Best Albums of 2013 Based on Pre-Release Stunts
Promotional stunts are nothing new — Madonna did it in 1992, releasing her headline grabbing coffee table book Sex as the companion to her album Erotica and in 1995 Sony Music spent millions to erect statues of Michael Jackson throughout Europe in hopes to boost sales of HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1 — but this year, 11 different artists had to reach deeper into their bag of tricks to come up with something original.
While Miley Cyrus took control of the Twitterverse, Vampire Weekend took advantage of happy accidents. Katy Perry burned her blue wig, Boards of Canada staged a scavenger hunt, Justin Timberlake counted everything down, Eminem left no one out and Jay Z started a new precedent for how album sales are tallied thanks to an innovative business move.
Lady Gaga and Kanye West entered the world of high art, while Arcade Fire made statements in chalk. And Daft Punk got fans so excited about "Get Lucky" that they created a 10-hour remix that we can only hope got someone lucky.
All of these acts — excluding the heady electronica of Boards of Canada — saw chart success, debuting at No. 1 with sales that ranged from 134,000 to 968,000 copies sold. These numbers prove that these tactics managed to do something the record companies haven't been able to do in a long time: get people excited about buying records again.
But in our opinion, first week sales are only half the battle. You have to hold people's attention in the days after your album actually comes out. Once the spectacle charade is all said and done.
Who really did it best? You'll have to read our list to find out here.
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