Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Many are expressing surprise that Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy sold only 255k in its first week as a Best Buy exclusive. But those who have closely analyzed the situation say that comparing GNR’s total with the 802k tallied by AC/DC in its Wal-Mart exclusive is like comparing apples and oranges, in that radically different circumstances surrounded the two projects.
AC/DC outsold GNR by nearly 500k not because of any particular difference between the two retailers, but as a result of the amount of exposure AC/DC had leading up to release relative to Guns—and most of the blame for that rests at the feet of Axl Rose. IGA and Best Buy were handicapped on a number of levels, due in large part to Rose’s refusal to participate in the setup—dramatically reducing the ability of the label and Best Buy to market the release.
Contrast this situation to Columbia’s superbly orchestrated campaign for AC/DC’s Black Ice, overseen by a highly motivated Steve Barnett, who has a long, close history with the band. AC/DC seemed to be everywhere on TV, radio and the Internet in the weeks leading up to release, spiking the perfectly calibrated campaign by announcing its tour in the midst of the ramp-up and kicking it off just days after Black Ice went to market.
By contrast, Rose submitted to no TV or press interviews, nor did he choose take his band on the road behind the release, while no official video has yet surfaced. AC/DC has also had a far greater radio presence, leading some to wonder why IGA would be motivated to pour additional marketing and promotion dollars into the record after pocketing $14m in the one-way sale of 1.6m units.
Factor in that this was Best Buy’s first exclusive with a major release from a high-profile act, while Wal-Mart pioneered the arrangement back in 2005 with Garth Brooks. And some are asking whether Best Buy had sufficient time to do its own setup, given the fact that Rose didn’t approve the final artwork until a few weeks prior to the release date.
Source: Hits Daily Double
The above report, if true, is disconcerting.
This means that Best Buy paid $8.75 for discs that they retailed for $11.99.
The 14 Million effectively wiped out Axl Rose's debt to his label.
Of course, Axl's inability to play along is nothing new.
If you remember, he sued his own label to block the release of Greatest Hits.
He's canceled more concerts than he's played over the last 15 years.
Now he's suing Dr. Pepper for a campaign that he was very happy to have the support of.
Axl Rose is like the fuckin' mafia. You just don't want to get involved with him at all.
In fact, I'm not even sure I want to write this for threat of legal action from the team of 4 lawyers he keeps on retainer.
If he didn't own the brand name, I can't see why anyone would be foolish enough to continue to do business with him - which kind of explains why he fought so hard for the band name in the first place. Slash said in his book that Axl was afraid the band was going to replace him because he'd become so impossible to work with, that he forced them to sign the name over under duress while they waited backstage for him to go on. "Sign this or I don't go on stage."
Cross him and he'll fire you - if you work for him.
Beat you - if you're one of his women, or screw you royally - if you, like Best Buy did, do business with him.
Message to Irving Azoff and Andy Gould: Be careful. You're next.
posted 6:36 PM