THE NEW ANTHRAX GREATEST HITS ALBUM IS NOT BREAKING ANY SALES RECORDS
Last week, Island/Universal Music released an Anthrax edition of their Icon series, which, in case the title doesn’t make it clear, is just repackaged hits from the label’s catalog shoved onto one new not-so-spiffy collection. By my count, this was Anthrax’s eighth greatest hits album, and that if you don’t include The Greater of Two Evils, which were Bushthrax re-recordings of Bellanthrax songs, or the band’s three lives albums, which are really just greatest hits collections with crowd noises on them.
And if you’re thinking “Well, so, like, who the crap would buy this thing?”, the answer, as it turns out, is almost no one: Anthrax’s Icon sold a whopping sixty-four copies in its first week release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Here’s a fun statistic to put just how low that number is into perspective: right now, this very second, there are more people reading this article than bought Anthrax’s Icon in its first week of release. Which is, y’know. Totally nuts.
In all fairness, you can’t blame/laugh at Anthrax for this mess. I’m sure they had nothing to do with the release, and couldn’t stop their old label from putting it out there (so it’s good to see that Scott Ian’s old buddy L.A. Reid is still doing right by the band). And the thing was barely promoted, if promoted at all (I think I saw one press release about the collection, and then promptly forgot about it until news of the stupid-low sales broke). Like I said, it’s the band’s eighth/twelfth greatest hits package, and it was released in a day and age when album sales are already in the shitter and listeners can very easily make their own damned greatest hits packages. And it’s not even very comprehensive: how someone thinks it’s okay to put out an Anthrax “Best Of” without “Caught in a Mosh” is baffling. (I’m not saying that’s the ONLY ‘Thrax song wrongfully left off here — but it is the most glaring omission.)
Still, there’s something undeniably funny about the fact that within four months the band released an album which sold 28k copies and an album which sold less in its first week of release than the MetalSucks FYE Fan Pack did (by a lot). We never dreamed we’d chart higher than a Big Four band! Dreams really do come true.