Soundgarden cheats its way to a Platinum release: Here are five more bands that could use the boost
Soundgarden was just certified Platinum for sales of its best-of album, Telephantasm (which, incidentally, has the worst cover art of the year, beating out Hurley by a long shot), generated in one day.
On the surface, this sounds like one hell of an accomplishment, until you read the fine print: Telephantasm was bundled with the Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock game from Activision. The million units purchased by Activision are non-returnable to the record label, meaning all one million units were sold to one company.
Are you with us? Essentially, the record was certified Platinum because it was bundled with a video game, which is non-returnable. This doesn't mean Soundgarden sold a million copies of the record. Hell, it doesn't even mean Activision sold a million copies of the game.
The press release seems to think this is a good thing: "...(it) has opened the door to a new type of RIAA certification: recognizing a band's success based on the sale of non-returnable units from a music label to a gaming company, instead of to a traditional retailer." It seems a little fishy to us, but we can think of a few other bands that could certainly use the boost of fake sales to bolster their careers.
5. Animal Collective
Animal Collective is huge in its own little universe, but the band hasn't really been able to reach a mass audience. Sure, the outfit is making its own line of shoes now, but we're pretty damn certain Guitar Hero: AnCo would have the potential to be the most hilarious thing ever. It would also warrant at least a few hundred calls to the police from concerned neighbors: "911, what's your emergency?" "Uh, yes, hi, I think my neighbor's dead. He's been playing two Beach Boys records at once all day and yelping."
Prog rock doesn't seem to make too much of an appearance in Guitar Hero, but if the sales of the Beatles edition of Rock Band are any indication, old dudes might be interested in reliving the glory of prog, too. Hell, call it Guitar Hero: Progressive Rock and package in a keyboard with Yes and Genesis anthologies, and you're sure to have a Platinum record. At the very least, it would probably send Peter Gabriel on some type of rant.
Manowar might be better suited to be on the soundtrack to a reimagining of the arcade classic Altered Beast than in Guitar Hero, but we'd still like to see how Activision would sell the, ahem, package. A Manowar career mode would be awesome, too, especially if we could pick and choose the outfits. If nothing else, maybe the band would see a boost in sales and the members would be able to get real fur linings for their jackets.
Creed could certainly use an artificial sales boost to make the band seem relevant, especially considering that it has never actually been relevant. Scott Stapp and company may be the butt of many jokes, but we've seen some of the absolute best karaoke done using Creed tracks. Bonus: Packaging in a Creed album with the game would at least keep them out of landfills for a couple more weeks.
Nickelback is arguably the worst band to ever grace the Billboard charts. Just the same, the group has had multiple Platinum releases in its careers. We're going to go out on a limb here and say that nobody is interested in a Best of Nickelback right now, so if it gets packaged into a video game, it might actually sell enough copies.