Mon 9 Jul 2012
Frank Ocean taped a performance for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon which will air this evening, along with a “big surprise” from Ocean and Fallon…apparently, the news is that channel Orange will be available on iTunes, right after the show, at 12:30am Tuesday, July 10th…a full week before the album’s original release date.
Now Frank Ocean fans have been looking forward to the Odd Future crooner’s channel Orange debut long before and unrelated to the touching open letter he released last week about falling in love with a male friend. So it’s good news for us that the album has moved up…but, it makes you wonder if the decision to do so was prompted by Frank’s courageous stand…and/or the potential effect that the current media attention might have on sales? In the past, the only reason to suddenly move a date up has been to counteract an album leak on the web, but channel Orange hasn’t been pirated. Does this move bother you as opportunistic? Another way to look at it…the album is a product for sale, so doesn’t it makes sense to follow the normal rules of “supply for demand”? There may be new awareness and interest in what he has to say, so is it wrong to give those folks access tonight instead of next week?
UPDATE: The surprises keep coming. Frank Ocean’s channel Orange is actually on iTunes right now! One week and one hour early! Buy it on iTunes here.
Also, there’s a chance this move was planned in advance…
Mr. North points out that Frank Ocean even hints at that in a recent interview…
Read more details…After the jump
Reps at Def Jam are saying that the decision to move the release date up was just made today. But while discussing this change with Mr. North, he pointed out that Frank Ocean has always gone against the grain when it comes to releasing his music. In the past few months, songs like “Pyramids”, “Sweet Life” and more have been debuted on his tumblr with no advance hype or warning. His album cover doesn’t include his name on it. And the tv-spot for it seems more like a car commercial than an album promotion (watch below). Ocean’s fansite (FrankOcean.net) reports that Frank has said he wanted to release the project as a surprise.
Whether Frank planned to drop his letter on July 4th and then move up his album date all in advance…or whether the changes were all set in motion by reports from the listening sessions…the bottom line is, we will be able to judge the quality (not just the context) of channel Orange later tonight.
Frank Ocean’s mysterious channel Orange commercial (via streetkhemistry)
Revisiting Frank Ocean’s “Forrest Gump” Coachella Debut: “Running ‘Round My Mind, Boy”
Frank Ocean’s Circle of Trust: Momdukes, His Co-Writer, Dream Hampton and more
Independence Day: Frank Ocean Confirms Bisexuality With a Heartfelt Letter
Frank Ocean Taps John Mayer, André 3000 & Earl Sweatshirt for ‘Channel Orange’ (Album Cover & Tracklist)