It’s great news to read something like this in the news:

Coldplay’s new album Viva La Vida has taken an unusual iTunes record, becoming the best-selling album pre-sale ever released in the history of Apple’s music store.

But it’s kind of tragic that the same article reveals that the album has leaked. I know, this isn’t brand new news, but I want to write about it so I am. I mean, when I get called late at night with a friend yelling excitedly “The Coldplay album leaked!” I figure it’s an event worthy of recording.

Back to the focus. The album has leaked…in a major way. Simply checking (the only torrent website I’ve ever been told about) and seeing that thousands upon thousands of people dowloading a half dozen different torrents all claiming to be Colplay’s new album entitled “Viva La Vida (, or Death and All of His Friends)” (but I think they cut the second half of the title) was shocking. Looking at the “Top 100” list for music, the closest torrent numbers don’t even compare. I can only assume, looking at the numbers, that at least several million people have the full pirated album now, about two weeks before the scheduled US release.

This has to be one of the biggest cultural leaks. It’s huge. This is one of the most anticipated albums of the year from a band that is garnering a lot of media based just on how big they are. Just check out the opening lines from this news article (a little overstated in my opinion):

It is no wonder the music world is so eagerly awaiting the release of the new Coldplay album. Coldplay may very well be the last of the super acts.

The release of ‘Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends’ is without a doubt the most anticipated release on the planet in some time. Maybe that is because Coldplay is the last of the great groups.

The article has an interesting thesis, to say the least. But their jumping-off point is sound. Coldplay is a huge band right now. One of the biggest, playing sold out show after sold out show. Headlining at Live8London alongside the reunited Pink Floyd and other Rock and Roll legends is probably getting to the highest point on the totem pole, at least that I can imagine. So when one of the world’s biggest bands releases a new album, it’s safe to assume it’s going to be one of the worlds biggest selling albums.

And then the album becomes available for download for millions of people to access at no cost but the threat of an impending federal lawsuit.

So the band reacted by streaming the album on their MySpace page.

Not that releasing an album over the internet (with the band’s permission, such as in this streaming case) isn’t without precedent (Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails). And the move is a solid one–and probably one that should be adopted as standard in the future if major bands want to succeed in an age where modern piracy is exclusively technological. It’s also a problem labels of major acts are going to have to learn to elegantly sidestep, because no easy solution is presenting itself but to release the album a week or two early.

Moral: you can listen to the new Coldplay album! I’m still going to submit into evidence that ever since daily falling asleep to Parachutes for my afternoon naps years ago, that album remains my favorite, although for about the first year I could never stay awake long enough to hear the last three tracks: a true story.

This album, according to some, is a very important album for Coldplay, the album heralding what’s called the “make or break” time. A time I’m not so sure is here. The album is solid, but it doesn’t exactly take the band in a new direction. But I like the album and will continue listening to it. I imagine the next album will be the make it or break it album. Others conjecture otherwise.

Ah, enough of me: just read the article here.