HMV have refused to stock the new single by THE OFFSPRING in the UK after the band decided to give the track away as a free download on their official website, NME.COM can reveal.
The new single, ‘Original Prankster’ was released in the UK last Monday (November 6) through Columbia. However, because the band have previously given the track away free on their official website, [url=]www.offspring.com, HMV are refusing to stock the record – which could have cost the band a Number One hit.
HMV, who along with the likes of Virgin Megastore and Woolworths, are highly influential in terms of record sales eligible for the charts.
The single had a midweek chart position of Number Four and is virtually guaranteed a high Top 10 position – but a spokesperson for HMV admitted it could have gone even higher if they had decided to stock it.
But he argued: “This is not HMV versus the Internet and it never has been. All we are looking for is a level playing field in the interests of our customers. In this instance the whole track was available for download from their website well before its release date, and we want our customers to be able to get it the same day it is released on the Internet.”
A UK spokesperson for The Offspring refused to make any comment whatsoever.
Originally, the band wanted to make their entire new album ‘Conspiracy Of One’ available as a free download on the Internet. However, they eventually bowed to pressure from their record label Sony in the US, and backed down.
Speaking at the time, the band’s manager Jim Guerinot said: “We were two seconds away from having a ‘Reservoir Dogs’ ending to this matter. We both had lawsuits ready to drop in New York…the band felt the bulk of what we were trying to accomplish happens off the single being downloaded, and to sacrifice our fan promotion, album release and tour was just too much.
“It sucks because once people get their hands on the music fans will have to turn to Napster and other distribution methods to take a listen, but they won’t be able to find the songs at [url=]www.offspring.com. We will be the only site on the web that will not have The Offspring’s music.”