A sequel to Part 97: New Release Tuesdays.
Part 259: New Release Twos-days
New releases were almost always Tuesdays. There are only so many Tuesdays in a year, and many music stars avoid releasing their albums on the same day as a rival’s. Others like to go head to head, or try to beat other artists to the punch by releasing their albums early. Record labels plan release strategies around these Tuesdays like generals going to war. Advertising blitzes are ordered, interview campaigns co-ordinated, and personnel rallied.
Most often, bands didn’t want to compete with rival bands over limited consumer dollars. On June 14, 2005, the three big releases we stocked that day weren’t fighting over the same customers. Foo Fighters’ In Your Honor was the album I had been waiting for, but my good buddy Dan Slessor from Kerrang! magazine sent me a UK copy with the bonus track “The Sign” so I was going to keep waiting until it arrived. In Your Honor and its single “Best Of You” remain highlights of the Foo œuvre. I expected steady sales.
On the same day, the Backstreet Boys returned from a lengthy hiatus. Extending that hiatus was the release date of their comeback CD Never Gone (ha ha) which was pushed back almost a year. I didn’t expect much mileage out of this album. Then in the rap section, we had Fat Joe. All Or Nothing was the name of his album. Rap was usually a quiet but reliable seller. Although some rap albums were sluggish and often died quickly, if you ordered in conservative quantities we could usually do well with rap. You just had to know when to drop the title before people stopped buying it. This is the kind of argument I would get into with our Head Office people all the time. Sometimes they were right, sometimes they were wrong and I was right. However I felt that they often used my well-known love of Heavy Metal music against my arguments, any time I was in favour of dropping a rap or dance title. “You just want to get rid of it because you don’t like it,” they would say. There’s just nothing you can say when somebody has that set in their minds already.
Anyway, on this Tuesday I proved to be wrong about first-day sales predictions. I dug up my journal from that day. And the winner is…
Date: 2005/06/14 17:35
I have sold just as many Backstreet Boys as Foo Fighters today.
But nobody bought Fat Joe.
For the record, I’m also the one who predicted that Nick Carter’s solo album would outsell Justin Timberlake’s. It really didn’t turn out at all like that!