SAXOPHONIST'S BEYOND SHOT TO NO. 1 AT SAN FRANCISCO'S VIRGIN MEGASTORE AFTER UNIQUE EVENT.
SAN FRANCISCO — Tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman participated in a performance and marketing experiment on April 4 that has paid big dividends for him and for San Francisco's Virgin Megastore.
The 31-year-old saxophonist and his quartet performed four tunes live in the store, three of which were instantly burned into CDs that were raffled off to 12 of the 175 listeners present.
Afterward, sales of his new Warner Bros. CD, Beyond, "went through the roof at Virgin," said Randall Kennedy of the Warner Bros. marketing department.
Beyond became the top-selling album in the store that day, outselling even 'N Sync and Santana, according to Virgin Megastore Marketing Coordinator Tom Kern. The disc held onto the top spot through the week.
The Redman in-store event was a first for retail stores. Audience members at Grateful Dead and Phish concerts or DJ events have been able to instantly burn CDs, but never has this happened at a CD shop.
"It was a really unique event for the fans to be able to walk away with a CD of what they just witnessed, and it certainly helped sales," Kern said. "Joshua's quartet played four tunes, and the disc that 12 people got had the first three, all from the new album. The fourth tune will be used as a download from Liquid Audio at a future date, or perhaps Virginmegastore.com."
Kennedy said, "We wanted to put Joshua in a cool, hip and cutting-edge environment to support the Beyond CD, and the in-store performance was the perfect fit."
Because Redman played only original tunes to which he owned the rights, there were no legal issues involved in giving away the live CDs.
"Hopefully there will be more events like this one, but none are scheduled right now," Kern said.