasses record label and give final work away for free

According to reports, US rock band the Smashing Pumpkins has released its latest and final album for free on the Internet in a direct attack against its record label Virgin Records.

The band reportedly says it snubbed Virgin because it has "denied it the support it deserves".

The songs have already been converted into MP3 format, and are available from various Web sites and through Napster.

Twenty five copies of the album, "Machina II: Friends and Enemies of Modern Music", were created, which were then distributed to friends and contacts of the band. These were then ripped to MP3, and made available for fans to download.

The album consists of original work or new versions of old songs. Some Web sites are already offering to burn it onto CD for users who can't access the Internet.

Virgin was not available for comment at press time.

MP3.com went from a brilliant, but flawed, critic of the music industry to a dumb music pipe for the record labels practically overnight. Matt Carolan thinks it's a shame. Go to AnchorDesk for the news comment.

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