Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Zeitgeist": Inflating Album Sales?

I bought the iTunes blue Zeitgeist download album as a pre-order for the chance to buy some pre-sale concert tickets, with the hope that the new Smashing Pumpkins would play a full-length concert in Los Angeles. It was a gamble, and since they did not play a proper LA show, I lost that bet. I'm fine with that decision.

I bought the Target-exclusive violet Zeitgeist compact disc album because (1) I wanted a physical, DRM-free copy of the album and (2) since I had to decide between Target's bonus track of "Zeitgeist" and Best Buy's bonus track of "Death from Above" without hearing either song, I chose to go with the title track of the album.

There's little chance that I would want to buy the same album more than twice.

It would have been more palatable if Warner/Reprise released the Inside the Zeitgeist DVD as its own thing. Instead, by bundling it with the album, it's an obvious ploy to boost album sales. That doesn't bode well with me. It just might be the principle of it, but I'd rather buy a music documentary DVD at $15 dollars than essentially the same CD with a bonus DVD for $10. Rationally, you'll get more for the latter, but the former just seems more...honest?

I often joke that reason why Nickelback's recent middle-of-the-road, pop rock album has been high on the charts for two-plus years is because the same 100,000-200,000 people have been buying the album weekly without fail. Unfortunately, that might be a reality for Zeitgeist's current worldwide sales of 700,000 - only to inflate more by week's end - with the same tried and true Pumpkinheads with two or more copies of Billy and Jimmy's production.

But I do wonder if the Pumpkins' silver Zeitgeist music documentary will be any good - like Immagine in Cornice good.

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