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U.K. Charts Discriminate Against Beck's Stickers

October 4, 2006 5:33 PM ET

Beck's new album The Information came out Monday in the U.K., but no matter how many copies it sells, it will not be charting across the pond. The U.K.'s Official Chart Company (yes, it exists and it is very, very official) has a problem with the record's "packaging innovations." As you may recall, Beck wants his fans' idle hands to stay busy by providing make-your-own-cover projects and mini-videos. (He's just trying to keep the kids in school and off drugs, ya know?) Apparently the O.C.C. feel stickers give Beck an "unfair advantage" in the sales and promotion department. Yeah, 'cause be honest, wouldn't you buy an album you didn't like just to get free stickers? Get the full press release:

BECK THE INFORMATION RELEASED MONDAY, OCTOBER 2 IN THE UK DENIED ENTRY ON UK CHARTS

Beck's The Information was released Monday, October 2 in the UK (and was released yesterday in the U.S.).

Come next week, no matter how high its first week sales, The Information will not be charting in the UK due to a bizarre ruling by the UK's Official Chart Company.

According to the OCC, The Information's packaging innovations--which have drawn early raves such as "Bonus points for the accompanying DVD and stickers that let CD buyers create their own customized covers" (WIRED)--render the record ineligible to chart in the UK.

Ironically, the DVD of homemade videos for every song on The Information and the four random sticker sets designed by artists handpicked by Beck have been construed by the OCC as an "unfair advantage"--rather than what they actually are: unique and forward-thinking additional facets that expand the album experience beyond the purchase of a plastic disc.

Beck is currently on tour in the U.S. through late October.

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“Bird on a Wire”

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