Amidst widespread wonder if a new Wu-Tang Clan album would ever see the light of day, Forbes (of all publications) dropped a bomb today confirming that the group has recorded an expansive, 128-minute double album entitled Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. Here's the thing — the collective is only offering one very, very expensive copy.
Recorded in secret over the years with Morocco-based producer Tarik "Cilvaringz" Azzougarh, the solitary album will be taken on a "tour" through museums, galleries, festivals and other locations where dedicated fans will pay anywhere from $30 to $50 to listen to the album in full on headphones provided by the venue. As you could probably surmise, each stop will be highly guarded with security to prevent recording and early leaks.
In true over-the-top 1970's B-movie form, the album's cover (pictured above) was handcrafted over three months by the royalty-commissioned artist Yahya and currently sits in a vault nestled beneath the Atlas Mountains. Once the listening tour is over, the group plans to sell the album at a price point "in the millions" according to a statement made by notable member Rza in Forbes.
Whether it's purchased by a super-wealthy Wu fan or an interested corporation, the album certainly pioneers a new way for artists to make some all-too-rare money from recorded releases. It'll be interesting to see how this whole thing pans out, but it's pretty hard to imagine the casual listener shelling out $30 to $50 for a single listen. Either way, you can't knock the ingenuity of the attempt.
Read the full (and well-worth the attention) article over at Forbes.