Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and the Foo Fighters are in a tight race for the top spot on the Official UK Album Charts. The gap between the two bands is just 200 units, which is equivalent to 200 physical album sales or roughly 200,000 album streams. The Official Charts Company recently revealed that the Foo Fighters were leading the race by fewer than 500 units.
The two bands had something to offer as the competition heated up. The Foo Fighters pledged access to a pre-sale for a 2024 UK headline tour yet to be announced with any purchase of their “But Here We Are.” On the other hand, Gallagher planned an “In Conversation” session at Banquet Records, bundling tickets with copies of the album.
Gallagher is now implementing a new tactic to gain the upper hand: NFTs. In collaboration with Web3 startup Serenade, he’s planning a limited-edition NFT pressing of “Council Skies,” due to become available on Thursday morning—the final day for sales to contribute towards the following chart ranking.
The “Council Skies” NFT will include high-quality WAV files of the record, the first two instalments of a four-part documentary chronicling the making of the album, and a digitally signed lyric sheet. The NFT will also feature limited-edition signed and coloured artwork. Serenade defines its offerings as “modern-day versions of limited-edition vinyl,” each digital pressing secured by blockchain technology, offering environmental benefits compared to their physical counterparts. Buyers can acquire these NFT-based pressings with either crypto or standard credit or debit cards, a move to make them as broadly accessible as possible.
As a press release announcing the partnership stated, “It wraps up a thrilling week in the UK charts and a brilliant campaign from Noel and team. This latest digital pressing release from Serenade continues to prove the worth of the future-proof format, connecting fan and artist in a way like never before.”
This is not the first time that Serenade has been used to release an album in NFT format. Rock band Muse had used Serenade to release a digital version of their album “Will of the People,” becoming the first-ever chart-eligible NFT release. They sold 1,000 digital copies worldwide, and their album topped the UK Album Charts. Similarly, The Wombats, Kota Banks, and Confidence Man have recently released digital pressings via Serenade.
The battle for the charts can be just as exciting and complex as the music itself, featuring innovative approaches and unique methods to engage fans. The use of blockchain technology in the music industry is proving to be an intriguing performance, and all eyes are on the stage to see who will take the final bow.