Music Group Massive Attack to Release Entire Album Online

In a move sure to startle a few record retailers, English recording artists Massive Attack will make their much-anticipated new album, Mezzanine, available in its entirety on the Internet weeks before the May 12 in-store release date. The album will appear in stages over the course of two weeks via a special page on Virgin Records America's web site.

The online exclusive starts on Friday, March 20 with a 45-second clip of "Teardrop," the first single to be released from the album, plus artwork from the Mezzanine sleeve. Three days later, the full-length version of "Teardrop" will be able to be heard on the site, along with a 30-second clip of the accompanying video, plus 45-second excerpts from each of the 11 tracks on the album. Then, on March 30---a full month before its May 12 release in stores---the full-length album will be on the site, accompanied by the full version of the "Teardrop" video.

All of the audio and video content will be "streamed" live using RealNetworks' RealAudio and RealVideo streaming technology. Live streaming allows users to see and hear material without it being saved onto their computers. Any Internet user who has a soundcard and speakers can take part in this event by downloading a free copy of the RealPlayer.

Mezzanine features former Cocteau Twin Liz Fraser singing on three tracks, including the "Teardrop" single.