The Rolling Stones may never release another album of new material after Hackney Diamonds so they’re looking for a bigger bang than usual with its release. The band has teamed up with Major League Baseball by releasing a vinyl version of the album. Actually, multiple versions.
Fans can go to TheRollingStones.com to purchase limited editions of the album featuring artwork dedicated to each MLB teams. That means 30 different records. The project, known as Hackney Diamonds X MLB, will be released on October 20.
Well, so what? By juicing fan interest and getting hardcore Stones fans to buy multiple versions of the same album, the record’s chart position will be inflated. And because pre-sales are happening now, all those purchases will be held back until the first week of sales reporting for the album.
Hackney Diamonds has already been available for pre-sale, so presumably sales are already stacking up If a significant number of people purchase all (or even some) the MLB versions over the next three-ish weeks combined with the other six-ish weeks of pre-sales, this could make for a very big first-week number–and mostly likely a #1 debut.
This kind of marketing is, as far as I know, doesn’t break any rules when it comes to compiling the Billboard Top 200 chart. Other artists have had similar record-stuffing schemes. It’s clever, but it does have a big downside.
Pre-sales will only figure into chart position for the first week the album is one sale. If everyone who wants Hackey Diamonds buys it upfront, there will be few people to buy it in weeks, two, three, four, and so on. That means that while it could debut at #1, it will probably fall dozens of positions in its second week.
Still, a #1 debut is something to brag about, so…