Radiohead remix promo drives single up U.S. chart
By Jonathan Cohen
NEW YORK (Billboard) - British rock band Radiohead's strong debut on the latest Billboard Hot 100 singles chart was fueled entirely by a promotion that allows fans to create their own remixes of the song.
The track "Nude" opened at No. 37 last week, the Hot 100's top new entrant and the highest debuting title of the band's three charting singles.
The Hot 100, Billboard's flagship singles chart, is determined by radio airplay and sales. But "Nude" is hardly burning up the airwaves. It is being played on only three of the 1,289 stations monitored by Nielsen BDS, and received just 6 plays during the April 4-April 10 tracking period.
On the other hand, the track sold 60,000 digital downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That total represents combined sales for the original song and five different "stems," which the band invited fans to download and use to create their own remixes. Remixes uploaded to Radioheadremix.com are available for fan voting through May 1. The stems are for sale only via iTunes.
Billboard's rule is to merge remixes with the original version as long as the music and/or lyrics of the remix remain true to the original.
"Nude" easily surpasses the No. 83 bow of Radiohead's "High and Dry" in 1996, and the No. 92 opening of its breakthrough smash "Creep" in 1993. "Creep" ultimately peaked at No. 34, and remains the group's biggest hit to date.
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